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Tesla to Offer CHAdeMO Adaptor on Model S Sold in Japan; Is U.S. Next?

Interesting news. In my gut, I think there is a good chance that the CHAdeMO standard will be first to market, well before the new SAE combo plug. I'm very much in favor of standardizing our EV charging infrastructure, it helps everyone by providing more opportunities for charging. By taking so long to develop the SAE combo plug, is that standard destined for the garbage pile? (It's also ugly)

More updates:

@djm12 - CHAdeMO has long been first to market -- there are a lot of CHAdeMO chargers, even in the US (and more coming in CA due to the ECOality settlement), and AFAIK there is not a single SAE fast DC charger (since there isn't a car using it on the market yet, that shouldn't be a surprise).

I think I've seen an interview of Elon where he said something along the lines of we want our cars to be able to charge using any available source. It would be a real drag to be down to your last few miles of range and find yourself next to an EV charging station you couldn't use.

Talked to Tesla PS today and she didn't know anything about "Chad Who?"

@drp - LOL. Guess they need to beef up their training programs.

Well i do not think their will be superchargers in Norway right away, why does not tesla realize that an CHAdeMO adatpter would mean that they will sell more cars ????????

OK, all this technical talk is giving me a headache, but I want to try to understand this CHAdeMO stuff (I need to finalize my design by Tuesday). My question those more knowledgeable than I -- could CHAdeMO be used with the standard connections on the car, twin chargers, and/or supercharger? I will probably get the supercharger option, but I get the impression a twin charger is only used with the HPWC.

@Neech - Consider CHAdeMO a supercharger lite. It bypasses the single / twin AC chargers and goes straight to the battery. Another way to look at it is the station provides a bigger / better AC charger so the car doesn't need to carry one.

The normal chargers regulate the AC current to give the batteries exactly DC power they need. The battery management circuits normally talk to the internal AC chargers to control the DC power output. Now that we are bypassing the internal AC chargers, those communications have to go out the charging plug to the CHAdeMO or Supercharger.

To support CHAdeMO, Tesla would probably require a firmware update to talk the CHAdeMO protocol as well as a "smart adapter" that can convert the supercharger command signals to CHAdeMO.

I wonder if supercharging will be a prerequisite for CHAdeMO due to the similar equipment requirements.

@Neech twin charger is not only for HPWC but also for high power public level 2 chargers.

I would expect Supercharging would be a requirement for CHAdeMO, both being DC, if they do elect to support it.

As pointed out earlier going DC-AC-Tesla Inverter-DC would be a mess, expensive and quite limited by the single/dual car chargers (10-20 KW). I really can't see Tesla doing this, so single/twin chargers are not relevant to CHAdeMO.

@IR Thanks for your explanation, it helps clear some of my questions. It also looks like I need to do some homework about charging before I get my car.

@Jolinar I had been wondering why I would want a twin charger if it was only useful at home. I will look into the different types of public charging options out there.

Be aware that high amperage level 2 chargers are fairly rare, and currently only regionally available (Canada, west coast). This could change in the future, but who knows. Currently only Tesla's would benefit from them.


I would buy the adapter, if and when available, at any price.

TM, Please make them available for US customers!

the issue of "supercharger" hardware "in the car" has been rendered moot with Elon's annoucement that all Tesla's have the supercharger hardware - but you still have to pay $2000 to enable it (if it is not already enabled on your model)…

this would seem to make the Chademo adapter thing now a simple matter of "adapter" + "software"…it would also make the "upgrade" price to a Supercharger more functional and have access to more chargers…

this keeps getting interesting.

Some time ago I was told that Tesla would not be Chademo adaptable but thinking that has changed. Elon is on record in Video speaking in Norway that all Model S cars sold in Europe will be capable of using Chademo this is confirmed off screen by individual quoting JB Straubel (Tesla Chief Technology Officer). While it doesn't necessarily follow that US Model S will have ability would be a bit of a slap in face if were not so (I think).

According to my wife and friends, I am a true "Tesla fan boy". But it is ticking me off that TM has chosen to adapt the "autistic" communication style with its customers that a certain Cupertino based company made imfamous but has been getting really old really fast. It is ridiculous that thousands of buyers have to make uninformed choices about expensive hardware they may or may not need in their car, depending on the strategy that TM will follow (CHAdeMO support, plans and rough timetables for global Supercharger networks, ...)

I know that many Model S buyers don't have any budgetary restrictions and can blindly check each and every checkbox in the configurator figuring "better safe than sorry", but there are also many of us who need to invest their money more prudently. And TM should be ashamed that a bunch of speculations and unconfirmed and/or unofficial statements is all we have to base these decisions on.

In TM's defense, some of what you want to know is undecided or unknown at this time, and any announcement is a de facto commitment, with potentially serious costs. It's love-ly when a plan comes together, but the pieces really do have to be in place. Do you imagine TM is withholding information to cause you problems? There's a pill for that.

It seems very clear to me that Tesla will offer CHAdeMO adapter for all Japanese Model S. I live in Tokyo and literally everybody in the Tesla showroom (yes there is one!) mentions that. Japan does not have any Superchargers yet; all the highways are already equipped with CHAdeMO chargers so if I want to drive west to Osaka (500km away from Tokyo) I need CHAdeMO.

Here's the map of highway CHAdeMO stations in Tokyo-Osaka area.

So once it becomes avaiable here, I'll post!

We in the US of A will want an adapter too. Since my car has supercharging built in,
this should be a matter of protocol conversion and current/voltage handling in the adapter.

Hope they can keep the price down...

Thank you Hiroshiy. Please keep us posted as a number of us in the US eagerly await the opportunity to use CHAdeMO stations here.

So if you can't use supercharger for CHAdeMO charging stations, can you use the twin charger?
How many kW can you charge from the CHAdeMO?
Denmark has a fair number of CHAdeMO. It would be nice to be able to get all of the 50 kW from them.

CHAdeMO provides DC, and the chargers take AC and convert it. So there's no "connection".

44 kW max, SuperCharger goes to 90, soon (?) 120.

@soren: As Brian noted, CHAdeMO is about DC charging. Superchargers as well. Level 2 and HPWC are AC charging, and AC charging means you need a charger or a few chargers on board in the car. For DC charging, no on-board chargers necessary - electricity directly goes from the external station to the battery.
CHAdeMO currently provides up to 50kW, which is a shame.

The CHAdeMO adapter for Europe clearly can't be exactly the same, since the connector for European Model S's is different and it will be charged by 3-phase power. The protocol conversion would probably be the same, assuming it is performed in the adapter rather than in the car itself. I don't know what Japan's electrical system above the 100V 50/60Hz standard, but I presume they have higher voltages (perhaps even 3-phase). So, they may or may not use the same connector on the car as in the US.

My guess is that they could produce a CHAdeMO adapter for the US about the time they provide it elsewhere, but they would have to be convinced there would be sufficient interest to justify doing it (probably at a price of something like $500-$1000). Given that CHAdeMO is currently only supported by Nissan and Mitsubishi and all the other manufacturers are going for the SAE-DC approach, it isn't entirely clear that CHAdeMO in the US is long-lived. Personally, I would bet on CHAdeMO being the defacto standard as the only one actually in the field and the only one current with cars supporting it, but that is by no means a given.
Thanks for the info on the difference b/w American connector of Model S and European connector. Hmm, it seems American is charging 110V / 240V single phase, whereas European uses 3 phases. Here in Japan the only "standard" is 100V single phase, but in most homes and buildings 200V single phase is available from the beginning. This suggest me that the connector would be the same b/w American and Japanese on the vehicle side. You can order 200V 3 phases but above that the utility offers 6.6kV or in metro areas 22kV and you're on your own to convert.

On a slightly side note - you mentioned that the adapter must be different - I'm just guessing that the CHAdeMO adapter would use Supercharger connector as it is DC based. Thus the adapter must be global correct? European Model S has Supercharger connector in addition to 3-phase AC connector, right?

@hiroshiy - in the US, the actual service is 240V spit phase (ground is 120V between the two hot lines), and the 120V outlets are between one hot line and ground. 240V equipment, such as dryers, welders, and EV chargers, simply get 240V between the two hot lines. Almost nobody charges a car from 120V except in emergencies.

Commercial power is generally 3-phase, and the voltage between any two phases is 208V RMS. Apartment buildings sometimes get their power from 2 phases of 3-phase power, so dryers/etc are generally capable of operating on 208-250V.

I am suggesting the adapter will have to be physically different because the connector on the car is different -- the US Model S has 2 supply pins, ground, and 2 data pins. The European Model S supports charging from 3-phase power, so must have 3 supply pins (and is expected to use the Mennekes connector - ). Just like the US connector, I am sure a pair of the supply leads will be used for DC charging as well (or perhaps even split across multiple lines, as the stock connector only supports 63A).

Aside from just having a physically different connector, which means they would have to produce different parts, the really problem would be if the car is where the CHAdeMO protocol is processed (which would allow the use of an unpowered adapter). In that case, it is entirely possible that the US Model S simply lacks the hardware to support it.

How does the spit phase work? Should that be spit face?

(;p Thanks for explanation. I must be confused- there is only one connector on the car... Understood about the on-car connector difference between U.S. and Europe.

I went to the showroom today and they've explained that CHAdeMO support *might* be just an adapter but also *might* be an adapter and an unit on the car, replacing Supercharger unit in Japan.

Yes, split phase - Japan is the same (sorry for my poor English). We call it 200V single phase in Japanese language but it is actually two hot lines. 100V uses one hot line and one ground.

@hiroshiy - there is one connector, but it has a total of 5 connections in it -- see

The two top lines are the supply lines, the bottom center pin is ground, and the two smaller pins on the bottom are the data lines. The US Superchargers connect to this same connector, so the supply lines are used for high-current DC as well as AC up to 80A.

Right, the possibility that the CHAdeMO support is in the car itself rather than an adapter is what makes me worry that there might never been an adapter for the US, as it would then be building another product from scratch just for the US market and there may not be sufficient chargers or interested customers to justify that.

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