DC fast chargers will play a critical role in widespread adoption of electric vehicles, with their capacity to turn the charging experience into something much closer to a trip to the gas station than has been previously available. The technology isn’t new – in fact, it’s become commonplace in Japan. But where the automaker is based has a lot of influence over which system it prefers. A choice is being made between the Japanese CHAdeMO system, used by Nissan and Mitsubishi, and DC Fast Charging with Combined Charging System, endorsed by the Society of Automotive Engineers and eight US and European carmakers.
During a CHAdeMO General Assembly Meeting in Tokyo this month, apprehension was expressed over the controversy. The combined charging system was referred to as “the plug without the cars,” since it’s a new charging standard that will take time to arrive in the market, compared to CHAdeMO, which has been on the market since 2008 and has been charging the Nissan Leaf and Nissan i-MiEV. The SAE is set to publish guidelines this summer for the selected DC Fast Charging with a Combined Charging System. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association is expected to make a similar endorsement.