iMiev Sunset

Germany Poised to Exclude CHAdeMO Quick Charge Standard from Electric Car Infrastructure Master Plan

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.

iMiEV rapid charging on an ecotricity electric highway charger

If certain automakers get their own way, Germany’s nationwide rapid charger network won’t include CHAdeMO quick charge support.

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.

CCS is preferred by all of the German automakers wanting to exclude CHAdeMO from Germany's EV infrastructure.

CCS is preferred by all of the German automakers wanting to exclude CHAdeMO from Germany’s EV infrastructure.

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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  • Andrew Campbell

    Simple enough for us, don’t visit Germany. Send this to their tourist board….

    • Matt Beard

      Good point – now… how much money do EV-driving tourists contribute the the German economy v. how much money to BMW, VW etc. contribute?

      • Andrew Campbell

        You know Matt, life can get too serious …….. If you let it. nLighten up man.

        • Matt Beard

          So you don’t think that was a consideration in this decision?

          • Motobiman

            Now you lost me, mind you, you usually do.

          • Matt Beard

            What I’m saying is that a German government funded scheme is working to huge advantage of German EV manufacturers and against non-German EV manufacturers. I suspect that this is not a co-incidence and that when German companies such as BMW and VW come knocking they are listened to more than a few eco-hotel owners.

  • vdiv

    There is a market for adapters brewing. If EV makers are serious they will add both the CHAdeMO and CCS receptacles to their cars. In the LEAF and iMiEV it would be rather easy as they already have a Type1 plug. Make it a Type 2 frankenplug and be done.nnIt may be time for the government to start considering and promoting vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-grid capabilities rather than picking winners and losers on the marketplace. Has anyone demonstrated such with CCS?

  • CDspeed

    CHAdeMO is sort of the Japanese level 3 standard, but at this point CCS isn’t exactly growing at the rate Tesla’s Superchargers are. I like the Superchargers, my second choice is CCS, CHAdeMO does take up a lot of space on the car, and is only growing in numbers because Nissan is pushing it. I’m just not going to take Level 3 charging seriously until one of the standards is finally supported by an overwhelming number of auto makers, that’s supposed to be CCS but they seem to be as interested in rolling out CCS chargers as they are interested in building a Model S competitor.

  • Surya

    I’d still rather have the cars support AC quick charging as this would make infrastructure expansion vastly cheaper, and it makes home charging so much more flexible. Any charging really.nBut I guess that’s not going to happen 🙁

    • vdiv

      Agree, it will also make the infrastructure more reliable. As much as many advocate for creating a DC grid, what we do have is AC. Even in the US most commercial charging stations are on a three-phase power, and use one of the phases. The inability of the US EVs to charge using all three phases is rather disappointing.

    • Matt Beard

      It will make the charging stations more reliable (because you are taking the difficult high-power bits out) but the cars less reliable (because you are adding difficult high-power bits). If a rapid DC charger fails, you can move to a different one (or slow charge), but if the high-power charger in your car fails…?

      • Surya

        So far there haven’t been too many problems with the high power AC unit in the Renault ZOE, so I don’t see a problem there.

        • Matt Beard

          I seem to be forever hearing of people with charging woes with their Zoe.nn

  • Michael Thwaite

    I don’t see these mandates as being particularly troublesome as long as they’re adopted all across a particular land mass, e.g. Europe, America, Japan, etc.nnnAt the end of the day, I’m sure that Mitsubishi and Nissan could swap the CHAdeMO for a CCS for German markets – we already see a different connector on the euro i3 to the US version or the euro Model S to the US version. It’s just wires, software and, regulatory approval… Oh, wait, did I just blow my argument with that last one?

    • Neil Stratford

      The current situation of octopus-DC charging stations is crazy. When do we decide how many cables is too many? When someone knits a scarf?

      • Michael Thwaite

        Yes, that’d be a good indication that we’d got out of control.nnnI think that it’ll be self regulating – when every automaker has one EV, people are going to start making buying decisions on the the usability of the car and hence base that to some degree on the size of its charging network – the supercharger network is a big draw in peoples minds.nnnWe have three or four grades of liquid fuel, and we can slowly rotate charging standards – that ‘feels’ like it’s in the realms of normal. I suppose that my only fear is that used prices and the usability of older cars is impacted by lack of compatible connectors.

        • vdiv

          Hence the adapters. The bigger issue is that the older plugins can only charge at a 3.3 kWh from AC points and that replacing the onboard charger with a higher capacity one is practically unfeasible. and certainly frowned upon by the manufacturers.

          • Andrew Campbell

            BMW execs want their heads banged together IMHOnnThey have to put how many charge points in with their stooped CCS standard plugs just to catch up ….. ?nn

          • vdiv

            It turns out it is not the total number that matters, it is the number and location of available and working charging stations. Yes, the CCS supporters would really have to get serious to even catch up to CHAdeMO and currently there are no signs they are doing that.

          • Andrew Campbell

            It always seems the user is last in the queue when it comes to consideration in these things.

    • Matt Beard

      The problem is, what if you live in Germany, but have relatives in Austria? How about if you live in France but usually holiday in Germany? The borders between countries in Europe are often more like state borders in the USA. Are there going to be garages at the border now to swap your connector?

  • EV docmaker

    This is not about helping German EVs this is about helping macho pro gasoline German carmakers to convince the German people that EVs are no good and charge too slowly by lobbying the government to restrict higher charging.

  • jeffsongster

    I for one would like to ask Nissan to adopt CCS on their next models and offer a retrofit for the old cars.. Leave the CHAdeMO connector as well that way you have the most compatible car on the market. The latest Jplug standard and the ubiquitous CHAdeMO with proven V2H and high speed charging. Their car has room for both. So could Mitsubishi if they ever get serious again and add the new jplug and add 5 or so kWh to their battery packs.

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