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Volvo LIGHTS project brings new charging options for electric trucks with UL certification of CCS2 connector

Volvo LIGHTS project brings new charging options for electric trucks with UL certification of CCS2 connector
The CCS2 connector joins AC and DC charging into a single port on an electric vehicle. (Courtesy: Volvo Trucks North America)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — In collaboration with Volvo Trucks North America and key suppliers participating in the Volvo LIGHTS (Low Impact Green Heavy Transport Solutions) project, REMA EV Connections, a provider of charging connectors, has secured UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification for its Combined Charging System CCS2 connector.

Volvo LIGHTS is a collaboration with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) and 13 other organizations to develop a blueprint to successfully introduce battery-electric trucks and equipment into the market at scale. The project, headquartered in Southern California, is demonstrating a range of strategies to provide flexible, cost-effective charging options for commercial fleet operators.

While the CCS2 connector is not new to the global transportation market, it is new to North America. To date, the Combined Charging System CCS1 connector has been prevalent in North America while CCS2 connectors have been prevalent throughout the rest of the world, including Europe, Australia, South America, Africa and Asia.

The UL certification indicates that a nationally recognized testing laboratory has verified that CCS2 connectors meet North American safety standards. This enables fleet operators to purchase fast-charging CCS2s directly from suppliers — including Volvo LIGHTS vendor ABB — and not have to go through a complex field-certification process after the chargers are installed. Additionally, it paves the way for utilities and other agencies to expand their list of approved charging options for electric vehicle fleet infrastructure programs.

“The CCS2 UL-certification will give fleets more charging options and greater flexibility for integrating battery-electric vehicles into their fleets in a very nascent marketspace,” said Keith Brandis, vice president of partnerships and strategic solutions at Volvo Group. “As part of the innovative Volvo LIGHTS project, our team was happy to collaborate with ABB and REMA to accelerate the UL certification of the CCS2 connector, which will be used to charge Volvo’s pilot VNR Electric trucks.”

The Combined Charging System joins AC and DC charging into a single port on a vehicle. The CCS1 and CCS2 connectors primarily differ with the type of AC charging. The CCS1 is designed for single-phase AC charging, while the CCS2 enables 3-phase AC charging via the J3068 NA standard.

“Some medium- and heavy-duty fleet operators will benefit from AC charging, as it can greatly simplify infrastructure installation by making use of an on-board converter located on many electric vehicles,” Brandis noted.

REMA EV Connections manufactures charging connector systems for vehicle manufacturers and infrastructure operators.

“REMA is proud to be the first cable manufacturer in North America to receive UL-certification for the CCS2 vehicle connector,” said Tim Rose, general manager of REMA USA. “This certification will continue to advance vehicle electrification in North America, paving the way for all of the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) providers to expand their charger portfolio to meet emerging EV demands.”

ABB has been tapped as the preferred charging hardware provider for the Volvo LIGHTS project and is installing a mix of high voltage-capable public and private electric vehicle chargers that utilize REMA’s CCS2 connectors, including the Terra 54HV (50 kW) and the HVC 150 Depot Box (150 kW).

“Flexibility is the key to success in a dynamic industry like fleet electrification,” said Bob Stojanovic, director of EV Infrastructure for ABB North America. “As the first charger manufacturer to offer multi-standard EV chargers, ABB was ready to support this initiative with safe, reliable charging solutions. We look forward to being able to deliver UL-certified CCS2 charging systems to fleet operators in North America.”

Volvo LIGHTS project partner, Southern California Edison (SCE), is the utility for the region where Volvo’s pilot VNR Electric trucks will be demonstrated by local fleet operators over the next several months. Following the CCS2 UL certification, SCE officially added the ABB CCS2 chargers being used in the Volvo LIGHTS project — the Terra 54 HV and HVC-150 — to the list of approved charging equipment for its Charge Ready Transport EV charging infrastructure program for medium- and heavy-duty fleets.

The Trucker News Staff

The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.

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The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
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