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 plugshare.com 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.org

CHAdeMO 150219-650

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

SAE CCS 150219-650

Tesla Supercharger U.S. stations – 89 according to plugshare.com

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 plugshare.com.

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.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Carl February 21, 2015 at 12:23 pm

Great comparison. In thinking about it logically it makes sense that Tesla would develop a strategy for long distance travel. Since the vehicle has the capability to travel long distances it doesn’t make sense to focus on a regional network. Since one can drive around on daily commutes and make it back home to charge with plenty to spare (300 miles is a typical amount of weekly driving for myself). Until the other cars are able to catch up (or Tesla downgrades battery packs) this trend should continue.

We drove our Leaf from San Diego to Disneyland. It took about 4 hours (twice as long as normal) as we had to stop to charge a couple of times to make the one-way 105 mile trip. Though the entire trip cost us $6 in charging fees (normally around $75 to $100 in gas) as we only paid at Disneyland to recharge the car.

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Ernie Hernandez February 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm

Carl – Welcome to Living LEAF. Thanks for your comments. I think that as electric cars from all makers develop longer driving ranges, we will see more development of a longer-distance charge network. Also, it will make trips to Disneyland from San Diego more enjoyable!

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Jim February 24, 2015 at 8:41 am

Is there any prospect of a CHAdeMO to CCS adapter?. I understand that there is a Tesla to J1772 adapter for example.
The sooner the Level 3 charging has one standard the better.

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Ernie Hernandez February 25, 2015 at 7:18 am

Jim – Welcome to Living LEAF. I’m not aware of one, but as the CCS standard has been out just a short time I expect there to be something in the future.

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