Nissan Leaf CCS Conversion

Electric vehicles are all the rage today (and with good reason), but the charging details can be a bit tricky at times. Let’s look at the Nissan Leaf. Its CHAdeMO charging system has been around for years, but the alternative CSS system is seemingly now leaving it in the dust. This has left some Nissan owners wondering if it’s possible for them to upgrade to the more promising successor. We’ll answer that question and more in this article.

A Nissan Leaf drives down the highway

Is there a CHAdeMO to CSS solution?

The short answer is no. There is no practical way to make a Nissan Leaf work with a CSS charging system. There is no adapter or converter that is widely sold or offered to make this possible.

The exception

Of course, there’s always an exception to the rule. An innovative company out of Europe called MUXSAN has developed a solution for converting a Leaf to use CSS charging systems. This conversion is not cheap and is only available for people who can get their car to its European shop. However, it may be possible that this conversion could be made available for parts of the world at some point in the future.

Will other alternatives become available over time? There may be other third parties that figure out a way to make this conversion happen, depending on the demand. As technology development continues at its break-neck pace, there may be more accessible and cheaper solutions available.

Why can’t a converter be created?

The fact of the matter is that there is a fair amount of engineering required to make a suitable adapter. It’s not as simple as just sliding one piece over another.

What to do instead

Instead of asking for a way to make their Leaf work with CSS charging systems, owners should instead try to use the Leaf for what it’s good at. Leafs are great cars for urban areas. There, owners will find plenty of charging stations that are compatible. If you’re someone looking for a car to get around the city, the Leaf should have you covered. Rural areas and long trips to obscure areas may be trickier to pull off.

A Nissan Leaf has its charging cable plugged in.

Plan out trips

If you’re looking to take a trip, plan out how you will keep your vehicle charged. Look for level 2 chargers and CHAdeMO stations, and you should be fine. Is it tougher than it would be with a CSS vehicle? Yes, but there are plenty of doable trips.

Understand the charging options

Level 1

A level 1 charger is free and is for use at home, or anywhere you can access a standard electrical outlet. This charges at the slowest rate. This type of charger uses a typical 3-prong plug like you might plug anything else into at home. These chargers can deliver about 2-5 miles of driving per hour of charging. To fully charge your model, it can take between 20 hours and 2.5 days. Leafs come with a cable to conduct level 1 charging at home.

Level 2

A level 2 charger is available for homes or businesses. This allows faster charging, taking between 8 and 11.5 hours. This allows for 10-25 miles per hour of charging, which is a big step up from level 1. Level 2 chargers can cost up to $2,000 and require installation by an electrician. However, there are a number of public places that offer level 2 chargers. Grocery stores and employers sometimes have these available for convenience. An hour in the grocery store can be enough to get your car quite far.

Level 3

A level 3, or CHAdeMO charging station, is by far the fastest. This allows charging in about 1 hour. These are the fast chargers that are made available for the public. You can plug your car in and have it fully charged up in no time. However, it is understood that slow charging is better on the batter, and level 3 charges should be used less frequently.

A Leaf is charged


In summary, unfortunately there is no easy way to make a Leaf work with CSS as of right now. Of course, that could change in the future, although we wouldn’t hold our breath on it. CSS appears to be the way of the future, and CHAdeMO will henceforth receive less support. Leaf owners should be just fine though for some time to come, due to the existing infrastructure in place. There’s no need to panic and sell your Leaf! Just keep maintaining it and enjoy one of the great EVs!