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Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Porsche and Volkswagen have agreed on a combined electric-vehicle (EV) charging system for vehicles in Europe and the U.S., Ford Motor Co. has announced.

The system is a combined charging approach that integrates all charging scenarios into one vehicle inlet/charging connector and uses identical ways for the vehicle to communicate with the charging station.

Standardization will reduce build complexity for manufacturers and accelerate the installation of common systems internationally, according to Ford.

The seven auto manufacturers have also agreed to use HomePlug GreenPHY as the communication protocol. The endorsement of the combined charging system was based on reviews and analysis of existing charging strategies, the ergonomics of the connector and the preferences of customers in both the U.S. and Europe.

The harmonized approach - across both continents and all manufacturers - is expected provide a framework for future infrastructure planning as well as a communication protocol to assist in the integration of EVs into smart grids, Ford says.

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