CCS EV Fast Charging standard is about two years behind CHAdeMO in California

CHAdeMO SAE Combo Plug CCS

California is the most electrified state in the US, thanks in part to its ZEV mandate that requires automakers to produce a certain number of zero-emission vehicles.

In addition to leading the way in EV adoption, the state has also installed the most public charging infrastructure, by far. According to PlugShare, there are about 6,597 public Level 2 connectors and 652 DC Fast Charging connectors in California. That’s over 400% more total connectors than the second most-plugged-in state, Texas, with 1,547 public Level 2 connectors and 96 DC Fast Chargers.

Within the EV industry, there is a lot of discussion about the war between CHAdeMO and the SAE Combined Charging Standard (CCS). The Japanese automakers committed early to the CHAdeMO standard, while those in the US and Europe have since locked in to the competing CCS standard.

Thanks to PlugShare Data’s comprehensive infrastructure analytics tool – the subject of a feature in the latest issue of Charged (available online soon) – we’re able to plot the progress of charging standards over time.

DC Fast Charging Growth in California r 660
Figure is free to share (CC BY-SA 2.0) with proper attribution: PlugShare via

The figure shows that in the EV-trendsetting state there are 324 CHAdeMO connectors, 104 CCS plugs, and 224 Tesla Superchargers, as of March 2015. These growth charts are particularly good at revealing historical trends in the market. A quick look shows that, while all the different charging standards are growing relatively quickly in California, the SAE Combo standard is about two years behind CHAdeMO, based on both current plug counts and trend lines.


Source: PlugShare Data

  • cw

    I still don’t get why there are 2 different standards for DC fast charging….. would be a lot easier for everybody if they just used the chadmeo…. and I have a SAE combo car.

    • Michael B

      This is the free market at work, and what happens when large companies or countries can’t, or take too long to, agree on a standard

      • Wade

        It’s a great example of the limitations of the free market, when it doesn’t work.

      • vike

        No, this is collusion and political corruption at work. Without heavy government intervention in the EU, CCS would have died by now; you can bet the German automakers had their backroom ducks in a row before launching this “standard”. I believe the only CCS car sold nationwide in the U.S. is still BMW’s i3; the rest are CARB-compliance only, so of no interest to anyone off the coasts (i.e., only a fool, drunk, or BMW dealer would bother installing a CCS charger outside of California at this point, though dual format READY would be a reasonable precaution). Platinum-priced minis and compliance carts are not going to build numbers, especially when CCS isn’t even standard equipment on the models that do offer it. CCS is a fraud, and most of the companies “supporting” it are EV-hostile.

        With Nissan firmly in the CHAdeMO camp and Tesla on board (through their adapter – and no CCS equivalent is available), attractive new CHAdeMO models like the Soul EV (compliance for now, but apparently with wider distribution plans in near future) still showing up, and many CCS backers selling cars with no DCQC at all (even as an option), those trying to argue that CHAdeMO is obsolete and CCS is the future have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.

        • Ramon A. Cardona

          There are at least 9 new DC Fast Chargers in Ohio courtesy of Nissan with both CCS and ChadeMo plugs.

          • vike

            Can’t imagine why, though I’m sure the i3 drivers are grateful (assuming they’d deign to set foot on a Nissan dealer lot). It’s not like you’re going to be seeing any Spark EVs in Ohio, is it?

          • Ramon A. Cardona

            Actually I spotted a blue Spark in downtown Cincinnati about two weeks ago with Ohio plates.

          • vike

            You do realize the Spark is mostly NOT an EV, right? For most of the country, they’re just little ICE cars – the EV version is NOT sold in OH, but only a handful of states on the coasts (i.e., CA and a few states that follow the CARB lead).

          • Ramon A. Cardona

            The Ohio DMV reported two Spark Electric Vehicles registered in Hamilton County, Ohio as of April, 2015. If a person wants one that person goes to buy one wherever. No need to shoot the messenger. I keep up with EV cars and get daily global updates. Check my Facebook page “promoting electric cars.”

          • vike

            The Spark EV is impossible to service outside of CA/OR at this time (perhaps Maryland soon – who knows?) . The low maintenance requirements for EV drivetrains may help, but not indefinitely. Buying a Spark EV to import to Ohio is reckless to say the least – just ask the twits who insisted on buying RAV4 EVs and shipping them to, e.g., New York.

            I’m not shooting any messengers, but citing the actions of a few ill-advised EV gray market buyers doesn’t change the broader reality – as far as I know, the only CCS car sold and serviced in Ohio at this time is the BMW i3, at least for now. I don’t believe CCS is slated to be available for the Volt or the Focus Electric, and as far as I know every other CCS car is compliance-only. So back to my original point (irrelevant loons aside) – are you aware of another CCS model sold in OH these days?

          • Ramon A. Cardona

            My impression of the progress as to technology is that there is an X factor. The Spark EV owners in our area elected to be pioneers. Is it not for us to evaluate their choices. As to CCS vehicles so many brands from Europe use it: VW and Porsche are examples. Our area is ready for them. I see that as a plus. If you wish to be “right” then you are right. The likes of people are unknown. I am sure it was impossible to predict 200,000 global Leaf sales in 2010. Right I am charging my Leaf at a Chevy dealership that has 8 Level 2 chargers. Do they get used by customers and visitors? Tesla, Volts and my car do just that. Is it progress? My free Starbucks and Wifi say it is. Just be aware that progress comes in many waves. OK? The ultimate result is less pollution. Drive electric and be safe.

          • Ramon A. Cardona

            The five units in Cincinnati: zoo, Findley Market, Xavier U, University of Cincinnati and Cincinnate State have public access. Dealerships have “plans.”

        • Eric Bendler

          CCS is amazingly better. Higher power, all the levels of power, and it’s not a freaking huge monster like ChAdemo.

          • vike

            The launch of the redundant CCS was a royal PitA for the BEV market, and I reject any suggestion that it improved a damned thing. In the U.S., CCS is almost always delivered from a dual-format station w/CHAdeMO where both get the same power (and often 25Kw, half of even CHAdeMO’s max), so “higher power” has no real-world meaning. I’m equally unmoved by the cosmetic arguments, which are most often based on version 0.x CHAdeMO monstrosities – the version 1.x units are comparatively pretty slick, while CCS is so often dubbed Frankenplug that it’s clear this aesthetic argument doesn’t incontrovertibly favor CCS.

            Whatever value you might give them, these trifling benefits aren’t even in the ballpark of “amazingly better”, and have to be weighed against the global expense and inconvenience of introducing an incompatible Level 3 charging standard when one was already established. The only amazing thing about CCS is that so many politicians were corrupt enough to make it viable (no, wait – maybe that’s not so amazing either).

            Still, this ship’s sailed – we’re stuck with two L3 standards (well okay, three, since CCS is actually two different standards for EU vs. US), and more’s the pity. Fortunately, it should only be an interim problem, since L3 is only marginally acceptable for charging the 50KwH+ batteries that it appears the market is demanding. We’ll need a new standard for “Level 4” as we have more of these Tesla-ish uber-BEVs in the market – and hopefully we’ll all have learned enough from this CCS fiasco to settle on a single standard before bringing any L4 cars or chargers to market.

          • Mos

            Tesla still offers any company to use it’s charging system which covers a much bigger area of the US, and soon to be the entire network of interstate highways. Plus superchargers go to 120 kW which at this point only Teslas can handle so who has the better system?

          • camosoul

            “Tesla still offers any company to use it’s charging system”

            BS. Tesla has refused all attempts I’ve made to communicate with them regarding this.

          • Rui Fonseca

            Is anybody supporting CHAdeMO other than anyone already emotionally invested in it?

          • Matthew Spry

            Chademo is the superior connector thats why it is as big Currently updated to 400 Kw going to 900 Kw. Far more capable than CCS….


        • Matthew Spry

          Chademo is the superior connector thats why it is as big Currently updated to 400 Kw going to 900 Kw. Far more capable than CCS…

    • ned_plimpton

      There are 2 different standards for DC fast charging because the American and European automakers wanted to slow the head start of Nissan.

      Nissan came out with the LEAF years ahead of any serious competitor, so they all said “let’s agree on another plug and try to slow them down.”

    • Denys Allard

      The reason for the CCS is that it is more cost effective (from an OEM standpoint) to have both level 2 & fastcharging in one connector as opposed to having 2 ports as on the Nissan Leaf.

      • Matthew Spry

        Chademo is the superior connector thats why it is as big Currently updated to 400 Kw going to 900 Kw. Far more capable than CCS..

        • Denys Allard

          First of all, your trying to compare 5 year old information with the present. Where are you getting your information? I can believe 400Kw but 900Kw? What gauge cable are they using for this? I manufacture the combo connector and I’m using 3/0 cable to achieve 350Kw charging. Most car manufacturers are using CCS.

    • Eric Bendler

      Because SAE is a much better standard. It does level I, II, and III. It has a higher power rating (100kw vs 60kw). The handle isn’t the size of a house. And it was made in America:_

      • GCO

        CHAdeMO is not only perfectly capable of carrying 100 kW, unlike CCS, it already does. See the Kia Soul EV.
        Also, if you actually bothered to measure, the CCS connector is actually taller than CHAdeMO’s.

        Yeah, “invented here”, but is it really an advantage when it comes years too late so all it really does is fragment the market, add confusion and increase infrastructure costs?

        • Rui Fonseca

          CCS might be taller, but it also supports 1-phase and 2-phase AC in the same port, while cars with CHAdeMO need another port.

        • Matthew Spry

          Chademo is the superior connector thats why it is as big Currently updated to 400 Kw going to 900 Kw. Far more capable than CCS

      • Mos

        By that reasoning, Tesla has the best system and the designs are open for any company to utilize and covers a much bigger and less redundant area.

      • Matthew Spry

        Chademo is the superior connector thats why it is as big Currently updated to 400 Kw going to 900 Kw. Far more capable than CCS,

    • Lawrence Rhodes

      It’s back to Beta VS. VHS..May the shiftiest player win.

  • dogphlap dogphlap

    That graph looks misleading to me.
    It purports to show the number of connections but in the case of SuperChargers it shows the number of locations where many bays with individual connections are to be found. From the world wide average of 5.5 connections per super charger location I’d suggest the total US connections would be at least 1230 rather than the 224 shown.

    • Christian Ruoff

      Note that this graph is for California only. According to PlugShare, your estimate for SuperCharger connectors in the entire US is very close and almost identical to the current number of CHAdeMO connectors in the US.

      • dogphlap dogphlap

        My error. I now clearly see the graph is labelled as being for California. Best regards.

      • ricegf

        Four months late, sorry – but do you have graphs for the world, for USA, for Europe, and for Japan and / or Australasia? I can’t seem to locate those.

  • Collin Burnell

    At least we are only dealing with (3) standards. One could argue (2).

    • vike

      Yeah, I’d argue 2; SuperChargers are effectively Tesla proprietary, so not a standard. The SuperCharger is part of Tesla’s campaign to push EV tech as far and as fast as they can, and to serve that interest they’ve eschewed any pretense of participating in “standards” when it appears those are slowing things down. From a standards perspective, I suppose for now you’d have to put Tesla in the CHAdeMO camp, since they have an adapter for CHAdeMO (developed for Japan), but not CCS.

  • Collin Burnell

    Is anybody working on Level II and Fast Charging for the L.A. – Las Vegas Corridor???

    I would hug the person that made that happen. Maybe even buy them lunch! 🙂

  • Matthew Kennedy

    Does Chadmeo charge the battery to 100% and if so how?

    From using the CCS DC rapid charge on the i3 I noticed that it uses the DC rapid charges up to around 80% then uses the type 2 to finish up to 100% hence the combined charging system.

    • Åke Malmgren

      CHAdeMO does charge to 100%, but it slows down as battery voltage rises. I have a Leaf, and the last 3% charge as as slowly as 220V mains charging.
      Using Type 2 to do the topping off is smart; I like it. I suspect that it shifts over at the moment when tha charging current drops below what Type 2 can deliver anyway. This ensures that the AC to DC converter in the charger is only used during high current load, where it’s more efficient, and doesn’t need to be designed to be efficient at a broader range. I also like the elegancy and smaller size of the CCS connector. CHAdeMO connectors are big, heavy and more easily damaged. The “X” shield between the data pins have been bent on some stations near me, though not enough to cause a charging problem.