The latest electric vehicle adopter may be confused by charging criteria. When starting the journey to electrification, the rush of acronyms, figures, and difficult-to-pronounce names might be intimidating. Perhaps this is why Tesla’s decision to use a unique charging connector, along with a rapid rollout of fast-charging stations, makes more sense than some believe.
As the electric vehicle market matures, the battle for the charging standard is coming to resemble the battle between HD DVD and Blu-Ray. One standard will eventually triumph, and it does not appear that that standard will be CHAdeMO in North America. As previously reported by InsideEVs, Electrify America, one of the leading charging providers in the United States, will shortly begin focusing on developing chargers that comply with a new standard.
EA is among the well-known electric car charging networks that are found in the United States, with ambitions to install 3,500 individual chargers by the end of the year. More than 800 of them are currently capable of charging CHAdeMO-equipped automobiles natively. According to EA’s most current investment plan, CHAdeMO plugs account for only 7% of total station usage across the company’s entire network, implying that either the proportion of CHAdeMO-equipped cars is declining or the number of the Combined Charging System-equipped (CCS) cars is increasing. And, based on the rapid increase in industry acceptance of CCS, it’s most likely the latter.
EA has made the decision to concentrate on the CCS charging instead of “legacy” CHAdeMO connectors in its public charging infrastructure development. While the company does not explicitly state that it would discontinue CHAdeMO support, it does explain its move to concentrate on CCS by claiming that other charging systems have deployed “almost 5,000 chargers” and that the “legacy CHAdeMO drivers have accessibility to a robust charging network.” According to EA’s research, the vehicle-to-charger ratio for vintage vehicles is around 22-to-1.
So, what’s the big deal about this? For the most part, it isn’t for most new electric vehicles. However, for current Electric Vehicles on the road, it is a clear sign that their once-futuristic technology—some of which is approaching ten years old—may soon be rendered obsolete. For quite some time, automakers have been migrating away from CHAdeMO. Upwards of a million vehicles globally have CHAdeMO inlets, with the Nissan Leaf accounting for half of them. On the other hand, Nissan has recognized the merits of CCS inlet and has decided to include one in its newest electric vehicle, the Nissan Ariya.