EV charging terms you want to know: What are Superchargers, CCS and CHAdeMO?

The Biden administration on Wednesday outlined long-awaited rules for electric charging stations as a part of a $7.5 billion federal government program, a bid to jump-start the country’s adoption of electrical vehicles (EVs).

Listed here are the terms and acronyms you want to know to grasp the booming EV charger market.

Level up

EV chargers are classified in three categories: Level 1, Level 2 and DC fast chargers.

Level 1 chargers use an everyday 110-volt outlet, identical to standard home plugs, but take a protracted time to charge a vehicle battery. They’re considered an answer for older apartment buildings, allowing residents to drive 30 to 40 miles (50 to 65 km) on an overnight charge.

Level 2 chargers offer higher-power output and use a 240-volt outlet, identical to clothes dryers or air conditioners. They’re utilized in residential and business settings, equivalent to shopping malls and parking garages, and may top up an EV in about five hours.

DC fast chargers (DCFC) allow for the quickest charge by allowing direct current into the battery without first converting it from alternating current, which Level 1 and a pair of chargers use.

DCFC uses a 480-volt outlet and may top up a vehicle in under an hour. They’re costly to put in and fewer prevalent than Level 2 chargers, and never all EVs can fast-charge, with throughput limited by hardware and software.

Level 2 chargers cost between $2,000 and $5,000 in parts and labor to put in, with hefty subsidies available for residents and businesses to defray costs.

DCFCs are significantly dearer, requiring greater than $100,000 per station in upfront capital.


There are three sorts of DC fast charging systems — Tesla, SAE Combined Charging System (CCS) and CHAdeMO, which all use different plugs. The brand new rules require that any corporations hoping to tap the $7.5 billion in federal funding must also adopt the CCS standard.

Most EV models entering the market today can charge using the CCS connector, also generally known as SAE J1772 combo, named after the Society of Automotive Engineers, a standards-setting body.

“CHAdeMO,” an abbreviation of “CHArge de MOve,” similar to “charge for moving,” was designed by automobilemakers primarily in Japan.

Image: Blink Charging


Since 2012, Tesla Inc has developed and deployed its own high-speed vehicle charger, called “Supercharger,” which might add as much as 322 miles (518 km) of range in only quarter-hour.

Tesla has greater than 40,000 of them worldwide, the corporate said. It has 17,740 fast charging ports in the US, accounting for 62% of the full DC fast charging ports within the country, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) data showed.

Tesla since late 2021 has opened a few of its Superchargers to vehicles which use CCS in Europe and Australia.

Tesla also said in November it’s allowing other automakers and network operators to make use of its proprietary charging systems.

The Biden administration said Wednesday Tesla would open its U.S. charging network to EVs made by rivals. Tesla didn’t reply to requests for confirmation.

The U.S. network

America currently has a complete of fifty,821 public EV charging stations and 130,563 charging ports, DOE data showed. Of those, the overwhelming majority are Level 2 chargers.

Chargers are distributed very unevenly across the country, with California accounting for nearly 30% of the full charging stations within the country.

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