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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Electrify America, a Volkswagen subsidiary, is building hundreds of charging stations across North America as part of its settlements for the Diesel-Gate pollution scandal. Each EA station includes four to six DC Fast-Charging kiosks. However, EA's deployment favors the charging standard used by VW over that by its Japanese competitor Nissan. EA is building a charging network that when complete will give its parent company, VW, a competitive advantage.

Volkswagen, along with American manufacturers, uses the CCS (Combined Charging System) fast-charging standard. Its competitor, Nissan, uses the CHAdeMO standard. (Tesla, which uses its own standard, can charge at CHAdeMO kiosks with an adapter.)

ChargePoint and EVgo, EA's competitors in the fast-charging market, deploy charging kiosks that serve both charging standards equally. Each ChargePoint and EVgo dispenser includes two cables: one for CHAdeMO, and one for CCS. Each EA kiosk also has two cables; however, for all but one of the dispensers at a site, each cable serves only the CCS standard.



In California, VW entered a consent degree with CARB (the California Air Resources Board) for the Diesel-Gate scandal specific to the state. CARB's consent decree requires VW to install hundreds of DC fast-charging stations in California. The consent decree also requires the company to implement an education and awareness campaign in addition to the deployment of a DC fast-charging network. CARB's settlement stipulates that the education campaign must remain "brand neutral," but there's no parallel requirement for VW's design of the DC fast-charging network to be "brand neutral" and it's not.

Electrify America claims in its 2019 2nd Quarter report that its "DC fast charging sites support both the CCS Combo and CHAdeMO connectors, ensuring that all sites are universally compatible with today鈥檚 electric vehicles."

While this is technically true, it's deliberately misleading. EA does provide both CHAdeMO and CCS kiosks at its stations. However, EA typically offers only one CHAdeMO kiosk per site compared to either four or six CCS kiosks depending upon the location.

The Alternative Fuels Data Center reports that EA has 28 stations operating in California as of early September 2019. EA has 28 CHAdeMO kiosks and 128 CCS kiosks installed, or one CHAdeMO per station.

Unfortunately, EA's CHAdeMO kiosk also serves as a CCS dispenser. A CCS vehicle can pull into an empty station and plug in at the only CHAdeMO kiosk and charge. This prevents a CHAdeMO enabled vehicle from charging even though there are three to five remaining unoccupied kiosks.

Thus, EA station deployment is not "brand neutral" and favors the charging standard VW--as well as other German and American manufacturers--use.



ChargePoint & EVgo Use Dual Standard Kiosks

Compare EA's kiosk design to that of EVgo or ChargePoint. Most new EVgo and ChargePoint DCFC kiosks offer both CCS and CHAdeMO capability on the same dispenser. An EV using either standard can charge at any unoccupied kiosk.

EVgo and ChargePoint also now typically install two or more dual standard kiosks per station. If one kiosk with a CHAdeMO is occupied and a Nissan Leaf pulls up, it can charge at the remaining kiosk using its CHAdeMO cable.

ChargePoint provides 147 CHAdeMO connections and an equivalent number of CCS connections at nearly 100 stations in California. EVgo offers 573 CHAdeMO connections at nearly 300 stations. EVgo, because of its early station design, only provides 270 CCS connections throughout the state. EVgo's new sites use dispensers serving both standards equally.

If a Nissan Leaf pulls in to an EA station and the CHAdeMO kiosk is occupied or inoperative, they're simply out of luck and have to search for another charge station. Consequently, Nissan Leaf drivers would be wise not to depend on EA stations and instead steer toward EVgo or ChargePoint stations where there's a greater probability of finding an open and functioning CHAdeMO dispenser.



CARB Unconcerned EA Station Design Plays Favorites

Volkswagen has a vested interest in promoting CCS charging kiosks over those using the CHAdeMO standard. It appears that EA has designed its stations to reflect its parent company's marketing plans despite what it says in its quarterly report to CARB.

Dave Clergen, a CARB press officer, confirms there is no provision in the settlement agreement that requires equal support for each type of non-proprietary (that is, non-Tesla) charging standard. He went on to say that, "Almost all BEVs available today use the CCS connector standard. Electrify America鈥檚 use of CCS connectors align with that information. In addition, Electrify America stations are designed to provide 150-kW and 350-kW charging that CHAdeMO connectors are not able to support. Each Electrify America DCFC station has one CHAdeMO connector for 50 kW charging."

Buyers of Nissan's Leaf might be surprised to know that "almost all BEV's today use the CCS" standard. Nissan still uses CHAdeMO.

CHAdeMO Still a Player

Though Nissan represents only one manufacturer, through the spring of 2019 they've sold 130,000 EVs in the USA--more than any other manufacturer except Tesla. And Tesla, of course, doesn't use the CCS standard either, but it does offer a CHAdeMO adapter for use at non-Tesla stations.

Through September, Nissan sold 9,000 Leafs in 2019, second only to Chevy's Bolt, (13,000) and well ahead of VW's e-Golf (4,000) among non-Tesla EVs.

There are also a number of conversions of Toyota's RAV4, Mercedes B-Class EVs, and the Tesla Roadster by QC Charge (formerly Quick Charge Power) that uses CHAdeMO.

Nissan won't comment on whether they have any plans to drop CHAdeMO. And they've taken the high road and won't comment directly on EA's station design. Instead, they noted that "Nissan supports any initiative that increases EV adoption and provides more charging options," says Nissan's Jeff Wandell.



Continent wide, there are still roughly the same number of CHAdeMO and CCS ports today. There are 3,700 CHAdeMO outlets at 2,650 stations, and 4,400 CCS connections at 2,500 stations in the US and Canada, including those installed by EA as part of its various consent decrees.

CEC Requires Dual Standard Dispensers

The California Energy Commission also hasn't abandoned CHAdeMO. The CEC has been funding the development of a statewide network of DC fast-charging stations for several years. There are several large contracts still remaining to be completed in the CEC's most recent series of grants for both North-South Corridors and Interregional Corridors.

All corridor agreements require that each DC fast-charging dispenser or kiosk serve both the CHAdeMO and CCS standards.

For example, the CEC awarded a $2.5 million contract with Recargo to build 33 dispensers at 11 stations, between the Oregon border and Santa Rosa, California on Hwy 101, and three other dispensers between Hwy 99 and Hwy 101. Each site must include one 150-kW dual port kiosk serving both the CHAdeMO and CCS standard.

Recargo has built one station in conjunction with Monterey County in Prunedale, California. They deployed six dual-standard kiosks. Each dispenser serves CCS at 200 kW and CHAdeMO at 75 kW.

Similarly, the CEC awarded a $2 million contract to ChargePoint for a Northern California Express Corridor to install nine dual-port 50 kW DC fast-charging stations with both CHAdeMO and CCS connectors along I-5.

The CEC's new program, CALeVIP, has $39 million in funds for grants to install both DC fast-charging stations and Level 2 stations in the state. The program could be expanded to up to $200 million. To win grants, all DC fast-charging stations must provide both CHAdeMO and CCS standards on each dispenser.

Plug in America Calls for Dual Connectors

The Electric Auto Association "has no current position" on Electrify America's charging standard preference, according to Raejean Fellows, the association's president.

However, Plug in America, has taken a stand. In its October 2018 comments to CARB about EA's Cycle 2 plan, Plug in America specifically recommended that CARB ensure EA's "public fast charging locations support a balance of CCS and CHAdeMO plugs." Plug in America noted in their filing that the most common complaint about Electrify America's Cycle 1 DCFC station roll out from drivers was that the imbalance between CCS and CHAdeMO plugs at EA's stations prevented some drivers with CHAdeMO-enabled vehicles from charging.

Despite Electrify America's favoritism to its parent company's charging standard, the build out of their stations is welcomed by drivers of both CHAdeMO and CCS standards and by EV advocates as well. There are simply not enough non-Tesla stations currently to complete a network anywhere in North America, including California. The number of non-Tesla stations and charging kiosks still fall woefully short of that in the extensive Tesla network. Tesla has 16,500 connections at nearly 5,000 stations across the continent. All the non-Tesla charging providers together have only half the stations in the Tesla network and only one-quarter the DCFC dispensers as Tesla--regardless of charging standard.


Paul Gipe has leased a Nissan Leaf, owned a Chevy Volt, and currently drives a Chevy Bolt.

For the viewpoint of one long-time Nissan Leaf driver see Volkswagen, CHAdeMO, and Charging Equity by Dave Laur.
 

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CCS is winning the DCFC connector war and it only makes sense to build infrastructure to support the projected market. In Europe Tesla sells the Model 3 with CCS. Hyundai/Kia switched from CHAdeMO to CCS. Tesla is already selling a Tesla to CCS adapter in Europe for it's legacy S and X vehicles and everyone expects they will sell a similar adapter in North America. The question you should be asking is: Why don't Nissan and Mitsubishi switch to CCS?
 

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The only company using CHAdeMO is selling under 1000 cars a month now, and sinking. Forcing anybody to provide chargers for cars that nobody is buying would be totally counterproductive to the goal of getting people in EVs. Despite hating the CCS Frankenplug, I think that if Tesla would switch to CCS in the US it would be good for us all.
 

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I assume there is no adapter which would allow my Bolt to use CHAdeMO chargers. Right? I have the adapter to allow me to use the Tesla Destination (L2) chargers. There may already be a thread on this, but that would be hard to find.
 

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I assume there is no adapter which would allow my Bolt to use CHAdeMO chargers.
Correct. Tesla uses the CHAdeMO communication protocol with their plug, and they have adapters to allow using CHAdeMO chargers on a Tesla. They also make adapters to allow older Teslas to use CCS in Europe. So it clearly would be possible to make such an adapter. As far as I know, there are no CHAdeMO chargers in the US that put out more than 100 amps, and pretty much every charger that has a CHAdeMO plug also has a CCS plug, so why would you want to use them?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Electrify America Response to Paul Gipe:
鈥淓lectrify America charging stations are designed to meet the anticipated charging needs of future consumers, including those driving EVs with larger batteries capable of charging at ultra-fast speed. After surveying automakers and evaluating which non-proprietary charging protocols are forecast to be needed going forward, Electrify America found that three types of plugs are used in the U.S. DCFC market: (1) Tesla鈥檚 proprietary plug works with Tesla vehicles, (2) the CHAdeMO plug works on Nissan Group vehicles, and (3) the Combo/CCS plug, developed through a process of the Society of Automotive Engineers. The Combo/CCS connector works with every other major automaker鈥檚 new vehicles, including Ford, GM, Fiat-Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Kia, Hyundai, Harley-Davidson, Energica, Honda, BMW, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Lucid, and Proterra.

We designed stations to offer both CCS connectors and one CHAdeMO connector at each public DC fast charging station, but chose to offer more CCS charging capacity based on our expectation that there will be a greater supply of vehicles on the roads utilizing the CCS standard going forward. By the end of its first Cycle, Electrify America will have installed nearly 500 CHAdeMO chargers nationwide. Customers can use Electrify America鈥檚 Pass + App to find a CHAdeMO charger and to determine which chargers are in use.鈥
 

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@paulgipe Very well written and communicated. I appreciate your detailed post. While I don't disagree with your observations I do disagree on the suggested change of direction for EA.

1) "Plug in America noted in their filing that the most common complaint about Electrify America's Cycle 1 DCFC station roll out from drivers was that the imbalance between CCS and CHAdeMO plugs at EA's stations " Because the comments were made in Oct of 2018, that may have been the case then, but as of Nov 2019 the most common complaint of customers of EA I have heard is station reliability and failure to be able to charge. The Efacec stations fail to start, have dead screens, stop charging after a few minutes, etc, etc, etc... EA is the only game in town for most of us here in NY, and I am very appreciative that they have built out the network as our state lags considerably in DCFC availability, but the initial growing pains are currently very frustrating. Not being able to depend on the few available locations.

2) "Though Nissan represents only one manufacturer, through the spring of 2019 they've sold 130,000 EVs in the USA--more than any other manufacturer except Tesla." Correction,GM has sold nearly twice the number of EV's that Nissan has sold as they reached the Federal phase out of 200,000 just after Tesla.

3) EA is installing charging hardware to support where we are headed , the future, not where we have been. I would make the same decision. To me, asking EA to put in more CHAdeMO plugs is analogous to asking Blockbuster to offer more Betamax tapes available to rent, oh wait .....many folks reading this won't get that.... let's just say I believe that CHAdeMO is going away and everyone, including Tesla IMHO, should adopt the US Society of Automotive Engineering standard, CCS.
 

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Of course, all of this could have been avoided if the affected states had instead taken punitive damages and done what they saw fit with it, leaving VW out of it entirely with exception of writing the check.

All of it is shenanigans and makes no attempts to address any real problem. Corruption from the cheating diesels, and continuing corruption throughout the terms of restitution.

That said, we should pare down to just 2 charging standards. I don't even care which 2. This doesn't need to be like cell phone chargers 15 years ago.

Maybe we can get the adult film industry to adopt a standard that steers everyone in a particular direction :p
 

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@paulgipe Very well written and communicated. I appreciate your detailed post. While I don't disagree with your observations I do disagree on the suggested change of direction for EA.

1) "Plug in America noted in their filing that the most common complaint about Electrify America's Cycle 1 DCFC station roll out from drivers was that the imbalance between CCS and CHAdeMO plugs at EA's stations " Because the comments were made in Oct of 2018, that may have been the case then, but as of Nov 2019 the most common complaint of customers of EA I have heard is station reliability and failure to be able to charge. The Efacec stations fail to start, have dead screens, stop charging after a few minutes, etc, etc, etc... EA is the only game in town for most of us here in NY, and I am very appreciative that they have built out the network as our state lags considerably in DCFC availability, but the initial growing pains are currently very frustrating. Not being able to depend on the few available locations.

2) "Though Nissan represents only one manufacturer, through the spring of 2019 they've sold 130,000 EVs in the USA--more than any other manufacturer except Tesla." Correction,GM has sold nearly twice the number of EV's that Nissan has sold as they reached the Federal phase out of 200,000 just after Tesla.

3) EA is installing charging hardware to support where we are headed , the future, not where we have been. I would make the same decision. To me, asking EA to put in more CHAdeMO plugs is analogous to asking Blockbuster to offer more Betamax tapes available to rent, oh wait .....many folks reading this won't get that.... let's just say I believe that CHAdeMO is going away and everyone, including Tesla IMHO, should adopt the US Society of Automotive Engineering standard, CCS.
Item 2 above missed Paul's point. He's not counting the Volt as it doesn't have fast charging. I don't think the Bolt has sold 6 figures yet.
 

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CCS is winning the DCFC connector war and it only makes sense to build infrastructure to support the projected market. In Europe Tesla sells the Model 3 with CCS. Hyundai/Kia switched from CHAdeMO to CCS. Tesla is already selling a Tesla to CCS adapter in Europe for it's legacy S and X vehicles and everyone expects they will sell a similar adapter in North America. The question you should be asking is: Why don't Nissan and Mitsubishi switch to CCS?
Nissan and Mitsubishi are founding members behind CHAdeMO, which helped it become the entrenched EV charging standard in their home ground (Japan). So the base designs of their EVs would probably never see a switch to CCS. If shove comes to push, it could be possible for them to produce CCS-equipped versions of their EVs for overseas markets, but as it happens they don't sell them as much there (anymore?) to justify that.

(South) Korea has settled on the CCS (Type 1, same as North America) as the "recommended national standard" in 2017. This is the primary reason for Hyundai/Kia's switch - the home ground's rules have changed and so they have acted accordingly. But because they are the dominant players in the domestic car market (including EVs) CHAdeMO was the de facto standard until 2016 due to all their DCFC-supported EVs using it. This is why some pre-2017 DCFCs around the country does not have a CCS cable. Luckily, there aren't that many chargers like that.

In today's Korean EV market, there are just two holdouts of the CCS standard - Nissan Leaf and Renault-Samsung SM3 ZE (a Korean version of Fluence ZE). Nissan has its reasons I already described above. In the case of SM3 ZE, it uses the Europe's old 43kW AC 3-Phase fast charging ("AC3", as we call it here), thanks to the car's design not having changed much since its 2012 debut except for the battery capacity improvements. Such minimal R&D does seem to keep the price down and it has thus been selling steadily for the better half of the decade. This car is the sole reason why the "3-standard (CCS-CHAdeMO-AC3)" fast chargers are overwhelmingly common in the country. Only one car model uses AC3, but there are a lot of them. But with the setting of the national standard, new chargers these days are mainly CCS-only or CCS-CHAdeMO dual standard, so the good days of SM3 ZE are numbered.
 

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The only CHAdeMO-equiped BEV with a range of at least 140 miles available in the U.S. is the Nissan Leaf gen 2 (well, OK, and Telas, IF they bought the $500 converter). Every other car manufacturer that in the past had offered a CHAdeMO plug has switched to CCS in the U.S. So, yes, legacy CHAdeMO vehicles (most with a max range of about 100 miles - basically, again, the LEAF, since there aren't that many BEV Outlanders or Soul EVs or iMievs) won't find EA stations as useful for fast charging. Well, tough for Nissan owners. CCS is the future fast charge connector in the U.S. - EVERY traditional U.S. and foreign car maker ships vehicles with CCS except for Nissan. (Well, honestly, Tesla is really the future unless the entrenched car manufacturers get off their collective arses and start offering decent quality BEVs in quantity.)
 

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Yeah all true statements - Electrify America definitely does favor CCS, but Chademo is going away anyway, whether Nissan likes it or not. Kia wised up and dumped it. Japan will probably beat that dead horse for another decade - that and their fuel cell cars, all the while crying precious metals shortage but saying nothing of all that platinum.... but I digress. Everywhere else is abandoning CHAdeMO. I remember, for a while there, most charging stations ONLY had CHAdeMO. The problem with CHAdeMO is that you need TWO connectors, one for fast, and one for your J-plug, and then you have a huge charging door, or two, and the connector is also enormous, not to mention it's got WAY too many pins. Unfortunately, the LEAF owners out there are screwed and being left behind, but look on the bright side - all those air cooled batteries are sure to die long before we run out of CHAdeMO stations, so I think the point is mostly moot, and the more you fast charge your LEAF, the faster it's going to dry out and get 37 miles of range anyway. I look at it as more of a sign from G_d.
 
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