The charging standards war ended in 2020, when Nissan announced that it would abandon the CHAdeMO DC fast charging standard in favor of the competing CCS standard. The only new plug-in vehicle on sale in the US that still uses CHAdeMO is the low-volume Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. [Editor’s note: There’s also the 2021 LEAF, which is still on sale. The new Ariya isn’t expected in the US until 2022.] Of course, there are still substantial numbers of older Nissan and Kia EVs that use CHAdeMO, so many public charging providers offer both CHAdeMO and CCS plugs. This has a cost, however, and it’s no surprise to learn that Electrify America has decided to phase out CHAdeMO support at its stations.
Tom Moloughney, writing in InsideEVs, reports that Electrify America’s Cycle 3 ZEV National Investment Plan specifies that the company will no longer install CHAdeMO connectors on its charging stations outside of California, beginning in January of 2022 (the beginning of EA’s Cycle 3). [Editor’s note: The company will presumably continue to maintain its existing CHAdeMO-equipped stations for 10 years, as specified by the VW ZEV settlement.]
In California, however, EA isn’t free to drop CHAdeMO just yet. Whereas EA’s National plan is overseen by the EPA, in California, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) calls the shots, and this agency has apparently nixed chucking CHAdeMO. Electrify America explains in its California Cycle 3 ZEV Investment plan that, although CHAdeMO usage accounts for only 7% of network utilization in California, it will continue to install CHAdeMO plugs.
Some of the CHAdeMO users are Tesla drivers—until recently there was no Tesla-CCS adapter available, but Setec Power released one in late 2020, and Tesla recently indicated that it will soon offer one of its own.
Electrify America says: “As sales of all new BEVs shift to CCS, Electrify America forecasts that over 90% of the non-Tesla BEVs in operation will use CCS by 2025. Electrify America is already seeing this shift at our stations. CHAdeMO usage (including Tesla via CHAdeMO adapter) accounted for just 9% of station usage in the first quarter of 2021, down from 15% in 2019, despite CHAdeMO chargers making up over 20% of all DCFC equipment at our stations.”
“Given this, Electrify America will focus its Cycle 3 investment on the future of electrification and deploy CCS as the non-proprietary standard at our stations. This action helps to reinforce the automotive manufacturers’ convergence on a single standard, reduces customer confusion, reduces capital and operating costs, and ultimately is expected to lead to increased EV adoption.”
Owners of CHAdeMO-equipped vehicles can still charge at the existing 800+ Electrify America stations that have CHAdeMO connectors, as well as the hundreds of CHAdeMO stations operated by other EV charging networks, including Blink, EVgo and ChargePoint.
Moloughney predicts that other networks will soon follow EA’s decision to end new CHAdeMO installations. “I also believe CARB will allow Electrify America to begin to phase out new CHAdeMO installations in California at some point during the 30-month Cycle 3 period that begins in January of 2022 and ends in July of 2024,” he writes. “Without any new CHAdeMO vehicles coming to market, it only makes sense to begin to focus solely on CCS.”