SAE releases new combo charger standard for plug-in vehicles

Love it or hate it, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE)’s long-awaited standard for plug-in vehicle charging has been approved and published. The new revision to the J1772 standard incorporates AC Levels 1 and 2 (up to 80 amps), and DC Levels 1 and 2 (up to 200 amps), and allows all to be combined on a single connector.

“This new standard reflects the many hours that top industry experts from around the world worked to achieve the best charging solution – a solution that helps vehicle electrification technology move forward,” said Gery Kissel, Chairman of the SAE J1772 Task Force. “We now can offer users of this technology various charging options in one combined design.”

Eight US and European automakers have signed on to the new system, which was developed by some 190 global experts representing automakers, charging equipment makers, utilities and national labs. It includes standards for electrical systems, charge controllers, package dimensions and safety mechanisms, as well as a common broadband communication method.

The new standard offers a number of improvements over the competing CHAdeMO standard, but the latter is already well established in Japan, and is also used by most existing vehicles and chargers in the US market (Tesla proudly uses its own standard). GM announced a few months ago that its Chevrolet Spark EV, which will go on sale in 2014, will be the first vehicle to implement the new SAE standard. It remains to be seen how much of a challenge the new multi-standard world will present to makers of EVs and charging equipment.

 

Source: SAE
Image: SAE