CCS Becoming Dominant DC Charging Standard In Europe
CCS (Combined Charging System) got started in early 2011 as a collaboration between the SAE (a mainly US technical standards organisation that has close links to GM) and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. The headline idea behind CCS was that the design allowed for both AC and DC charging to be combined within a single plug design (thus Combined Charging System). CHAdeMO plugs are DC only, with EVs required to have an additional and separate AC plug.
There was no doubt some politics involved, with US and European automakers concerned about CHAdeMO becoming the de facto standard in the wake the Nissan LEAF’s arrival as the first (and initially unchallenged) high-volume EV. The contemporary Chevy Volt had only AC charging on board, with a plug design based on the 2009 SAE J1772-2009 specification. That specification would later provide the AC component of the CCS design. Meanwhile, the TEPCO standard that CHAdeMO was based on had patents attached and TEPCO was pushing to license it out for operational infrastructure in the US and elsewhere — from at least late 2009 onwards. Whatever the technical merits (or otherwise) of the CHAdeMO standard, it had its origins in a domestic Japanese design that could be argued to have not gone through channels at international standardisation organisations. This alone must have irked US and European automakers.
A proposal for the CCS standard was formally put forward by the Association of German Engineers in October 2011. By April 2012 it had the backing of several US and European automakers, and a working version was demonstrated in May 2012. The first public CCS charger was unveiled in June 2013 at VW’s Wolfsburg factory, quickly followed by another outside a BMW factory. Since at least June 2013, all parties involved in CCS and CHAdeMO standards have officially advocated that multi-standard chargers are the way to go — that is, charging stalls with both plug types available — which are claimed to cost only 5% more than single-standard chargers.