We’ve all been there, you desperately need a charge. Maybe you misjudged a bit, now you don’t have the miles to get home. Thinking you’re saved, you pull into the local EV-charging spot at the stores when…oh no, it’s a different plug! Well, now one of the institutes behind those plugs has gone and changed it again, introducing CHAdeMO 3.0.
The sleek new revision of CHAdeMO comes from an alliance between Chinese and Japanese ventures, who will likely see the new plug adopted by a variety of countries in the coming months. India looks likely to join first, with South Korea a little less certain.
The advantages of ChAdeMO, as opposed to CCS ports found in most US plugs, is that it has offered bi-directional power. This advantage is huge for the future of EV-to-grid power solutions, where cars can help round off the peaks of electricity consumption, in the way that Tesla Powerwalls might (when allowed to power back into the grid). Now, CCS is looking to adopt this capability in future standards as well, but CHAdeMo has been a leader so far.
It goes without saying, that this 3.0 revision will carry higher wattage for faster charging, with it being designed for 500kW at a max of 600A. For comparison, the Tesla V3 superchargers push 25kW at around 430A. On top of that power increase, the 3.0 adds liquid cooling, this allows for a smaller head and cable than the 2.0 revision, think USB A 3.0 to USB C Thunderbolt.
CHAdeMO claims that despite the new interface and GB/T protocols, the new plug will be backwards compatible with existing EVs. Even though one space-saving feature was to move the locking mechanism from the male connector to the car’s receptacle, this is accounted for with the adaptors which will be available.
Hopefully there will be a CHAdeMO 3.0 to Tesla adaptor. Regardless, it is comforting to know that chargers are continuing to improve, and that alliances between manufacturers will lead to fewer standards to choose from.