Without a standardized system of electric vehicle charging stations, automakers will be hard-pressed to get most people to splurge for EVs. That’s why a coalition of Japanese automakers and engineering giants including Toyota, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Fuji Heavy Industries have teamed up with the Tokyo Electric Power Company to form CHAdeMO (Charge de Move), a group set on standardizing EV charging stations to work for all vehicles–a daunting task, to say the least.
Eventually, CHAdeMO expects to have 158 business and government member organizations throughout the world working on the project. So why is it so hard to develop a standardized system? It requires every single automaker to agree on the same outlet and voltage for all EVs–a task akin to asking car companies to all develop the same manual for their cars. But unless companies band together for the project, EVs might never reach their potential for popularity.
As for the CHAdeMO name, the organization explains that “‘CHArge de MOve, equivalent to “charge for moving”, is a pun for ‘O cha demo ikaga desuka’ in Japanese, meaning ‘Let’s have a tea while charging’ in English.” Let’s hope that becomes a common practice soon!