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Transportation Power

Standard For Electric Car Charging Announced 212

Posted by Soulskill
from the which-automakers-will-promptly-ignore dept.
SchrodingerZ writes "The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), an international syndicate, has unveiled what is to become the standard for electric car charging. In today's market there are hundreds of different methods and plugs to charge a variety of different cars, now a single multi use plug is announced as the world standard. Called the J1772 , it 'has two charging plugs incorporated into a single design and is said to reduce charging times from as long as eight hours to as little as 20 minutes.' The cumulative work of over 190 'global experts,' the plug can cater to both AC and DC currents for charging. The plug also sets a new standard on safety regulations, including 'its ability to be safely used in all weather conditions, and the fact that its connections are never live unless commanded by the car during charging.' The J1772 beat out its Japanese competitor the CHAdeMO, used as an option on the Nissan Leaf."
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Standard For Electric Car Charging Announced

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  • Another one? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kenja (541830) on Friday October 19, 2012 @10:33AM (#41706437)
    We went through all this in the 90's. Even had "standard" charges at the public transit stations. Ah well, perhaps it'll stick this time.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by i kan reed (749298)

      Yeah, I'm wondering that too. As of a few months ago my city put up electric charging stations all around the downtown area. If there wasn't a standard, then why did the stations lack any model information.

      • by dlenmn (145080) on Friday October 19, 2012 @11:09AM (#41706925) Homepage

        From TFA:

        [The New standard is] based on the 2009 J1772, which had only an AC charging plug. The current version includes a DC plug underneath the AC plug, which means that not only are both options available, but cars with the older J1772 couplings, such as the 2012 Nissan Leaf and 2013 Chevrolet Volt, can still use the new plug.

        • ah, so its a usb3 plug in disguise, then?

          (notfullyserious.jpg)

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          Even if the coupling is standard, the two electrical standards, as defined in the Wiki page, are US-only. How did this become a world standard on US-only electrical specifications? Note they don't define the Hz, just the V, and the V are 120V single phase (US only) and 240V (world standard) 3-phase (only the US uses 3-phase for 240V, the rest of the world is single phase at 240V, their 3-phase is 400V or so). So the "international" SAE (was US-centric, when I was a member) made a standard that was incomp
      • Re:Another one? (Score:5, Informative)

        by tlhIngan (30335) <.slashdot. .at. .worf.net.> on Friday October 19, 2012 @11:12AM (#41706951)

        Yeah, I'm wondering that too. As of a few months ago my city put up electric charging stations all around the downtown area. If there wasn't a standard, then why did the stations lack any model information.

        Technically, the standard for those charging stations would be the traditional 3 pin 15 amp socket that you plug anything into. Because every electric car can plug into a atandard 110V 15A socket (at least in North America).

        Problem is, the end that goes into the car isn't standard, so those charging stations rely on the user to haul around the charging cable wherever they went. And the car end is important because it has to handle charging from a 110V15A socket, but the user at home may have bought a fast charger using 220V15A or higher. And perhaps you want DC if you're wanting alternative energy so instead of wasting energy inverting and then rectifying power, you can plug straight into your battery bank.

        So this stadnard means charging stations can continue to offer standard 110V sockets (with owner-provided power cord) and provide the connector at the end of a cord (like gas station nozzles) so the owner doesn't need their car cable and the car can charge faster if it needs to.

    • Re:Another one? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Art Challenor (2621733) on Friday October 19, 2012 @11:04AM (#41706861)
      The summary (as usual) is a little misleading. The J1772 standard has been around for a while and is widely adopted. As I understand it, the "new" part to this is the addition of an optional, additional, connector that allows DC charging.

      High power AC/DC converters are expensive and generate heat, so require costly in-vehicle infrastructure. If the conversion is moved the charging station the on-board electronics are simplified.

      So you can have a relatively low-cost, slow charger at home. Charging stations can provide a fast DC charge. The initial cost of the charging station would increase, but the cost per vehicle would be much lower. So if 10 people per day spend 30 minutes charging you can amortize the higher cost of 10 vehicles.
      • by olden (772043)

        So you can have a relatively low-cost, slow charger at home. Charging stations can provide a fast DC charge.

        This is the whole idea, it makes tons of sense and is exactly where manufacturers are headed... oh wait, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Peugeot etc are already there [chademo.com]!

        Maybe this SAE re-announcement is only meant to muddy the waters about DC fast charging, in the hope to slow down its much-needed deployment in the US and possibly elsewhere, reducing the usefulness and therefore attractiveness of pure EVs..

        • There are 8000 charging stations in the US (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charging_station your document references 1659 CHAdeMO mostly in Japan). I would expect that most in the US are J1772. Almost all the EVs sold in the US support that standard, the Volt, the Leaf, Tesla S, the X with an adapter, etc. etc. Many manufacturers also seem committed to supporting the DC addition.

          Seems to be more of a US vs. the rest of the world type of thing, which is not a tragedy given that both those markets are big
    • by udachny (2454394)

      Just today I went to the business event [wirtschaft...-baden.com] held in Baden Baden, dedicated to investing in various alternative energy solutions, including the new electrical concept cars presented by BMW mostly (taking off to the related Gala event in a few minutes). It looks like they are aiming at the Asian market with the new electric concepts, they know they have to overcome Toyota Prius and other similar cars, they are hoping for Chinese investment to do this (funny enough, the Chinese investor guy didn't show up for the

  • J1772 (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19, 2012 @10:34AM (#41706443)

    Seriously... they called it the "JIZZZ"?

  • Hundreds? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marcroelofs (797176) on Friday October 19, 2012 @10:38AM (#41706489)
    How can there be 100's of different plug varieties when there areonly 10's of different elctric cars yet. Also, how can plug-design speed up charge time 24 times?
    • Re:Hundreds? (Score:4, Informative)

      by gfilion (80497) on Friday October 19, 2012 @10:41AM (#41706537) Homepage

      Also, how can plug-design speed up charge time 24 times?

      More voltage, more amps?

      • Re:Hundreds? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Gordonjcp (186804) on Friday October 19, 2012 @12:16PM (#41707603) Homepage

        You'd need a *lot* more volts and amps. I have a van, which has an 80 litre tank that takes roughly two minutes to fill. On that 80 litres I get around 950km range, or to translate into American units around 30mpg. Now, I'm hauling around roughly 800kWh of energy in that tank. Let's assume that the vehicle actually turns only 30% of that into motion - that gives us 320kWh worth of actual movement.

        So if we assume that an electric car is 100% efficient, it would need 320kWh of batteries to travel 950km - and these would take a correspondingly large amount of power to charge. If you charge for ten hours, you'd need to be feeding in 32kW continuously. If you wanted to recharge as quickly as filling the diesel tank, you'd need 576kW available.

        I for one do not welcome our .5MW charging connector overlords.

        • by AK Marc (707885)

          . If you wanted to recharge as quickly as filling the diesel tank, you'd need 576kW available.

          Not if you trickle charge the batteries over two days, with a reconditioning cycle. But then, we'd need battery swap setups, then you could fill up more range in less time than your diesel.

    • by MightyYar (622222) on Friday October 19, 2012 @10:41AM (#41706545)

      Also, how can plug-design speed up charge time 24 times?

      The standard redefines time to be 24x of SI time.

    • The speedup comes from the fact that the interface allows for higher amount of eletricity to flow into the cars batteries.

      Cable and contacts need to be able to handle the higher voltage and ampare needed to fill the cars batteries with energy faster. The bigger the cable the more electrons can flow through it.

    • Wondered that myself. Even if you figure in all the little utility cars and carts out there... hundreds?

    • by MeepMeep (111932)

      How can there be 100's of different plug varieties when there areonly 10's of different elctric cars yet.

      I think the 'hundreds of plug varieties' comment is hyperbole

      Also, how can plug-design speed up charge time 24 times?

      The plug design change added more pins (the DC ones) and those can be used to deliver more amps quickly

    • by necro81 (917438)
      There aren't hundreds of different plug varieties. Have a closer look at the summary:

      there are hundreds of different methods and plugs to charge a variety of different cars

      You can get to hundreds if you multiply out the various permutations of physical connector, charge input voltage, charge input phases, charge output voltage, charge output AC or DC, charge rate, charger-car communications, and who controls the charging behavior. As you point out: because there are only tens of different electric car m

    • by necro81 (917438)

      how can plug-design speed up charge time 24 times

      Changing the plug design permits more amps at higher voltage. Their point of comparison is charging a vehicle overnight through a typical North American residential electrical circuit (120 Vac, single phase, 20 A per circuit). If one were to try pumping 100 amps at 500 Vdc through such a 3-prong 120-V plug or cable, it would simply melt.

      Of course, the charger being able to supply such high power to a car is predicated on the charger having that kind of

      • Re:Hundreds? (Score:4, Informative)

        by gr8_phk (621180) on Friday October 19, 2012 @11:14AM (#41706965)

        Of course, the charger being able to supply such high power to a car is predicated on the charger having that kind of power available to it. You won't get charge times on the order of one hour from a typical residential installation - not unless you have your own substation.

        One could have a battery powered charger. It could charge at 6kW for much of the day and then dump that at a much higher rate into the car battery. It's not optimal, but it could provide fast charging of the car without increasing the peak power usage of the home.

      • Re:Hundreds? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Lumpy (12016) on Friday October 19, 2012 @11:19AM (#41707021) Homepage

        I have 300 amp service at home. Figure a typical commercial car charging circuit is 200Amps at 240 volts that is 200AH or 48,000Watts charging per hour. the nissan Leaf is a 24Kwh battery pack. BUT you never discharge past 50% so it's in reality a 12KWh battery pack.

        So their proposed 200Amp charging station will charge a Nissan Leaf in 15 minutes. the more typical 100Amp charger will charge it in 30 minutes.

        no private substation needed. And its currently available.

        Although most home installs are the smaller 40 Amp charging station which charge the car from empty in 1 hour 30 minutes. Very few people go for the 100 amp charging station as it requires being raped by a commercial electrician pretty hard. While the 40 amp unit can be installed by a residential electrician for less than $5500.00

        • 300 amps? Are you going by what your circuit breaker panel says? Most drops are 60 - 100 amps. And even if the drop wire can handle that power, the local transformer (on the pole or the green box on the ground) likely can't.

          Furthermore, the utility, much like ISPs, over-provision - the average household is each expected to draw around 3 or so KW peak, not 20+ KW. Everyone using fast-chargers at home isn't feasible, and hence the push of slow-chargers, which are cheap, and the current grid can handle just

          • by Lumpy (12016)

            I am going by what I ordered and had installed by the power company. And I was told it is not odd, Many homes are actually getting 400 amp service, mostly McMansions.

    • By allowing the car to switch between DC or AC current as the situation requires. DC requires more hardware on the charging unit, but allows much faster charging because the car doesn't have to manage heat from conversion.

      • by gr8_phk (621180)

        .By allowing the car to switch between DC or AC current as the situation requires. DC requires more hardware on the charging unit, but allows much faster charging because the car doesn't have to manage heat from conversion

        Most car chargers convert the AC to higher voltage DC and then use high frequency AC through a small transformer and then back to the DC level of the battery. Even with all those conversions this can be done end-to-end at greater than 92 percent efficiency. The challenge is that there is

    • by Sqr(twg) (2126054)

      how can plug-design speed up charge time 24 times?

      The on-board AC-to-DC converter is not very powerful (or it would be too heavy). If the charging station can deliver DC current at the voltage that the battery demands (which it can with the new standard), then charging speed is limited only by the battery, not the on-board electronics.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19, 2012 @10:39AM (#41706513)

    The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.

    • by Twinbee (767046) on Friday October 19, 2012 @12:18PM (#41707617) Homepage
      Exactly, I've been campaigning for cars to be charged via USB so I can charge my car from my laptop. They're so ubiquitous now that it's a waste to have yet another standard. BUT NO, now we get J1772 on top of USB, firewire, HDMI, and the thousand of other standards out there.
    • The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.

      The real thing about standards is that the biggest corporate swinging dicks dominate the committees and have full control.

      • The great thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.

        The real thing about standards is that the biggest corporate swinging dicks dominate the committees and have full control.

        In the case of electric cars, it's worse than that. The big corporate dicks at GM actually did everything they could to kill the Magne Charge system after they repossessed all the EV-1s and ran them through the crusher.

  • Europe (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 19, 2012 @10:41AM (#41706543)

    In Europe we want micro-usb.

  • 'its ability to be safely used in all weather conditions, and the fact that its connections are never live unless commanded by the car during charging.'
    • by Smidge204 (605297) on Friday October 19, 2012 @10:54AM (#41706751) Journal

      Electric cars have at least two batteries: One main battery for motion (the traction battery) which is the one everyone focuses on, and a traditional 12-volt lead-acid car battery that operates all the normal 12-volt lights and accessories that modern cars are fitted with. If the main traction battery is completely dead - which would be an extreme failure case but let's say it did - the charger controls are all fed from the 12V system so at worst you'd need a quick zap from a set of jumper cables to get things going.
      =Smidge=

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        None that I have ever worked on did that. they just has a 12V power supply that ran off the main 48V or 96V battery bank.

        • by Smidge204 (605297)

          You presumably only work on conversions or kit cars, then? I know of no commercially produced EVs that use less than 300V nominal pack voltage.

          =Smidge=

      • by Vicarius (1093097) on Friday October 19, 2012 @11:11AM (#41706941)

        For some cars, like Tesla [jalopnik.com], if your main battery dies (i.e. drains itself), you will have to buy a new $40,000 battery [autoblog.com] that is not covered by warranty.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          There are at least 5 known cases, from your links, but nobody has spoken with anyone that has had this happen to them.

          though from an EV perspective, it sounds like a case where a person drains the oil from their car and drives it until it dies, then complains that it's broken. Maybe that's why none of the supposed 5 have come forward, they know they were wrong, and not Tesla.
  • The J1772 beat out its Japanese competitor the CHAdeMO, used as an option on the Nissan Leaf."

    I heard the fact that is was also a wise cracking robot with an obsessive fetish for "80081E5!" didn't help matters.

  • by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Friday October 19, 2012 @11:00AM (#41706807) Homepage
    ...the guy who designed the battery now used in hybrid cars has died. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20004190 [bbc.co.uk]
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday October 19, 2012 @11:04AM (#41706857) Homepage

    the EV1 had a charging paddle that was an inductive connection. safe to use under water.

    Instead we get a version that means a 100% dead car = a trip tot he mechanic as it cant "command" the connection to start charging.

    • by tgd (2822) on Friday October 19, 2012 @11:24AM (#41707095)

      the EV1 had a charging paddle that was an inductive connection. safe to use under water.

      Instead we get a version that means a 100% dead car = a trip tot he mechanic as it cant "command" the connection to start charging.

      I don't think any of the EVs currently shipping will let their charge get that low, but even if that happened you just have to jump the 12v system -- like any other car with a dead battery. (Even modern standards, generally, can't be push-started anymore because the alternator can't generate enough power to get the ECU booted)

      GM's volt, for example, won't let the vehicle discharge the 12v system enough to keep the charger from working.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        Incorrect. I recently push started a 2013 Honda Civic Si. battery was not dead, it was missing. GM cars will not because the Delco alternator is designed to not work without a battery. it requires a battery voltage to excite the coils to create electricity. But many japanese alternators dont have that flaw.

        • by tgd (2822)

          Incorrect. I recently push started a 2013 Honda Civic Si. battery was not dead, it was missing. GM cars will not because the Delco alternator is designed to not work without a battery. it requires a battery voltage to excite the coils to create electricity. But many japanese alternators dont have that flaw.

          Yes, because one data point invalidates the statement that "most" can't. But we're all proud of your ability to push start the Civic.

          • Yes, because one data point invalidates the statement that "most" can't. But we're all proud of your ability to push start the Civic.

            It doesn't invalidate your statement, but an anecdote does hold more weight than an assertion with no references given.

            I've push-started my Civic (2009 LX) as well, when I've been parked on a hill and wanted to do it for fun. When I realized that I might be damaging something, I stopped the practice, but it worked fine.

            That's two anecdotes now - doesn't that count as data? :-)

            • by tgd (2822)

              Yes, because one data point invalidates the statement that "most" can't. But we're all proud of your ability to push start the Civic.

              It doesn't invalidate your statement, but an anecdote does hold more weight than an assertion with no references given.

              I've push-started my Civic (2009 LX) as well, when I've been parked on a hill and wanted to do it for fun. When I realized that I might be damaging something, I stopped the practice, but it worked fine.

              That's two anecdotes now - doesn't that count as data? :-)

              Well, strictly speaking, since they're both Civics... its data, but not really useful data.

              I'm not going to go waving around my CV on here, but from direct first hand experience, I can tell you that the majority of cars today can't get stable enough voltage out of the alternator for the ECU to come up and actually get the engine started from a truly dead battery unless you can really get the car moving. When the clutch comes out, the engine slows too quickly and all the electronics doesn't get time to get p

              • I'll accept that you probably know more about it than I do. And, come to think of it, my Civic's battery was completely fine, so it doesn't really factor into the discussion anyways.

                I agree with your last paragraph, with one caveat: If your EV's battery is drained to the point that it can't power the computer, your battery bank is probably toast - those batteries don't like to be discharged that much. You can get the car going again, but your range will be significantly reduced.

        • A GM Delco DR44 alternator will produce 13.6 volts with no battery connected, I have one in one of my cars. The GTO (2004-2006) also used a self exciting regulator.
      • I think I might have to park at the top of the hill by my house, disconnect my Jeep's battery and see if I can pop start it. It does have an ECU but that thing is so simple it might actually work.
    • by gr8_phk (621180)

      Instead we get a version that means a 100% dead car = a trip tot he mechanic as it cant "command" the connection to start charging.

      Yeah I noticed that. But you can always use a 12V charger or jump-start to get the low voltage systems up and running enough to receive the command. A hassle, but not nearly as bad as towing.

    • by PPH (736903)

      The charging paddle (and other oddball connectors) were intended to provide a 'unique' connector for charging EVs. This was to provide a means (when regulations were put in place) to charge road taxes for the electricity/fuel/whatever.

      The day will come when regs will disallow the use of a simple NEMA 5-15P connection, even for 'emergency' charging. Just so you won't bypass the tax man.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        ore likely, the tax will be shifted to electricity in general. A 1%* tax on you electricity for roads et al.

        *whatever.

        • by PPH (736903)

          Doubtful. We have had a principle of users paying for roads in place since nearly the inception of the automobile. Asking non-drivers to pay for those who drive is politically unacceptable. It also opens up the problem of restricting some people (incompetent drivers) from using the roadways. Once they have paid, they can argue that they have a right to use them. Of course, I'm not talking about keeping pedestrians off the sidewalks. But we need to protect our (seldom used) ability to tell some people that t

          • by bigtrike (904535)

            In the US at least, gas taxes aren't nearly high enough to pay for road construction and maintenance. Cheap roads are already an entitlement.

    • by Revotron (1115029)

      safe to use under water.

      I don't know about you, but if my electric vehicle was fully submersed in water, I wouldn't worry that much about whether the batteries are fully charged or not.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        There is a theoretical possibility of explosion charging a conductive system after coming in out of the rain. Some water in just the wrong spots, and you complete a circuit that causes problems. That theoretical possibility is eliminated with inductive charging. The "underwater" was given as an extreme example, not the expected case. If your car is fully submerged, I'd expect it would not be safe to use fully submerged. The electrical system being charged would still be able to discharge and has ample
  • warning (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Do not use your mouth when siphoning fuel from an electric car. The back-wash is much, much nastier than gasoline.

  • Looking at that plug, I have to wonder how easy it will be to plug and unplug.

  • Year 2024...

    Gasoline: $21.50/gal
    Ethanol: $29.45/gal
    Electricity for quick 20-min charge: $20/min

    Yeah.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      PV panels for home charging, $0.01 per (peak) Watt.

      Capacitive "battery" for storing a day's solar into a 20 minute charge: $50
  • ...and it just looks complicated. I have zero interest in putting that onto my car. But I'm also not interested in attaching a communication protocol to my car. Pouring fuel into a tank can't crash my stereo, and can't disable my power-steering. It either goes in or it doesn't. Why can't charging my battery be the same way. Power flows or it doesn't. A fuse in my car solves the obvious overload scenario. And that's it.

    • by bigtrike (904535)

      What if you drop the end of it into a puddle that you're standing in?

      • Ok, I'm not thinking two bare wires. And I'd be cool with a sheath that opens and closes while mating -- not totally unheard of.

        • > I'd be cool with a sheath that opens and closes while mating

          Filthiest battery charger post ever.

          • You know, I thought about that too. But really, talking about a hose that fits into a gasket works for gasolene. But once we're talking about electricity, it's a world of male jacks mating with female sockets. If general protection is required, a foreskin would certainly be the ideal solution.

  • Swappable Batteries.

  • So, cars can charge with DC much faster than with AC. What a great opportunity to innovate.

    Solar panels generate DC, and it adds a lot to the cost and complexity to convert it to AC. How about co-locating car charging stations at solar power farms, and skipping the DC-AC conversion equipment. It is a win-win.

    Many wind generators also have DC generators and convert to AC. Same opportunity there.

    An AC motor - DC generator set should cost much less than $5000. It doesn't take a lot of horsepower to make l

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