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SAE and IEEE partner for vehicle electrification standards

John Day

John Day

Posted Aug 10, 2011

At least some parties are cooperating (don’t get me started), like the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) and SAE International.

The IEEE-SA/SAE International partnership in vehicular technology related to the Smart Grid, confirmed in February 2011 by a memorandum of understanding (MOU), is designed to accelerate more meaningful standards that drive greater improvements in market access, cost reductions and technological innovation.

As part of the partnership, the two standards-development organizations (SDOs) are sharing their draft standards related to the Smart Grid and vehicle electrification.

In the past, SDOs tended to work chronologically, one after another, almost in a vacuum. If an SDO missed a development in a related industry while working on its own standard for the Smart Grid, that SDO could, in effect, send its stakeholders in the wrong direction, or in the right direction but more slowly than necessary. The two SDOs agree that the Smart Grid demands a new, more coordinated mode.

SAE International worked on a prototype charging coupler that leverages technology standardized by IEEE. SAE J1772, the “Electric Vehicle and Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Conducive Charge Coupler” standard agreed to in 2009 and officially published by SAE International in January 2010 is, according to the SAE, the first industry-consensus standard to provide critical guidelines for safety, charging control and connectors used to charge electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs/PHEVs). Automakers including Ford, General Motors, Honda, Nissan and Toyota have adopted SAE J1772.

In the first quarter of next year, SAE International plans to establish a standard, integrated coupler that will allow electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (EVs/PHEVs) to be charged from either a conventional, 15-amp AC wall outlet or a DC connector of up to 90 kilowatts.

The in-development SAE J1772 combo solution is planned to enable both AC and DC Level 1 and faster, Level 2 charging via a single vehicle inlet for the first time. Manufacturers would be able to leverage one coupler in EVs/PHEVs for all markets, regardless of the differences in electrical systems and charging locations from country to country. Integrating the different types of charging functionality would also greatly enhance the convenience of operating such a vehicle.

SAE J1772 goes further by uniquely defining communications between an EV/PHEV and off-board charger and the Smart Grid. Power Line Communications (PLC) is defined in SAE J1772 as the technology for enabling these vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communications, without requiring changes such as the addition of another pin to the coupler architecture.

PLC implementations from both the HD-PLC Alliance and HomePlug® Powerline Alliance are based on IEEE 1901(TM)-2010, the world’s most mature, robust and advanced Broadband over Powerline (BPL) standard. The IEEE 1901 Inter-System Protocol (ISP) prevents interference when the different PLC implementations are operated within close proximity of one another.

SAE International has developed 46 standards related to effective implementation of hybrid/electric vehicles. It has 30 more standards in process. IEEE has more than 100 standards in effect or in development relevant to the Smart Grid. It’s nice to see cooperation bear fruit.

IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), IEEE-SA/SAE International partnership in vehicular technology related to the Smart Grid, charge coupler, standards-development organizations, SAE International, SAE J1772

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John DayJohn Day recently launched John Day’s Automotive Electronics News ( to provide news and feature coverage of the automotive electronics industry. Earlier he wrote for Auto Electronics magazine, Auto E-lectronics, EE Times, and other business and engineering publications. Visit John Day

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