SAE International has announced a new fast charging standard for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles, reducing charge times from as long as eight hours to as little as twenty minutes. While still longer than a fillup for a gasoline engine, it is a dramatic reduction for EVs and it addresses one of the two major drawbacks for electric vehicles, the other being vehicle range.
The new standard adds DC charging to the original AC standard. SAE J1772 defines a DC Level 1, 200-500 V DC, up to 40 kW (80 A) and DC Level 2, 200-500 V DC, up to 100 kW (200 A).
While range is still a concern, the ability to recharge in a reasonable time may make EVs a practical option for commuters and urban dwellers, provided the quick charge facilities are available in the area and they are driving a vehicle operating under the new standard, however, until battery capacity is increased and recharge stations are widely available, long range driving in an EV will still be somewhat impractical and market demand for general use electric vehicles not confined to urban areas will most likely be very low.
SAE press release:
SAE International Releases New Fast-Charging “Combo: Coupler Standard (SAE J1772) for Plug-In Electric and Electric Vehicles
WARRENDALE, Pa. – SAE International’s much-anticipated technical standard for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) and electric vehicles (EV) has been approved and published.
Developed in a consensus environment by more than 190 global experts representing automotive, charging equipment, utilities industries and national labs, “J1772™: SAE Electric Vehicle and Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Couple” enable charging time to be reduced from as long as eight hours to as short as 20 minutes.
“This new technical standard is a real game-changer,” Andrew Smart, Director of Industry Relations and Business Development for SAE International, said. “It reflects the advancements in technology within PHEV and EV engineering and we are pleased to represent the collaborative efforts within industry that made it possible.”
The standard represents the future of charging technology and smart grid interaction, while addressing the needs of today. Such needs include reduced times at public charging stations, enabling consumers to travel greater distances in their PHEV’s and EV’s.
“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.” Gery Kissel, Engineering Specialist, Global Battery Systems, GM, and SAE J1772™ Task Force Chairman, said. “We now can offer users of this technology various charging options in one combined design.”
The original version of J1772™ defined AC Level 1 and AC Level 2 charge levels and specified a conductive charge coupler and electrical interfaces for AC Level 1 and AC Level 2 charging. The new revision incorporates DC charging where DC Level 1 and DC Level 2 charge levels, charge coupler and electrical interfaces are defined. The standard was developed in cooperation with the European automotive experts who also adopted and endorsed a combo strategy in their approach.