Megawatt Charging System

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Prototype v3.2 MCS connector; there are two primary power (DC) pins, four communications/detection (C) pins, and one protective earth (PE) pin.
Type Electric vehicle charging
Production history
Designer MCS (former HPCCV) working group, CharIN
Designed 2020‒2022
Produced 2023 (planned)[citation needed]
General specifications
Pins 7[1]
Connector MCS[1]
Signal DC
Earth Dedicated pin
Max. voltage 1,250 V[2]
Max. current 3,000 A[2]
Data signal ISO 15118-20

The Megawatt Charging System (MCS) is a charging connector under development for large battery electric vehicles. The connector will be rated for charging at a maximum rate of 3.75 megawatts (3,000 amps at 1,250 volts direct current (DC)).

The MCS connector is being advanced by the CharIN organization, with aspirations that it become a worldwide standard charging connector for large and medium commercial vehicles. [3]


A Charging Interface Initiative e.V. (CharIN) task force was formed by industry actors in March 2018, with the purpose to "define a new commercial vehicle high power charging standard to maximize customer flexibility."[3] CharIN had previously developed the Combined Charging System (CCS) specification. From early 2018 until late 2019, the abbreviation HPCCV (High Power Charging for Commercial Vehicles) was used, following the name of the CharIN consortium taskforce. The purpose statement was later revised to "work out requirements for a new commercial vehicle high power charging solution to maximize customer flexibility when using fully electric commercial vehicles. The scope of the technical recommendation is to be limited to the connector, and any related requirements for the EVSE, the vehicle, communication, and related hardware."[4]

The HPCCV held a meeting in September 2018 to build consensus on proposed requirements, and the CharIN Board of Management approved a set of consensus requirements in November 2018.[3] Five companies submitted candidate designs to meet the requirements: Tesla, Electrify America, ABB, paXos, and Stäubli.[5] HPCCV selected a charging plug and socket design in May 2019, which was endorsed by CharIN leadership in September 2019.[3] The version 1.0 HPCCV connector had a triangular shape and round power pins, but the design required further development as it was not finger-proof.[6]

Approximate drawing of previous version 2 draft outlet; DC± would have been carried via two "tuning fork" contacts

A test of seven vehicle inlets and eleven connectors was held at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in September 2020. The prototype hardware represented designs from seven different manufacturers, and six additional manufacturers participated virtually. Criteria evaluated included fit/compatibility, ergonomics, and thermal performance.[7][8] Evaluations at maximum current (3000 A) were conducted with cooling of both the inlet and the connector; for connector cooling only, current was limited to 1000 A, and without cooling, current was limited to 350 A.[9] Versions 2.0 through 2.4 of the MCS connector used "hairpin" shaped contacts, but it was later changed to version 3.0 through 3.2, which returned to the triangular shape with larger pins and longer protective sheaths to prevent accidental contact.[6]: 3 

The task force had anticipated that a requirements and specification document would be published by the end of 2021.[4] In August 2021, prototype connectors were tested at up to 3.75 megawatts.[10] MCS connector version 3.2 was adopted in December 2021.[6]: 3  CharIN intends to complete the specification document by 2024,[1] which is planned to be in a state that is ready to be adopted by ISO and IEC as a global standard.[11] In preparation, SAE International began developing the draft MCS standards into the J3271 requirements in December 2021;[12] in parallel, the IEC began developing standard 63379 in Spring 2021.[13]

The final standard is expected to be resolved in 2024.[14] There is an open point in testing interference immunity of the PLC connection, otherwise the communication would need to switch to a CAN connection on the same pilot pins.[citation needed] Additionally the protocol on the PLC connection should support TCP/IP, so that ISO 15118 services have a direct connection to the vehicle electronics (Vehicle-To-Grid, Plug-N-Charge).[15]

Specific implementations[edit]

Lilium GmbH announced in October 2021 that forthcoming VTOL Lilium Jets would be fitted with MCS for charging.[16] Charging stations with MCS connectors will be delivered by ABB in 2024.[17] ABB charging stations have been operated at interoperability testing events.[18]

Three truck charging stations utilizing a pre-standardized version of MCS will be built and operated in the Swedish project E-Charge. The chargers will be installed on three different locations in southern Sweden and will be utilized by four authentic logistics flows during a year's time starting in Q1 2024. The electric trucks will be provided by Scania and Volvo while the chargers will be provided by ABB.[19]

The German national project „Hochleistungsladen im Lkw-Fernverkehr“, commonly referred to as the HoLa project (from German Hochleistungs-Ladepark, literally high capacity charging park for the charging sites),[20] will build four new truck charging stations along the Autobahn A2 from Berlin to Duisburg. Each station will be equipped initially with two 600 kW stations starting in June 2022, and will be upgraded to 1 Megawatt using MCS in fall 2023. The chargers will be built by Heliox.[21]

The German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) published the "Masterplan Ladeinfrastruktur 2.0" in February 2022 in which they proposed to extend the Deutschlandnetz state-funded charging network into a "Deutschlandnetz für Lkw" (national fast-charging network for trucks). Whereas the current plan requires 200 kW per charging point using CCS, the next phase will require 700 kW per charging point using MCS.[22]

In January 2023 an early Tesla Semi was spotted with version 2 of the MCS charging port.[23][24]

Design requirements[edit]

Key requirements include:[4]

  • Single conductive plug
  • Maximum of 1250 V DC and 3000 A[2]
  • Differential PLC[25] + ISO/IEC 15118 - 20 (ISO 15118-20 Communication Protocols allows bi-directional energy flow for vehicle-to-grid (V2G), Smart Charging, Encrypted Communication, Plug ‘n Charge, Automated Charging)
  • Touch Safe (UL2251)
  • On-handle software-interpreted override switch
  • Adherence to OSHA / ADA (or local equivalent) standards (dictates sizes using anthropometric data and masses using ergonomic data)
  • FCC Class A EMI (or local equivalent)
  • Located on driver's side of the vehicle, hip height (ergonomics)
  • Capable of being automated
  • UL / NRTL certified
  • Cyber-Secure
  • V2X (bi-directional) based on ISO15118-20

MCS is intended for Class 6, 7, and 8 commercial vehicles, initially with a primarily focus on large trucks and busses, but potential MCS applications to the Aeronautics industry (e-VTOL, e-Planes, etc...) and Marine Industry (Tug-boats, e-Ferries, River Cargo vessels, etc...) exist. For road vehicles, the vehicle inlet should be placed on the driver's side of the vehicle (left side in North America), between the front and rear axles.[26]: 17 

A CCS Combo 1/Combo 2/SAE J3068 or ChaoJi inlet may also be fitted to the vehicle for compatibility and AC charging. Black & Veatch have designed prototype layout requirements for vehicle charging lanes.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "CharIN shows MW charging system commercial EVs". Electrive. June 14, 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022. The geometry of the charging plug, for example, was on display at the ABB eMobility stand. The design, long kept secret by CharIN, is triangular, with the tip pointing downwards. In the two upper corners are the (as expected) large receptacles for the two DC pins. The other, smaller pins for earthing and communication are placed in the middle and at the bottom. Since this is still a prototype, the final standard is not to be published until 2024, as mentioned above. CharIN says that the members of the organisation will present their respective products implementing MCS in the coming year. This means that the connector design should already be very close to the final specification.
  2. ^ a b c "Industry Experts, Researchs Put Charging Systems for Electric Trucks to the Test" (Press release). National Renewable Energy Laboratory. August 30, 2021. Retrieved 27 September 2022. Building on previous lessons learned, this year's event focused on expanded evaluation to consider more real-world cases for safety and durability within the [Megawatt Charging System] standard, which specifies compatibility with up to 1,250 volts and 3,000 amps.
  3. ^ a b c d "CharIN HPCCV Task Force: High Power Plug Update". CharIN. April 2020. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Megawatt Charging System (MCS)". CharIN e.V. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  5. ^ Kocher, Rustam (2019-06-11). "Standardization Task Force update" (PDF). CharIN High Power Commercial Vehicle Charging. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  6. ^ a b c Bohn, Theodore (April 12, 2022). "SAE J3271 Megawatt Charging System standard; part of MW+ multiport electric vehicle charging for everything that 'rolls, flies or floats'". EPRI Bus & Truck. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  7. ^ "The CharIN path to Megawatt Charging (MCS): Successful connector test event at NREL" (Press release). 2020-10-13. Retrieved 2021-01-10. On September 23–24, 2020 … Fit and ergonomics evaluation of the MCS connector and inlet … At the facilities of National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
  8. ^ "NREL-Hosted Event Supports Industry Development of Megawatt Charging System Connectors" (Press release). NREL. 2020-10-12. Retrieved 2021-01-10. Megawatt Charging System (MCS), a new charging standard for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles … enabled seven vehicle inlets and 11 charger connectors to test their designs together. … high-current nature of this system presents unique challenges to minimize cable length to improve efficiency and reduce thermal cooling … test matrix covering all connector and inlet combinations. … CharIN group has identified a list of priority requirements for a new high-power bidirectional charging system, including compatibility with up to 1,500 volts and 3,000 amps.
  9. ^ Meintz, Andrew (June 24, 2021). "Charging INfrastructure Technologies: Development of a Multiport, >1 MW Charging System for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicles" (PDF). National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Retrieved 26 August 2021.
  10. ^ Industry Experts, Researchers Put Charging Systems for Electric Trucks to the Test. News (Report). National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 2021-08-03. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
  11. ^ "Megawatt charging in sight" (Press release). Scania. July 7, 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2022. 'To make things as easy as possible, MCS is based on a global agreement on technical specifications, with support of a large portion of the industry, where CharIN has been the perfect incubator delivering ready concept of MCS that now are handed over to become ISO and IEC standards,' says Johan Lindström, Technical Manager VCB Vehicle Technology, Scania.
  12. ^ "Megawatt Charging System for Electric Vehicles: J3271". SAE International. December 15, 2021. Retrieved 3 May 2022.
  13. ^ Bernd Horrmeyer (December 2, 2021). "Megawatt Charging System: Standardization supports global electrification of heavy-duty traffic" (Interview). Interviewed by Gürkan Balcioglu. DKE Technology.
  14. ^ Mark Kane (2022-06-15). "CharIN Officially Launches The Megawatt Charging System (MCS)". Inside EV.
  15. ^ "CharIN Whitepaper Megawatt Charging System (MCS) - Recommendations and requirements for MCS related standards bodies and solution suppliers - Version 1.0" (PDF). CharIN. 2022-11-24.
  16. ^ "ABB and Lilium team to revolutionize charging infrastructure for regional air travel" (Press release). ABB. 2021-10-13.
  17. ^ "Lilium Partners with ABB for Charging Infrastructure". Transport UP. 2022-02-22.
  18. ^ "CharIN Launches Megawatt Charging System (MCS) In North America". InsideEVs. Retrieved 2022-10-29.
  19. ^ "E-Charge | Lindholmen Science Park".
  20. ^ "HoLa – High performance charging for long-haul trucking". Hochleistungsladen Lkw-Fernverkehr. Retrieved 8 June 2022.
  21. ^ "Heliox: From coarse to fine adjustment of the megawatt charge". 2021-10-16.
  22. ^ "Aufbau E-Ladenetz für Nutzfahrzeuge fokussieren – 5 Mrd. Booster-Förderung bis 2025" (Press release). VDA - Verband der deutschen Automobilindustrie. 2022-03-11.
  23. ^ u/wroniec498 (2023-01-26). "Tesla Semi charging port (mcs2)". Reddit. Archived from the original on 2023-01-26.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  24. ^ Tesla Megacharger! Visiting A DCFC Location With Over 100 EV Chargers. Welcome To Baker, CA, retrieved 2023-07-30
  25. ^ Paulraj, Pon. "Megawatt Charging System Communication (MCS) Communication Topology | What changes on PLC, ISO 15118 and SLAC". E-Mobility Simplified | Basics of Electric Vehicles and Charging. Retrieved 2023-01-11.
  26. ^ Truemner, Russell (2019-02-18). "Task Force Aggregated Requirements" (PDF). CharIN High Power Commercial Vehicle Charging. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 10, 2019. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  27. ^ Pollom, Russell E. (May 5, 2021). "Black & Veatch Layouts for MCS Working Group" (PDF). Charging Interface Inititative (CharIN) Megawatt Charging System Task Force. Retrieved 26 August 2021.

External links[edit]