EV Automakers: Can you standardize on where we'll plug-in your cars?

Monday, May 31, 2010
Dear EV Automakers,

Thanks so much for standardizing on the plugset for charging the new electric vehicles...but now could you standardize on WHERE you put the charge receptacle on the car? 

Why?  Because it will make it easier to standardize on where we install the chargers (EVSE).  This might sound like a trivial gripe, but people will likely be charging their car EVERY day...so a small inconvenience will become a big one over time....kinda like pulling up to the gas pump on the wrong side because you drove someone elses car.

Of the EVs that will be released this year, they all have different places where you plug them in.  For instance...

  • The Nissan Leaf's receptacles (J1772 and JERI) is directly in front of the car.  (first picture)
  • The Mitsubishi iMEV's receptacles are located on the right (JERI) and left (J1772) side quarter panels near the back of the car. (which is 3 feet from the front :-)  (second picture)
  • The Chevy Volt's charge receptacle is located on the right front quarter panel below the mirror.  (third picture)
  • The Fisker Karma's charge receptacle is located on the back of the left quarter panel.  (forth picture)
  • The Ford Escape's charge receptacle is located on the right front quarter panel below the mirror.  (fifth picture)
  • ...and the Tesla Roadster is located amidships on the left.

Crazy eh?

If I were king, I'd follow the Nissan Leaf's up front placement since it's close to the front of the car...and near a curb mounted or front-of-the-garage mounted EVSE.

Without standardization of the charge receptacle to a convenient location on the car, here's what we're facing...
  • Tripping hazards!  The farther the distance, the greater the chance.
  • The convenient location you installed the expensive Level 2 charger in your garage will likely be in the wrong place when you buy a new car. 
  • People (in nice clothes) will be uncoiling/coiling/dragging around 15+' of cable every time they plug in. 
  • Cordsets will get more wear for EVs that have mid and rear mounted charge receptacles...requiring more frequent replacement. 

While I can understand why petrol filler doors are not standardized (few places to route big hoses carrying explosive fuel), but this isn't the case with electricity...you can place these almost anywhere that looks good.

Can you guys get together and figure out a good placement that makes plugging in easy and convenient?



  • Liquid fuels will be the cat's meow when they finally come of age.