One of the key EV charging success factors is user experience — which encapsulates a large number of different factors — but one of which is the standardization of charging connector types. Currently in the US there are three DC fast charging connector types: CCS, Tesla, and CHAdeMO.
Most industry observers believe that in the long run it’s important that all electric vehicles use the same standard connector type — which effectively means CCS. While the Tesla charging experience is easily the best today, it is proprietary to Tesla as opposed to the open standard of CCS. In Europe, Tesla has moved to the CCS connector and is currently piloting its Superchargers being available to non-Tesla EVs in The Netherlands, France, Norway, Belgium, and Germany.
But putting the Tesla question aside, policymakers at the federal, state and local/regional level along with utilities are currently wrestling with how to design requirements for those submitting proposals for EV charging infrastructure grants and loans. And one question revolves around what the go-forward support should be for the CHAdeMO connector and EVs that use this standard.
In the US only two currently available EVs use the CHAdeMO charging standard and connector — the iconic Nissan LEAF which helped spawn the modern era of EVs, and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. As of the end of 2021, these two EVs accounted for only an estimated 7.6% of EVs sold in the US since 2010, and our EVAdoption forecast has this dropping to 2.3% by the end of 2025.
But, when looking at the ratio of the total sales of these two EVs to the number of DC fast chargers in the US, drivers of these CHAdeMO-using EVs actually have the best ratio of vehicles to chargers at 31 EVs to 1 DC fast charger. While there are a lot of nuances to this issue including the LEAF being a highly affordable used EV, it seems that the current number of CHAdeMO charging stations could actually adequately support the drivers of the Nissan LEAF for years to come. We’ll explore this topic and issue further in a future article on the EVAdoption site.