Even though the Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi i already have their own standard for “quick-charge” stations - known as CHAdeMO, a standard supported by Nissan, Mitsubishi, Fuji Heavy Industries (parent company of Subaru) - the SAE is apparently pitching its own standard of quick-charger outlets (pictured above), creating a situation that would be akin to having certain cars only compatible with certain gas pumps.
Supported by BMW, Chrysler, Daimler, Ford, GM, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche, the new plug (above) is supposed to standardize charging across the world – even though CHAdeMO is already being used in significant numbers. While there is only one CHAdeMO station in the United States, Japan has adopted CHAdeMO as a standard, with 130 stations in Japan. The Nissan Leaf can be had with a standard plug and an optional CHAdeMO plug. The SAE system is being debuted at the May 6-9 EV Symposium – perhaps the opening salvo in the newest “VHS vs Betamax” spat.