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CCS, CHAdeMO, GB/T: A Cross-Continental Guide for EV Charging Standards

Discover the four major international EV charging standards in action.
Current-GB-have-both-AC-and-DC-charging-jacks

Table of Contents

The foundation for efficient electric vehicle charging lies in the adaptability of charging stations to all electric vehicles. This adaptability is crucial to eliminate compatibility issues between charging stations and electric vehicles, ultimately necessitating a unified EV charging standard.
 
As with the evolution of various industries, the EV charging standards sector is undergoing a process of gradual standardization. It’s only through standardization that we can effectively govern the interface and interoperability between electric vehicles and charging infrastructure. This standardization also imposes requirements on the quality and performance of charging stations, ensuring the safety of the charging process. Moreover, it outlines criteria for the widespread deployment and operation of charging stations and paves the way for international market expansion and the promotion of international standardization.
 

Four International Mainstream EV Charging Standards

Four-international-mainstream-EV-charging-standards
Four-international-mainstream-EV-charging-standards
 
Currently, there are four primary international standards for charging stations, namely the Chinese National Standard GB/T, the American CCS1 Standard (Combo/Type 1), the European CCS2 Standard (Combo/Type 2), and the Japanese CHAdeMO Standard.
 

CCS (Combined Charging System)

 
The CCS (Combined Charging System) standard emerged from a collaboration between the American Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the European Association of Automotive Industries (ACEA). Formally established during the 26th World Electric Vehicle Conference in Los Angeles in 2012, the CCS standard gained traction through the joint efforts of major U.S. and German automakers like Ford, GM, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, and Chrysler. It rapidly found recognition within the U.S. and German automotive industry associations.
 
The unique advantage of this charging interface lies in its integration of both regular and fast charging capabilities into a single plug and socket. It accommodates single-phase, three-phase alternating current, and direct current, making it a prevalent charging station standard in the United States, the European Union, and countries adopting these standards, including South Korea, Singapore, India, Russia, among others. This standard sets a pinnacle in the industry, fostering competition and innovation.
 
In the realm of charging stations, Japan has leveraged its robust automotive technology and industrial prowess to push for its own standards. Electric vehicles in Japan have a longer history of development, and this influence extends to charging station standards. Facing competition from the Japanese standard, the European Union enacted the Alternative Energy Infrastructure Construction Directive in September 2014, mandating the prohibition of Japanese CHAdeMO standard charging stations after 2019. Instead, it required the implementation of the CCS Type 2 standard, which is progressively becoming the primary European charging station standard.
 
The CCS Type 2 standard, operating in DC fast charging mode at 500V and 200A, can recharge an electric vehicle with a range of 350 kilometers in just 30 minutes. Currently, prominent European brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi endorse CCS Type 2 standard charging stations.

EV-charging-station-for-type-1-socket

EV charging station for type 1 socket

EV-charging-station-type-2-socket
EV charging station type 2 socket

Japanese CHAdeMO Standard

 
The CHAdeMO standard, introduced by the Japan Electric Vehicle Association (JEVA) and the Japan Electric Vehicle Charging Association (JEVCA), was conceived in March 2010. Major Japanese automakers, prominent electric vehicle companies, and the government collaborated to establish the Electric Vehicle Charging Association and unveil the CHAdeMO standard. Translating to “charging time as short as a tea break,” CHAdeMO represents a high-power fast charging standard.
 
In the quest to globalize this standard, major Japanese automakers and charging station operators jointly promoted it in Europe and the United States, gaining an early advantage. Automakers like Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi, and Tokyo Electric Power Company rallied behind the CHAdeMO standard. Early success stories like the Nissan LEAF, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, and South Korea’s Kia SOUL EV also adopted this standard.
 
The Japanese government, keen to promote its standard, even offered substantial subsidies for the construction of Japanese-standard charging stations in the United States, amounting to $10,000 per station, reflecting a significant commitment to promoting their charging station standard worldwide. By 2012, the CHAdeMO standard had already spread to 24 countries, prompting the European Union to propose the ban on Japanese-standard charging stations, as mentioned earlier.
Japanese-CHAdeMO-standard-charging-gun
Japanese CHAdeMO standard charging gun

Chinese National Standard GB/T

 
With the rapid growth of China’s electric vehicle industry, the nation has emerged as the world’s leading producer and consumer of electric vehicles. Consequently, China has established its independent charging standard, known as China’s national standard GB/T Electric Vehicle Charging Pile Charging Station Standard. The unification of charging standards is a crucial element in constructing China’s electric vehicle ecosystem. China confronts not only fierce competition within the electric vehicle market but also a global battle for charging station standardization.
 
GB-AC-charging-gun-and-socket
GB AC charging gun and socket
 
GB-DC-charging-guns-and-sockets
GB DC charging guns and sockets
 
As far back as 2010, when the domestic electric vehicle industry was in its infancy, discussions arose about China’s endeavors to compete with automotive powerhouses like Europe, the United States, and Japan in the global development of charging standards. However, industry immaturity and the instability of electric vehicle technology at that time shifted the focus toward vehicle production, with the development of service facilities and standards lagging behind.
 
Early charging interface standards encompassed general requirements, AC charging interfaces, DC charging interfaces, and communication protocol standards, all released by the end of 2011. Nevertheless, due to limited application experience and data, some technical aspects and terms in these standards lacked adequate detail. Consequently, compatibility issues persisted between various vehicles and charging facilities during the application process.
 
In 2014, the National Standards Committee initiated a plan to revise these standards, leading to extensive discussions and experiments involving the automotive and power industries to refine the standards.
 
Current-GB-have-both-AC-and-DC-charging-jacks
Current GB have both AC and DC charging jacks
 
 
On December 28, 2015, the State Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, in collaboration with the National Standards Commission, the National Energy Administration, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the Ministry of Science and Technology, released five newly revised national standards for electric vehicle charging interfaces and communication protocols. These standards came into effect on January 1, 2016.
 
The five standards include:
 
  1. GB/T 18487.1-2015 Conductive Charging System for Electric Vehicles General Requirements
  2. GB/T 20234.1-2015 General Requirements for Connection Devices for Conductive Charging of Electric Vehicles
  3. GB/T 20234.2-2015 AC charging interface of connection device for conductive charging of electric vehicles
  4. GB/T 20234.3-2015 Electric vehicle conductive charging connection device DC charging interface
  5. GB/T 27930-2015 Communication protocol between non-vehicle-based conductive chargers and battery management systems for electric vehicles
 
In 2018, an additional five newly revised national standards further improved charging safety and compatibility. Simultaneously, China developed a series of standards related to high-power charging, low-power DC charging, wireless charging, two-way interaction between charging and discharging in electric vehicles, and charging for special vehicles.
 

The New Generation of Charging Technology Standard – Chaoji

China-and-Japan-on-cooperation-of-EV-Charging-standards
China and Japan on cooperation of EV Charging standards
 
With China’s electric vehicle industry’s rapid ascent, Chinese standards are gaining global prominence. In September 2018, Yang Kun, Executive Vice President of the China Electricity Council (CEC), and Toshiyuki Shiga, President of the Electric Vehicle Charging Association of Japan (CHAdeMO), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on cooperation in technology and standards for electric vehicle charging facilities in Beijing. This agreement paved the way for collaboration between China’s Electricity Council standards and CHAdeMO standards, with plans to develop a new standard and introduce a new generation of chargers, this new technical standard was aptly named Chaoji.
 
The Chaoji charging standard is set to be a world-leading, advanced high-power charging standard pioneered by China. It represents a significant milestone in China’s electric vehicle industry development, shifting from follower to leader in unified charging technology standards. This achievement will also drive global electric vehicle industry advancement.
 
Currently, the world’s EV charging standards are fragmented into a four-world pattern. As the electric vehicle industry continues to evolve, questions loom regarding the potential unification of global charging standards and the feasibility of traveling worldwide with electric vehicles. The answers to these questions may gradually unfold as the electric vehicle industry develops. It’s a development worth keeping a close eye on.
 
 

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Leo has rich experience in the field of EV charger industry.

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