Life Line to Power-Up and Plug-in On-the-Go

Whether driving to or from your destination, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles require “life lines” to the power grid to deliver the electrical energy needed to keep moving, as well as support the on-board battery packs. Delphi has long been the leading supplier of power and signal distribution systems, so finding ways to reduce range anxiety, all while distributing power from the grid to these vehicles is a natural extension of its vehicle architecture expertise.

Going beyond pure engineering, the Delphi design team worked to understand not only the OEM requirements for the portable charging unit, but those of the end user. Drawing on feedback from several focus groups early on in the design development, Delphi worked to understand consumer likes and dislikes, including the look and feel like size, shape and feel of the handle. This feedback helped create the first charging coupler design that was then introduced on the 2016 Chevrolet Volt. 

The coupler features hard, co-molded rubber hand grips and an angular design which provides the best ergonomic position when plugging into an electric vehicle. Also, proven electronics were utilized to improve the quality of previous designs. 

The result is a product line of portable chargers that meet the required technical and safety hurdles, all while improving on quality and cost. These couplers have proven to be superior to competitor offerings, and global customers such as General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, VW group, Mercedes and BMW use Delphi chargers across their electric and plug-in hybrid programs.