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Craig Childers, a zero-emissions specialist at the California Air Resources Board (CARB), said it appears that the U.S. is leaning towards the adoption of a non-CHAdeMO quick-charge standard for plug-in vehicles, according to All Cars Electric. Though Childers admits that this is not a "done deal," he claims that "automotive companies are lobbying for only one opening for powering the car to allow for cleaner design."

Supposedly, the U.S.' quick-charge standard will be based on the Society of Automotive Engineer's (SAE) recommendation for a single-port, multi-function connector, rather than both the CHAdeMO and J1772 connectors. The SAE's proposed format has a J1772 connector embedded within an array of input pins, the latter of which would be utilized for Level 3 charging. If the SAE adopts this proposed format, then vehicles equipped with a CHAdeMO connector would need to be retrofitted to utilize quick-charge stations in the U.S.

[Source: All Cars Electric | Image: Jonas Dalidd / AOL]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 28 Comments
      letstakeawalk
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Is one better at something?" Well, SAE J1772 is already an accepted standard, and is already UL certified. The SAE is currently evaluating the two in comparison testing. SAE J1772 can deliver higher power transfer in DC: more than 100kW vs. 62.5kW. http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/earthobservationsSCC/IEEE_SAE_J1772_Update_10_02_08_Gery_Kissel.pdf And just looking at it, SAE J1772 is a smaller, neater plug design, possibly making it cheaper to produce, and more durable in lifespan. IMHO, SAE J1772 is simply a more practical solution, with a number of superior attributes.
      krona2k
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's absolutely ridiculous that in this day and age a global standard could not be agreed in. Who benefits from different standards?
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @krona2k
        One company (TEPCO) went off and rushed out a standard that is both insufficient on power capability and not a good physical design (requires multiple power input ports). The standards people seem set on rectifying these shortcomings. The fault for this standard (CHAdeMO) not being acceptable for worldwide acceptance would seem to fall on TEPCO as much as SAE.
      swarmofkillermonkeys
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't get it - why does this need to be so complicated? Aside from the "gas nozzle-ification" form factor silliness of the plugs, don't you just need two giant DC power leads and one optical lead for serial communications in a weather-proof housing? Non-fast charging -- opportunistic charging when publicly parked, etc -- will only be practical as near-field wireless beneath the car on a large scale anyway. Watch people at a nice grocery store with a small parking lot. Now image cords everywhere and each of those people bungling with plug/unplug events along with groceries and kids. As a practical matter, I can't help but think it would make more sense to have a smaller ONLY "Level 3" port on the vehicle (then "Level 4" on the next model version, etc.). Upgrading or adding to the station plugs should be trivial and cheap in comparison to the per vehicle complexity and cost to upgrade. Or worse -- keep accumulating "legacy" ports! The vehicle ships with a specific battery capacity that align with the capacity of the (DC) connector. Isn't it unrealistic to think that motorcycles and triple-trailer haulers will benefit from a common connector? My ignorance may be showing, but wouldn't the diameter of the power leads be related to carrying capacity and make this impractical for one or both? At some point of scale, maybe even active cooling would make sense as part of the connector (fluid to underground thermal mass). As a tortured analogy, if I walk up to a high-end color printing system at Kinkos and the printer has legacy ports or interfaces: serial, parallel, SCSI, USB 1.0, USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire 400, FW800, bluetooth, WFI, ethernet, thuderbolt, SD card slots... It doesn't matter as the cost is almost negligible on the central device. Now adding all of those to my lightweight laptop... or all laptops? No! I'm happy with any one of the recent, faster options. Those with older equipment can also work was well as they are able. Neither of us should need adapters or redundant port types. Well, OK maybe the guy with only a parallel port should be gently encouraged to upgrade, since it has been over 40 years... The point is his device needn't burden me with a parallel+thunderbolt monstrosity of a connector for the sake of common standards.
      Jim McL
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't see the link that "letstakeawalk" mentioned. Anybody that followed the Mini E deployment knows that getting local approval for an EVSE installation can be problematic. Even with an SAE approved standard complying with the National Electrical Code and having UL certification, many installation were delayed for many months. All it takes is a scary phone call to the municipal engineer who has not seen an EV charging station before, and everything stops. No surprise that CHAdeMO stations are being turned off. The have no domestic certifications to make insurance companies feel safe. I don't expect that will ever change. There is no country on earth that has as many more lawyers than engineers as the USA. CHAdeMO and the European standards will never fly here, liability is too big of an issue here. If you bought a Leaf in the US, I hope you are happy with 3.3 kw charging. SAE will do it right. Everyone will be happy. Be patient.
        Naturenut99
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jim McL
        You have to dig down past Dave D to find it (not all comments load automatically) here's the link... http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/earthobservationsSCC/IEEE_SAE_J1772_Update_10_02_08_Gery_Kissel.pdf
      Dave D
      • 3 Years Ago
      Is there a valid technical reason not to support the CHAdeMO standard or is this just politics slowing things down?
        letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        It's not political at all, it's design driven - they only want to have one electrical connection. Whichever standard they choose, adapters will be widely available and very easy to use. Early adopters of technology (prior to standardization) are well aware of the risks they take; not knowing if the optional/secondary plug will ever be useful is certainly one of those risks.
        Roy_H
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        There are more similarities than differences. The main power is 2 wire DC with variable voltage up to 500VDC for CHAdeMO and 600VDC for J1772. Both up to 200 amps. The differences come in the communications protocol where CHAdeMO uses industry standard CANopen (8 pins, two groups of 4, I believe) and SAE has chosen to create a new protocol using only 2 pins specifically designed for the charger market. The simplicity and robustness of the SAE J1772 does make for a superior design, but it won't charge you car any faster. Oh and the J1772 has a ground pin for safety.
          letstakeawalk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Roy_H
          They both have ground pins. "The fundamental difference between the SAE and JARI/TEPCO fast charge systems is the type of ground used between the charger and vehicle �� SAE uses an “earth” ground strategy while JARI/TEPCO uses a “reference” ground strategy �� An “earth” ground strategy requires the charge coupler ground pin and ground conductor be sized to handle fault current from the charger. This results in a coupler ground pin and ground conductor between the charger and vehicle similar in size (slightly smaller) than the coupler power pins and conductors. �� A “reference” ground requires an isolation monitor to be included in the charger in order to monitor the isolation of the vehicle from the charger. A “reference” ground does not need to handle fault current so the coupler ground pin and ground conductor between the charger and vehicle may be similar to signal circuits." See my link above as to why the SAE standard might be superior.
        JakeY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        The J1772 extension that will likely be used in the US allows them to essentially have one single socket for level 1, 2, and 3. Level 3 will just have two extra DC pins and ground pins and will reuse the signaling pins already in the level 2 J1772. This saves them from having a separate connector like with CHAdeMO. The SAE standard is also going to be up to 240kW(600V/400A) vs 62.5kW (500V/125A) for CHAdeMO. 62.5kW is only enough for small ~100 mile batteries. More power will be increasingly necessary with bigger/longer range batteries, so I feel SAE is making the right choice. Japan has less concern over this, since their island isn't that big in the first place (CHAdeMO is likely enough for them). So yes, I feel there is a good technical argument not to use CHAdeMO. Notice J1772 is also from the Japanese (Yazaki), so SAE has no political reason not to use a Japanese design.
        Dave D
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        Thanks guys, that was what I was looking for. I knew there was some politics going on with the EU standards arguments between the Germans and everyone else, I just wanted to see us settle on something because it worked and move on with life. I like the idea of the J1772 being extended to cover level 3 with some extra pins added.
          Naturenut99
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Dave D
          agreed. The funny thing is... Carb is actually looking for the best solution, and they actually prefer what IS the best solution. Who knew?
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dave D
        chademo is not really powerful enough and it is needlessly big. just look at the barn door the leaf has to accommodate them. you probably want charge ports at several locations on the car which isn't practical with the exxon valdez plug they came up with. you can do a 400A plug the size of a thick fork. not a firehose.
      Naturenut99
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's good to hear that the J1772 plug is better... But how would it switch from L2 to L3 charging since L3 requires direct to batteries charging? Whereas the L2 charging goes thru the (on board) charger.
      Tysto
      • 3 Years Ago
      I say the US should adopt whatever the Germans recommend. Seriously, they are way smarter about these things.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Tysto
        Obviously you have never owned a car with the notoriously bad Bosch electrics. 90 percent of VW unreliability is the electronics. I agree though. Just use the Euro standard which is already adopted. A plug is not rocket science.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ooooh... real nice, SAE. Hundreds of LEAF owners who already have quick-charge ports will be soooo happy to know that they're going to have to swap out BOTH receptacles to accommodate your bells-and-whistles U.S. standard. My question is: we have known for years about the quick charge capabilities, and that automakers would start selling EVs by the end of last year. How is it that only now SAE manages to start thinking about a "standard"? Manufacturers like Nissan and Mitsubishi can design, test, build, crash-test, prototype, and bring new EVs to market, yet all those years just aren't sufficient time for a handful of electrical engineers to come up with a standard plug? Now, with EVs already in consumers' hands, they finally get around to the task? Something is very wrong with this picture.
        letstakeawalk
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Hundreds of LEAF owners who already have quick-charge ports will be soooo happy to know that they're going to have to swap out BOTH receptacles to accommodate your bells-and-whistles U.S. standard." Early adopters are smart enough to understand that because they're buying the first of what's new, they might not get the most fully developed product. They're willing to take that chance, in order to buy the first of what's new. They'll just swap their "old" Leafs for whatever the newest new thing is...
      • 3 Years Ago
      The SAE proposal definitely looks like a better solution - just a single plug on the car covers both Level 2 and Level 3 using the existing Level 2 standard as the base for the plug. That said they need to get this figured out and done as it only causes disruption in the marketplace since we have EV's rolling into customers hands with the Japanese standard already.
      briang19
      • 3 Years Ago
      Having 2 different plugs on the same car makes no sense at all. The "J" connector seems like the way to go for Level 1,2,3 charging.
      Naturenut99
      • 3 Years Ago
      Thanks LTAW. That pic of the proposed J1772 with additional DC connectors is definitely worth more than a thousand words. How easy to still use the J-plug, plus how easy it will be to make a plug with the additional DC connects. Beautiful and Simple. Obviously the best solution.
      Peter
      • 3 Years Ago
      The adoption of a "standard" has commercial implication. At the moment the Japanese are winning as they have the home market sold on CHAdeMO and are exporting their vehicles so equipped to other markets . While both the EU and the US are not in a hurry to adopt CHAdeMO and are musing about something else they are behind the 8 ball as CHAdeMO will be defacto the standard out there. Unless a competing standard is both endorsed very soon, and more importantly, implemented in both the charger (ie car) and the cordset, let us just adopt the Japanese standard. Other than an arguable minute advantage for the manufacturer on this side for a competing standard, it just means that there will be less places where the consumer will be able to get a quick charge that works with their vehicle. We need a standard standard, if its world wide this is not a bad thing.
        JakeY
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Peter
        That's assuming Japanese CHAdeMO is equivalent to the US (J1772 Level 3) and EU (IEC 62196-3) standards. However, that's not true; there are significant technical differences between the three, which warrants examination. Now the bickering over IEC 62196-2 type 2 (Mennekes, German) and type 3 (Scame, Italy/France) really is just politics. And even a "defacto" socket standard can be surprisingly quickly replaced. In CA, they have almost completely swapped out all the Tesla chargers to J1772 within the course of a couple of weeks (caught some Tesla owners off guard, and also why Tesla had to rush out that J1772 adapter). They have also previously swapped from the legacy chargers from the 1990s-early 2000s to Tesla chargers in record time. Even with CHAdeMO installed (they are only planning about 300 in the US), they can be completely replaced in less than a year. It leaves Leaf/iMIEV owners who bought the CHAdeMO socket SOL (they need a retrofit to the SAE standard), but that's only short term. It's more important to have a standard that has growing room.
          Rotation
          • 3 Years Ago
          @JakeY
          I live in California, and very few legacy (SPI) chargers have been converted to J1772 so far. Watch AOL automotive's video on driving a Volt for a typical experience. I agree that getting the standard right is a lot more important than being compatible with 1,000 cars currently sold with CHAdeMO already.
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