In an ideal world, every electric car on sale today would charge in the same way, following one unified charging protocol and connector standard. Unfortunately we don’t live in an ideal world — and in most markets where electric cars are sold there are three or four different AC and DC charging standards which electric car owners have to understand and negotiate.
As a consequence, it’s considered good practice for any new charging station installations — especially rapid charging ones — to cater to as many different standards as possible, but a consortium of automakers and charging equipment providers in Germany is working hard to exclude CHAdeMO quick charging from a nationwide electric car charging network being supported by the German government.
Intended to provide quick charging coverage all across Germany, the nationwide charging network will make it easy to travel anywhere in Germany by electric car. But as the CHAdeMO association of Europe notes, the current plans for the network include provision for Type 2 AC and Combined Charge Standard (CCS) DC quick charging.
CHAdeMO quick charging has been left out, despite an agreement made earlier this year by the EU to include CHAdeMO quick charging support in multi-standard charging stations.
That, says the CHAdeMO association, would mean that anyone with a CHAdeMO-capable car like the Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi i-Miev or Outlander Plug-in Hybrid won’t be able to easily rapid charge their cars in Germany.
We’d like to say the reasons behind this revolve around more international policy on quick charging of electric cars, but throughout Europe and the rest of the world there’s a trend towards supporting as many different charging standards as possible, even if they’re not officially ratified as a charging standard in the country in question.
Instead, it appears that the proposal to exclude CHAdeMO quick charging stems from the simple fact that the recently-launched CCS standard originated in Germany, and is supported by all the major German automakers, including BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler — and associated brands like Audi and Porsche.
By supporting a German-made charging standard at the exclusion of other worldwide charging standards, the German Government would be giving the lions’ share of the electric vehicle market to its own native automakers. This would massively disadvantage non-German automakers who use different standards for EV charging, not to mention existing EV owners with non-CCS electric cars.
Luckily however, there’s time for this to change. The organisation responsible for proposing the nationwide German charging network is currently asking for public opinion on the necessity to include or exclude CHAdeMO quick charge standard in its future network.
If you’re an EV owner in Germany who wants to see a level playing field for all electric cars regardless of how they charge — or you’re an owner from elsewhere in Europe with a CHAdeMO compatible car that wants to visit Germany — now’s your chance.
As our trip last week proved, the only way for electric cars to become truly mainstream is if there is a truly equitable and reliable charging network for all.
Don’t you agree?
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