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?

kw1 | 19 April 2013

Thank you Hiroshiy. Please keep us posted as a number of us in the US eagerly await the opportunity to use CHAdeMO stations here.

soren | 19 April 2013

So if you can't use supercharger for CHAdeMO charging stations, can you use the twin charger?
How many kW can you charge from the CHAdeMO?
Denmark has a fair number of CHAdeMO. It would be nice to be able to get all of the 50 kW from them.

Brian H | 19 April 2013

CHAdeMO provides DC, and the chargers take AC and convert it. So there's no "connection".

44 kW max, SuperCharger goes to 90, soon (?) 120.

hiroshiy | 19 April 2013

@soren: As Brian noted, CHAdeMO is about DC charging. Superchargers as well. Level 2 and HPWC are AC charging, and AC charging means you need a charger or a few chargers on board in the car. For DC charging, no on-board chargers necessary - electricity directly goes from the external station to the battery.
CHAdeMO currently provides up to 50kW, which is a shame.

jat | 19 April 2013

The CHAdeMO adapter for Europe clearly can't be exactly the same, since the connector for European Model S's is different and it will be charged by 3-phase power. The protocol conversion would probably be the same, assuming it is performed in the adapter rather than in the car itself. I don't know what Japan's electrical system above the 100V 50/60Hz standard, but I presume they have higher voltages (perhaps even 3-phase). So, they may or may not use the same connector on the car as in the US.

My guess is that they could produce a CHAdeMO adapter for the US about the time they provide it elsewhere, but they would have to be convinced there would be sufficient interest to justify doing it (probably at a price of something like $500-$1000). Given that CHAdeMO is currently only supported by Nissan and Mitsubishi and all the other manufacturers are going for the SAE-DC approach, it isn't entirely clear that CHAdeMO in the US is long-lived. Personally, I would bet on CHAdeMO being the defacto standard as the only one actually in the field and the only one current with cars supporting it, but that is by no means a given.

hiroshiy | 19 April 2013
Thanks for the info on the difference b/w American connector of Model S and European connector. Hmm, it seems American is charging 110V / 240V single phase, whereas European uses 3 phases. Here in Japan the only "standard" is 100V single phase, but in most homes and buildings 200V single phase is available from the beginning. This suggest me that the connector would be the same b/w American and Japanese on the vehicle side. You can order 200V 3 phases but above that the utility offers 6.6kV or in metro areas 22kV and you're on your own to convert.

On a slightly side note - you mentioned that the adapter must be different - I'm just guessing that the CHAdeMO adapter would use Supercharger connector as it is DC based. Thus the adapter must be global correct? European Model S has Supercharger connector in addition to 3-phase AC connector, right?

jat | 20 April 2013

@hiroshiy - in the US, the actual service is 240V spit phase (ground is 120V between the two hot lines), and the 120V outlets are between one hot line and ground. 240V equipment, such as dryers, welders, and EV chargers, simply get 240V between the two hot lines. Almost nobody charges a car from 120V except in emergencies.

Commercial power is generally 3-phase, and the voltage between any two phases is 208V RMS. Apartment buildings sometimes get their power from 2 phases of 3-phase power, so dryers/etc are generally capable of operating on 208-250V.

I am suggesting the adapter will have to be physically different because the connector on the car is different -- the US Model S has 2 supply pins, ground, and 2 data pins. The European Model S supports charging from 3-phase power, so must have 3 supply pins (and is expected to use the Mennekes connector - ). Just like the US connector, I am sure a pair of the supply leads will be used for DC charging as well (or perhaps even split across multiple lines, as the stock connector only supports 63A).

Aside from just having a physically different connector, which means they would have to produce different parts, the really problem would be if the car is where the CHAdeMO protocol is processed (which would allow the use of an unpowered adapter). In that case, it is entirely possible that the US Model S simply lacks the hardware to support it.

Brian H | 20 April 2013

How does the spit phase work? Should that be spit face?


hiroshiy | 20 April 2013 Thanks for explanation. I must be confused- there is only one connector on the car... Understood about the on-car connector difference between U.S. and Europe.

I went to the showroom today and they've explained that CHAdeMO support *might* be just an adapter but also *might* be an adapter and an unit on the car, replacing Supercharger unit in Japan.

Yes, split phase - Japan is the same (sorry for my poor English). We call it 200V single phase in Japanese language but it is actually two hot lines. 100V uses one hot line and one ground.

jat | 20 April 2013

@hiroshiy - there is one connector, but it has a total of 5 connections in it -- see

The two top lines are the supply lines, the bottom center pin is ground, and the two smaller pins on the bottom are the data lines. The US Superchargers connect to this same connector, so the supply lines are used for high-current DC as well as AC up to 80A.

Right, the possibility that the CHAdeMO support is in the car itself rather than an adapter is what makes me worry that there might never been an adapter for the US, as it would then be building another product from scratch just for the US market and there may not be sufficient chargers or interested customers to justify that.

hiroshiy | 20 April 2013 Thank you again for the photo and explantion. Single connector for L1, L2 and high current DC is a good design I thought. The Tesla connector is also very small compared with CHAdeMO.

I also felt the same when I heard about possibilities re; how CHAdeMO support is implemented. Tesla could have various choices, including making two types of CHAdeMO adapter (Japan/U.S. and Euro, or Japan/Euro and U.S.), just Japan, and an adapter/unit combo for Japan/Euro etc.

f-tal | 20 April 2013

Who knows how long it will take (and how many) Supercharger locations there will be. Meanwhile, it sure would be nice to "literally charge almost anywhere", like the 160 installed US CHADEMO locations.

Brian H | 20 April 2013

GB said CHAdeMO would be "native" on the Eurocars. Sounds like no adapter, to me.

DouglasR | 20 April 2013

@Brian - It can't use both CHAdeMO and Mennekes connectors without using an adapter for at least one of them (unlikely it would have dual ports). I'm betting the Mennekes connector is "native."

Jolinar | 20 April 2013

My bet is also that EU cars will have Mennekes connector and Brian's "native" CHAdeMO support only means that they will give CHAdeMO adapter to every car, like J1772 adapter in US.

Brian H | 20 April 2013

It's what George Blankenship said in his video Q&A in Europe. Ask him what he meant.

hiroshiy | 20 April 2013

I have a question to European owners: do you have supercharger option? Of what kind?

@Jolinar: I guess that CHAdeMO is DC, so it can't go through onboard chargers. Instead the current bypasses and through an unit directly connected to the battery. The question is what kind of unit it is.

Brian H | 20 April 2013

No, it doesn't require any particular unit, just adequate wiring and the correct software setup in the MS. All cars now have the wiring, but a 60kWh buyer may choose to delay the software setup and pay for it later if needed.

negarholger | 20 April 2013

Connector by committee - oh what a mess. EU one standard, US another standard, Japan a third and China wants to go its own way... Best of all the new EU standard is illegal in several EU countries.
I am so glad that Tesla stays out of it as best as it can. Look how elegant the TM solution is compared to all the other standards. Fortunately there are two sides to a car... One side could house the 3 phase EU connector and the other side a TM style super charger connector. Where does that leave Chademo... I don't know.
But this mess wasn't created by TM... It is the estabished car companies that made the mess. I work for a large company - put more then 2 people in a room and you'll never get an agreement.

hiroshiy | 20 April 2013

Hi, Brian, I think after the Tesla's announcement re; Supercharger option software activation, the hardware unit to support Supercharger is still built into the car. They just changed it to be with all cars by default.
My point is whether this unit is the same as ones in Euro/Japanese versions of Model S...

Brian H | 20 April 2013

Yes, that's what I said. It's universal. What differs are the connectors and the software to accommodate the various feeds.

hiroshiy | 21 April 2013

Brian, I'm sorry for my poor English ability - but I'd like to clarify what I meant. My communication with Tesla showroom in Tokyo was that Japanese Model S *might* have a different unit for DC charging, which they suggest it to be CHAdeMO DC unit. The plug itself must be U.S. or Euro, so even that happens there must be an adapter for CHAdeMO.

djm12 | 21 April 2013

CHAdeMO is building up EV charging infrastructure in the US and Japan quickly. If Tesla builds Model S supporting CHAdeMO for Japan, maybe they'll allow US customers to buy this option as well. When's the first delivery to Japan expected?

hiroshiy | 21 April 2013

@djm12: I agree what you've mentioned. I hope Tesla try hard to accomodate international charging standards in addition to invest into their own Supercharger network.

The first delivery in Japan will start in fourth quarter (October - December) this year from LHD, and RHD will be in December after LHD first get delivered. LHD Signature, LHD normal, RHD Signature and RHD normal, in this order.

Brian H | 21 April 2013

There is no such thing as a DC "unit". There is no such thing as a CHAdeMO "unit". Just connectors, wiring, and software. The connectors and wiring are in common across all cars in each market. The software is designed to match.

hiroshiy | 22 April 2013

Hi, Brian,
That makes a lot of sense. I originally thought there IS a unit to distribute high DC current to multiple groups of battery packs inside the Model S, and that is so-called "Supercharger hardware" in this announcement.

The salesperson at Tesla Aoyama in Tokyo also mentioned about the existence of the unit, but I'll confirm further. Anyway I hope there will be CHAdeMO adapter available worldwide!

jat | 22 April 2013

@hiroshiy - the battery management system already takes care of balancing between cells, and you need that whether you are charging on AC or DC (though it is more critical the faster you charge). I believe the Supercharger hardware is simply heavier cables to the charge port, and extra contactors to route the supply lines from the port to either the rectifiers or directly to the battery, rather than just straight to the rectifiers. I suppose they could put it in a box and call it a "unit" that routes the power, but I don't think there is a lot to it.

TFMethane | 23 April 2013

@jat. Thanks for the technical info. I'm an engineer myself, and I found your comments useful. However, I disagree with your conclusion that Tesla would have to put different plugs in the car to accommodate different voltage configurations internationally.

That is the role of the Universal mobile connector, (the hi-tech charge cable you can buy for the Tesla).

There are currently 10 different heads (physical adapters) available for whatever wall voltage/current options you have. Mine came with the Type-A (110V, 15 AMP) wall adapter, and a NEMA 14-50(208-250V 50 AMP, split phase or 3-phase) adapter, which is common in RV parks. I also bought a NEMA 10-30 adapter for $50 (but the website lists them at $100) so I can plug into the split phase 30 AMP dryer plug in my garage that was installed in 1963 when the house was built. I'm in the process of upgrading my home's wiring for the High Powered Wall Connector.

The Nema 10-30 plug in my garage charges me at 6kW, which is the same as the vast majority of pulbic EV stations using the J1772 standard. When I recently went on a long road trip to Big Sur, I stayed overnight at a hotel in Santa Barbara, which used my NEMA 14-50 connector and my Universal Mobile Connector to charge at 9kW. I used the same 14-50 adapter at an RV park/cabin campground in the middle of nowhere in Big Sur, and I got 10kW.

I used a J1772 Level 3 station at a Tesla-owning dentist's office (Dr. Marcum) in San Luis Obispo to charge at 250V, 70 amps... or 20kW. I used the J1772 adapter to connect the EV station directly to my tesla port. This did not require the Universal Mobile connector.
This is an example of using the twin chargers somewhere other than at home. If I didn't have the twin chargers, it would have charged at 1/2 the rate. Agreed, these faster charging stations are few and far between, and requires an enthusiast to install and maintain.

If you own one, then you know that the universal mobile connector has in-line electronics that adjust to whatever voltage and current configurations it encounters. It will only pass through 80% of the rated amperage of the outlet you are using (so technically my 30 Amp home plug only charges at 24 amps, and the 50 Amp RV plugs only charge at 40 Amps)

Since Nema 14-50 is one of the standard physical plugs Tesla provides for the Universal Mobile connector, and Nema 14-50 outlets are capable of providing either split phase or 3 phase configurations, I would imagine that it would be a simple matter to make a physical adapter to accommodate any 3-phase voltage configuration anywhere in the world. You do not have to have a different plug on the vehicle itself.

Regarding the Chademo DC charging... I don't know what wattage it peaks out at, but I would imagine it would only require a smart conector between the EV station plug and the standard tesla vehicle inlet, as well as some software/firmware in the vehicle itself to recognize the electronic signals and initiate charging. All of these charging standards have hard data connections that require handshaking between the vehicle and the charger, and all of them allow for variation of the voltage and current up to a maximum... The Tesla should be capable of Chademo... it's just a matter of when Tesla rolls it out.

TFMethane | 23 April 2013

One other thing: regarding Tesla's communication and relations with the public:

I've noticed that the service center people are generally not very knowledgeable about all of the different charging options. They spend an hour with you upon delivery explaining how to use a touch screen (duh), and zero time telling you what charging networks exist, and how you are going to charge your car... The MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR AN ELECTRIC CAR.

IMHO, they should sit you down, go over the different plugs, and sign you up for all the different commercial charging networks (Chargepoint, Blink, GE Wattstation), so you have cards and are ready to go to straight to the mall and plug in while you shop. I spent 3 days after I got my car trying to set up how to charge, so it just sat in my driveway looking nice for my neighbors. It seems like such a basic thing, and they totally drop the ball here.

If they want to start selling cars to the general public, they can't assume that every customer spends three weeks on these forums in the months leading up to their delivery date.

Right now, though, their factory is running at capacity and they couldn't handle any more orders if they got them anyway... It's a mistake to assume the outstripping demand will always be there. They need to tighten up their ship.

Alex K | 23 April 2013

@TFMethane | APRIL 23, 2013: Nema 14-50 outlets are capable of providing either split phase or 3 phase configurations, I would imagine that it would be a simple matter to make a physical adapter to accommodate any 3-phase voltage configuration anywhere in the world.

NEMA 14-50 does not provide for 3-phase. The pins are L1&L2 (line) N (neutral) and G (ground). There are only two "phases". In order for Tesla to convert from 3-phase to 2-phase, they would need a transformer, and it would be rather large to handle the current. Tesla announced, when they were showing the car in Europe, that they would be using the Mennekes style connector for 3-phase charging.

TFMethane | 23 April 2013
TFMethane | 23 April 2013

Ok, sorry for bombing the thread. I looked into it, and the Nema 14-50 3-phase setups I've seen online are non-standard, and mostly people wiring their welders in a non-standard fashion. So, as far as I can now tell, the mobile connector appears to be single-phase 120-240V (split) only. How this would affect the need for multiple ports on the vehicl to accept 3-phase current vs. single or split phase supply configurations, I'm not sure. I would imagine they could make something like the universal mobile connector to do the appropriate conversion, rather than installing multiple ports on the vehicle itself.

TFMethane | 23 April 2013

@Alex K. Thanks for the fast reply. I didn't even see your post before I put my correction up. You are right. I'm sorry for that bit of misinformation. Thank you for clarifying and posting the link.

TFMethane | 23 April 2013

Also, Dr. Marcum's office is Level 2, not Level 3. Wattage and amperage info still valid. Sorry for all the mistakes.

jat | 23 April 2013

@TFmethane - Tesla has already said that European Model S's will use the Mennekes connector, which has more pins. US Model S's have two supply lines, one ground, and two data lines. Thus, you cannot feed 3-phase power into that port.

Also, the mobile connector doesn't detect what current is available and choose 80% of it, it knows what adapter is plugged in and the software sets the current accordingly. You can certainly draw 40A through the 14-50 adapter over whatever circuit it is plugged into, even when that circuit can't support it.

wcalvin | 2 June 2013

Anyone tried charging at a CHAdeMO via the J1772?

You might not want to leave it long enough to get beyond 75% charge, lacking approved charger management, but for the "half-tank" uses, it might be simple, just requiring you to set a time-out.

stevenmaifert | 2 June 2013

No one has tried because it's not possible. CHAdeMO doesn't use J1772. It's a totally different connector and software protocol. That's why my Leaf has two separate ports; one for Level 2 J1772 A/C and one for Level 3 CHAdeMO D/C. AFAIK, Tesla hasn't said anything about creating and adapter and software for it's North American owners. I doubt they will because in time (2015), we should be pretty well covered by the Supercharger network.

PatT | 2 June 2013

I recently ran into a problem with the mobile connector that I use for my roadster. It would only deliver 12 amps no matter how I tried to adjust the charge rate in the car. I called the service center and they eventually sent me a new MC along with a bill for $1500 -- the car is 38 months old so the warranty has expired.

I have a roadster to MS adapter so I tried hooking up the old MC to the MS just to see if it would act the same while charging the MS. However, there must be other issues because I also get a red fault light on the MC and it won't allow a charge to take place.

I did notice the charging screen on the MS, when I first connect it to the charge port, indicates it is ready to receive 12 amps! How does the car "know" what amperage it "thinks" it can get? Obviously the mobile connector is sending the car a signal but what can it detect from the receptacle other than voltage?

I have also observed that the car can't tell if it is pulling more juice than the circuit can handle. When I've plugged into dryer outlets, I have to manually dial down the current or the breaker pops.

jat | 2 June 2013

@PatT - the UMC knows what adapter is connected, and so it knows what the maximum allowed current is for that adapter. Presumably the Roadster charger sends pilot current information to the car the same way the UMC does, and the adapter simply translates that to what the Model S expects. So, presumably the issue is your old Roadster charger is misreading the allowed current and reporting that to the Model S.

If you plug into a dryer outlet, I presume you are using a hand-made 14-50 to 10-30/14-30 adapter, right? The Tesla-supplied adapters automatically signal the car to use only 24A and you can't increase it beyond that.

PatT | 2 June 2013

Thanks for the reply. That makes sense.

I guess I could (and will) make sure that all the connections are clean but I know the problem is not in the NEMA 14-50 adapter as I am using the old adapter with the new UMC and getting 40 amps.

Ahh! I just realized what may have happened. When the old UMC failed I had just plugged it into a new 50 amp circuit that I terminated in a twist lock plug that went directly into the UMC. No adapter -- so what did the UMC "think" about that?

SunnyGuy53 | 22 August 2013

Right. I watched the charging numbers for a while, after plugging my 85 kWh Model S into a Supercharger in Normal, Illinois -- and the highest reading that I recorded then was 238 amps at 368 volts, which is 87.6 kW.

Mark S

patrick0101 | 17 October 2014

The price of the CHAdeMO adaptor was recently reduced. Is this the first sign that it will actually go on sale in the US soon?

Tesla CHAdeMO Adapter Really Coming Soon