The North American market appears to be at the beginning of a major transition related to electric vehicle charging – from the Combined Charging System (CCS1) to Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector. Today, we will take a look at one more thing – the SAE J1772 (AC) charging connector, also called Type 1, and its potentially gloomy future.
As we know, Tesla developed its in-house, proprietary charging connector (renamed to NACS), for single-phase alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) charging scenarios. Besides Tesla, it will also be natively supported by Ford, General Motors, and Rivian, starting in 2025 (actually in 2024 through adapters to CCS1).
In the case of the CCS1 and the European CCS2, those connectors were developed for DC fast charging, using an AC charging connector as a base (for backward compatibility) – respectively SAE J1772 (Type 1) in North America and IEC 62196-2 (Type 2) in Europe. As a result, there are these connectors:
- CCS1 complex charging inlets for:
SAE J1772 (Type 1) AC plugs (1-phase)
SAE J1772 Combo (CCS1) DC plugs
- CCS2 complex charging inlets for:
IEC 62196-2 (Type 2) AC plugs (1-phase or 3-phase charging scenarios)
CCS2 DC plugs
It’s best explained by the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN) association:
The switch from CCS1 to NACS, which we believe is happening right now, was mostly associated with DC fast charging.
However, if the EV industry will switch from the CCS1 charging connector to NACS, then there will be no point in keeping J1772.
The manufacturers for sure will be installing only one charging inlet on the vehicle side. In the case of the NACS charging inlet, it will be utilized for both AC and DC charging scenarios.
EV charging infrastructure will follow with NACS-compatible home charging units and public/work charging units (potentially dual-head units during the transition period).
The J1772 charging points will serve the older electric vehicles and the new ones when combined with a special adapter. Tesla already offers J1772 to NACS adapters.
Tesla: North American Charging Standard
Tesla charging adapter (AC): J1772 to Tesla proprietary standard
Five or ten years from now, we might be at a completely different point when EV charging will be significantly simpler than it is today, especially in the transition period when on top of having several types of connectors, we have several types of adapters between them.
New EV users will appreciate just one plug type for all charging scenarios (AC and DC). The power level will be automatically negotiated between a car and a charging point. As a result, there will be nothing complex to explain to newbie EV buyers.