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China and Japan Push for a Global Charging Standard for EVs

CHAdeMO and the China Electricity Council invite other countries to join them in creating an open charging standard for electric vehicles

4 min read
Nissan Leaf 'filling up' at a CHAdeMO standard charger.
A Nissan Leaf “fills up” at a CHAdeMO standard charger.
Photo: Nissan

Two industry groups, Japan’s CHAdeMO and the China Electricity Council, which are the world’s strongest proponents of electric vehicles (EVs), announced in late August they would codevelop an ultrafast charging protocol for EVs. Now, the partners, under the supervision of both the Japanese and Chinese governments, are inviting other countries to join the endeavor. Their goal is to develop a global standard for all types of EVs by 2020.

CHAdeMO, a consortium of automotive, power generation, and IT companies (including Kia, Mitsubishi Motors, and Nissan), has the largest global installation of DC chargers for electric vehicles: 22,647 units operating in 71 countries as of September, according to the group’s own figures. This includes more than 2,900 in North America, and over 7,900 in Europe.

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Self-Driving Cars Work Better With Smart Roads

Intelligent infrastructure makes autonomous driving safer and less expensive

9 min read
A photograph shows a single car headed toward the viewer on the rightmost lane of a three-lane road that is bounded by grassy parkways, one side of which is planted with trees. In the foreground a black vertical pole is topped by a crossbeam bearing various instruments. 

This test unit, in a suburb of Shanghai, detects and tracks traffic merging from a side road onto a major road, using a camera, a lidar, a radar, a communication unit, and a computer.

Shaoshan Liu

Enormous efforts have been made in the past two decades to create a car that can use sensors and artificial intelligence to model its environment and plot a safe driving path. Yet even today the technology works well only in areas like campuses, which have limited roads to map and minimal traffic to master. It still can’t manage busy, unfamiliar, or unpredictable roads. For now, at least, there is only so much sensory power and intelligence that can go into a car.

To solve this problem, we must turn it around: We must put more of the smarts into the infrastructure—we must make the road smart.

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