• Apr 21, 2011


Back in June 2009, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard J1772 charging connector for plug-in vehicles passed certification testing conducted by the Underwriters Laboratories. This was a necessary step that moved the connection standard towards adoption in the U.S. Even though the SAE earns kudos for getting the U.S.' automotive industry to agree on a single standard for plug design, the Society has a lot more to accomplish. For example, establishing a Level 3 connector standard.

Last week, at the 2011 SAE World Congress, Charles Gray, Ford's chief engineer for core electrification engineering said that:
We're in a race on standards that, bluntly, we may not win because it's taking a long time to get these through committees I can't imagine not taking advantage of the opportunity, as this industry is reborn.
As Automotive News enterprise editor Dave Guilford reports, the SAE is developing a U.S. standard for the Level 3 connector, but probably won't finalize its decision until next year. Question: Is 2012 too late?

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req. | Image: Jonas Dalidd / AOL]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      Michael Walsh
      • 3 Years Ago
      Screw the SAE, CHAdeMo is fine!
      • 3 Years Ago
      This had better be the Chademo standard found on the Leaf, as my Leaf already has it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Would someone explain what is wrong with the plugs we already have (110v, 220v, etc)
        • 3 Years Ago
        If you pull out a 208V 100A 5 pin connector while under full load, you probably won't draw an arc if you do it reasonably quickly. Don't try the same thing with a DC load of that size, you could get the connectors a foot apart and have a 5,000 degree flame to play with. Extinguishing a DC arc under high current is very difficult. Also, DC contacts tend to burn if connected and disconnected with load on them.
      Jim McL
      • 3 Years Ago
      CHAdeMO is not powerful enough for the likes of Tesla with a 300 mile range pack, or class 5 trucks much less the class 8 heavy trucks. CHAdeMO might be OK for a 100 mile range in a class 1 passenger car, but in a few years that might look like a 66 MHz Intel 486 CPU. Like, how did we ever live with THAT? CHAdeMO might not be safe enough for the litigious US market either, since it does not carry a heavy safety ground wire as SAE is considering. Just some inexpensive ground fault interrupter. The old "AC Level 3" standard that J1772 has abandoned (it is still in the spec for historical reference) ranged up to about a quarter of a megawatt, now that would charge Tesla's big pack fast enough. Still pretty slow for a class 8 truck perhaps, but much faster than CHAdeMO. But what we are talking about today are DC fast chargers. These are not technically "Level 3" by SAE J1772 terminology definitions, as someone over at plugincars.com pointed out. I don't have a problem with the colloquial use of "Level 3" to generally mean "more than 20 kw", but there are some nit pickers out there who will whine about it. External DC fast charger is probably more accurate.
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim McL
        Yeah, I was shocked to find that current CHAdeMO quick chargers are only quick for things with a battery the side of a Leaf or a little bit larger. Even if a current Tesla Roadster had a CHAdeMO port, it would already take 1 hour for an 80% charge, instead of the 30 minute idea of a quick charge. Perhaps this will be changed in the future.
      porosavuporo
      • 3 Years Ago
      CHAdeMO has something that works now, and is getting deployed all around the world. Yes, 2012 is probably too late.
      Doug
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm perplexed as to why yet again you don't bother to show the connector in question. You can see it here at the top half of this post: http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/?p=64788#post64788 I really wish we had gone with Mennekes connector as a global standard. It can do 50kW DC on the same connector just by reassigning the pins it uses for 3 phase AC. http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/?p=64731&viewfull=1#post64731
        Doug
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Doug
        Sorry... with this new lame comment system, it looks like you have to manually copy and paste links into your browser.
      Roy_H
      • 3 Years Ago
      As far as I can tell, the Chademo and Level 3 J1772 are pretty close to equivalent. Both 200 amps and I think the J1772 a little higher at 600V vs about 500 for Chademo. There may be some good reasons to go with the SAE J1772, but not so dramatic that everybody will wait forever for it. This proposal was finished last year, why does it take so long to go through the committee process??? I agree, any delay and it will be DOA. Too bad as I do think it is a superior design.
      • 3 Years Ago
      with the leaf already in production with CHAdeMO and the i MiEV about to release their model at the end of this year with the CHAdeMO charger, it will be difficult not to go with it. In addition, Level 3 public CHAdeMO chargers are already begun rolling out. Just in my city alone (Dallas) is expected to get 70 by the end of the year. If all this still holds true, the many companies such as eVgo and ECOtality will have problems since they have already hedged their bets on CHAdeMO and are deploying the public stations now. 2012 is too late. At that point the SAE will most likely have to side with CHAdeMO because of the proliferation. A change would sink the infrastructure already in place.
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        You gotta be kidding me. They don't have to side with anything because of proliferation. There are still more SPI (MagneCharge) chargers deployed in my area than J1772. And this didn't force SAE (or anyone else for that matter) to side with SPI. I wonder what the future of CHAdeMO is now that TEPCO is broke and soon to be out of business. I wonder what happens to the 'freeness' of the standard if someone else buys the company's assets.
      Chris Arnesen
      • 3 Years Ago
      Unfortunately 2012 will probably be way late to the game, however if there is enough compatibility it should be fairly trivial to convert from CHAdeMO. Compatibility will be key or the SAE standard will be dead on arrival.
        skierpage
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Chris Arnesen
        What compatibility do you want? There is compatibility with CHAdeMO (now up to 629 fast DC charging stations in Japan, 41 in the rest of the world), then there is compatibility with the SAE J1772 plug by adding two chunky DC so cars only need one receptacle. SAE has to pick one or the other, or (highly unlikely) a third alternative such as an unspecified DC extension to the German Mennekes plug. I don't see how converting is easy. The SAE J1772 committee under GM's Gery Kissel was meaht to decide by now. Sadly, the delay hurts Nissan with its optional CHAdeMO receptacle on the Leaf, and the 7 companies itching to sell CHAdeMO public charging stations.
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