Since its introduction, it has been clear that the SAE Combo DC fast charging system (pictured) is contentious. While most public charging network providers are hesitant to take sides and different engineers will tell you why one system is better than the other, the big fight was always between the automakers. On the SAE Combo side are of the format war are, mostly, the German and the US automakers and, on the competing CHAdeMO side are Japanese companies like Nissan and Mitsubishi. Stepping into the fray is the European Parliment, which recently signaled that it will only support CHEdeMO charging connectors being installed until the end of 2018.

The draft proposal (PDF) acknowledges that CHAdeMO, which was developed in the mid-2000s and in official form since 2010, is currently winning the race:

As the Combo technology is not fully ready at the moment and as there are more than 650 CHAdeMO chargers already installed in Europe, with more than 1,000 to be deployed by the end of 2013, it is important to set a time-limited transitional period where both systems can be deployed, with the final objective to find a single standard as indicated in the Commission proposal.

As of July 5, 2013, there are over 2,700 CHAdeMO fast chargers installed around the world (1,716 in Japan, 815 in Europe, 160 in the US and 12 in "other" areas). Still, Europe wants to support its homegrown automakers, and is thus telling everyone now that they're only got about five years left of official support for CHAdeMO fast chargers. The proposal says:

Direct Current (DC) fast recharging points for electric vehicles may be alternatively equipped with connectors of Type "CHAdeMO" for a transitional period ending on 31 December 2018.

In other words, install them now, because after New Year's Eve 2018, we're only going to support one standard, and it's pretty sure gonna be the Combo one. Still, five years is a lot of time in the EV world, and maybe we'll all have wireless fast charging vehicles by then.

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