Differences between the CCS and CHAdeMO Combo plug

Differences between the CCS and CHAdeMO Combo plug

          Electric vehicles can be equipped with different plugs to charge them, and today we will focus on the two standards of fast DC charging: Combo CCS and CHAdeMO. These two fast-charging standards have emerged since the beginning of the history of electric vehicles: CHAdeMO and Combo CCS. So, what are the differences between the CCS and CHAdeMO Combo plug?

        If a harmonization has indeed taken place between the different manufacturers to simplify charging, the fact is that not everything is identical everywhere. Significant differences persist between the available charging stations, the connectors’ shape, use, and maximum permissible power.

Let’s look at two current fast charging standards to get the differences between the CCS and CHAdeMO Combo plugs and get a clearer idea of the benefits of choosing a car with a CHAdeMO or a Combo CCS port.


The first notable difference comes from the shape of the connector between CHAdeMO and Combo CCS. Indeed, in the manner of, for example, USB-C and Lightning on a smartphone, the two standards do not share the same design.

The CHAdeMO is now in its third iteration, with versions 1 and 2 identical: a circular connector with a safety catch at the end of the plug to avoid pulling the cable out.

CHAdeMO version 3.0 featured a new design validated in 2020 and took the shape of the upcoming Chinese GB/T standard for fast charging. For now, no vehicle uses this new port, so we only know the round format so far.


The CCS Combo is bigger and not symmetrical, as shown in the picture below. Often, a handle is present at the end of the cable to facilitate its insertion in the car side port.

The Combo CCS port is named for the Combined Charging System, which means that it is two charging ports in one. The top part has the same shape as the Type 2 connector (used for low-power AC charging), and the bottom has two additional pins (used for high-power DC).

The advantage of the CCS Combo is that vehicles only need one charging port for both AC and DC. CHAdeMO is only used for DC charging, so vehicles equipped with it must also have another charging port dedicated to AC power.

Nissan Leaf is the most popular European example that offers fast charging via a CHAdeMO port. A Type 2 port is then present to allow AC charging at home.

  • Differences between the CCS and CHAdeMO Combo plug “IN USAGE”

As mentioned above, a vehicle equipped with a CHAdeMO port must necessarily have another charging port, which complicates manufacturing and requires more space.

However, there are not only disadvantages to the CHAdeMO port, since it has been offering for many years V2X (which includes V2H, V2B, and V2G), i.e., the possibility for the vehicle to provide energy to the electrical network, to a house or a building.

A few initiatives from Nissan have seen the light of day, notably a Nissan Re-Leaf, an emergency vehicle dedicated to rescuing operations during natural disasters with 3 electrical outlets providing energy. Other projects exist but are still underdeveloped in the field of V2X in CHAdeMO in Europe. However, it is important to underline this advantage over the Combo CCS.

Indeed, V2X is not expected until 2025 at best on the CCS Combo port side. However, the fact that the CCS Combo port integrates the Type 2 port for AC charging on the car side makes it possible to offer V2L (also known as bi-directional charging), as is the case with the Kia EV6 or Hyundai Ioniq 5, for example.

This is simply turning the car with a CCS Combo port into a big battery to provide power to a few devices. The implementation goes much further on the CHAdeMO and V2X side, with a possible communication between the car and the electrical network to provide energy intelligently.

But V2X compatibility with Combo CCS should come quickly, as proven by Honda’s “e” electric car, which is the first to support V2X (and more precisely, V2G) with the European DC charging, in trial on the Swiss power grid.


If there are differences in the use of the two fast charging standards and their form, what about the technical specifics? Is one of them more advanced than the other?

CHAdeMO is in its third iteration today (the first was in 2009), with theoretical power ratings (current multiplied by voltage) only getting better:

CHAdeMO 1.0, 62.5 kW maximum power (125 A x 500 V)
CHAdeMO 1.2, 200 kW maximum power (400 A x 500 V)
CHAdeMO 2.0, 400 kW maximum power (400 A x 1000 V)
CHAdeMO 3 (or ChaoJi), 900 kW maximum power (600 A x 1500 V)

So you can see that the CHAdeMO standard has plenty to offer since it allows charging at a theoretical maximum power of 900 kW.

However, the maximum current of CHAdeMO 2.0 currently in use does not exceed 400 A, so a car with a 400-volt battery cannot exceed 160 kW. However, with an 800-volt battery (Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Porsche Taycan, etc.), the maximum output can be up to 320 kW with his CHAdeMO 2.0 port.

There has been no massive evolution on the CCS side, which is much more recent (2015). Indeed, from the first description of the protocol by Audi, BMW, Daimler, Porsche, and Volkswagen, it was specified that the charging power would reach 200 kW, with the prospect of evolution to the famous 350 kW that we know today.

For the time being, CCS can recharge at 350 kW, with a maximum current of 500 amperes. To exceed 200 kW of power, a battery with a voltage higher than 400 volts is required.

At Tesla, the architecture used is 400 volts. Still, with the v3 Superchargers, it seems that the intensity is higher than 500 amperes, with a peak at 700 amperes, thanks to the use of in-house cables and communication protocol, despite the limitations of the CCS Combo connector present on the car.

In the case of both CHAdeMO and CCS, the cable is always attached to the terminal, which means there is no need to carry a cable to recharge.


Charging standards are only relevant if they are available in large numbers and well distributed. We will see that depending on the region, CHAdeMO or CCS will be more interesting. In 2022, there were around 48,500 CHAdeMO charging points worldwide, including 24,780 in Europe and some 2,750 in France.

There are nearly 25,000 CHAdeMO charging stations available for the few European vehicles that can take advantage of it, such as the Nissan Leaf or the Kia Soul EV. However, the number of CHAdeMO stations, especially in France, has a major problem: there is usually only one CHAdeMO station per fast charging station. Indeed, on Ionity or Fastned stations, in particular, subsidies are only granted if there is a so-called “tri-standard” station, offering both a CHAdeMO, CCS, and Type 2 cable for slow charging.

As a result, the overwhelming majority of these stations are installing multiple CCS chargers (between four and ten for Ionity, for example) and a tri-standard terminal, gradually contributing to the decline of CHAdeMO in favor of the other fast charging standard.

However, the situation in Europe is different from China, where the merger of the GB/T and CHAdeMO fast charging standards is underway with the CHAdeMO 3, which should considerably increase the number of CHAdeMO charging stations in the current decade. But on the old continent, CCS is the most important since it is simply present on all new vehicles offering fast charging today. It is, therefore, necessary to install a significant number of fast charging stations with a CCS cable.

Thus, since 2019, several players have arrived to deploy a European Combo CCS fast charging network. This is particularly the case with Ionity, which has 428 stations in Europe for 1,862 charging stations. In France, at the end of August 2022, the Ionity network had 105 stations and 458 charging points; others are still being deployed.

Fastned and Totalenergies are also set up in the country and will increase the number of CCS chargers available. However, the largest fast-charging network in Europe is Tesla’s, with more than 9,000 charging stations spread over about 850 stations to date. The American giant in France has more than 120 stations and nearly 1,500 charging stations equipped with a CCS cable.

Initially reserved for Tesla vehicles only, Tesla Superchargers are gradually opening up to everyone, allowing owners of any vehicle with a CCS port to charge at them. Including Tesla, Ionity, Fastned, and others, there are about 12,500 CCS charging points in Europe, to which almost all of the 25,000 CHAdeMO charging points mentioned above should be added. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of CHAdeMO charging stations are tri-standard and therefore offer to charge with a CCS cable.

As a result, the number of CCS charging stations in Europe easily exceeds the number of CHAdeMO charging stations. This trend will only increase over time as vehicles leaving factories in Europe today have abandoned the CHAdeMO port.


As we’ve seen, CHAdeMO is drawing to a close in Europe, with the Nissan Ariya becoming the brand’s first car to adopt CCS. It is important to make sure you choose an electric car with a CCS port in Europe rather than a CHAdeMO port.

The most important point is the availability of charging stations, which are much better for vehicles with a CCS port, and this trend will only increase. Let’s hope that the CCS standard will become established throughout Europe for good, making it easier to travel by electric car wherever you go.

You already have to deal with countless charging cards to get by, so it’s nice not to worry about which charging cable to use. In the end, CHAdeMO was probably a great idea, but we have to mourn it for Europe: CCS has already taken over.