Europe to ban CHAdeMO fast charging, and/or fast jumping to conclusions

InsideEVs recently ran an article with the provocative headline “European Parliament Prepares Draft Calling for Termination of CHAdeMO in Europe.” To anyone who’s been following the European fast charging standards “war” (or “issue” for those of a calmer disposition), this certainly sounds like a crazy idea. Predictably, this scare story generated dozens of reader comments within hours, which quickly spiraled into name-calling and predictions of apocalypse.

 Before you grab your torches and pitchforks, let’s take a look at what the European Parliament document that was cited by InsideEVs and by the CHAdeMO Association actually says:

Text proposed by the Commission Amendment:

Direct Current (DC) fast recharging points for electric vehicles may be alternatively equipped with connectors of Type “CHAdeMO” for a transitional period ending on 31 December 2018.

 Justification

As the Combo technology is not fully ready at the moment and as there are more than 650 CHAdeMO chargers already installed in Europe, with more than 1 000 to be deployed by the end of 2013, it is important to set a time-limited transitional period where both systems can be deployed, with the final objective to find a single standard as indicated in the Commission proposal. 

While the phrase “transitional period ending on 31 December 2018” does sound ominous, the proposal (and it’s only a proposal) does not contain the words “termination” or “ban.” 

Would the European Parliament really decide to ban, or even discourage, a standard that’s used by thousands of existing chargers? Given that three EU members (Estonia, the Netherlands, the UK) have recently invested huge sums in CHAdeMO-compatible charging networks, and that giant European firm ABB is already happily installing chargers that work with both standards, would there not be substantial opposition to any such “ban”? 

These are some of the questions you might want to ask before bursting into flames about an ambiguously-worded proposal for something that might take place five years from now. Plug in your EV of choice, pour yourself a nice cup of tea, and relax.