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Japanese, Chinese industry groups to standardize EV fast charger specs

TOKYO -- Japanese and Chinese industry organizations have agreed to unify their standards for fast chargers for electric vehicles (EVs), the Japanese body announced on Aug. 22.

    Japan's CHAdeMO Association and the China Electricity Council will sign a memorandum on joint development of next-generation fast chargers for EVs in Beijing on Aug. 28.

    Japanese, European-North American and Chinese industries have been competing to gain the upper hand in the standards for quick EV chargers. Japanese and Chinese EV charger manufacturers will gain an over 90 percent share on the world market with the unification of their standards. The Japanese and Chinese industry bodies will seek to develop their unified standard into an international standard.

    The output of Japanese fast chargers is approximately 150 kilowatts while that of Chinese machines is about 50 kilowatts. The Japanese and Chinese industries are striving to develop chargers with a maximum output of 900 kilowatts under their unified standards as early as 2020. They also intend to reduce the time required to recharge an EV from the current 30 to 40 minutes to less than 10 minutes.

    EVs are beginning to spread around the world. However, standards for EV chargers, such as the shapes of charging inlets that connect EVs with chargers, differ by countries and regions.

    Currently, there are some 18,000 chargers using the CHAdeMO system, developed jointly by Japanese automakers and electric power companies, around the world. Chinese businesses have developed the GB/T system and deployed 220,000 chargers using the system in China alone. There are about 7,000 units of European and North American chargers with their Combined Charging System.

    The unification of Japanese and Chinese standards would allow Japanese car manufacturers to sell cars with the same specifications for those sold domestically in China's huge market.

    Chinese businesses are aiming to introduce high-level technologies from Japan through joint development.

    The shape of charging inlets for next-generation chargers that Japan and China will jointly develop will be different from those of the CHAdeMO and GB/T systems but will adapt to their current systems.

    (Japanese original by Naoya Matsumoto, Business News Department)

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