Officially, official, we have a new charging standard... SAE J3068 for medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles charging in North America.

Mercedes-Benz Citaro Electric bus prototype in Europe with Type 2 charging inlet

SAE International just released specs for the SAE J3068 (the access costs $78), which is similar to the European IEC 62196 (aka Type 2 or CCS Combo). That because in fact it's the European charging derivative adopted by SAE for bigger EVs.

The reason behind SAE J3068 is that SAE J1772 or its combo version (SAE J1772 Combo) doesn't support three-phase charging, and single-phase charging was limited to 19.2 kW. Many commercial and industrial locations in the U.S. and Canada are equipped with three-phase power and the SAE J3068 enables the use of three-phase 480 V (up to 133 kW at 160A), as well as 600 V AC (up to 166 kW at 160A).

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With the DC part, it could of course offer 350 kW of power just like the European CCS we believe, but the official press release doesn't contain general specs, so we base this assumption on the presentations:

In our opinion, the biggest mistake that was ever made by the SAE several years ago was that J1772 was created as only single-phase, plus later DC extension. The right way was to copy the standard from (or develop with) the European IEC using the Type 2 because it's the only solution that is universal for all the applications (single-phase, three-phase and DC charging) and could be a general standard for all vehicles around the world.

Because of that mistake, the U.S. will not be able to enjoy a single standard for all kind of EVs (in Europe the plug/chargers are the same for cars and for trucks/buses) as well as there will be ongoing problem with import used cars between some markets.

SAE J3068 for medium and heavy duty electric vehicles charging

Press blast:

SAE International Releases New Specification (SAE J3068) for Charging of Medium and Heavy Duty Electric Vehicles

SAE International’s recommended practice for plug-in charging of heavy duty EVs has been approved and published.

Veefil-RT DC 50kW fast charger and Proterra electric bus

“J3068: Electric Vehicle Power Transfer System Using a Three-Phase Capable Coupler” was developed from existing international standards, which were extended to cover higher North American grid voltages and higher power levels. J3068 allows vehicles to fully utilize three-phase AC power where it is available and preferred, such as at commercial and industrial locations.

J3068 was developed in a consensus process by SAE International’s Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicle Conductive Charging Task Force Committee, which today is comprised of over 100 global experts from the automotive industry, utilities, charging equipment manufacturers, national laboratories, and academia.

"This new standard was designed to offer a single vehicle charging coupler solution for three-phase and single-phase AC and DC charging for a class of vehicles," according to Rodney McGee, Chief Engineer of EV Projects, University of Delaware, and SAE Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicle Conductive Charging Task Force Chair. "We wanted to combine this new approach for AC charging with 1000V DC charging based on existing SAE communication standards."

"The goals of J3068 include bringing a proven, mass produced three-phase charging coupler to North America, and establishing a low-cost, reliable communication and control protocol for AC with inherently high interoperability" said Jim McLaughlin, document sponsor and retired Mack Trucks electrical engineer. "High power AC charging has cost advantages in many use cases, and three-phase charging simplifies balancing of the power grid."

For more information about “J3068: Electric Vehicle Power Transfer System Using a Three-Phase Capable Coupler,” or to purchase the standard, visit

The SAE J1772 doesn't support three-phase:

SAE J3068 for medium and heavy duty electric vehicles charging

source: SAE

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