The electric vehicle charging-station standardization issue that's viewed as a major hurdle to mass EV adoption goes far beyond SAE vs. CHAdeMO, apparently. European nations are also divided about which standard the European Union should use in its effort to build out the infrastructure necessary to ease away-from-home charging of plug-in vehicles, Ward's Auto reports, citing auto industry analysts at a Brussels conference.

Specifically, most European auto makers and auto suppliers are standing behind the Type-2 charging system backed primarily by Germany just as the European Commission starts an impact assessment for charging infrastructure, according to Ward's. Meanwhile, France is backing the Type-3 system, as Type-2 lacks a so-called "shutter" cover that's supposed to help prevent electrocution.

The issue is a major one as automakers such as France-based Renault look to spur plug-in vehicle sales, which have been slower than expected. Meanwhile, the UK has about 1,000 charging stations, while France has about 1,300 and Germany and Spain each have almost 900.

As it is, automakers from Japan are promoting a different on-board charging standard than one backed by European and US automakers. Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi are supporting the CHAdeMO standard, which was launched in 2010 and is used in 1,500 stations worldwide. US and European automakers like BMW, General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen are standing behind the less-established SAE Combo standard, which is being promoted as simpler since it requires just one charging port for standard- and fast-charging connections.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      Peter
      • 1 Month Ago
      Help me folks as I am not sure I have the horse race right. The Japanese are using CHAdeMO standard, but that really only means the Leaf and the iMiev as Toyota has yet to produce something that can be quickcharged and is scrapping its EV production (Well with the exception of 100 iQ and 2,600 RAV4 over the next 3 years that it will sell in compliance states). So max 20,000 (low spec Leaf's don't have the port) in the US say 50,000 world wide with the only real fast charge networks in Japan (say 1000 DC fast charging staions there under 50 deployed in North America) Renault is pushing a fast charge AC method, while BMW is still releasing iterations of concept cars, and the FIAT 500e just slowcharges. Unless I am mistaken the other standard has no cars and no chargers in North America and probably none in the EU. Tesla is walking its own path for its own reasons that are neither standard nor endorsed (or endorsable at this time as the political clout to do so is probably not there) by anyone other than Musk. So 3000 cars and 6 stations by the end of the year.
        skierpage
        • 1 Month Ago
        @Peter
        You're only describing high-power charging. By "the other standard" I think you mean the SAE frankenplug that puts two fat DC pins on the bottom of an AC charger. But there are actually two versions of this: two pins on the bottom of the SAE J1772 connector used on nearly all EVs in the USA and Japan, and two pins on the bottom of the Mennekes connector that is on some of those small quantities of German plug-ins. You can't buy any car anywhere with either version of the Frankenplug. It's hard not to be cynical when you see the long delay that GM orchestrated which resulted in this compromise that is an aesthetic and engineering joke next to the Tesla connector. If Tesla does what they say they're really smart. They will build a fast charging network for their owners' actual long-distance needs. None of the pilot roll-out by government contract with random allocation that puts a bunch of fast chargers in the Pacific Northwest and none at all in Northern California.
      Val
      • 1 Month Ago
      So the EU is willing to make it more inconvenient for tesla customers to charge their cars, by only allowing them to use charging stations without adapters? Or are they going to force tesla to use whatever standard they pick for them?
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Month Ago
      I'm holding out for Type 4. Or maybe Type 7. 7 is a good number.
      • 1 Month Ago
      What charging systems are available for Teslas, especially since they created their own ports rather than wait for the whole standardisation debate. Tesla is installing its "Superchargers" in the US right now; do they yet have infrastructure to support Model Ses in Europe yet?
        JakeY
        • 1 Month Ago
        Tesla would prefer to do exactly the same as in the US: use their own proprietary port and include adapters for the most popular standards (J1772, 120V socket, and dryer socket in the US). Unfortunately, the IEC (standards committee for Europe, kind of like the SAE in the US) seems to have a ban on connector adapters. That means Tesla may be forced to ditch their port or have two ports unless they lobby for a change. They haven't decided what to do yet though since they haven't even announced pricing for the European Model S.
        Spec
        • 1 Month Ago
        At this point, Tesla is so low volume and so non-standard that there is little point to paying attention to them. Tesla was wise enough to come up with adapters that will allow them to use standard SAE level-2 chargers. And who knows . . . maybe they'll come up with an adapter for SAE-level 3 Combo chargers. The rest of the industry is simply not going to license Tesla's charger interface. That is just not in the cards.
      JakeY
      • 1 Month Ago
      This a manufactured conflict. The only country still backing Type 3 is France (Italy apparently gave up). Nearly everyone else already moved on and picked Type2 (AKA Mennekes). Type-2 is basically like a 3-phase capable version of the J1772 plug (this is called Type 1) the US and Japan already decided on (because these two use primarily single phase and don't need the 3-phase capability). The pins for Type-2 is not energized until a connection is established so a shutter is not necessary (it's already in use in many countries with a shutter requirement). Mennekes is making a shuttered version to address those that insist on a shutter. See the map here: http://www.mennekes.in/in/latest0.html?tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=883&cHash=143015f2385ea4fe930d04795b919cce They were arguing about it more than a year ago: http://green.autoblog.com/2011/04/12/germany-italy-france-argue-over-european-plug-standards-for-el/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_62196
      Spec
      • 1 Month Ago
      Oh come on, Europe, don't screw this up. With your high gas prices, you need EVs even more than we do. Get your act together and adopt a standard.