Now That's Combo Quick Charging: CHAdeMO, CCS, Tesla Supercharger


Tesla Supercharger site in Dorno, Italy, photo by problemidiricarica.wordpress.com/

Tesla Supercharger site in Dorno, Italy, photo by problemidiricarica.wordpress.com/

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The growing number of DC fast-charging stations is making life a little more convenient for electric-car drivers--provided they can match their vehicles to the right plug.

There are currently three major DC fast-charging standards in use--CHAdeMO, Combined Charging Standard (CCS), and Tesla Motors' Supercharger--but only one charging site has them all.

DON'T MISS: Tesla Passes 200 Supercharger Sites, Only 60 Percent In U.S.

Tesla recently opened a Supercharger site off the A7 highway in Dorno, Italy--southwest of Milan--but that site can cater to more than just Model S drivers, according to InsideEVs.

DC fast-charging station in Dorno, Italy, photo by problemidiricarica.wordpress.com/

DC fast-charging station in Dorno, Italy, photo by problemidiricarica.wordpress.com/

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In addition to 12 Supercharger stalls, there is a separate multi-standard charging station with CHAdeMO, CCS, and AC Level 2 connectors nearby.

That means, for drivers in this corner of northern Italy, the current tug of war over fast-charging standards is less of an issue.

The CHAdeMO standard is used by the Nissan Leaf--the world's most popular electric car--as well as the low-volume Mitsubsihi i-MiEV and the upcoming 2015 Kia Soul EV.

ALSO SEE: Tesla To Offer Supercharger As Fast-Charging Standard? Free To Drivers, Yes

CCS--also known as SAE Combo--was developed by a coalition of U.S. and German manufacturers. It uses a single plug that combines a "J-1772" plug for 240-volt Level 2 charging with pins for DC fast charging (hence the name).

The combination plug has been billed as an industry-wide standard, but very few cars on the road today are able to use it. In the U.S., they are the BMW i3 and the Chevrolet Spark EV compliance car, soon to be joined by the Volkswagen e-Golf.

The standard is backed by the three Detroit automakers, as well as BMW, Daimler, and the Volkswagen Group.

Tesla Supercharger site in Dorno, Italy, photo by problemidiricarica.wordpress.com/

Tesla Supercharger site in Dorno, Italy, photo by problemidiricarica.wordpress.com/

Enlarge Photo
Tesla has offered a third standard with its Supercharger standard, usable by most Tesla Model S cars. It said earlier this year that it would make all of its patents public.

This attracted attention from BMW and Nissan--one carmaker each from the CHAdeMO and CCS camps--both of which reportedly met with Tesla, although those meetings do not appear to have generated any substantial agreements as yet.

For now, then, infrastructure to support multiple fast-charging standards will likely become the norm. Still, CHAdeMO/CCS stations are still far more common than a triple-threat site like Dorno.

[hat tip: John C. Briggs]

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