DC Fast Charging is increasingly seen as a “must have” feature for an EV. Japanese automakers are committed to the CHAdeMO standard, while their US and European colleagues are equally locked into the competing CCS standard. However, as a Korean company, Kia was free to choose whichever system it thought best for its new Soul EV.
“We looked at both standards – it was about three years ago when we needed to make that decision,” EV Product Manager Steve Kosowski told Charged. “At the time, there was some genuine interest in CCS. Then we looked at the volume of CHAdeMO chargers in the US, and we thought the prudent thing to do was to fit the car with the CHAdeMO port, and it seems to be the right decision.”
EVSE makers are poised to profit no matter which standard eventually wins out – many are manufacturing dual-standard chargers. “I think there’s a growing proliferation of CCS devices, but a lot of new chargers are fitted with both nozzles,” said Kosowski. “It’s kind of like a gas pump, where you you’ve got a diesel nozzle and a gasoline nozzle.”
Kia decided to install a dual-standard DC Fast Charger at each of its dealership locations, and it chose the ABB Terra 53 CJ. “We wanted to make a long-term investment, so if you’ve got a $30,000 charger and you’ve got the choice to offer both ports, it’s prudent to do so,” said Kosowski. “The dealer can charge a Soul EV, a LEAF or an i-MiEV. But, if somebody wheels up in an i3, a Chevy Spark or an e-Golf, you’ve got the option to charge them…and it’s an opportunity for the dealer to give them a Soul EV to test-drive.”