CHAdeMO is the trade name of a quick charging method for battery electric vehicles delivering up to 62.5 kW of direct current (500 V, 125 A) via a special electrical connector. It is proposed as a global industry standard by an association of the same name and included in IEC 62196 as type 4. A competing standard, Combined Charging System, has support from more major auto manufacturers.
CHAdeMO is an abbreviation of "CHArge de MOve", equivalent to "move using charge" or "move by charge". The name is also a pun drawn from O cha demo ikaga desuka in Japanese, translating to English as "How about some tea?", referring to the time it would take to charge a car. CHAdeMO can charge low-range (120 km / 75miles) electric cars in less than half an hour.
CHAdeMO was formed by The Tokyo Electric Power Company, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Fuji Heavy Industries (the manufacturer of Subaru vehicles). Toyota later joined as its fifth executive member. Three of these companies have developed electric vehicles that use TEPCO's DC connector for quick charging.
Most electric vehicles (EVs) have an on-board charger that uses a rectifier circuit to transform alternating current from the electrical grid (mains AC) to direct current (DC) suitable for recharging the EV's battery pack. Cost and thermal issues limit how much power the rectifier can handle, so beyond around 240 V AC and 75 A it is better for an external charging station to deliver direct current (DC) to the vehicle's battery pack. Given these limits, most conventional charging solutions are based on either 240V/30A service in the USA and Japan, 240 V, 70 A service in Canada or the 230 V, 15 A or 3Φ, 400 V, 32 A service in Europe and Australia. (While AC charging systems have been specified with higher limits - SAE J1772-2009 has an option for 240 V, 80 A and VDE-AR-E 2623-2-2 has 3Φ, 400 V, 63 A - these charging station types have been rarely deployed in the US and only electric vehicles made by Tesla have a matching rectifier.)
For faster charging, dedicated chargers can be built in permanent locations and provided with high-amperage connections to the grid. In this style of connection, the charger's DC output has no effective limit, theoretical or practical. Such high voltage and high-current charging is called a DC Fast Charge (DCFC) or DC Quick Charging (DCQC).
TEPCO has developed patented technology and a specification for high-voltage (up to 500 V DC) high-current (125 A) automotive fast charging via a JARI (Japan Automobile Research Institute) DC fast charge connector. It appears this is the basis for the CHAdeMO protocol. The connector is specified by the JEVS (Japan Electric Vehicle Standard) G105-1993 from the JARI.
In addition to carrying power the connector also makes a data connection using the CAN bus protocol. This performs functions such as a safety interlock to avoid energizing the connector before it's safe (similar to SAE J1772), transmitting battery parameters to the charging station including when to stop charging (top battery percentage, usually 80%), target voltage, and total battery capacity, and while charging how the station should vary its output current.
The CHAdeMO quick charge option was promoted by Nissan-Renault and it has found acceptance with Japanese car manufacturers to allow their electric cars to benefit from the CHAdeMO charger network in Japan. Models supporting CHAdeMO charging include:
Citroën Berlingo EV
Honda Fit EV
Kia Soul EV
Mazda Demio EV
Mitsubishi i MiEV
Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV
Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV
Peugeot Partner EV
Subaru Stella EV
Tesla Model S (via Tesla CHAdeMO adapter accessory)
Tesla Model X (via Tesla CHAdeMO adapter accessory)
Toyota RAV4 EV First Generation 2001-2003 (with after-market add-on)
Toyota RAV4 EV Second Generation 2012-2014 (with after-market add-on)
Zero Motorcycles (via optional inlet)
After the creation of the IEC 62196-3 offboard charger standard, Nissan accepted proposals to have DC charging stations equipped with both Chademo and Combo outlets. Quick Charge Power of San Diego plans to offer Chademo retrofits for the second generation Toyota RAV4 EV and the Mercedes B-Class starting in 2015.
CHAdeMO-type fast charging stations have been installed in great numbers by the utility TEPCO in Japan, which required the creation of an additional power distribution network to supply these stations.
As of April 20, 2016, the CHAdeMO Association web site states that there are 11,291 CHAdeMO chargers installed. These include 6,469 in Japan, 3,028 in Europe, 1,686 in the USA, and 108 elsewhere.
The West Coast Electric Highway (WCEH) is an extensive network of electric vehicle (EV) DC fast charging stations located every 25 to 50 miles along Interstate 5 and other major roadways in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.
The build out of the WCEH began in 2010 with the deployment of CHAdeMO and Level 2 charging stations. There are is now a network with thousands of Level 2 charging pedestals and dozens of DC fast chargers including both Combined Charging System and CHAdeMO.
In the USA, Aker Wade Power Technologies has entered into a licensing agreement with TEPCO to manufacture and market DC fast chargers for electric vehicles. Eaton Corporation has demonstrated a CHAdeMO-compatible DC Quick Charger recharging Mitsubishi iMiEV cars. ECOtality has deployed the Blink DC Fast Charger, which is outfitted with two CHAdeMO-compliant electric vehicle charging connectors, in the Blink Network. AeroVironment offers a broad line of DC fast chargers including two CHAdeMO certified Quick Charger models. Princeton Power Systems' UL-certified (2202 and 1741) bi-directional CHADEMO charger fast-charger is capable of charging and discharging from the Nissan LEAF, for both grid-tied and backup-power modes. The fast-chargers are available in 10 kW, 15 kW, and 30 kW sizes. Fuji Electric Corporation of America announced a 25 kW CHAdeMO quick charger integrated with Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint® Network. ABB manufactures 50 kW and 20 kW CHAdeMO models with UL certification for the Americas markets.
Recently Andromeda Power introduced the first and only mobile DC CHAdeMO 50 kW charger .
In Europe, Evtronic, Schneider-Electric, SGTE Power, CIRCONTROL (Spanish manufacturer), ABB, formerly Epyon,GH EverDrive and Efacec that was the first European company to get CHAdeMO certification, make fast chargers equipped with the latest CHAdeMO communication protocol.
Nissan has developed a Quick EV Charger that follows the CHAdeMO protocol for 1,470,000 to 1,732,500 Yen (approx. US$16,000–19,000 as of May 2010) and intends to install them at 200 dealers in Japan.
Polar Power Inc. also has developed Mobile Rapid Battery Charging Generators (8340P-40422) for Electric Car Applications; multiple variations of the CHAdeMo Protocol can be stored in the Polar Charger at the same time and automatically implemented when the charge is plugged into that vehicle model. These DC Rapid Chargers are set up to communicate with CHAdeMo and can be programmed to operate with other battery / automotive systems.
The state of California will be installing 200 public fast-charging stations that support both CHAdeMO and the SAE fast-charge system through a settlement with NRG Energy.
SAE J1772 offers a standard for Level 1 (120V) and Level 2 (240V) EV charging. The 2009 version defined a connector for 120 V/240 VAC charging up to 19.2 kW. In October 2012, SAE revised the specification to add a Combo Coupler variant of the J1772 connector with additional pins to accommodate fast DC charging at 200–450 V DC up to 90 kW. The Nissan Leaf has receptacles for both the TEPCO and SAE J1772-2009 connectors, though in the United States the TEPCO plug is only included as a factory option on the higher-end SL model. It is also available as a $700 factory added feature on the S and SV models.
German companies have proposed the VDE-AR-E 2623-2-2 standard as an implementation of IEC 62196 in IEC proposal 62196-2-X. It uses the round seven-pin Mennekes connector to deliver up to 63 A three-phase (at 400 V in Central Europe). This connector has been chosen by several European automakers for prototype electric vehicles. It will also be extended with DC wires into a Combo Coupler variant.
Both these national standards have been added to the international IEC 62196-2 standard as "Type 1" and "Type 2" respectively. IEC 62196-2 also documents the connector type proposed by the EV Plug Alliance as "Type 3". Following up to Part 2 of IEC 62196 there has been approved new work on a Part 3 of the standard covering DC charging with the specification expected to be final by December 2013. This international IEC connector for DC charging will either extend or replace the national CHAdeMO standard. On occasion of the second EV World Summit in June 2013 both a Chademo and a Volkswagen-group spokesperson have pointed out that a concurrency between Chademo and Combined Charging System is not required as the additional cost of a dual-protocol rapid charge station is a mere 5% - thus multi-standard DC chargers are being advocated by Chademo, Volkswagen and Nissan so that cars with either a Chademo coupler or a Combo coupler can take advantage of a rapid charge installation.