One of the criticisms often levied at the drive to get electrically-powered vehicles from the fringe into the mainstream is the current lack of a network of charging stations.
Four car manufacturing giants have teamed up with a utility service provider to tackle this problem head on. The newly formed CHAdeMO Association is not only calling for a standard method for charging electric vehicles to be adopted but is also hoping to add some much-needed momentum to the global installation of fast charging solutions.
Mitsubishi, Toyota, Nissan, Fuji Heavy Industries and the Tokyo Electric Power Company have teamed up to help speed up global installation of fast charging technology and so provide an essential support infrastructure for the rollout of electric vehicles. A difficult enough task in itself but the CHAdeMO Association will also look at standardizing how electric vehicles are charged and so avoid any frustrating compatibility issues for users.
These objectives are not as clear cut as they may appear. Rolling out a charging infrastructure that can meet the real-world current and future requirements of everyday electric and hybrid vehicle users needs significant investment as well as political will and mass cooperation. Then there’s the issue of getting members of a competitive industry to agree on a standard charging method or even a standard voltage.
Huge challenges ahead
In promoting “electric vehicles through the efforts of technical improvements of quick chargers, standardization activities of charging methods, and international extension of our knowledge related to quick-charger installations”, the Association certainly has its work cut out for it. But without such an effort, the mass adoption of the electric vehicle might never happen.
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