EV charger

The electric vehicle charging-station standardization issue that's viewed as a major hurdle to mass EV adoption goes far beyond SAE vs. CHAdeMO, apparently. European nations are also divided about which standard the European Union should use in its effort to build out the infrastructure necessary to ease away-from-home charging of plug-in vehicles, Ward's Auto reports, citing auto industry analysts at a Brussels conference.

Specifically, most European auto makers and auto suppliers are standing behind the Type-2 charging system backed primarily by Germany just as the European Commission starts an impact assessment for charging infrastructure, according to Ward's. Meanwhile, France is backing the Type-3 system, as Type-2 lacks a so-called "shutter" cover that's supposed to help prevent electrocution.

The issue is a major one as automakers such as France-based Renault look to spur plug-in vehicle sales, which have been slower than expected. Meanwhile, the UK has about 1,000 charging stations, while France has about 1,300 and Germany and Spain each have almost 900.

As it is, automakers from Japan are promoting a different on-board charging standard than one backed by European and US automakers. Nissan, Toyota and Mitsubishi are supporting the CHAdeMO standard, which was launched in 2010 and is used in 1,500 stations worldwide. US and European automakers like BMW, General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen are standing behind the less-established SAE Combo standard, which is being promoted as simpler since it requires just one charging port for standard- and fast-charging connections.