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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We Need More Than Just Electric Vehicles

To decarbonize road transport we need to complement EVs with bikes, rail, city planning, and alternative energy

11 min read
A worker works on the frame of a car on an assembly line.

China has more EVs than any other country—but it also gets most of its electricity from coal.

VCG/Getty Images
Green

EVs have finally come of age. The total cost of purchasing and driving one—the cost of ownership—has fallen nearly to parity with a typical gasoline-fueled car. Scientists and engineers have extended the range of EVs by cramming ever more energy into their batteries, and vehicle-charging networks have expanded in many countries. In the United States, for example, there are more than 49,000 public charging stations, and it is now possible to drive an EV from New York to California using public charging networks.

With all this, consumers and policymakers alike are hopeful that society will soon greatly reduce its carbon emissions by replacing today’s cars with electric vehicles. Indeed, adopting electric vehicles will go a long way in helping to improve environmental outcomes. But EVs come with important weaknesses, and so people shouldn’t count on them alone to do the job, even for the transportation sector.

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