A new high-powered charging protocol released by the CHAdeMO association (the body that governs charging protocols used by vehicles like the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV) will be able to support “ultra-high-power” charging rates above 500kW, says the association.
The new CHAdeMO 3.0 protocol will be released in China in 2021 under the working name “ChaoJi” and utilise a new plug type that is compatible with the Asian superpower’s GB/T plug type.
Jointly developed by the CHAdeMO association and the China Electricity Council (CEC), the new protocol would allow long-range electric vehicles to recharge driving range from empty to full in around 15 minutes.
However, it must be noted that the maximum 600 amp, 500kW charge rate can only be achieved for a short period of time. The association is not clear on exactly how long this means.
While there are currently no electric vehicles on the market that can charge at this rate – even the Porsche Taycan with its 800V architecture that has the notional ability to recharge at 350kW, is limited to 270kW – it is likely that future EVs will increasingly look to faster charging rates to deliver a charging experience on par with “filling up the tank”.
The charging protocol would also make charging an electric car a less onerous experience for those that find the heavy DC cables of typical DC chargers difficult to handle.
The new protocol will achieve this using liquid-cooling technology (that is already used in high-powered 350kW chargers such as those being rolled out in Australia by Chargefox and Evie Networks), and also reduce the size of the connector by removing the locking mechanism from the side of the connector.
The protocol, which began as a bi-lateral project to harmonise the CHAdeMO and China’s GB/T standard, has been developed with input from over 60 people from 12 countries, including 9 car makers and 9 connector manufacturers from Asia, Europe and Oceania.
India is also expected to join the team and car makers and governments from South Korea and other SE Asian countries have also expressed interest.
In China, demonstrations of the new protocol are already underway using a 500 amp setup allowing for 475kW charge rates. Successful demonstrations of the protocol have also been conducted in a test lab in Japan, according to a statement published by the CHAdeMO Asssociation in February.
It is expected that the first electric vehicles that are ChaoJi-capable will be commercial vehicles, with passenger vehicles expected to enter the Chinese market soon after.
There is no word as yet on if and when the ChaoJi protocol may make it to Australia, but vehicles that utilise earlier charging protocols and plug types – such as the current CHAdeMO plug type and possibly CCS2) would be able to use the new CHaoJi standard via an adapter or multi-standard charger.
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Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.