NACS and 3-Phase AC Charging in North America. 

Lately, many Light-Duty EV OEMs have decided to support a new shining object: Tesla’s NACS plug type. 

SAE has also decided to start standardizing NACS as an additional US standard (in addition to the already existing SAE J1772, CCS1, SAE J3068).

However, NACS does not support 3-phase AC charging!!

For Light-Duty cars this may be okay but for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles (MHDV) (vans, some buses,..etc) faster inexpensive AC charging solutions will be needed before having to move to fast DC charging. 

Charging at 1-Phase 240 V with 80 Amps only gets us to 19.2 kW and may risk unbalancing the 3-phase LOCAL grid if not installed properly. 

Some critics may argue that providing 3-phase AC onboard chargers on their EVs will be economically and technically unattractive. Well, both Tesla and Renault serve as examples of providing 3-phase AC CCS2 inlets and onboard chargers on their EVs in Europe.

If a MHDV requires higher charging power than 19.2 kW it now must move to DC charging, which is a substantially more expensive infrastructure (public and depot charging). Remember that most commercial sites are already being served by a 3-Phase 480 V AC grid connection (as are most fast-charging public sites).

Many moons ago (7 months) and “long” before the recent rush to NACS I posted a LinkedIn post on 3-Phase charging:

Given the latest buzz, I thought it appropriate to provide a link to this “old” but – in my humble opinion – still highly relevant post to revitalize the debate on 3-Phase AC charging in the USA. 

The SAE J3068 North American standard approved in 2018 will give us fast 3-Phase AC charging up to 133 kW! …… But it has not gained much traction so far.

We should not leave 3-Phase AC (inexpensive charging infrastructure) behind in North America without a “fight”. Europe has done it and so can the US. Hopefully, we can together create some momentum here.

What do you think?

In the future, we may have to live with 4 different charging plugs in the USA. (Not to mention No. 5 – the upcoming MCS on the horizon.) 😱  

How can we best handle that without many adapters and take full advantage of our 480 V 3-Phase grid infrastructure? 

Stay tuned……. 

#SAE#AC#charginginfrastructure#tesla#ford#gm#volvo#mercedesand many more

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