Tesla Quietly Joins CCS Partnership

According to a report by Inside EVs, Tesla has become a member of CharIN, a European based organization that promotes the CCS charging standard for plug-in and battery electric vehicles. It was established several years ago by BMW, Audi, VW, Porsche, Daimler, Ford, and General Motors as an industry trade group dedicated to promoting the CCS charging standard. It has recently completed development of 150 kW chargers and will being testing them later this year in California. Its next goal is the creation of 300 kW chargers that also use the CCS standard.

Tesla joins CharIN

The news was first reported by Tom Moloughney, a blogger and expert on EV charging systems. He tells Inside EVs, “I was just told something interesting from a contact I have. I’m guessing you guys have heard of the CharIN Association by now. They are basically a group of European Automakers that got together to work on what will eventually be considered (officially) Level 3 charging based on CCS.

He continues, “They have been working on 150kW CCS DC Fast charge for a few years now and experimenting on speeds up to 300kW. [A]bout a month ago, Tesla quietly asked if they can become a “Core Member”. Now, I’m certainly not suggesting Tesla is going to switch to CCS, but this is very interesting.”

Interesting is putting it mildly. Tesla has invested hundreds of millions of dollars developing its own network of charging stations known as SuperChargers. Up to now, Tesla owners could access the CHAdeMO fast charging stations preferred by Japanese manufacturers using a special adapter. Now it appears they may soon be able to access the CCS network. That raises this interesting question: Will drivers of other cars be able to access Tesla SuperChargers? We don’t know the answer to that question yet.

CharIN Chart

Most plug-in and electric vehicles made today are not able to handle charging that exceeds 50 kW. That’s what the typical DC fast charger provides. Some of them cannot accept anything more than a 240 volt AC Level 2 charger. A charger with 300 kW of power would be able to recharge a properly configured electric car in about one sixth the time of today’s typical fast charger.

Just exactly what impact Tesla’s membership in the group may have is unclear. But standards are what open the door to mass adoption of new technology. If the CCS standard becomes the industry norm, the industry will build products that are compatible with it. The more manufacturers who sign on to a charging standard, the better for all electric car enthusiasts.

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.