CHAdeMO Quick Chargers Pass 2,000 Units In 2012, Will Double in 2013

JAN 22 2013 BY JAY COLE 29

Nissan Is The Largest Purveyor Of Fast Charging Stations, And Has Recently Donated 400 Units To Be Installed Across Europe

2013 will be the year CHAdeMO and the new SAE Combo plug finally do battle, but the DC charger has a big running lead.

Nissan says that over 2,000 CHAdeMO quick-chargers have now been installed worldwide, while Paul Pebbles, global manager – OnStar electric vehicle and smart grid services for General Motors, stood beside a Spark EV this week at the NAIAS and said that the first SAE EVSE would be in service “within days.”

Worldwide CHAdeMO units in operation, and their growth in 2012 are as follows:

  • Japan from 833 to 1,381
  • Europe from 158 to 601
  • U.S. from 12 to 154

ABB's Terra Smart Connect Duo Supports Both DC And AC Charging Equally (click to enlarge)

What is an interesting development in the upcoming fast-charger battle is the apparent blinking of SAE combo station builders (like ABB’s Terra SC Duo charging station and a recent prototype unveiled by DBT at the NAIAS this year) to also include a CHAdeMO outlet in the unit as well.

However, the major manufacturers of the CHAdeMO systems, first released in 2010, are not showing the same willingness to offer a SAE standard plug as well, as Nissan says they will continue promoting only the original player to the market.

We asked Katherine Zachery, in Nissan Corporate Communications, to comment on Nissan position on CHAdeMO in relation to the SAE Combo before today’s update and she had this to say:

“We support CHAdeMO standard and are supporting its rollout and compatibility across all vehicles and chargers.  One global standard is important…”

Toshiyuki Shiga, President of the CHAdeMO Association  said of the milestone:

“One year ago there were around 1,000 quick-chargers in the world, but most of those were in Japan.  Today, we have more than 2,000 CHAdeMO quick-chargers in place in Europe and the US as well as Japan. There’s even a CHAdeMO quick-charger in oil-rich Abu Dhabi. And plans are in place to more than double this figure again, above 4,000, by the end of 2013.”


CHAdeMO and SAE Plugs Respectively (via GoAuto)

While we find that the SAE Combo plug is a better set up on a technical level, and is a lot smaller, this battle seems unnecessary and makes the decision by the customers to purchase an EV a little harder.

For example, the Spark EV goes on sale soon for $32,000 and only comes the SAE option for fast charging (the first US plug-in to do so).

GM and the other 5 automakers (BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, Porsche/VW/Audi) that are signed on to support the SAE plug are basically asking customers who want/require fast charging to have faith and be patient that this system will be the prevalent option worldwide at some point, while the CHAdeMO protocol already has a basic, but expanding infrastructure established.

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29 Comments on "CHAdeMO Quick Chargers Pass 2,000 Units In 2012, Will Double in 2013"

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The number of stations in Japan is impressive.

Just a note, eVgo in Houston planned for both systems. Each site has two parking spots and is pre-wired so they could just plop down an SAE charger next to the CHAdeMO.

Hopefully similar thinking was used in other cities.

Yes, they have the island about covered, lol.

Especially considering the whole thing is only about 140,000 sq. miles, and Hanshu is at most 140 miles wide. Good to see though, we need this kind of infrastructure in both North America and Europe.

I think SAE has a fighting chance in the US at with duel units, but customers for quite some time will probably be more comfortable reasonably finding usable stations if they are using CHAdeMO.

How to get a deep infrastructure for SAE in the rest of the world with these particular automakers might be another story.

What I want to know is whether any of the new chargers will be placed in Florida.
I have a Leaf with the Level 3 charge port and no where to use it!

“GM and the other 5 automakers (BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, Porsche/VW/Audi) that are signed on to support the SAE plug are basically asking customers who want/require fast charging to have faith and be patient that this system will be the prevalent option worldwide at some point” Yes they definitely are. But that is also exactly what Nissan did when they first started selling the LEAF. There were no CHAdeMO chargers back when Nissan started selling the LEAF and in the vast majority of markets now there are still no CHAdeMO chargers. Most of the people that bought LEAFS two years ago and paid for the option have never charged on a CHAdeMO station and many have never even seen one. So I don’t think it’s really any different. I don’t like the fact that there are three different DC quick charge connectors either, but that’s what we have. The SAE combo plug isn’t going away. I think we’ll just see DC stations with both connectors and I certainly believe Tesla owners will eventually have a connector for both. Tesla should also make connectors for their superchargers and charge people to use them. I’d probably be willing to pay an annual… Read more »

Blink has claimed, on their Facebook page for example, that they will simply replace one of the two ports on their quick charging stations with an SAE plug, once the cars are available. Who knows if they’ll follow through though.

My opinion is that SAE will ultimately win out, and it would be in the best interest of NIssan and EV’s in general to embrace that standard over Chademo.

Beta vs VHS all over again! Not this again!

With EV adoption slow chademo will probably win out with the lead that it has unless thousands of SAE chargers are installed this year, especially with the lower priced LEAF soon to be released.

Either that, or make sure that all new chargers have both connectors!

If I have to bet my coffee money (a grand sacrifice on my behalf :p ) I would go with the Tesla’s architecture, standard, and plug. Anyone who has seen, held, and used one would understand why.

There are a few chademo chargers in my area, but they require a monthly subscription of $40. Plus, my leaf doesn’t even have the Chademo port. So I guess it doesn’t matter to me. But if there were lots of stations around that were pay-as-you-go, then I’d be far more interested in upgrading to a new Leaf that had the port. As it is right now, I’ll never use one.

Uh oh, I know a certain Clarkson alum who is not going to be happy about this…

My Leaf will never use a CHAdeMO charger. And it that wouldn’t change even if it had the option 😉

I know that NYSERDA has money set aside for some fast chargers, but their position has been to wait and let the market decide on a standard. I hope they seriously consider a combination SAE/CHAdeMO unit. This is the best hedge going forward.

As for Tesla, as great as their Superchargers are, they are truly on their own. Unless they do like Tom suggests, and support CHAdeMO/SAE users for a fee, their network is by far the underdog in this fight.

On the other hand, the Tesla vehicles are the least likely to need a fast charger due to their longer range. The time they’d most likely need a charge is when driving between cities, which is where all of the Tesla stations are going. Tesla’s on-board charging system (from an L2 station) is almost as fast as Chademo.

I agree that Tesla really seems to understand how to roll out infrastructure. Then again, that was the basic premise of the company in the first place – design for a world of EVs without being chained to the precepts of ICEs.

As for their L2, the max is 20kW. CHAdeMO is up to 62.5kW. That’s more than 3x faster than the Tesla’s L2 charger. Of course, the Supercharger is up to 120kW, or twice the CHAdeMO.

Also, Tesla owners will be the ones that benefit the most regardless of what charger gets installed. They have stated they are going to make adapters for both standards.

It is in Tesla’s best interest to keep the Superchargers exclusive. It will entice people to buy their vehicle and have access to all three chargers, something no other automaker can offer.

I still disagree that exclusivity is in their best interest. I think it makes more sense to sell adapters and charge other users for access. I would gladly buy an adapter and pay for the occasional supercharge on my (other OEM’s) EV. Revenue sources are a good thing for a small company short on cash.

Easter Egg! Read my comment below. To me, 154 chargers in the US is barely a trend at this point, and SAE should be adopted in full force.

However, you’re correct, and I am not happy that Nissan continues to “stick to their guns” so to speak.

I think Nissan, and the whole EV movement in general, would be better suited to adopting the SAE standard now rather than later.

Chademo was great given there was no standard, but now that one is in place, adopt it for Pete’s sake. Also, shame on SAE for not having this thought out years before, but Nissan could still play a bit nicer.

I knew you’d find it 😉

For the record, I agree that SAE seems the right way to go. It’s a shame they took so long, but given how few EVs are on the road today, it’s not too late per se. I wish the EV revolution was moving faster, but the fact is that it isn’t. It seems to me that Nissan is sticking to CHAdeMO because if its success in Japan. The best way to bridge the gap, in my mind, is with a combined charging unit that supports cars equipped with either standard.

“but the DC charger has a big running lead.” Not in the market where there are the largest number of registered EVs.

The charger providers in the area with the largest number of registered EV’s, which is Los Angeles County, have been snoozing like Rip Van Winkle when it comes to CHAdeMO chargers being installed.

In an area of 9 million people there is one DC fast charger. All the SAE people have to do is put in 2 and they’d have twice the number of fast chargers. All of the companies appear to be doing anything but trying to build an effective infrastructure of any type be it DC fast Charge or even Level Two chargers in Southern California.

One CHAdeMO which has limited access and is in a very out of the way location, like the one in Los Angeles, is pathetic and only opens the door for SAE to take the lead.

To all of the charger providers. Time to wake up!

Kelly, there are actually 5-6 chademo in the LA region right now, although only one in LA proper, as you mentioned, and one more in Marina del Rey at the Chiat Day offices (ad agency for Nissan). However, Nissan and Aerovironment are installing 20 Chademo at Nissan dealerships and will have them all installed no later than March 31st. Our dealership is getting the first one. In addition, NRG is installing 200 Chademo over the next 4 years with about 15 going in this spring. Other agencies are installing a few here and there. I expect by the end of this calendar year, we’ll have 40-50 in CA, maybe more. Still not a lot, but much better than we have now.


Good to see you on here. Great news on the Nissan CHADeMOs. Any idea if they will spread that across the country?

I use NRG(eVgo) here in Houston. They do a great job of planning, locating and servicing their chargers. Their network will be a great addition to the CA charging infrastructure.

The NRG 200 fast chargers are a lawsuit settlement with CPUC (California Public Utilities Commission) and not really part of some altruistic committment to DC fast charging stations (or based on current demand).

Although the settlement might give them some scaling benefits/knowledge base to roll out to your area.

Well, at least the 110 volt outlet in my garage is staying the same. Good thing its used across North America for many other things, otherwise, they’d be changing that too !!

I think there has been a misunderstanding of the market for charge stations. I rarely need one when at home. Level 2 chargers around my home are of no interest to me. Level 2 chargers at a destination ( such as the Dali museum 50 miles from me in St Petersburg) are of interest, allowing me to go there and charge while I enjoy the museum.
But to travel it is just impractical to wait 4 hours for a charge in the middle of a 120 mile trip. This where Tesla has it right. To travel any real distance in my EV I need a quick charge located at a rest stop at the 80 % mark of my highway speed travel limit.
Dense location of Level 2 stations does nothing for me.

But where will all those Spark EV’s in Japan charge up? 🙂

Just what the EV world needs – VHS vs. Betamax all over again!

It will sort itself out – but the decision for manufacturers to go proprietary
with their fast chargers will only slow the adoption of electric cars. As always
the winner will be decided by the consumer.

Adapters are funky and Tesla seriously needs some revenue from other EV
owners. Can you imagine a car company so arrogant that it specs it’s own
fuel and requires it’s customers to only pump gas at it’s own stations.

This is a major head scratcher in the EV-biz.

Growing pains in the evolving world of electric propulsion….

If it had to happen, it’s best it happens now. I also have to add that I’m
Tesla’s #1 biggest fan – so if that comment sounded disrespectful, I suppose
that is my only gripe with decisions Tesla has made so far.


As a fairly happy roadster owner, I’d say its ok to criticize Tesla, I do it myself all the time. As far as the Model S goes, yes its an impressive car, but Tesla’s new found inflexibility (not so with the Roadster) has caused me to sit this one out until I see what else developes in the marketplace. So feel free to express your opinions. Its how we learn from each other.

Tesla has an adapter for the SAE L2 AC, and I am sure an adapter for SAE L2 DC is no big deal. The communication protocol is the same, just physically different pins, so charging your Model S anywhere is a trivial exercise.

I think Tesla has been very smart about this. Their superchargers are a simplified version of the SAE fast chargers (good for only 1 voltage), so are cheaper to build and not compatible the other way around.

The Tesla owner gets the best of both worlds, charge anywhere, but reasonably assured that there will not be a line up of cars waiting at a Supercharger station.

Only 154 Chademo chargers in the US?? Switching to the SAE standard at this point seems very easy. We’re not talking HD DVD versus Blu-Ray quantities here..

Even worldwide, 4,000 chargers by the end of 2013 is still a paltry amount. I fear Nissan is being a bit too pompus about the new standard, and trying to stick to their own.

Let’s hope that, in the end, it doesn’t affect the overall adoption of EV’s, whether people buy a Leaf, Volt, Spark, PiP, etc.

It took 3 generations of Chademo stations to stabilise technology (yes, it’s a big secret but 1st gen barely worked and often burned, second one had lots of mainly SW but also smaller scale HW problems), and even now after 3 years of development and a lot of equipment in the field manufacturers of Chademo HW release constant SW and HW updates. It will take at least the same amount of time to produce a good working Combo standard HW. Another thing is price of charging HW. Nissan has killed almost everyone with it’s base 9000 euro Chademo module which in fact now is being used by most companies to produce their “own” version of Chademo (this is true in Europe). Guys like Schneider Electric or ABB (ex Epyon) suddenly discovered that no one wants their 30k+ euro Chademos if they can by one from Nissan or one of its partners 2-3 times cheaper. Joining the standard and making cars supporting it – a different story. All BMW is (prototypes) in Europe roll with 3 phase AC (Mennekes). Tesla in Europe offers Chademo adaptor. Chrysler as well as VAG (VW/Audi and other Porches) are not in the EV game de… Read more »

Hi Max..
I’ve basically been saying the same thing here in the US that I don’t really see the business plan for these things….. What country do you hail from? I would assume that if Europe, you have 400 volt 3phase services very common, even for larger houses (My very large Hot Tub Spa will run on 3 phase 230Y/400 50 hz for Export).

Most small to medium sized dealerships in the US are 208 volts, so using the Ecotality Quick charger requires an Additional 200 amps, (which Nissan Dealerships are reluctant to provide, since most have put in new electric services for their multiple 30 amp level II Aerovironment things they have to have to agree to be a Leaf Dealership. Since they’ve just upgraded once – one dealer I know went from 300 – 400 amps, no one is going to want to throw out the new 400 amp service and put say a 600 amp one in when the 400 amp thing is brand new and hasn’t been amortized as of yet).