• Apr 20, 2009
Anyone with a cell phone, laptop or just about any other electronic device knows that battery chargers seldom work among different models – even when they are from the same brand.The SAE J1772™ Task Force is working to ensure that a similar scenario doesn't play out for electric cars.
The Society of Automotive Engineers and General Motors are trying to gain a consensus on a standard-sized plug for electric vehicles. The ubiquitous plug would enable a common plug for all OEMs to use for the future electric infrastructure. The standard plug would make an expansive infrastructure easier to tackle while saving EV owners the headache of worrying about different kinds of expensive adapters.

Beyond a standard plug, SAE J1772 is working to define physical, electrical and performance requirements so they can be manufactured for public use. The SAE will also find answers for basic questions about battery electrochemistry, size and life cycle.

GM's role in the standardization process has a lot to do with the Chevrolet Volt and future Volt variants. Since GM will likely have the first mass-market vehicle with electric-only propulsion, a plug standard ought to save The General time and money.

[Source: GM Fast Lane]


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  • 16 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      I have a home converted electric vehicle (in Australia). It charges just fine via our standard 240V/10amp power points, the same as everyone here has. I would assume that the lowest common denominator for any commercial vehicle in any particular country would be whatever is the connection method for any other domestic appliance. Higher power connections and faster chargers could be optional extras.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There are soo many standardization groups out there and it only makes sense to make the plug, voltage, and amperage set to a standard. because like said before me who would want to have an electrician come out every time you get a new car, or what happens when you drive to your friend's, and he has a honda, how annoying would that be.

      It can only help the sales and production of the vehicles. I cannot think of a single way it would hinder anything.

      cell phone companies make a good amount of money on all those chargers and adapters, and thats why they will not standardize it. because if they did then they would lose out on the added cost, and we have adapted to this idea that we will have to buy them.

      But if i were to get a electric car right now and they were charging me allot of money for the charging station i might rethink it. knowing they are trying to get more profits from there too. also who will install it, do i have to get an electrician or will the dealer do it for me...
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not an if.

        Tesla charges $3,000 for a high-speed charging connector.

        One of the reasons the EV1 didn't sell was because you had to install charging equipment in your garage at the cost of several thousand dollars, and have an electrician do it.

        Still, this system only standardizes the car end of the charger, you'll probably still have to have an electrician come out and install a charger if you buy an EV. As you mention though, hopefully you only need to have it done once and not every time you get a new EV.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This will be far more effective than the Federal government trying to mandate their own standard that will take 20 years to pass, and will be 15 years behind the best ideas of the time.

      Of course, I'm sure there are those who are reading this and thinking that mommy government should do this rather than a consortium of publicly owned/private companies.

      Actually, scratch that. GM isn't really one of those anymore :sigh:
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is something that needs to happen. Otherwise they can't even hope to have anything approaching an EV infrastructure. If every model has a different plug it'll be next to impossible to accommodate them all.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd say we're a good 10 years away from a standard plug. Since there are so few electric vehicles out there, and the tech is still evolving, forcing everyone to use one plug would probably only hamper development.

      The first thing to evolve will be standard charging requirements, like amps, blah blah, and then manufacturers will be able to make adapters if you want to charge your vec at a charging station.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I don't see how a standard plug hampers anything.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, I agree, but if that logic were followed with cell phones, we'd all be rocking mini or micro USB adapters and 3.5 audio jacks. ;)

        Just saw that Engadget post too, looks like a standard is already agreed on. Perhaps a backroom agreement to help everyone move EVs along for the sake of the industry?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why would it hamper development to agree on a standard plug? I could use the same power cord from my old 386SX-16 desk top on my new Dell Intel Core. The cell phone people do it for built in profit. The lose money giving phones and make it back on cell phone plans and accesories.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Although it may be a while before such cars are 'commonplace,' it's apparent that PHEVs are the next step in powertrain evolution. Toyota has already said that the next-gen Prius will be PHEV, and the Chevy Volt (whether or not you believe it's coming) was always intended to be PHEV.

        This only makes sense - after all, who would want to have to call an electrician every time they got a new car, just to change the charging connector?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm glad groups are being proactive about this considering it took almost ten years for the federal government to require OBD standardization after SAE recomended a standard for the industry.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Speaking of standardization, I remember reading or hearing an interview from an engineer talking about retrofitting electric motors into cars like so many folks have done on their own. He/she said that electric motor retrofitting could be made much more mainstream if automakers could merely use a few standard motor mounts (instead of ones tied to individual engine designs). I'm far from a mechanic, but it seems to make sense.
      • 5 Years Ago
      WHAT?!?!!? Detroit planning ahead??? I must be dreaming.....
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