Why can’t we agree on a DC fast charging standard?
This week the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), an influential electrical standards organization, officially recognized the Japanese CHAdeMO fast charging protocol as an international standard. It joins three other DC fast charging standards recognized internationally: Combo 1 (United States), Combo 2 (Germany), and GBT (China). These exist in addition to Tesla’s proprietary Supercharger network that delivers much higher power rates than typical DC fast chargers.
The SAE Combo standard, favored by American and European automakers, requires only a single charge port on the vehicle because it simply adds two pins to the base of the widespread standard J1772 plug for Level 2 charging. The CHAdeMO plug is bulkier and requires an additional charge point on the vehicle, as in the Nissan Leaf. Both are comparable in terms of capability for power delivery; this leaves ease of use and a single vehicle charge port as the only real (yet significant) advantages of the SAE Combo standard.