CHAdeMO Association’s Next Move: Making Your Electric Car Power Your Home, The Electricity Grid

In today’s modern electric car marketplace, there are several different competing standards for direct current fast charging of electric cars. Aside from Tesla’s Supercharger standard — which uses different physical charging connectors in Europe and China to the original proprietary connector debuted on U.S. Model S cars — the world’s automakers are split between three different standards.

Nissan’s LEAF to Home system and ones like it  are the first step in V2G connectivity for CHAdeMO

European and North American automakers — like BMW, Volkswagen, General Motors and Ford —  use CCS, which adds two extra high-current charge pins below the Mennenkes (Type 2) and J1772 (Type 1) connectors respectively favoured by each market for low current, AC charging. Chinese automakers use a specially-designed connector which is only used in China itself to rapid charge electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, Japanese automakers use the CHAdeMO system — the oldest and most established of the four rapid charging standards in use today. Thanks to its use on cars like the Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, CHAdeMO charging stations outnumber all the other rapid charging standards in the world — even in markets where CCS is considered the preferred standard by local automakers due to its smaller size and less complex connector design.

But now the CHAdeMO association — the body responsible for certifying and developing the industry-leading CHAdeMO quick charge standard — has its sights set on offering more than rapid charging for electric cars in the near future.

It wants to help power your home and feed power to the electricity grid too, something called Vehicle-to-Grid or V2G for short.

“Now we are talking about vehicle to home. It is not only a charging system, but CHAdeMO can also be a discharging system”

As AutomotiveNews (subscription required) details, the CHAdeMO association, helped by automakers like Nissan, Toyota, Subaru, Mitsubishi and Honda, wants to add vehicle-to-home connectivity in the next version of its CHAdeMO standard. At the 5th CHAdeMO General Assembly in Tokyo yesterday, the association laid out preliminary plans to expand the CHAdeMO protocol and standard to include V2G technology.

CHAdeMO is the oldest of the DC fast Charge standards.

CHAdeMO is the oldest of the DC fast Charge standards.

With a bulky, dedicated charge connector housing eight small, discreet low-voltage pins for communications and two larger conductors for high current power transfer of up to 125 amps at 500 volts DC, the CHAdeMO electric car fast charging connector is undeniably the most complex of electric car charging standards, but as CHAdeMO Association president and vice president of Nissan explains, the connector is capable of enabling far more than simply charging an electric car.

“I think that’s how CHAdeMO can expand,” told the industry publication. “Now we are talking about vehicle to home. It is not only a charging system, but CHAdeMO can also be a discharging system.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s because it is. In its domestic market of Japan — buoyed by the aftermath of the tragic 2011 earthquake and tsunami which killed so many people and cut power to towns and cities across a large portion of the country — Nissan worked with various partner companies to develop its LEAF to Home system, a CHAdeMO-equipped unit about the size of a small air conditioner which could not only charge a Nissan LEAF at 6 kilowatts from the grid but also be used to draw power from the electric car in an emergency to power a home.

Nissan has even expanded that system further, building a prototype vehicle-to-grid setup in one office parking lot in Japan, allowing employees to not only charge their cars but use electric cars as grid-connected energy storage devices to smooth out peaks and troughs in energy demand in the building throughout the day.

Mitsubishi has designed a domestic system similar to Nissan’s for use with its i-Miev and Outlander PHEV plug-in cars, while both Honda and Toyota will offer CHAdeMO-compliant connectors on their upcoming fuel cell sedans. While Honda and Toyota’s fuel cell cars don’t have a high-capacity battery pack to charge using a CHAdeMO charging station, the connectors make it possible for home owners with fuel cell sedans to use CHAdeMO V2G technology to power their home from the hydrogen fuel cell in their car in an emergency.

The Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Sedan can use this CHAdeMO socket to provide emergency power when required.

The Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Sedan can use this CHAdeMO socket to provide emergency power when required.

While many applications of V2G technology already exist however, the provision for V2G connectivity isn’t yet fully part of the CHAdeMo standard, something the CHAdeMO Association wishes to change. Partnering with the Electric Vehicle Power Supply System Association (EVPOSSA) — whose members include Panasonic, Hitachi, Toshiba and Unisys —  CHAdeMO hopes it can both finalise and implement a more refined standard for V2G connectivity.

In the future, this could even make it possible for utility companies to interface with CHAdeMO equipped vehicles and charging stations in domestic and commercial applications to feed power to and from the grid to help smooth power demand during peak periods, while continuing to allow vehicles to provide backup power in the event of an emergency. Unlike static battery packs, vehicles could even operate as mobile power stations, driving to areas with no grid connectivity to provide essential power for emergency services or medical purposes.

Like all committee-driven processes however, the integration of V2G connectivity on all CHAdeMO-equipped vehicles won’t be an overnight thing. Given the ground work already carried out by Nissan, Mitsubishi and others however, we can only hope it takes less time than a completely new standard designed from scratch. As long as the standard is backwards-compatible too, there’s a potential every CHAdeMO-equipped vehicle made could offer plug and play connectivity.


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  • just someone old

    if you understand japanese, here the page of chademoass with link to v2h presentation

    anyhow, i hope it’s charger/v2h constructors will adhere to the standard, and not cut corners as they do now for fastchargers, putting users of zero motorcycles in the cold

  • Of note TEMCO, the major Japanese energy supplier has been a primary member of CHAdeOM since it’s formation. So far no major support of EVs an EV infrastructure has been made by electric energy producers in Europe or N.America.

    Also of note, the SAE discussion of V2G include EV suppling on-demand loads. This creates confusion it the no power is supplied from the EV to the grid (or home). What is supplied is a “time controlled charging load”, a useful commodity to grid operators, but of little value to EV owners.

    The important features to watch with and grid or home connection standards is the supply of DC energy for an EVs onboard energy storage to an off-board source as AC power. The CHAdeMO 1.0 standard include this functionality. What is lacking are regulations to allow such a system to be connected to a home, or grid in N.America or Europe. In Japan, because regulations are in place the use of EV-to-Home and EV-to-Business systems have been deployed.

    • jeffsongster

      The power company is TEPCO… same guys with that nasty nuke plant at Fukushima. I am looking forward to this V2H innovation so the 2 LEAFs in my garage can help keep the fridge running in an outage.

    • Thanks Jeff for noting typo in TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power COmpany). For reference the power company was a founding member and first chaired CHAdeMO.
      from 2010.03.15 the formation of CHΛdeMO.

      Think the involvement of electric power companies in Japan is a major reason EV infrastructure is so much further ahead compares to other countries. The LEAF-to-Home has been on the market and in use since 2012.

  • lad76

    I see lots of technical problems with doing this. Foremost is the life of the expensive traction battery. I like the Tesla approach on this one.using a separate dedicated “Powerwall.” and locally generated power from solar panels, using the grid as a backup system in case the local solar/battery system goes down.

  • leptoquark

    V2G or V2H using CHAdeMO is all well and good, other than the enormous difference in the power demands of a typical Japanese home versus a typical American home.

    Nissan could introduce the idea of powering things from you car much more quickly if it would simply design an inverter into the car with a 120V outlet. It could be the “emergency power option”. You would flip up a little door and see a familiar 120V outlet, from which you could power just a few emergency essentials, like a refrigerator. During Hurricane Sandy, I, along with my Leaf-driving friends, hooked up 1000W inverters to the Leaf charging system, after researching how to do it online (Thanks Ingineer on I tested it on my fridge and it worked. I could have run it for three days, had we lost power that long. It’s a great feeling to know you’re protected, but John Q Public isn’t going to pop the hood and start bolting on wires. I think a 120V option for the Leaf, or any EV, would be quite popular, and it would establish the idea that you can use the Leaf battery for more than driving.

  • While not a V2G solution; Mitsubishi Motors MiEV Power Box also offered an AC power source using an EVs stored energy. The Power Box plugs into an EVs CHAdeMO port to provide 1500 watts of portable, or emergency power. Unfortunately like EV-to-Home system, is only available in Japan.

  • Brock Nanson

    This is essentially what Shai Agassai was proposing at the beginning of the ill-fated Better Place foray into the EV business… but not just at home – anywhere the car was plugged in. The concept of a Smart Grid is a huge part of making this work at scale.

  • V2G has been talked about since I first got my LEAF 4 years ago. Here we are talking about a standard that may get introduced x years down the road.

    Meanwhile Tesla has decided to eschew V2G and provide home energy storage instead *and* it will start shipping this year. As Brian H pointed out, providing power to the grid isn’t particularly valuable to the EV owner, powering his home is. Once again Tesla comes along, figures out the best approach and then beats everyone to the punch as everyone else stands around “talking”.

    Nissan had a V2G system that powered the home years ago in Japan. They just sat on that gem and failed to advance it worldwide.

    Tesla doesn’t have the ideas first, they are just first to implement and sell them.

  • Mark Claussen

    Is this thread still active? Seems this is the latest discussions I could find on CHAdeMO “tweaking” to allow bi-directional DC flow to/from EVs. Of great interest to me as a Leaf owner. ANY links/info you have on this subject is appreciated. Seems Nissan went silent in 2012? Seems Tesla is “probing” with PowerWall. Seems no one is offering bi-directional CHAdeMO commercially yet? I’ll bet the “hackers” already have Arduino based solutions – however difficult to make such efforts commercial (OpenEsve an exception!).

    Anyone have a technical type contact within Nissan to open a dialouge? Same for Honda’s HEMSx?


    • Martin

      I’m also looking for an update on this issue. In GB regulations allow V to G connections provided that the home unit is fixed and follows the requirements to ensure safe operation laid down in G59/3. This was issued in 2013 so there has been plenty of time to get something to market.