Volkswagen's Electrify America announced its DC fast charging suppliers for its large post-dieselgate charging infrastructure project, and it seems the network will not be standard-neutral.
Electrify America fast charging network
Electrify America intends to install chargers that will support CHAdeMO and CCS Combo (J1772 Combo) cars, but the press release and images of chargers indicates a huge disproportion in favor of CCS1.
***UPDATE - Electrify America reached out to us with comment on the CHAdeMO support situation. Here's the statement sent to us:
The CHAdeMO connectors are certified at 100kW at 200 amps, however we have de-rated those connectors to 50kW. The CHAdeMO connectors will stay de-rated until testing with all vehicles and adaptors are successfully completed.
The intent is to offer 100kW for electric vehicles in the future. As a clarification – all dual-CHAdeMO and CCS chargers are capable of 150kW on the CCS-side and capable of a 100kW on the CHAdeMO-side.
As previously explained the CHAdeMO is de-rated to 50kW. (And that is for ABB, BTC Power, Efacec and Signet). Since the de-rating is done by software, we will enable the 100kW CHAdeMO connectors at new and existing chargers after sufficient testing.
CCS is supported by Volkswagen Group and most of the other manufacturers, but CHAdeMO (supported by Nissan/Mitsubishi) is popular too.
The plan released by Electrify America sounds like the CHAdeMO would be only 50 kW, while the CCS combo chargers will be 50 kW, 150 kW or 350 kW, depending on locations.
"All charging stations will offer a CHAdeMO1 (50kW) connector, plus additional dual-handle chargers with CCS1 (50 to 150kW or350 kW) connectors, ensuring that all fast charging capable cars will be able to use the Electrify America stations. Metropolitan charging stations will have three to six chargers with CCS1 connectors, while highway stations will offer four to ten."
Moreover, there could be a difference in the number of CHAdeMO and CCS1 stalls at the sites.
We are not sure whether it is an intentional hit on Nissan or if CHAdeMO capability will be upgraded from to 150 kW or 350 kW later, as CHAdeMO Association said that there is capability for 200 kW and 400 kW is coming.
"The chargers have been custom-designed for Electrify America and have several advanced features including liquid-cooled cables. This is the first time that liquid cooled CCS1 charging cables have received certification. The cooling is a key factor in enabling higher-amperage charging without a significant increase in the cable thickness for charging power at and above 150kW from 350 amps.
The majority of Electrify America’s ultra-fast charging systems will utilize the RADOX® HPC (High Power Charging) System from HUBER+SUHNER which features a much smaller cable cross section than the traditional high-powered cable option. These cooled cables are thinner, more flexible, lighter and easier to handle."
Here are the images:
BTC Power charger for Electrify America - 50 kW CHAdeMO and 150 kW CCS
Efacec charger for Electrify America - 50 kW CHAdeMO and 150 kW CCS
Signet charger for Electrify America - no CHAdeMO and two 350 kW CCS
As you can see, the chargers are envisioned to be 50 kW CHAdeMO, while the CCS-compatible cars will be able to use up to 150 kW.
In the case of the highway chargers, like the 350 kW Signet chargers, there are two CCS plugs and no CHAdeMO.
In other words, when the network is complete with such chargers, the market competitiveness of the CHAdeMO cars and Nissan will be worse compared to CCS, than it was before the network - at least until CHAdeMO maybe gets upgraded to 150 kW.
This certainly feels biased towards Volkswagen and will improve its position over early electric car company Nissan, not something that should be possible through this penitentiary infrastructure project managed by Electrify America.