Monday, January 3, 2011

U.S. Looks to Japan for EV Quick-Charge Plug

by Chuck Squatriglia, Wired (blog Autopia), Dec 30, 2010

 Photo: The i-MiEV charging at the nation’s first public DC quick charger, which opened earlier this year in Vacaville, California. /Mitsubishi

One major hurdle to the widespread adoption of electric vehicles is the time needed to recharge them. So-called quick chargers that do the job in about 30 minutes address that problem, but one major obstacle to the widespread adoption of quick chargers is the lack of a standardized plug.

That may soon change.

Earlier this year the Japanese embraced a standard plug they call CHAdeMO. Now it appears the United States may follow suit. According to a report in Yomiuri Shimbun, the United States (presumably through the Department of Energy) will install 310 CHAdeMO-equipped quick-chargers in Arizona, California, Texas, Tennessee, Oregon and Washington.

Those markets happen to be where the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt are currently available.

As Yomiuri Shimbun notes, widespread adoption of CHAdeMO by the United States and Japan almost certainly would make it the world standard for 440-volt DC charging. The Nissan Leaf already features a CHAdeMO-ready socket — it’s the larger one in the photo above. This is the first large-scale use of the standard outside of Japan, and speaks to the foresight of the Japanese automakers in rallying around a standard.

CHAdeMO, adopted by Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Subaru and 154 other Japanese companies, is a riff on charge de move, or, roughly, “charge for moving.” It’s also a pun on the Japanese phrase “O cha demo ikaga desuka,” which means, “Let’s have a tea while charging.” Full

(For EVs see also Deutsche Bank's research note, in my blog, here. -- D.R.)

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