Battle for e-car plug seems to be fought
It seems that the European and German car industry has won the battle for the plug and matching connector for the electric car in Europe. So far, different plugs are used, but the CCS plug might win.
An electric car cannot be charged with any plug. Charging stations along the highway have several plugs: a regular AC plug for slow charging, a European CCS plug for fast charging, and a CHAdeMO plug, also for fast charging, but especially for Japanese cars. Tesla also uses a specific plug for its network of direct-current fast chargers.
Advantages of CCS
Numerous European manufacturers, including Ford, Mercedes, and BMW, as well as the Korean players, Hyundai-Kia, have opted for the CCS (Combined Charging System) plug. The main advantage of this system is that it integrates the connections for charging on alternating current (single-phase or three-phase) and fast charging on direct current in one connector.
Favour CCS above CHAdeMO
The European fast charging network of Ionity only uses the CCS connectors. In this way, European constructors are favored over Japanese constructors who have been using CHAdeMO fast loading technology for about ten years, for example in the Nissan Leaf. Tesla has already indicated that new models will also switch to the CCS system.
Even charging networks choose for CCS
“The development of a European network of fast chargers is a commendable initiative”, says Michiel Langezaal, CEO of the Dutch network of FastNed fast-charging stations. “However, the European Commission should never have allowed the stations to be accessible only to cars with a CCS plug”, he adds. According to Mark Pecqueur, car technology teacher at Thomas More College: “It is incomprehensible that we are unable to introduce one single plug for the whole world”.
Future for CHAdeMO?
According to observers, much greater investments are being made in charging infrastructure with CCS plugs. While charging with a CHAdeMO plug is limited to 50 kW and perhaps 100 kW in the future, FastNed is now installing CCS charging points that can charge up to 175 kW or even 350 kW.
According to Melvin Keuter, spokesman for Nissan Belgium: “the CHAdeMo plug is ideal for bi-directional charging, which means that the energy of the car battery can also be released to the grid.” Although this system was announced almost two years ago, it is still not available to private customers today. There are only B2B pilot projects running.