Tesla Supercharger Network Subject of Charging Standards Criticism in Germany?


Tesla Supercharger Network Europe

Tesla Supercharger Network Europe

“When charging infrastructure Tesla uses a proprietary system instead of an open system, in the computer industry, this approach has not been implemented so far. Electric mobility has to rely on open standards to be quickly mass market.”

Tesla Motors Brings Revolutionary Supercharger to Europe With Launch Across Norway

Tesla Motors Brings Revolutionary Supercharger to Europe

Stated Dr. Arndt Neuhaus, CEO of RWE (a German electric utilities company), in an interview with Automobilwoche.  The words are translated from German, but his point remains clear.  Neuhaus is saying that standards are needed and that Tesla should make its proprietary system open.  Neuhaus continues:

“I have to use with my plug each charging station in Europe.  A separate plug does not help there.”

One plug and only one plug.  Neuhaus, like the rest of us, feels that only one standard should exist; but that’s not going to happen.  Furthermore, we’re not sure why Neuhaus mentions only Tesla when other competing standards exist too (CCS, CHAdeMO, Mennekes and so on.)

Automobilwoche then moves to quoting Daimler’s chief development officer Thomas Weber as stating:

“The future lies in the standardization. As with the petrol filling stations and we need a multi-vendor network load, because not least can thus reduce infrastructure costs and it is more convenient for the customer.”

Again, one standard…one plug.  There’s no reference to Tesla here.

Moving onto Bosch, Automobilewoche quotes its CEO Volkmar Denner as stating:

“It would be economically nonsense if now everyone vehicle manufacturers would set up its own infrastructure . Much more useful would be if the variety of charging stations owners for the customer would not be relevant because the software in the background takes care of everything for him.  When we are dealing since long with small-minded discussions , then we get into a serious imbalance . The technique for a Europe-wide charging network we have. We need it now but really want to implement.”

Yes, the translation is crude, but the point again is…one standard.

How this got twisted into the anti-Tesla charging standard article that appeared on Automobilwoche and now at other websites is beyond me.

We all agreed that only one standard should exist worldwide, but few of us can agree on which standard that should be.

This isn’t an argument over Tesla choosing to go its own way, but rather it’s a consensus among several German execs that there needs to be only one standard.  Even prior to Tesla’s arrival in Germany, more than one charging standard existed, so this ain’t Tesla’s fault.

Source: Automobilwoche

Categories: Charging, Tesla

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

49 Comments on "Tesla Supercharger Network Subject of Charging Standards Criticism in Germany?"

newest oldest most voted

Left without comment:

I totally agree with the German execs, there should be one standard, and EU has already defined which standard so please everbody use it.

What Tesla does might work for Tesla for now, but it is not good for the European EV community including customers as a whole.

Germany is installing 400 fast chargers till 2017, now these Tesla’s elephanteuse circles around red dots will look ridiculous in comparison.

Those “fast” chargers will take over 80 minutes to charge a Model S up to 80%, and over an hour to do the same for their upcoming mass market model.

That’s not good enough for widespread EV adoption, which is Tesla’s goal. The German automakers don’t care about that goal.

Until we see a >100kW open charging standard, and such stations actually appear in quantity (probably after 2020), Tesla will look like geniuses for their decision.

The issue raised here is that Superchargers are not open source, for anyone to freely replicate. Tesla wants royalties. As such no one is attempting to adopt it. Even though it is the best technology available, it will not become pervasive without first becoming a free open standard.

Tesla may eventually change their strategy, but for now it is clear Tesla wants to retain its competitive advantage by offering exclusive free long distance mobility. By the time their 3rd Gen EV is for sale, Tesla will have made Superchargers freely accessible to all North Americans and Europeans that want it.

Tesla cars will use the Type 2 standard that is in Germany. But the Supercharger network supplements the standard public charging by providing a high-amp DC fast-charging.

Yes and there is another glaring difference. Tesla is not inviting other EVs to their chargers. That is a pretty important differentiation.

Tesla will meet the standard (whatever that works out to be), so their EVs will talk to public chargers. Their system never needs to be open architecture because it is not for public use. Tesla owners paid $2000 for access.
I can not believe the Germans missed this. They need not feel bad for there will be many mis-steps along the electric highway.

The German CCS will have at least 50 KW DC as well as AC.

So Tesla owners will have paid for the right to drive extra 100 miles instead of using one right at the door.

This whole confusion about compatibility provoked by Tesla does not help potential EV buyers at all.

Then don’t buy a Tesla. But Tesla had to do something because when they were designing their car a few years back there was NOTHING out there that did what they needed. You can’t fault them for not signing up to a standard that did not exist when they were designing their car.

I won’t buy a Tesla since it is overpriced and I like German cars better anyway.

They’ve started rolling out their light year mesh pretty much only a couple months ago hence after EU defined the charger standard.

So they could have harmonized, cooperated, teamed, communiquéed whatever to avoid incompatibilities.

But they do use the Type 2 standard. However, the decided that it wasn’t good enough and they created their own 100KW DC fast-charging system that did something no other standard could do. They had to pay for the development of that standard and get it approved by safety agencies.

Now if the EU would like to use the Tesla SC system, they can ask Tesla for a license. And as long as they pay Tesla enough, I would think Tesla would be open to the idea. But there is no reason the EU should expect Tesla to freely hand over technology that they spent a lot of time thinking about, designing, engineering, testing, and perfecting.

“So they could have harmonized, cooperated, teamed, communiquéed whatever to avoid incompatibilities.”

Yeah, harmonised with a bunch of people who take ages to finalise a standard which is slow, instead of their own superior system which they implemented much earlier, therefore no incompatability at that time.

of course, they could have submitted their proposal. I am sure everyone would have eccepted it immediately…

It is huge difference 50 or 135kW speed. To me it makes sense to wait 20-30 minutes for every 200-250 km charge, but to wait 70-90 minutes for 200-250 km makes no sense for long distance trevel. If EU will have charging station with speed at least 120-140 kW Tesla will be happy to comply with that standard in EU. No problem for Tesla to have adapter for CCS in next 2 years. You will be use Tesla with CCS so I don´t undrestand what is the problem. If German automakers want to use SC from Tesla, OK go and speak to them instead of bashing them in newspapers.


German cars are overpriced because you can something almost identical for less money.

There is nothing almost identical to a Tesla.

I don’t prefer any nationality when it comes to cars.

I prefer the best car for my money.

That is why Tesla is at the top of my list.


I would like to know why each car manufacturer could not have his own charging station network? A charging station is not polluting like all the petrol stations of different companies we have around selling exactly the same gasoline and diesel the one next to the other, in the same street at the same price.
After all there are less car manufacturers around then there are petrol station companies, especially if you include the supermarket brand petrol stations.
In more Tesla is giving something unique, the superchargers, not a standard low rate plug.
In the long run perhaps when the big technology leaps have been made, sharing stations would make sense but then again Tesla has a free model, so any other car should pay a right of use to enter or else pay each time otherwise it would be abuse of the Tesla free (included in the car price) supercharge stations.

I buy your point about a Tesla owner potentially driving and extra distance in the future (though I don’t think anybody drives an extra 100 miles in a Tesla for a free charge even today). I don’t get the second point unless you are saying other EVs will some day use the Tesla Network. They want, so how will they be confused?

Imagine confusion eg at a showroom where a sales person talks sb away from an EV like … “and then not every highway charging station will be compatible so you get stranded so buy an ICE”

Or people might get an idea that each brand has its own charging network and won’t buy a Leaf because they do not see a Nissan supercharger around.

Or sb buying an i3 because there is a Tesla supercharger next door to have to give the car back and never buying an EV again.

Tesla just walked away from a win win pooling, just like eg ATMs did for getting cash.

Not seeing your example. Lets say Tesla follows the standard (whatever that works out to be). You still are not able to use the Tesla SC because it is private. That has nothing to do with the standard which is the point of the article.

The day of driving by looking for a fuel station want last through the EV revolution. You already have apps telling you where they exist.

I want say that Tesla SCs will always be relevant but they have nothing to do with impacting the standard. Again as Spec9 stated, this only effects Tesla customers.
For Tesla customers, and those who have a 200 mile battery, you start every day with 200 miles. You don’t randomly look for a charger because you are low. When you take a trip requiring more than 200 miles, you plan around the charging network.

Not by any means saying all EVs will operate this way, but Tesla will. It is in their mantra to drive a big battery. My EV is not a Tesla nor do I care to have a big battery, but I do defend their right to do it their way.

They can do whatever they want with their money.

To deal with the pack and eg chip in into the German fast charger program would have been better for everbody though including Tesla owners.

Then there would have been 400 superchargers in the country for Tesla owners, too, rather than the scarce dozen or so.

Not trying to keep this going, and I want to say this site is a place to talk it out and I deeply appreciate your willingness to communicate, but I have to add that Tesla will absolutely provide an adapter to the standard network so Tesla customers will have access to the 400. Tesla customers will have 400 + the few private SCs. I don’t know that Tesla would have done this if the EVSEs were already in place. They did it along with building a Giga battery factory because they refuse to be held hostage by the current market. Thanks again for your input it is sincerely appreciated.



In Japan where CHAdeMO is everywhere, Tesla will probably not need superchargers. If they had the infrastructure already in place in Germany, it could have been the same situation.

He gives his imput, but he sure is not interested in yours or anyone elses.

No matter how many times he gets replies to this comments, he continuously expresses the same critisisms.

Not that he should not be allowed to cling to his immovable convictions and share them, over and over, but it is worth noting that trying to convince him is hopeless cause.

‘He’ brought out a new aspect of his argument in every comment if you read attentively.

People are stupid . . . but not that stupid.

The standards were not good enough for Tesla, 50 kW CHAdeMO is too feeble for an 85 kWh battery, so they went their own way.

I hope we live in a free world and everyone is allowed to run their business as they see fit. If Tesla wants to spend a boatload of money on a proprietary network, that is their money and their choice.

Look at the godawful compromises (‘frankenplugs’) that standards committees come up with after years of debating and quarreling. Bureaucrats solution. Yikes.

As the industry matures, the best technology will prove itself in the field and become the standard. That’s the usual process, not the other way around.

Standards are supposed to help us forward, not hold us back.


50kw is not enough. Tesla created their own standard because none on the existing ones were up to scratch. Until there’s DC standard up to 400kw maybe even 500kw you can expect Tesla to do what they have to do to deliver the capabilities they want and their customers expect.

If only those guys actually had the power to implement a single plug standard for EVs…Oh, wait. They do. But instead of actually installing EV stations with a “standard” they just talk and talk and talk about it.

Tesla, as an EV pioneer, understands it cannot wait for such talkers to actually do something. So they are doing something themselves and, as expected, what they are doing is for their own benefit.

As for any competing EVSE network, Tesla has shown itself to be the most flexible by simply providing adapters to whatever is available.

ON that point it would be interesting to see if a Mennekes Tesla can be charged at ANY north American facilities.

Why not? It’s just an adapter away. Tesla had to do the development somehow.

The question is, will a Mennekes Tesla be able to be charged at 1/3 normal speed in the US should some of them be imported? Or does Tesla have some sort of cable that allows you to parallel all 3 portions of the charger so that normal single phase rates in the States are possible, or does the thing get nervous that the power flow is not continuous as it is with a 3 phase source?


Well said Tim.


Tesla is probably the worst company when it comes to standards, but Germany is not totally blameless. They could have gone with the SAE standard for Level 2 style charging (3.3 kw or less), and Chademo for DC charging which is precisely what Nissan did for the Leaf.

THe worldwide 3.3kw limitation for single phase circuits is not violated by the Leaf’s original scheme.

Why is that? When the Model S was under development, there was nothing even remotely capable of rapidly charging a Tesla-sized battery pack. The few EVs in development are short-range compliance-style vehicles. Not only was there no existing tech or standard capable of what the Model S needed, but there was no market impetus to do so at that time. The designers at Tesla had absolutely no choice but to come up with their own thing because everyone else was limping along.

That’s nonsense. My Roadster has a 53 kwh battery that charges perfectly at 30 amps. That’s right in the,middle of the S’s offerings which are 40, 60 and 85 kwh. Besides, when the model S came out J1772 version 2 was out and that is good for 75-80 amps. The initial was only 30. Its true that since the Roadster had been out for years, they had to use another connector.. But I would have appreciated a standard J1772 at least as a no cost option in later years. Tesla told me they wanted 70 because 30 wasn’t enough.

Standards work themselves out when people get a chance to see what really works best. Cellphones had quite a variety of charging cables until now you pretty much have micro USB and Apple’s lightning connector. All we have to wait for now is to find out if Tesla’s connector becomes micro USB or lightning connector.

Tesla supports AC Mennekes 22kW native
Tesla supports DC Supercharger 135kW native
Tesla supports DC Chademo, via adapter

sounds like the German standard is not the market standard, all three Tesla supported standards are far more widespread, robust and usable than frankenplug.

Overlay a map of 22kW AC Mennekes over a Tesla supercharger network. Now that is a real fast charge network, existing today, EU wide



If you plug in a BMW i3 or VW will blow up the cars with their toy batteries.

Sorry, but there is no excuse for the tardiness of the German executives here… a simple Google search would have revealed that Tesla cars and superchargers use the type 2 connector which is the European standard. So yes you can physically plug in any type 2 compatible car at a supercharger, it just doesn’t start charging.
The connector is NOT the issue – the real issue is that you can charge without POS payment… at Tesla it is pre-paid and so the RWE guy can not jack up his price at will.

At least the wireless standard has been set (for now)

I’m a little confused about the Tesla plug in Europe. It seems to be a Type2 plug for DC – like DC-Mid in this picture:

Of course it is enhanced to support the 130ish kw (normal DC-Mid could give you 70kw).
But I wonder if it would be possible to charge a regular EV with the DC-Mid standard at a supercharger. Of course the EV manufacturer would have to make a deal with Tesla and depending on the kind of enhancement Tesla did, you could need an adapter.
I suppose the pins on the Tesla Type2 are larger – but maybe they have smaller pin endings to fit in normal Type2 sockets and in the Tesla you just have to push it in a little further to connect the larger parts of the pins.

A little ot, but the picture suggest there could be a future CCS DC-super-high standard combining DC-Mid and DC-High pins at together 170kw.

One standard would be great but is not very important for on the road charging. With 250 miles of electric range the average US driver could use on the road fast chargers between 3-4 trips per year. They may not even need that as many don’t drive more than 250 miles/day on their road trips. Standards for public charging for those that don’t have access to their own home infrastructure, hotels, and other destinations is more important important. Realistically just more robust 120V/240V outlets and plugs designed for high duty cycles is all that is needed. My Tesla and Volt experience is that intelligent charge stations are a waste of money for everyday charging. The intelligence is in the cable or the car and that works fine.

Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

Having their own standards hasn’t appeared to hurt Apple much, particularly since they also support common standards as well.

Much like Tesla!

Exactly. Apple is an excellent example of being successful with your own style of physical connections so long as they are also compatable with the available standards.

Fastned will install Kombi Charger in Germany with CCS, Chademo and Typ2. In Rest of Europe without German Autolobby it’s clear there will be also Kombi Chargers(Norway, England, Denmark…). So Projects with out Kombi Chargers will die, thats Like fuel station only with Diesel…

Tesla’s Supercharger is based on J1772-DC protocol just like CCS. Tesla, however, didn’t want to wait for SAE to make up their minds on an unwieldy plug design. While the CCS spec was published in October 2012, after Tesla already finalized designs and shipped production cars. Further, the current spec only standardizes up to 100 kW, which is less than what Tesla is doing now (135 kW).

Plugs are all about IPR (intellectual property rights) and NIH (especially German NIH).

Could be a unique opportunity for Tesla to change the dialog by offering DC charging IPR for free to the EC… (IPR, not free usage)

But people like Voldemar from Bosch would be the first in line to oppose it!