“There’s a new kid in town” (1) – Fast Inexpensive AC Charging of Commercial Fleets

Let’s not forget 3-Phase AC EV Charging and AC V2X for Medium and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (MHDV) fleets in North America (NA). 

Lately much focus has been on the public EV charging infrastructure in connection with the NEVI funding program. 

A number of excellent videos have been produced by Kyle Conner and Branden Flasch visiting Tesla, Electrify America, EVGo and FreeWire public charging sites all using fast DC power up to 350kW.

But let’s not forget that in North America our electric grid is 3-phase AC and most industrial and commercial sites (including public charging sites) have 3-Phase AC available (480Y/277V or 208Y/120V).

And certainly not all EVs will primarily rely on the public charging infrastructure.

The electrification of the MHDV fleets with larger batteries require higher charging power. The fleet operators will face the decision: 

“Should depot charging be DC or AC or a combination of thereof depending on the fleet duty cycle?”

For fleet operators the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is a crucial deciding factor and the cost of the charging infrastructure will be an important parameter. An additional parameter is if the fleet can additionally do V2X to further lower the TCO.

In North America we have 2 dominant EV standards charging plugs (and of course non-standard Tesla) for primarily light-duty vehicles:

– SAE J1772 1-phase AC up to 19.2 kW
– CCS1 Combined SAEJ1772 +2 DC pins with DC power
up to 350 kW

However, when defining the SAE J1772 standard plug (approved January 2010) we “forgot” about 3-Phase AC (contrary to Europe).

This is where the SAE J3068 standard plug comes in, taking advantage of the higher 3-phase AC voltage in the North American Grid enabling MHDV fleets to use less expensive fast AC charging infrastructure. In addition the SAE J3068 signalling protocol supports AC V2X to further lower the TCO.

SAE J3038 was adopted as a NA standard in 2018 but has so far not received the attention that it deserves in MHO. 
University of DelawareWillett KemptonRT McGee

This post and following posts starting next month will shed more light and details on this standard and its implications for the MHDV charging infrastructure scaling.

Comments/suggestions are as always welcome.


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