CHAdeMO: Japan wants to set global standard for electric cars

The electric car continues to be a hot topic in Japan. A slew of influential Japanese companies like Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi (whose i miev is pictured above), or Tokyo Electric Power have now started an initiative aimed at creating a global standard, dubbed CHAdeMO, for high-speed battery chargers for electric cars. The consortium will consist of a total of 158 different companies and organizations.

The goal is to turn a charging system developed by Tokyo Electric Power into a global standard for electric cars. That system lets the charger determine what kind of batteries are installed and how much charge they require, basically a charging protocol. The technology is already being put to practical use by Mitsubishi and Subaru, with Nissan likely to follow.

Most electric cars still can’t travel more than 200km on a single charge, which makes the availability of brand-agnostic charging stations a critical factor for their future success.

Apart from Japanese firms (Honda, Mazda or Toshiba will also take part), the consortium also has European engineering group ABB, PSA from France (Peugeot, Citroën), German auto equipment giant Robert Bosch and a few other foreign companies among its members. The Japanese government is supporting the joint venture with $13.7 million.