SAE J1772 is a North American standard for electrical connectors for electric vehicles maintained by the Society of Automotive Engineers and has the formal title "SAE Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J1772, SAE Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler”. It covers the general physical, electrical, communication protocol, and performance requirements for the electric vehicle conductive charge system and coupler. The intent is to define a common electric vehicle conductive charging system architecture including operational requirements and the functional and dimensional requirements for the vehicle inlet and mating connector.
Avcon manufactured a rectangular connector compliant with the SAE J1772 REV NOV 2001 specification that was capable of delivering up to 6.6 kW of electrical power.
The current revision of SAE J1772 (as of October 2009), informally referred to as SAE J1772-2009, is based on a round connector design from Yazaki and allows for an increased power delivery of up to 16.8 kW delivered via single phase 120–240 V AC at up to 70 amperes.
The Yazaki plug that was built to the SAE J1772 plug standard successfully completed certification at UL. The standard specification was subsequently voted upon by the SAE committee in July 2009.
SAE J1772 was adopted on January 14, 2010 by the SAE Motor Vehicle Council. The companies participating in or supporting the revised -2009 standard include GM, Chrysler, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Tesla.
The connector is designed for single phase electrical systems with 120 V or 240 V such as those used in North America and Japan.
The round 43 mm diameter connector has five pins, with 3 different pin sizes.
The connector supports communication over power lines to identify the vehicle and control charging. The connector is designed to withstand up to 10,000 connection/disconnection cycles and exposure to all kinds of elements. Approximating one connection/disconnection cycle daily, the average connector's lifespan should be just over 27 years.
In this initial standard, two charging levels are defined.
Work continues on specifications for higher-voltage, fast-rate DC charging.
The J1772 standard includes several levels of shock protection, ensuring the safety of charging even in wet conditions. Physically, the connection pins are isolated on the interior of the connector when mated, ensuring no physical access to those pins. When not mated, J1772 connectors have no voltage at the pins.
Another international standard, IEC 62196, already exists from the International Electrotechnical Commission, uses the same control pilot signaling, and includes pins that can provide charging as proposed in SAE J1772-2001 as well as the new SAE J1772-2009 proposal. IEC 62196 adds pins that also permit much faster recharging using a far higher, 298 kW maximum power delivery via up to 690 V three phase AC, 50–60 Hz, at a rated current not exceeding 250 A or up to 600 V DC at a rated current not exceeding 400 A.
The IEC proposal 62196-2-X from Germany proposes the round 7-pin MENNEKES connector as an implementation of IEC 62196 and also adopts some features from IEC 61851-1 and SAE 1772. This Mennekes connector has been chosen by several European automakers for use with the 230V mains power common in Europe.
Tokyo Electric Power Company has developed a specification solely for high-voltage DC automotive fast charging using a different connector (JARI Level 3 DC), and formed a "CHΛdeMO" (stands for Charge and Move) association with Japanese automakers Mitsubishi, Nissan and Subaru to promote it.