There are four main DC Fast Charger (a.k.a. DCQC – DC Quick Charge) contenders – here are the connectors and inlets:
Tesla DC Fast Charger is proprietary for good reason – Tesla built their own SuperCharger network around the world, but do the rest of the vehicle OEMs have to support multiple standards especially when the CapEx to install these chargers is nontrivial? World map Overview of AC and DC 3 Levels
In 2010, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi partnered to establish the CHAdeMO quick charge standard. Most current CHAdeMO chargers have charge speeds of 40 – 60 kW, which is fast enough to charge a Nissan LEAF to 80 percent in about a half hour. In the future that could rise to as high 100 kW as improvements are made to the technology. Nearly all of Japan’s DCQC stations are CHAdeMO. In the U.S. they make up nearly three quarters of the existing quick charge infrastructure. Worldwide, CHAdeMO passed the 10,000 station mark in late 2015, making it by far the most popular standard. Clearly the first big player in the industry was the Japanese CHAdeMO standard, supported heavily by Nissan. Mitsubishi also uses CHAdeMO, but their all-electric car sales have weakened over time, and for example, the DC inlet in the Outlander PHEV isn’t as important as it is for pure electric models (such as the i-MiEV). CHAdeMO leads, but now limps without broad support from the other manufacturers (outside Japan).
In late 2011, a second quick charge standard entered the fray. The Combined Charge System (CCS) standard got its name because it built on the existing J1772 Level 2 charge standard to allow for all three speeds of charging from a single port. (In CHAdeMO vehicles, the Level 2 and DCQC ports must be placed side by side to allow for multiple speeds.) Spearheaded by American and European carmakers, CCS chargers improved several of the practicality and cost issues associated with CHAdeMO while allowing for a higher potential rate of charge. While existing CCS chargers typically run at the same speeds as CHAdeMO, the standard allows for a theoretical maximum of 350 kW through the port—more than twice as fast as a Tesla Supercharger.
Example of preference in e-bus market – Proterra is going with the CCS Combo DC fast charging standard for its electric buses so that the infrastructure will be universal for any CCS vehicles now and in the future. The bus maker recently ordered 57 Tritium Veefil-RT chargers that supply up to 50 kW DC – enough for an overnight charge, even for batteries as large as in the case of buses.
Efacec’s First 350 kW CCS Combo DC Fast Chargers Already Up & Running. For upcoming, long-range EVs, Efacec intends to offer chargers capable of charging from 350 A and 1000 V (920 V nominal).
U.S. largest non-Tesla DC Fast Charging network is EVgo. Problem with this network is low power (50kW max) and limited time allotment per charge session. EVgo and others need to step up their game to 150kW minimum.
Mitsubishi’s Outlander PHEV, for example, is available with quick-charge capability in Japan but Mitsubishi recently announced that it won’t offer the option in the U.S.
In fact, there are currently no plug-in hybrids sold in the U.S. with a DCQC port. This is more a reflection of the added cost of the feature and limited availability of infrastructure than demand from drivers. A recent survey by one of the nation’s leading charge providers, NRG EVgo, found that given the option of both chargers at a single site, drivers preferred DCQCs 12-to-1 over Level 2 charging.
As Tesla realized though, the more immediate need is increasing the value proposition of their product by allowing owners to increase the distance they can drive in a given day without an extended period of charging—not attracting existing drivers to dealerships or shopping centers already within range of their homes.