Tesla to Offer CHAdeMO Adaptor on Model S Sold in Japan; Is U.S. Next?

Tesla to Offer CHAdeMO Adaptor on Model S Sold in Japan; Is U.S. Next?

luvtub | January 15, 2013

I called Tesla last night about this very issue, as I was stuck in Portland waiting for the 18-miles-of-range-per-hour charger to get me up to the 80 ideal range miles I needed to get home, while enviously eyeing the three FREE available CHADEMO stations, within walking distance, that at present welcome only the Leaf. The rep told me that he was fairly sure that the adaptor would be available for purchase in the U.S., but he didn't know when. He told me he'd get his boss to call me today, potentially to give me a timeline on this, and also when the Tesla Supercharging station network will wind its way up to the Pacific Northwest.

I'll post again when I hear more.

luvtub | January 15, 2013

Well, after getting no response from the "boss", I called back late in the day and spoke with a Tesla rep. He said he'd seen a press release on the topic and thought that offering an adapter to U.S. customers seemed a logical next step, but denied knowledge of any plans that the company had to do so. With regard to extending the I-5 supercharging network northward, he said that Tesla was in the process of hiring personnel who would be involved in the project.

Perhaps the "boss" will call back with additional information, but I doubt it. We are likely a few-several months away from each of these improvements.

gregv64 | January 15, 2013

Given that Tesla won't even be selling the Model S in Japan until near the end of the year, I wouldn't expect an adaptor before then.

Larry Chanin | January 15, 2013

"He said he'd seen a press release on the topic and thought that offering an adapter to U.S. customers seemed a logical next step, but denied knowledge of any plans that the company had to do so."

I think that the rep is confused. Obviously we can check this website and confirm there is no press release on the subject. He very well could have read the plugin cars article which references a Japanese blog as its source, not an authoritative Tesla source.


gregv64 | January 15, 2013

The Japanese blog claimed that Tesla had announced this, but strangely there has been no other source for the information (just everybody else repeating that the blog said this). The blog also said that Tesla announced sales would start in mid-2013, but we do have an actual Tesla statement from two weeks prior that right hand drive production will start in late 2013.

Take it for what it's worth.

drp | January 27, 2013

Is it likely that we could just use an adapter and the internal charger could "adapt" to Chademo with no worries and charge at a high rate? What rate would twin chargers draw? I'd like that since there are several Chademos around Chicgoland. Does anyone know the answe to these Q's? It is so impractile to sit for 5 hours to charge just to finish a 350 mile trip at Chargepoint.this would help a lot!

gregv64 | January 27, 2013

No, CHAdeMO is DC, which means that the chargers are entirely uninvolved (their job is to convert AC to DC). There is a communication protocol between the car and the charger. Since the details of the protocol are different, you actually would need an adaptor with some electronics.

KnutNorway | January 27, 2013

I REALLY hope Tesla will come up with a CHAdeMO adapter! In South-Norway there is already a quite good CHAdeMO network. See Green dots are built, white are planned in 2013. To illustrate the scale of the map: Distance between east and west, Oslo and Bergen, the two largest cities, is 500km/310 miles (over a 3000ft mountain).

I expect delivery authum 2013 and need the model S to take me around in South-Norway. Without CHAdeMO I do not see that as possible.

A Tesla rep in Oslo told me in december 2012 there will be a CHAdeMO solution but I don't trust that until I see it in a press release or as a quote from Musk or Blankenship.

bsimoes | January 27, 2013

When I originally designed my car, I had the twin chargers, but then, when reading the charging site again, it sounded like they were only useful if one were to get the Tesla's high-power wall connector, for which I don't have any need. Now, I'm wondering if public charging stations would allow quicker charging if I had the twin chargers. I changed my order to a single charger, but if this is the case, I would want the twin chargers after all. Thanks for any clarity on this. Barb

Carefree | January 27, 2013

I ordered the twin chargers even though I do not see a need for the HPWC at home. My thinking was that I wanted to keep all future options open. Who knows what Tesla will implement to accommodate even faster charging.

Electron | January 27, 2013


As gregv64 stated above, CHAdeMO is DC (like superchargers) so would use the same mechanism (hopefully) to bypass the onboard chargers. Otherwise the adapter would be going DC->AC->onboard chargers->DC which would be crazy.

Any truly high-speed charging solution is likely to be DC and bypass the onboard chargers.

Brian H | January 27, 2013

As an e.g. of what can develop, Sun Country is creating a 70A cross-country network in Canada, paid for by site-local hospitality businesses. Uses J1772 IIRC.

dtesla | January 27, 2013

CHAdeMO is save voltage DC as supercharger and about 2/3 the amps. Delivering 62.5 kW... vers supercharger 90 kW.

DouglasR | January 27, 2013


Like Carefree, I want the twin chargers for added flexibility. I'd like a CHAdeMO adapter too, if they had one. The more options you have, the easier it will be to get rid of your ICE and drive the Model S ANYWHERE. Remember, the supercharger network will not be everywhere you want to drive. Adding the twin chargers now will be a lot cheaper than after you get your car ($1500 v. $3600).

Brian H | January 27, 2013

It will also allow you to cross the continent in Canada; Sun Country 70A stations all the way.

bsimoes | January 28, 2013

Ooh boy, I better call back and see if I can have them added back in. Thanks, everybody. Barb

Jolinar | January 28, 2013

max power of CHAdeMO is 62.5kW, however that is not what you get while charging Model S. You can get it only if your car use 500V battery pack and then 125A charging curent (125*500=62500). Model S uses something about 380V (right?) and so 380V * 125A = 47kW. Usual CHAdeMO carging stations are good only for 50kW.

DouglasR | January 28, 2013

50 kW is still seven times faster than the typical 30 amp level 2 charger. The important point is that CHAdeMO is pretty widely deployed (at least in the Northwest, where I live), and the network is growing. It will be a few years before we see a widespread supercharger network up here.

drp | January 28, 2013


There are plenty around Chicago too and it is tons faster! That's the draw for me too. I don't want to sit around for 5 hours just to get a couple miles! I hope I'm not too unreasonably optimistic about CHADeMo but I am kinda counting on it!

DouglasR | January 28, 2013

I wouldn't count on it. The reporting on whether an adapter will be available in Japan is pretty soft. Even if it is available in Japan, we don't know whether cars for the Japanese market will need to be specially adapted to use it -- i.e., whether it would require hardware changes to North American cars, and thus would be impractical. Finally, it will be a while before the Model S is selling in Japan, and so any adapter for the North American market may be years away. By that time, the supercharger network will probably be pretty well developed.

I share your hope, but not your optimism.

Sudre_ | January 28, 2013

If the car can be supercharged it should be able to use CHADeMo with an adapter. If not then it probably will not work. That might be why Tesla doesn't want to make one in the US. People with the 40kWh battery might borrow a friends adapter and mess up their car dumping 50kW into it. The 40 kWh battery is most likely not an option over seas.

dtesla | January 28, 2013


MS may be 380 V (I just don't know). But I thought supercharger is 480 V DC. So that is 1 plus for the adapter. Data communications between car and charger may be a different story.

90Kw / 480 V = ~180A. I'm surprised the wire doesn't melt.

bsimoes | January 28, 2013

So...if I'm understanding this all correctly, it doesn't matter whether I have a single or twin charger in any existing charging situation unless I have Tesla's HPWC. If that is true,(?) then I made the right choice by going with the single charger...which is a good thing, because when I called my (second in two weeks) delivery specialist, he said that it was too late to change my paperwork.

DouglasR | January 28, 2013


You don't need the HPWC to take advantage of twin chargers, but there is certainly no point in getting the HPWC unless you also have twin chargers.

The twin chargers help you in other situations as well. For example, look at the "Tesla Highway," running from Vancouver BC to San Diego: Hopefully, that will permit me to chop a day off the drive from Seattle to the Bay Area. Also, there is the Sun Country Highway running across southern Canada:

I don't know where you live, or whether you plan to take road trips, particularly before the supercharger network is built out, but twin chargers could be useful in those situations. If it's to late to configure with twin chargers, you can always pay more and add them later.

dahtye | January 28, 2013

I utilized my twin charger when charging at Harris Ranch using the Roadster charger (with a Model S adapter cable). My screen showed 204V and 70A (which is over 14KWhr). Each interal charger can handle only 10KWHr of power at a time.

jkirkebo | January 29, 2013

dtesla: The SuperCharger will only deliver the voltage that the MS battery can accept. Up to 385V or so. If it pushed 480V to the car the battery would be toast. Or not, as the safety mechanism would most probably disconnect the battery from the charger if overvoltage was detected.

The SuperCharger goes up to 255A. 90,000W/255A=353V. As the battery voltage (and SOC) rises the charging current will drop.

dtesla | January 29, 2013

jkirkebo: I just know what I have read. You seam to be way more subject knowledgeable them me.

drp | January 29, 2013


I have been working on this with tesla and here's today's reply:

All of the adapters you requested will come with your Model S and our Engineers are working on a solution for the Chademo charging systems.

That's promising

DouglasR | January 29, 2013

Great to hear, drp!

jkirkebo | January 29, 2013

dtesla: The 480V DC is probablythe max voltage the SC can put out so it can work with future cars which might have higher voltage batteries.

The CHAdeMO chargers can put out 500V DC but my Leaf never goes above 394V. Current starts ramping down at about 380V if I remember correctly.

djm12 | February 1, 2013

Interesting news. In my gut, I think there is a good chance that the CHAdeMO standard will be first to market, well before the new SAE combo plug. I'm very much in favor of standardizing our EV charging infrastructure, it helps everyone by providing more opportunities for charging. By taking so long to develop the SAE combo plug, is that standard destined for the garbage pile? (It's also ugly)

More updates:

jat | February 1, 2013

@djm12 - CHAdeMO has long been first to market -- there are a lot of CHAdeMO chargers, even in the US (and more coming in CA due to the ECOality settlement), and AFAIK there is not a single SAE fast DC charger (since there isn't a car using it on the market yet, that shouldn't be a surprise).

mpottinger | February 1, 2013

I think I've seen an interview of Elon where he said something along the lines of we want our cars to be able to charge using any available source. It would be a real drag to be down to your last few miles of range and find yourself next to an EV charging station you couldn't use.

drp | February 5, 2013

Talked to Tesla PS today and she didn't know anything about "Chad Who?"

nickjhowe | February 5, 2013

@drp - LOL. Guess they need to beef up their training programs.

Bukkemyr | February 6, 2013

Well i do not think their will be superchargers in Norway right away, why does not tesla realize that an CHAdeMO adatpter would mean that they will sell more cars ????????

Neech | February 6, 2013

OK, all this technical talk is giving me a headache, but I want to try to understand this CHAdeMO stuff (I need to finalize my design by Tuesday). My question those more knowledgeable than I -- could CHAdeMO be used with the standard connections on the car, twin chargers, and/or supercharger? I will probably get the supercharger option, but I get the impression a twin charger is only used with the HPWC.

ir | February 6, 2013

@Neech - Consider CHAdeMO a supercharger lite. It bypasses the single / twin AC chargers and goes straight to the battery. Another way to look at it is the station provides a bigger / better AC charger so the car doesn't need to carry one.

The normal chargers regulate the AC current to give the batteries exactly DC power they need. The battery management circuits normally talk to the internal AC chargers to control the DC power output. Now that we are bypassing the internal AC chargers, those communications have to go out the charging plug to the CHAdeMO or Supercharger.

To support CHAdeMO, Tesla would probably require a firmware update to talk the CHAdeMO protocol as well as a "smart adapter" that can convert the supercharger command signals to CHAdeMO.

I wonder if supercharging will be a prerequisite for CHAdeMO due to the similar equipment requirements.

Jolinar | February 6, 2013

@Neech twin charger is not only for HPWC but also for high power public level 2 chargers. | February 6, 2013

I would expect Supercharging would be a requirement for CHAdeMO, both being DC, if they do elect to support it.

As pointed out earlier going DC-AC-Tesla Inverter-DC would be a mess, expensive and quite limited by the single/dual car chargers (10-20 KW). I really can't see Tesla doing this, so single/twin chargers are not relevant to CHAdeMO.

Neech | February 7, 2013

@IR Thanks for your explanation, it helps clear some of my questions. It also looks like I need to do some homework about charging before I get my car.

@Jolinar I had been wondering why I would want a twin charger if it was only useful at home. I will look into the different types of public charging options out there.

gregv64 | February 7, 2013

Be aware that high amperage level 2 chargers are fairly rare, and currently only regionally available (Canada, west coast). This could change in the future, but who knows. Currently only Tesla's would benefit from them.

drp | February 10, 2013


BrianSY | April 16, 2013

I would buy the adapter, if and when available, at any price.

TM, Please make them available for US customers!

dortor | April 17, 2013

the issue of "supercharger" hardware "in the car" has been rendered moot with Elon's annoucement that all Tesla's have the supercharger hardware - but you still have to pay $2000 to enable it (if it is not already enabled on your model)…

this would seem to make the Chademo adapter thing now a simple matter of "adapter" + "software"…it would also make the "upgrade" price to a Supercharger more functional and have access to more chargers…

this keeps getting interesting.

wonder | April 18, 2013

Some time ago I was told that Tesla would not be Chademo adaptable but thinking that has changed. Elon is on record in Video speaking in Norway that all Model S cars sold in Europe will be capable of using Chademo this is confirmed off screen by individual quoting JB Straubel (Tesla Chief Technology Officer). While it doesn't necessarily follow that US Model S will have ability would be a bit of a slap in face if were not so (I think).

pebell | April 18, 2013

According to my wife and friends, I am a true "Tesla fan boy". But it is ticking me off that TM has chosen to adapt the "autistic" communication style with its customers that a certain Cupertino based company made imfamous but has been getting really old really fast. It is ridiculous that thousands of buyers have to make uninformed choices about expensive hardware they may or may not need in their car, depending on the strategy that TM will follow (CHAdeMO support, plans and rough timetables for global Supercharger networks, ...)

I know that many Model S buyers don't have any budgetary restrictions and can blindly check each and every checkbox in the configurator figuring "better safe than sorry", but there are also many of us who need to invest their money more prudently. And TM should be ashamed that a bunch of speculations and unconfirmed and/or unofficial statements is all we have to base these decisions on.

Brian H | April 18, 2013

In TM's defense, some of what you want to know is undecided or unknown at this time, and any announcement is a de facto commitment, with potentially serious costs. It's love-ly when a plan comes together, but the pieces really do have to be in place. Do you imagine TM is withholding information to cause you problems? There's a pill for that.

hiroshiy | April 19, 2013

It seems very clear to me that Tesla will offer CHAdeMO adapter for all Japanese Model S. I live in Tokyo and literally everybody in the Tesla showroom (yes there is one!) mentions that. Japan does not have any Superchargers yet; all the highways are already equipped with CHAdeMO chargers so if I want to drive west to Osaka (500km away from Tokyo) I need CHAdeMO.

Here's the map of highway CHAdeMO stations in Tokyo-Osaka area.

So once it becomes avaiable here, I'll post!

RedShift | April 19, 2013

We in the US of A will want an adapter too. Since my car has supercharging built in,
this should be a matter of protocol conversion and current/voltage handling in the adapter.

Hope they can keep the price down...