CHAdeMO vs. SAE CCS vs. Tesla Supercharger

by Ernie Hernandez on February 19, 2015

CHAdeMO Connector-600

Who is king of the mountain?

While editing my last post, looking at the maps of DC quick chargers in Japan and in the United States, it made me wonder how the coverage would compare when evaluating the three standards available in the U.S. now. Using the site once again, here is a visual comparison of the CHAdeMO standard, SAE Combo Connector (sometimes referred to as CCS or Combined Charging System), and the Tesla Supercharger network.

CHAdeMO U.S. charge stations – 854 according to

CHAdeMO 150219-650

SAE CCS U.S. charge stations – 109 according to

SAE CCS 150219-650

Tesla Supercharger U.S. stations – 89 according to

Tesla Supercharger 150219-650

It is clear that the CHAdeMO standard has a significantly larger installed base at the moment. That said, I just wrote an article (found here) about the addition of roughly 100 SAE CCS stations thanks to BMW and Volkswagen which are not reflected on the map above. These will be part of the ChargePoint network, and ChargePoint just announced that some of these stations will also support the CHAdeMO standard. The additional stations will be primarily up and down the East Coast and West Coast Interstate corridors.

I know that Tesla has plans to continually expand their Supercharger network, and when I visited their site to find out more information, I also found a more complete picture than that shown by

Tesla Supercharger U.S. stations – 169 according to Tesla

Teslas Supercharger 150219-650

On Tesla’s map the red stations are already installed and the gray stations are planned. Each station offers multiple chargers, which is sometimes the case with both CHAdeMO and SAE CCS. Interestingly plugshare users don’t seem to drive Teslas. Or if they do, they aren’t as interested in updating the plugshare database.

The advantage that the Tesla network provides is a cohesive, manufacturer backed installation that is clearly geared for long distance travel, albeit along narrowly defined routes at the moment. The deployment of the CHAdeMO and SAE CCS networks currently lean more toward regional travel – which makes sense since these vehicles currently offer a shorter range than the Model S. The Supercharger network is not as useful for local or regional travel except perhaps around the Bay Area in California or New York.

It will likely be decades before the U.S. quick charge map is saturated. But considering that none of these maps had any charge stations five years ago, I’d say we’re making measurable progress.


Are electric car charging stations taking over Japan?

by Ernie Hernandez on February 17, 2015

gas vs. electric

The real story is the quick chargers

Many in the media lately have been writing about the recent announcement by a Nissan Japan corporate VP that there are more electric car charging stations in Japan than there are gas stations. It’s not much of a stretch to then move on to say that there are more 120 volt outlets in America than gas stations so electric cars win. Let’s take a closer look at the statement though.

Joji Tagawa, Vice President, Investor Relations said that there are 40,000 charge stations including those in private residences, while there are roughly 34,000 gas stations. Each gas station offers multiple pumps though, while only some electric car charging stations offer multiple units. Also, the private residence charge stations aren’t generally available to the public. Of more importance though, which many have missed, is that there will be nearly 3,000 quick charge stations in Japan by the end of March, 2015, almost 6,000 globally, up from just hundreds in 2011 when the LEAF was launched. Below is a look at the quick charge picture in Japan, courtesy of chargers Japan

In fact, there are so many quick chargers there, let me show you the image without the chargers so you can see how big the actual country is. Many of the smaller islands also offer DC quick chargers allowing travel around pretty much the entire country by electric car.

Quick chargers Japan-2

Now let’s take a look at what this same quick charge picture looks like here in the states:

quick chargers us 1502

It seems pretty clear that the need for all of those 240 volt stations in Japan is dramatically reduced if you have enough DC quick charge stations to support your travel needs. In the west and in the east we seem to be moving in the right direction, but we have a long way to go in the middle of the country. The US map does not include Tesla Superchargers as the Model S is the only vehicle that can use them, but it does include CHAdeMO and SAE Combo units. Japan has nearly 3,000 quick chargers. We have less than 1,000 in the US.

Why do all of these quick chargers¬†matter? It’s the rare trip that is over 400 miles a day. Once we get affordable 200 mile electric cars, that trip can be taken with a meal break (who wants to spend 400 miles behind the wheel anyway?)


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Chevrolet Bolt misses that mark Chevrolet announced the Bolt concept electric car at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit with a price of $30,000 and a driving range of 200 miles. The Bolt’s $30k price point is to be reached after incentives, which means that the vehicle price will be roughly $37,500. Elon […]

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Renault-Nissan Alliance sells 200,000th EV globally

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Alliance has 58% market share In addition to great market share, Nissan and Renault electric vehicles (EVs) share another commonality – EVs have the highest customer satisfaction rate of all models offered by both brands, a great indicator of continued future success. Nissan has sold 148,700 EVs globally since the launch of the LEAF in […]

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2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

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The year of the Fuel Cell? First – above you see Nissan’s BladeGlider concept. Nothing new here as this was announced by Nissan almost exactly a year ago. But this is the first time that we’ve actually had a chance to look at one in real-life. I must admit… it looks just as weird in […]

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Nissan acknowledged for environmental performance

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Nissan achieves perfect score in 2014 climate change report The LEAF is not the only area of Nissan’s emphasis toward improving our environment. Last year Nissan reduced global corporate activity CO2 emissions while increasing production over 5 percent. The company is on track to reducing such emissions by 20 percent (from 2005 to 2016). Nissan […]

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