Quick Charge Power to offer CHAdeMO DC Fast Charging upgrade for Toyota RAV4 EV

CHAdeMO Plug 2 (ChargedEVs)

Quick Charge Power, the EVSE company founded by well-known EV advocated Tony Williams, is developing kits for drivers who are looking for a serious charging upgrade. For EV owners without a DC Fast Charging option, Williams is building a CHAdeMO upgrade kit called JdeMO.

The idea was inspired by Williams’s Toyota RAV4 EV, which was sold without any DC Fast Charging option. “There are a whole bunch of EVs already sold without any fast charging,” Williams told Charged during a recent interview, “and we’ve had a number of people ask us if we could build a kit for their car.”

That’s no simple task, because the CHAdeMO kits need to communicate with the battery management system (BMS). Automakers are not interested in sharing that sort of data, so each make and model requires a time-consuming reverse engineering process. “We need to know the exact chemistry of cells and the characteristics of that chemistry so we can mitigate bad behavior very quickly,” said Williams. “With that information we monitor the BMS, via the CAN bus, for any messages of problems like over voltage, over current or over temp. We program in those basic variables and then tell the DC Fast Charger what to do. If there’s a fault of any kind, it immediately shuts down. The CHAdeMO standard is open – anyone can download the specs. It’s a very logical and smart engineering solution.”

Toyota Rav4 EV 1 (Charged EVs)

The JdeMO kit will only be available for professional installation on the Toyota RAV4 EV in Summer 2015. Williams is very cautious about selling JdeMO to the general public because “there is just too great a risk of injury while working with high-voltage DC. Eventually, limited availability will be allowed to the hobbyist/homebuilder EV market with the necessary and appropriate safeguards.”

After the company finishes JdeMO testing, which is currently underway with nine RAV4s, Williams believes the same system will work on the other EVs designed by Tesla, including the Roadster, Model S, and Mercedes B-Class ED. “From there, we’ll probably move on to the BMW i3, which is the most popular car without a widespread fast charging solution,” said Williams. Although the i3 is sold in the US with SAE’s CCS Fast Charging port as an option, Williams believes that so far few buyers have opted in, because only a handful of CCS chargers currently exist. “Let’s say you live in Oregon or Washington State, which have only a couple CCS chargers but a hundred CHAdeMO chargers – you wouldn’t buy the CCS option on the i3.”

JdeMO (Quick Charge Power)

Williams suspects that a large chunk of RAV4 owners will be interested in a CHAdeMO upgrade, “because that car is a whole new world with the CHAdeMO plug on it. It’s going to be completely orphaned by Toyota, since they’ve discontinued it, but the people who own the car really love it.”

More on Quick Charge Power with Tony Williams in the latest issue of Charged (subscribe here).

  • BruceW2014

    What Mr. Williams fails to recognize, I hope on purpose and not due to ignorance or not being up on current events, is that Chargepoint with BMW and Volkswagen to install corridor CSS fast charging EVSE along both east and west coasts to start.

    But, why won’t he take up the challenge of the most sold EV on the market, Chevy Volt?

    • ned_plimpton

      How would CSS corridors help people who own the rav4EV, or an i3 without a CCS options. BMW is selling CCS with all i3s now, but there are thousands that don’t have it and they don’t offer upgrades.

      My question is, who would void their warranty and risk serious damage to the batteries by letting a third party tie-in directly to them? The system would bypass all the safe guards put in place by the auto makers.

      • Mike I

        In the RAV4 EV case, the Tesla BMS already indicates the charging limit. The on-board charger is rarely above that limit, so it doesn’t come into play most of the time. The on-board charger only tapers at the end of a Extended Charge. So, Tony’s add-on must simply communicate that charge limit to the DCFC unit according to the CHAdeMO standard. Presumably, Tony would only do the i3 CHAdeMO if the BMW does something similar and the car is already indicating the charge limit. This should be easy to observe on on the CANbus of a car that that is charging on CCS.

        • ned_plimpton

          I understand that it’s doable. My concern is one of quality assurance. The automakers are really conservative and tirelessly test as many real world scenarios as possible. You should see GM’s battery pack testing lab, it huge. They use it to cycle packs over and over to see what could go wrong while charging, that they haven’t thought of yet.

          If this CHAdeMO hack over chargers once, for whatever unforeseen reason, the batteries could be seriously damaged. I certainly would not want to be an early user of the system.

          • Jasona Ev

            It’s not a “hack”, we’re currently using it now. The BMS is always in full control of the pack and cell voltages. This is why amateurs shouldn’t be allowed to play with HV and EV’s. Same thing was said when we started to add additional on-board L2 chargers to the Leaf (aka Brusa units) they said it couldn’t be done, it was dangerous, etc..

            We did it, and have PLENTY of modified Leafs out there running around without a single hitch. All CAN controlled by the car’s BMS system.

            Damaged LOL… (you know if you step outside a plane might fall on your head)

      • BruceW2014

        But my point is why hasn’t GM put that into its design for the current model? Don’t they want to stay competitive and reach BEV level at some point to stay in the game? And, even if they don’t care about Tesla battery technology, as reports have published, upholding all their awards for their design without increasing range significantly seems like it’s kinda reaching the end of the line especially when there are cheaper BEV alternatives and an exponential increase in EVSE, ie, PG&E in N California to install 25k EVSE plus Chargepoint & BMW w/ Volkswagen, too.

    • Incredulocious

      Chevy Volt?? Why would you bother with DC fast charging such a small battery?

      • BruceW2014

        Because it takes 4 hours to charge under Level 2. Isn’t the whole idea of this to implement the latest amd, frankly, oldest technology for even just lead acid batteries?

    • Jasona Ev

      What you failed to realize is they are all going to be dual head/combo CSS/CHAdeMO Efacec 50kw units. Do a little more research next time before you speak. http://www.chargepoint.com/files/Efecec_QC_50_DC_fast_charger_datasheet.pdf

  • Mike I

    It seems to me that of the vehicles listed above as candidates for adding CHAdeMO, only the B-Class and Roadster make sense. Those have larger batteries than the other 80-something mile cars and have no DCFC capability at all. I was hoping that MB would add CCS to the B-Class in the near future though. It’s really a glaring omission for a car that is really just starting to be offered. At least they came to their senses and made the Range Package standard equipment on the 2015, like BMW made CCS standard on the i3 for 2015.

  • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

    I’d like to thank Charged EV Magazine for following the progress of JdeMO.

    It would be difficult for me to address all the issues discussed, but generally speaking, ANY battery could be charged with CHAdeMO, provided it was between 50 and 500 volts and that battery has basic BMS data that can be sent to the charger.

    So, of course a Chevy Volt could be done. But, the amount of time and money required to make it work and the EXTREMELY low number of projected sales (why would you spend thousands to DC charge ever 30-40 miles when you just “buy gasoline”) make such a venture almost silly.

    The Toyota RAV4 EV, and Tesla Roadster are just the opposite; no gasoline, big batteries and long-ish range. So, with the projected sales from either of those ventures means that it is a viable project.

    As to ChargePoint working with BMW and VW, that has no bearing whatsoever on our projects. By the way, I am the part owner of the very first DC charger on the ChargePoint network.

    As to the scare mongerring (“it bypasses all the safeguards”), that’s a bit of ill informed silliness that isn’t worth debating. What is VERY real is that much like that posters thoughts, if anything should happen to the car at all, it will likely be a big fight for warranty repairs.

    Sadly, that fight is almost inevitable. But, the consumer doesn’t automatically lose; there are warranty regulations in this country to prevent arbitrary and capricious warranty claim denials.


    Tony Williams
    R&D Manager
    TonyWilliams ((( @ ))) QuickChargePower.com
    Twitter: QCPower
    1-844-387-2787 ext 701

    • Carney3

      Lack of DC QuickCharge of either variety has been a near deal killer for me for the Ford Focus Electric. If I could get Chademo for it, it would have a chance of beating out the Chevy Spark EV, which would retain only the better acceleration as a reason over the FFE, which wins on interior and exterior design, Sony sound system, and more rear passenger space. Any chance of doing this for the FFE?

      • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

        Yes, we are currently looking at the Ford Focus Electric after numerous requests. Please send an email to sales@QuickChargePower.com.

  • Josel Thess Castillo

    Please develope this for Kia Soul Ev too I believe us Canucks would love to have these on our base models, luxury just never came out this way!