Video Interview: Tomoko Blech – CHAdeMO Association

MAY 29 2015 BY MARK KANE 55

CHAdeMO plug and inlet

CHAdeMO plug and inlet

CHAdeMO Europe’s representative Tomoko Blech was interviewed during Hannover Messe about the CHAdeMO DC fast charging standard, chargers and future projects.

Tomoko noted that there are thousands of CHAdeMO chargers installed (majority in Japan).

This is still the most common standard in Europe for DC charging cars (over 1,600 places), although Combo and Tesla are growing fast. CHAdeMO was struck hard by the initial European directive draft that brought confusion over the future of the standard in Europe.

From 2018, CHAdeMO can be installed in the public space only together with Combo. The Japanese standard that intended to be global for sure will not disappear, as there is just too large a market share held by CHAdeMO-compatible cars.

Key dates and CHAdeMO implications

Key dates and CHAdeMO implications

Tomoko said also that there are now at least several projects for multi-standard fast chargers in Europe, with EU funding and cooperation from different brands (Nissan, BMW, VW, Renault).

Asked about AC charging, Tomoko said that it will stay primary way of charging in home and work.

Very surprising was the question about the Tesla To CHAdeMO adapter. We already know that Tesla offers CHAdeMO To Tesla, but will Tesla allow it to go the other way (Supercharger to CHAdeMO? Tesla would rather not enable charging cars other than its own even if such a device would enteredthe market, while Tesla owners can easily use (via a $450 adapter) free-CHAdeMO or pay for access. They would not earn money on this (at least not without introducing some sort of payment system) and Tesla doesn’t want to jam up its Superchargers.

“Europe only used to be a tough market for CHAdeMO, the Association’s European Representative Tomoko Blech told at when we met up with her at the Hanover Trade Fair. When the European directive was drafted in 2013, “there was a bit of confusion in the market […]. Now that the European directive is all set and the EU has embraced multiple standards,” she says there is room for CHAdeMO to grow. Even in Germany, where the government prefers to support its own CCS standard, investors are including CHAdeMO chargers. “A logical decision,” says Blech, since CHAdeMO compatible EVs still occupy a majority of the market. Still, Blech continues, all standards have their advantages, which is why multi-standard charging stations are the way of the future – and not just in terms of DC charging. AC chargers, too, will become more prominent as EV sales increase and more people will want to charge at home. Watch the whole interview to learn more about CHAdeMO’s plans for the future.”

Categories: Charging


Leave a Reply

55 Comments on "Video Interview: Tomoko Blech – CHAdeMO Association"

newest oldest most voted

I’m so glad that every auto manufacturer with a gas engine didn’t decide to make their own interface.

Having a single gasoline interface for unleaded gasoline was/is a must. Having a single charging interface would also be a god-send, and further enable EV adoption over the long haul.

This brings up an interesting question what did the gasoline pump look like when Henry Ford introduced the Model T? We know that CCS was late to the EV game (several years after commercially available EVs), so it’s only natural that the early movers used the only QC standard available at the time – CHAdeMO.

I think we’ll inevitably get there but at such an early stage I can see why we have a few. Tesla wouldn’t be where it is now if it didn’t invent its own charging platform. That being said if everyone was using 120KW chargers your volt could charge in 5 minutes.
Actually, i bet the volt would be recieved differently if it could charge in 5 minutes. Granted it doesn’t need to because the gas backup but I think it would kill the BS FUD.

Charging the Volt’s battery in 5 minutes would fry it. Tesla’s batteries can only take high power inputs because they are so large. The power is essentially divided up amongst all of the cells. The Volt has far fewer cells, so it cannot charge as fast.

That said, in theory it can still be charged at up to 50kW, since that is about the max regen supported (I’m sure Mr. Cote will chime in to correct me with the proper value, but it’s the right ballpark).

I have seen as much as -65kW shown on my display when I regeneratively brake on my Volt.


65kW is impressive. My Leaf’s regen scale only goes up to 30kW, and I have never personally observed more than 25kW.

Volt maxes out at 60kW, which I hit often. If yours is showing 65kW, you may want that looked into! 😉

Joking aside, 60kW on the Volt can only be sustained for up to 10 seconds. You just can’t pack that much energy into batteries that quickly.

Maximum charge rates are always a function of capacity “C” and, therefore, always have a time component you can’t avoid.

120kWh battery charging at 3C, can charge in 20 minutes at up to 360kW

60kWh battery charging at 3C, can charge in 20 minutes at 180kW


I’ll see if I can get a pic this weekend. (Hopefully no cops around when I try)

Haha, sounds good. If you are successful with a 65kW regen pic, also make sure you provide the model year. I’m a 2013, for reference, and the specs and my display both state 60kW.

I would certainly be intrigued if you’re successful in a 65kW pic, and curious to learn more!

I couldn’t agree more… introducing CCS only added confusion to the market, both for governments and consumers.

Thankfully, we are now on track to allow the only world DC charging standard (the same plug in Tokyo, Chicago and Oslo) to flourish, and the German charge standard got what they wanted, too (government mandate to install the German standard).

I couldn’t be more pleased that mostly common sense prevailed from the initial attacks on CHAdeMO.

I’ would like to have had some discussion on the future 200 amp / 100kW CHAdeMO in the near future, and “what’s next”?

“CCS only added confusion”
I don’t agree w/that. I think it’s a better solution. Just 1 port vs 2.

Regarding future increases in power for Chademo, I wished they would have asked Tomoko that question. I’m sure she’s just a figurehead w/out engineering data, but you never know.

kdawg, Tony is strongly biased towards Chademo. He refuses to consider the bigger picture of a standard all automakers can use without paying a licensing fee, for the benefit of all EV’s.

Using today’s quantity of Chademo as justification is silly. It’s like saying EV’s are never going to succeed because today their sales are so low.

The quicker we can get to a single standard that is easy to use and that all manufacturers can take advantage of without a licensing fee, the better.


There is only one global standard, Chademo. The CCS standard is different on different continents. The license fee is a not issue. All kinds of standards have FRAND license fees controlled by the standards bodies.

Really the advocacy effort should be focused on getting one global next-generation standard that exceeds what CCS or Chademo can do and can be used for DC and AC.

If Chademo, the various CCS versions, and various Telsa versions are slowly upgraded to charge faster that is not the end of the world either. The plug is not the expensive part of the charger.

If we had a do-over, and I got a vote, I’d vote for the Tesla plug. It’s the smallest/cleanest design and can handle all the different voltages.

Maybe we will have 1 standard eventually, but it’s been decades of using electricity in the world, and all the countries still have their own style of outlets. Hopefully though, like USB, HDMI, and RJ45 everyone will come to one standard (not gonna hold my breath though).

I’m with you Kdawg, when all this started and CHAdeMO was the only game in town everyone should have just adopted it, but starting from now Tesla is obviously the superior design. 135kw is hard to argue with.

Agreed kdawg

Ya, I’d also be onboard with a Tesla Supercharger world standard.

It’s just a pipe dream, since even Tesla must modify their plug depending on where the car is sold.

Personally, I think it was shortsighted for Tesla to make their own single phase inlet for North America. The modified Mennekes inlet they use on the cars in the rest of the world is better. I think in the beginning they thought they could get away without implementing 3-phase on board chargers. In the end, they had to do it.

I still don’t get why it matters if standards are different on different continents.

You realize that was done intentionally? As an electrical engineer, I am comforted by this. The electrical service is different all over the world, so a different inlet should exist to prevent potentially dangerous scenarios from arising.

The simplicity of “non chademo” options is also much better to me,again because I can appreciate that as an electrical/hardware designer. CCS and Tesla are simply more refined.

I find CHAdeMO technically superior to the German standard for the following reasons, in order of importance:

1) Isolated ground – unlike the German standard, there’s not a DC ground cable in the heavy cable. With safety as paramount, isolated ground is the correct answer.

2) Locking plug – there has already been a broken lock mechanism on the CCS where a user was able to pull off the plug with live (and VERY deadly) DC voltage flowing. That locking mechanism was designed for a 30 amp AC plug. CHAdeMO, on the other hand, would likely break the mount out of the car before it would break the connection.

3) Secure connection – I can physically pull a CCS plug up while charging, which moves the DC pins apart. DUMB.

4) CAN bus control – every car built in the past 30 years has used CAN. It’s written in regulations for emission controls, and the world standard, That’s what CHAdeMO uses to control the charge rate. The German standard uses a patented method over power lines that neither talks in CAN language, nor in any language understood by utilites (for vehicle to grid control).

Haha, I swear you must have stock in Chademo. Your blind love for it can’t otherwise be explained! 😉

My desire for a single standard is well founded; you have one standard.

Apparently, you desire for a single standard is to add more standards.

We disagree.

Thankfully, it appears that we will have both CCS and CHAdeMO in harmony until the “next thing” comes along. Like diesel and gasoline. Frick and frack. Zig and zag.

No more trying to outlaw CHAdeMO in favor of a regional German standard.

Your assertions that there are fees for CHAdeMO that aren’t present for the German standard are without foundation, and frankly as outdated as the “CHAdeMO phase-out” rhetoric we had to listen to from CCS cheerleaders. CHAdeMO is here to stay, worldwide. Too bad that ruffles your feathers, but don’t worry, you’re not alone. I also find CHAdeMO technically superior to the German standard for the following reasons, in order of importance: 1) Isolated ground – unlike the German standard, there’s not a DC ground cable in the heavy cable. With safety as paramount, isolated ground is the correct answer. 2) Locking plug – there has already been a broken lock mechanism on the CCS where a user was able to pull off the plug with live (and VERY deadly) DC voltage flowing. That locking mechanism was designed for a 30 amp AC plug. CHAdeMO, on the other hand, would likely break the mount out of the car before it would break the connection. 3) Secure connection – I can physically pull a CCS plug up while charging, which moves the DC pins apart. DUMB. 4) CAN bus control – every car built in the past 30 years has used CAN.… Read more »

I would prefer the Tesla standard as a single standard for all. I can’t fathom why you are such a strong advocate for Chademo beyond the fact that you sell them.

I don’t so much care about different standards across the ocean. There’s different electrical standards too so that’s not such a crazy idea. If prefer a connector that can provide AC and DC capabilities all in one.

It’s okay to disagree though, nothing wrong with that.

All chargers, regardless of the protocol, will properly work on any supply voltage around the world. In other words, just because Europe has 380/400 volt 50hz has no bearing on how CHAdeMO, CCS, GB/T, Supercharger, et al, will supply DC voltage with 208 or 480 volt / 60hz. Any variations to AC supply voltage viability is a product of each individual manufacturer, not the protocol. That might not make sense to some, so I’ll try to further clarify: I could have 50 volt AC at 25hz and convert that to the the typical 300-400 volt DC used by virtually ALL modern EVs. Please understand that the protocol that CONTROLS the charge rate and plug dimensions has nothing to do with supply voltage. Here’s a good way to help understand the POWER issue alone; If I’m putting 50kW DC into any car, I need to pull about 55kW AC from the electrical source (about 90% efficiency). Just to throw a wrench in the thinking, the supply power could also be DC !!! How that 55kW is supplied is simply a product of volts multiplied by amps (with some simple math for three phase AC). So, it could be: 1100 amps *… Read more »

While you can’t “fathom” why I support world standard CHAdeMO, I clearly outlined the technical reasons above.

The practical reasons are even easier… there are LOADS of CHAdeMO capable cars and CHAdeMO stations compared to the regional competition. I know this isn’t that hard to fathom.

I do not currently, nor in the near future (5-10 years) foresee CCS “taking over”. Quite the contrary.

Whatever does take over should be should be a true world standard that can work every where. To my knowledge, the only two that are even close are Menekkes Type 2 (what Tesla uses in Europe) and GB/T (China).

Both can take single and three phase AC, and GB/T can take huge pins for DC. All in one plug.

For control, I suspect CHAdeMO / GB/T may have an advantage with dedicated wires with CAN control.

Haha, I swear you must have blind love for CCS… SHeesh Clarkson… are you a paid shill for CCS?

I like CHAdeMO since it is installed… all around my home and it works. CCS was a distraction… but… frankly… I think Nissan and all future Jplugs… should adopt the newer standard which includes CCS so we can be a swiss army knife in terms of charging versatility. Imagine driving up to chargers and having a broken CHAdeMO connector and still being able to use the CCS port on your car without missing a beat. Versatility and convenience. Been in the computer business for too long to care about plugs and sockets… just get the connection and the goods.

As I stated above, I want one convenient standard for all users. As kdawg mentioned, given a choice to do it right the first time, a tesla style connector for everyone would be optimal. After that in my mind is CCS, it is less bulky than chademo and accepts both AC and DC standards. And is SAE approved.

I assure you my opinions are not from being a paid spokesperson for any standard. Given Tony sells Chademo for a living though, bias there is a bit more suspect.

Well, again, I’ve sold far more SAE-J1772 hardware by far.

I’m thankful that these CCS debates aren’t full of the vile of a couple years ago, when the CCS cheerleader groups wanted to kill CHAdeMO.

Again, world standard CHAdeMO will still be here, healthy and expanding, for many years ahead.

What really angers me about Nissan and Tesla, is that both had a chance to adopt a unified single standard early on, when there were only a handful of Leafs and Chademo chargers out there.

They chose not to, and it ultimately hinders broader EV adoption. It stinks that CCS was late to the game, but an SAE approved standard has merits for many reasons.

Nissan chose to try and maximize short term sales and profits instead, and that is upsetting to me. I want a single standard for the U.S. So EV adoption is maximized. That’s all.

Yes, I agree with one standard in the USA. You think that is accomplished by adding more standards.

Again, CHAdeMO is here to stay. What the German car makers and GM so with CCS in this country is up to them. that goes foe any other standards that future auto makers may wish to promote.

This is what frustrates me when trying to have a conversation with you.

If I talk in general terms, you start touting Chademo again, or putting words in my mouth about more standards. It reeks of a bias or paid spokesmanship.

1. When Nissan came out with the Leaf, there was no independently recognized standard. I don’t really care much about your proclaiming it as a standard due to the volumes they sold. That was IRRELEVANT at the time period I am referencing.

2. Tesla’s Martin Eberhard worked hard to try and have a nationally recongized standard adopted, which eventually became CCS. Elon Musk then chose to develop a third variation for Tesla.

Multiple types hinder EV adoption, period. Whether a person likes Chademo, CCS, or Tesla, multiple standards is still a detraction.

Our business is charger products for EV’s.

When we selected CHAdeMO for DC charging of the Toyota RAV4 EV, there was no other logical choice.

Today, that is still the case. In the USA, there is approximately 1000 CHAdeMO public charge stations and 150 of the SAE-CCS-Combo1 stations used by GM and German car makers.

We did first make a formal offer to use the Tesla Supercharger network.

In the future, should any other charge standard really catch on in the USA (CCS or other), we are agnostic as a company to provide that product.

But, contrary to the CCS cheerleader camp, CHAdeMO is here to stay.

Should another

I guess I didn’t state what should be obvious. We currently sell products for CHAdeMO, SAE J1772 / Type 1, Menekkes Type 2, and Tesla. Here the data we use to develop products and market need. For instance, we are currently working on a Tesla charger to J1772 adaptor to be released in fall of 2015. USA DC Charging Standards and vehciles *********** 1) CHAdeMO – 5467 Worldwide (6 March 2015) Japan — 2819 Europe – 1659 USA —- 934 Others – 55 5467 Worldwide (6 March 2015) Over 200,00 cars worldwide ************ 2) SAE CCS Combo1, or “J1772 DC” – approximately 150 in the USA (and worldwide) as of March 2015 Uses a different plug in Europe (Menekkes CCS Combo2) than the plug used in USA EVs compatible include (note: not all sold cars are physically equipped with CCS port): *GM Spark EV – 1,889 US sales cars (adding about 50-100 per month in three CARB-ZEV states only) *BMW i3 – 7,851 US sales (28 Feb 2015) *VW eGolf – 668 US sales (28 Feb 2015) *********** 3) Supercharger – 396 stations worldwide with 396 Supercharger stations with 2,167 Supercharger charge points, each with 2-14 stalls at each station,… Read more »

I count about 240 SAE CCS chargers in

Thanks for the update. I purposely put the date that the data was accurate… obviously, it changes daily.

Increases daily.

So does CHAdeMO and Tesla Supercharger. I think that last time I looked, 8 CHAdeMO stations were added per day from Jan to Mar 2015.

The only one that exists at all around here is Tesla superchargers. The same is true for the vast majority of the United States’ territory.

In your numbers, you somewhat forgot to notice that there is now (jun 2015) almost 1000 CCS Chargers in Europe…
But it is indeed hard to follow, because it increase daily 😉

The five minute charge is an unrealistic pipe dream that will never arrive until the entire global electricity infrastructure changes (hint – never)
Unless of course you only have a tiny battery, then you would need so many high capacity chargers it would be impossible to achieve.
Large batteries need lots of power to fill, more chargers need even more power.

Remember don’t think of it like gas cars, where EVERYONE has to use a public filling station. Most people with plug-ins will continue to charge at home/work slowly, even better if overnight. Only those who need to would quick charge, esp if it cost more $, and during peak power times.

Quick charges would only be needed for people actively traveling. All other times, slow overnight charges are acceptable and preferred.

So on any given day, only a small subset of the population would need to be quick charging. It’s not unrealistic or unattainable.

I said the “five minute charge” is completely unattainable.
Its simple math, recharging a 100kW battery in 5 minutes would need over a MW and the normal charge taper would mean it would still take longer.

Mike – have you taken a stop watch, clipboard, and notepaper to watch a half dozen Gas Stations to see what is the time from the car stopping at the pumps – to the time it drives away? Where does everyone get this ‘5 minute’ charge, or ‘Fill’ is the ‘Standard? OK – that said – what is 5 minutes compared to an Hour? It is 1/12th of an hour – so – Cells that can handle 12C (12X the 1C or power transfer to discharge 100% at 1 hour) Rating – could handle the power at the cell level! A123 Systems Batteries are not as energy Dense as those Tesla Uses – but they are rated 30C Continuous – with a 50C Pulse! I would bet a Pay Check that they can handle 12C! Now on the Supply Side – if you have a Car Battery that can take a 12C Charge – how big is that Battery – and – how big a ‘Pipe’ (Charging Cable) and Plug – do you need to handle that much power? A 24 kWh (LEAF) at 12C = 24 x 12 = 288 kW; 27 kWh (Soul EV) at 12C = 324… Read more »
You used the word “never”. I’m not sure why you think 100kWh (remember to put the h in there) is necessary. And I’m not sure why 5 minutes is required since A) it takes me longer than that to fill my gas vehicle, and B) You would be doing this much less often since most refueling is done at destinations, and C) when refueling on long trips, you are most likely going to want to take a break more than 5 min. But let’s say we do have a 100kWh battery, and we need to recharge every 200 miles for 5 minutes. If we can go 200 miles using 50kWh, that means we need to replace that and put 10kWh/minute to recharge. This is a power rate of 600kW. If packs increase to 600V, it would take 1000A. There are IP67 rated connectors & cables that can handle this. Or it could be a setup like the busses that charge at 500kW now. But really, this is not a necessity because the whole scenario all hinges on it needing to be just 5 minutes. Next we get into talking about battery swap, but that brings on a whole new debate.

“The five minute charge is an unrealistic pipe dream that will never arrive until the entire global electricity infrastructure changes (hint – never)”

I’m curious why you think that will never happen. The MINIMUM distribution voltage in America is 13500 volts (the top feeder lines on the pole before the transformers take it down to 220v). There are PLENTY of industrial customers who use power at much greater rates than residential customers, and most large buildings use their own stepdown transformers. Finally, the NET power supplied to a car is not significantly different if charged faster — it takes more power, but the car is done in a much shorter time.

Lets see, the EV “triad” of support industries outside the car itself are:

1. Batteries.

2. Motors.

3. Chargers.

One of those makers has announced that not only are they NOT working on improving their offering, but that they are NOT GOING TO, and don’t see a need for it.

Guess which?

We should not be wasting money on slow DC chargers, whether CHAdeMO or CCS. It was very short sighted for them to create standards limited to 200 amps. These EVSE’s cost too much money to purchase and install and will have a very limited useful life. They should have standardized on 300+ amp charging from the get go or just stayed with 80 amp J1772 which would be useful for destination charging for many more years at a substantial cost savings.

I’m not sure if you understand the cost matrix. If 125 amp and under DC chargers are expsnive to install, there would be a whole lot less of them at 300 amps !!!

There aren’t any 200 amp units. Tesla uses 330 amps, but they fund it themselves.

All this concern over plug standards, and the future may well be wireless.

I want to see the first Tesla coil zapping 150kW of power through the air to your car!!!

Why can’t we all just share .
We need more “stations”
Then make the stations have ALL of the ports.
Then everyone can get a charge and be happy.
I mainly just want to see MORE BEV’s on the road and a 250 mile (one tank) car, or a nice small pick-up would be great.

Can anyone calculate the extra cost of all gas stations supporting at least three different Octane levels? And some with additional tanks and hoses (car vs truck) for diesel? But the scale of that industry makes it affordable to support the diversity of vehicles out there. …I’d be thrilled if all new DCFC units were dual-headed.