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A 2024 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe hybrid recharging. Although many automakers have stated their intention to adopt the NACS charging connector, as of late 2023, Jeep parent company Stellantis had yet to confirm it is considering an option to the current SAE J1772 Combined Charging System (CCS) connector. (Stellantis)

SAE completes next step to standardize Tesla-developed EV charging connector

Publication of Technical Information Report brings SAE Standard J3400 closer to probable release in fall of 2024.

SAE International announced on December 19 that it has released the Technical Information Report (TIR) for the SAE J3400 standard covering development and implementation of the Tesla-developed NACS (North American Charging Standard) connector to couple public and residential charging units to EVs made by any automaker. In a release, the organization said the SAE J3400 North American Charging Standard Electric Vehicle Coupler Technical Information Report (TIR) “was developed through broad-based industry consensus in the SAE Hybrid-EV J3400 TM NACS Electric Vehicle Coupler Task Force.”

The SAE J3400: NACS Electric Vehicle Coupler Technical Information Report can be reached at: https://www.sae.org/standards/content/j3400_202312/

Release of the TIR for the J3400 standard means certain critical engineering and development parameters have been established to allow developers to proceed with certainty about many critical aspects of deployment and commercialization of the NACS connector. Ford and GM this spring were the first in a string of automakers to indicate they would adopt the NACS charging connector. SAE said in June 2023 that it would standardize the NACS connector.

SAE said that in addition to benefiting EV drivers, the standard will help to ensure that any supplier or manufacturer will be able to use, manufacture, or deploy the J3400 connector for vehicles and charging stations in North America. “SAE J3400 provides a blueprint for cost-effective mass electrification of transportation in North America,” said Dr. Rodney McGee, Ph.D., P.E., who is chairman of the SAE J3400 NACS Task Force and also is a Research Engineer at the Transportation Electrification Center at the University of Delaware. The standard, he stressed, “facilitates broad interoperability for EV charging solutions by providing a unified, compact connector for both AC and DC charging.”

Crucially, the standardized approach also means that the same utility power feeds used for public DC fast charging can be utilized for single-phase AC charging used in homes and other facilities, “eliminating the need for separate circuit panels and additional step-down transformers at charging sites, resulting in lower infrastructure costs and higher efficiencies,” SAE said.

In the release confirming the completion of the TIR for the J3400 standard, SAE said the U.S.’s Joint Office of Energy and Transportation was instrumental in fostering the SAE-Tesla partnership to expedite plans to standardize NACS. “As the Joint Office supports the buildout of a convenient and reliable national charging network, open and interoperable standards are crucial to ensuring that every EV can charge at any station,” said Gabe Klein, executive director of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. “We appreciate the commitment and knowledge of SAE and its experts from the automotive, EV charging, academic, and government sectors to make the charging experience easier and more accessible for Americans nationwide.” 

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