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The SAE standard J1772 charging connector for plug-in vehicles passed another threshold on its way to finalization this week. Underwriters Laboratories has completed its certification testing on the connector developed by Yazaki. The UL testing has verified the safety and durability characteristics of the 5-pin connector. Virtually all of the automakers from the U.S., Japan and Europe are planning to use the standard plug on upcoming electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, including in the Chevy Volt.

The plug supports both charging and two way communications and is designed to survive at least 10,000 connection and disconnection cycles. Now that the UL testing has been completed, the standard specification will be put to a vote of the SAE committee in July. The standard defines physical and performance characteristics for both electrical and mechanical behavior so that other companies can build compatible connectors and vehicle sockets.


[Source: Society of Automotive Engineers]


SAE International Standard to Define Electric-Vehicle Charging Coupler

WARRENDALE, Pa., June 23, 2009 -

SAE International is finalizing a standard that will define an electric-vehicle charging system and coupler for widespread public use.

Standard J1772TM, "SAE Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler," spells out the general physical, electrical and performance requirements for the coupler, which consists of a connector and vehicle inlet. The purpose of the standard is to define a common electric-vehicle charging network, which will reduce costs and increase convenience for owners of electric vehicles.

"By standardizing, you're reducing costs and allowing everyone to use the same connector. All of the charging equipment you would pull up to in public would have identical connectors, so any vehicle could use one. It will be a consistent, reliable interface," said Gery Kissel, Chair of the SAE Hybrid J1772 Task Force, in an interview with SAE International's Automotive Engineering International magazine.

The coupler has passed testing by Underwriters Laboratories for safety and durability.

Standard J1772 was developed by the SAE Hybrid Standards Committee in cooperation with the Japanese Automotive Research Institute. The standard will go out for ballot to committee members in July.

SAE International is a global association of more than 121,000 engineers and related technical experts in the automotive, aerospace and commercial-vehicle industries. SAE International's core competencies are life-long learning and standards development. SAE International's charitable arm is the SAE Foundation, which supports many programs, including A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series.


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  • 27 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Guess there's no turning back now.
      I still think they should've gone with the existing IEC60309 standard, but meh. I just hope they keep the licensing fees down.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whatever happened to the induction paddles of the 90's electric cars?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Induction charging loses a lot of power in the inductive power transfer. Conductive is much more efficient. If you are looking at hundreds of thousands of vehicles - the inductive losses can become appreciable.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And let's not forget inductive losses.
        • 6 Years Ago
        They also tended to be a bit expensive, and had limited power capability. their only real advantages was that it was easy to insert (provided you had the right size, there were two sizes) and it was waterproof.

        Since a well designed jack is also easy to insert, and ground fault detection can deal with any shorting, not just water, the paddles are obsolete.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The inductive paddles don't support either communications or two-way electrical flow that would be needed for vehicle to grid.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ah of course :) that makes sense
        • 5 Years Ago
        Still using one on my GM Prizm. They are *great*; up to 6000 watts of power and so safe my 8 year old can "plug in" the car.

        This solution is silly by comparison.

        C
      • 6 Years Ago
      Now you gotta keep thugz from vandalizing the charger stations.
      It won't be fun, getting low on Z, and finding out some neanderthal
      pulled all of the wiring out to sell at the yard.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I meant to say "...power cord, or both?
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does this mean Europe is accepting the same standard now? I remember an article on this site a few months ago saying the Europe was going a different route (Mennekes design). Thanks.
      • 6 Years Ago
      It's a shame that in the rush to standards they didn't look far enough ahead and include 3-phase connections in the same plug body. Not hard to do. This would be vital for commercial EV users and/or high-speed charging further down the track. Hey, ho, I see another standard on the way. Perhaps.
      • 6 Years Ago
      KenZ,

      You say you've dealt with a lot off connectors. Have you dealt with the J1772? I heard from someone that these are a bear to plug and unplug, especially as they get older. Do you agree?

      From the picture, it looks it could get pretty tricky to get everything lined up right, especially the two small pin holes.
      • 6 Years Ago
      stew> two way communication and grid capability is needed for power companies and in the future as more electricity comes from renewables like wind and solar. say there is a peak sometime and there is not enough power on the grid, normally thats a blackout with a proper system your car could discharge to the grid (at a $ rate) and be a mini power plant for instant power, you as a provider would be paid a hefty amount for that ability. you car would then recharge at the normal rate when demand goes down. you would in theory set the amount you needed, say 50mi out of 100mi range and that 50mi kw of electricity would be available for the grid if needed.

      david> the Europe system is different due to their different voltages and amperage. just like a normal plug for electronics. so this is good though, really getting close to 2 major standards, it means the electrics are here this time, and they are not going away.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Yes, we should maybe agree on the same type of connector...but do we have to carry the power cord or does the power station have to have the power cord. of both?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The main reason for the two-way comm link is to enable billing, not so that the car can supply stored power to the grid on peak demand.

      Hotels and motels and airport parking lots won't install power plugs to recharge electric cars if they have no convenient way to (over)charge the customer for the service.

      "you as a provider would be paid a hefty amount" - don't hold your breath on that one.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So...what was wrong with Tesla's connector? Did they just not think about submitting it for standardization?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I read that the Tesla charger communicates with the car before starting current flow. Certainly it could be programmed to do V2G over the same link?
        http://www.teslamotors.com/design/safety.php
        "...and both the High Power Connector unit and the car have “talked” and agreed the connection is safe..."
        • 6 Years Ago
        Stew,

        Of course communication is not a requirement for charging. You can plug a Tesla or most other cars into just about any standard 120 or 240 outlet, and none of those outlets support communication.

        But if you are going to standardize a connector that every electric vehicle is supposed to use and you don't include communication, then you are preventing all electric vehicles from ever having communication capability.

        After there are thousands of charging stations and hundreds of thousands of cars on the road is no time to say, "Oops, we should have included this other feature, let's go back and change everything".
        • 6 Years Ago
        Same as the paddle, it doesn't support communications or vehicle to grid
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, because this is needed in order to charge something. Funny, everything in my house that plugs in does not communicate with the grid or put power back in to the grid yet somehow manages to work just fine. I even have rechargable batteries that actually recharge normally in spite of these glaring deficiencies.

        Obviously I'm being sarcastic here, hopefully two way communication is not a requirement for re-charging, I can't see how it would be though. At any rate, I think I'm in the minority on this, but that is A-OK.

        Stew
        • 6 Years Ago
        Tesla couldn't wait for the SAE to get it done. The current standard Avcon plug wasn't elegant enough and was no longer being made. So Tesla designed their own plug to meet the existing standards of both NEC 625 and relevant SAE standards. In the future Tesla plans to offer upgrade kits for the Roadster and the Model S will already have the J1772 plug.

        My concern is is, who's going to sell them. Is it going to be Yazaki exclusively and they will
        claim that they will sell only to OEM's due demand? Or is the SAE going to require Yazaki to release the copyright so that other manufacturers can make them? Single source equates to more expensive and low availability.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I still say that they're focusing on the wrong end of the cable, and should emulate the example of those Juice Points in Europe:

      http://bit.ly/NsqM

      Since that will obviously not be the case, WHEN will we be able to purchase these J1772 plugs at Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace Hardware, etc.?

      I ask because I am willing to wager that the vast majority of EV owners will NOT be content to only use public chargers or wall boxes, but will want to charge their vehicle from any standard outlet they can find, be it 110V or 220V. They will thus want to wire together their own adapters and cables to these plugs, just like Martin Eberhard has done for Roadster owners:

      http://bit.ly/44AeV

        • 6 Years Ago
        Oops! My first link above (to a European Juice Point) is missing an "s" on the end:

        http://bit.ly/NsqMs
        • 6 Years Ago
        Standard plugs are not safe enough for high-current charging. Oddly, the unsafe end is the one shown. The problem becomes if you disconnect the cable at that end while charging quickly, induction causes huge voltages to appear at the prongs and will often jump the gap, creating a big spark. Also, the prongs end up live for a (very) short period.
        • 6 Years Ago
        LS2LS7: If you're talking about the up-and-coming 440V+ fast-chargers, I can see it. If, however, you're referring to 220V, I wonder if Europeans often end up fried, since that's the standard voltage for ANY plug over there, whether it be to connect an EV, a hair dryer, a coffee machine, or a laptop computer. Maybe we should warn Eberhard and his friends? Also EVNut with his 220V adapters for his RAV4-EV?

        http://evnut.com/charger_adapters.htm

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