What is CHAdeMO charging?
CHAdeMO was the original rapid-charging DC standard and allows for quick top-ups in the Nissan Leaf, plus a handful of other models
by Ellis Hyde
20 Feb 2023
CHAdeMO was the original rapid-charging standard for electric cars and plug-in hybrids, established by Toyota, Nissan, Mitsubishi and other Japanese companies in 2010. It’s an abbreviation of CHArge de MOve, which comes from the Japanese phrase ‘Ocha demo ikagadesu ka’ and in English means ‘how about a cup of tea’.
The idea was to create a charging standard that would be adopted across the automotive industry, as well as other sectors relying on electrical DC charging. However, most manufacturers decided to use the European CCS (Combined Charging System) rapid-charging standard instead, which has since been adopted by Japanese carmakers like Nissan, Toyota and Lexus, too.
One of the key benefits of CCS charging is the faster speeds it allows for. While cars compatible with CHADeMO chargers can reach charging speeds of up to 50kW, most new electric cars with CCS charging capabilities can reach close to 150kW, with the very latest models reaching up to 250kW and beyond. You can still find DC rapid chargers with both CCS and CHAdeMO connectors though, so needn’t worry if your car uses CHAdeMO for rapid charging.
Nissan Leaf charging
Which cars currently work with CHAdeMO?
As CHAdeMO was created by Nissan, Mitsubishi, Toyota, Fuki and Tokyo Electric Power Company, Japanese carmakers were some of the biggest adopters of CHAdeMO technology. In the UK, the cars that can be rapid charged with a CHAdeMO connector include the Nissan Leaf, Lexus UX 300e, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, now-discontinued Toyota Prius Plug-In, Tesla Model S (when fitted with an adapter), Nissan e-NV200, Kia Soul EV Mk1, Citroen Berlingo Electric Mk1 and Citroen C-Zero. A CHAdeMO charging port is also available as an optional extra on the LEVC London Taxi.
However, it is worth noting that those same Japanese brand’s latest electric cars – the Nissan Ariya, Lexus RZ 450e and Toyota bZ4X – all feature CCS charging ports. Aside from the UX 300e and Leaf, you’ll also find CCS rapid charging ports on all new electric cars sold in the UK from the BMW i7 to the Fiat 500.
How do I find a CHAdeMO rapid charger?
If you’ve got a slightly older electric car like a Nissan Leaf there are still charging points out there with CHAdeMO connectors. You’ll find CHAdeMO connectors on a lot of DC rapid chargers capable of 50kW charging speeds or faster like those operated by InstaVolt, Gridserve and Osprey, among others. However, you find them on the very latest 350kW ultra-rapid chargers as these only use CCS cables.
To find a CHAdeMO charger you can use apps like Zap-Map that let you filter search results by the type of charging port/connector you need, as well as the charging speeds nearby units are capable of.