Biden-Harris Administration, U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation Applaud Critical Milestone for SAE J3400 EV Charging Connector Standard
Dec. 19, 2023
Washington, D.C. – Tuesday, December 19, 2023 – The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation applauds the release of a critical milestone for the new SAE J3400 standard for the Tesla-developed connector used to charge electric vehicles (EVs). The SAE International Technical Information Report (TIR) is a key step in the standards development process to define the design, construction, and technical characteristics of motor vehicle components like the connectors and inlets used to charge EVs. Developed at a rapid pace in collaboration with a task force of experts from the public and private sectors, today’s release of the SAE J3400 TIR moves the North America Charging Standard (NACS) connector independently developed by Tesla towards an open industry standard that can be updated and maintained through a collaborative industry process moving forward.
The new SAE J3400 connector will ensure that any vehicle or charging equipment supplier or manufacturer will be able to use, manufacture, or deploy the connector and expands charging access for current and future EV drivers across the country. Today’s announcement directly supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s Investing in America agenda to create a robust, reliable, and convenient made-in-America EV charging network that will help accelerate the electrification of the transportation sector and advance the nation’s clean energy economy.
“As the Biden-Harris Administration supports the buildout of a convenient and reliable national charging network, open standards are crucial to ensuring that every EV can charge at any station,” said Gabe Klein, Executive Director of the Joint Office. “We appreciate the commitment and knowledge of SAE and its experts from the automotive, EV charging, academic, and government sectors to make the charging experience easier and more accessible for Americans nationwide.”
Minimum requirements for federally funded chargers published earlier this year by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) were designed to be flexible, creating space for innovation and additional connector types. As multiple automakers announced their intention to use NACS, it became clear the industry needed an independently administered standard for the connector to enable an interoperable and seamless charging experience. The Joint Office worked with the SAE International, the industry leader in automotive standards, to develop a process and timeline for standardization that advanced at unprecedented speed. Visit DriveElectric.gov to learn more about the standards development process for SAE J3400.
Many major automakers are expected to begin offering J3400 -equipped vehicles beginning in 2025, and will support J3400 compatibility through adaptors beginning in 2024. FHWA today announced it will soon publish a Request for Information (RFI) to inform how new technology and innovation, like the J3400 connector, are incorporated into its minimum requirements.
The tightly scoped J3400 standard creates design frameworks for the mechanics and electrical signaling for the connector, which are key to a reliable, safe, and consistent EV charging experience. Designed to work with standard communications protocols, it also dramatically increases access for EV drivers to an expanded and interoperable national charging network. The standard leverages existing technology building blocks that will enable a broad foundation of resiliency, security, and equity.
“We’ve worked in lockstep with SAE over the past six months to combine roadmaps from the public and private sector,” said Sarah Hipel, Standards and Reliability Program Manager at the Joint Office. “Providing equitable access to EV charging is crucial, and this collaborative effort showcases that charging technology can be more resilient, robust, and secure when developed collaboratively in open forums.”
President Biden’s historic investment of $7.5 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is building a national EV charging network across America. Already, Ohio and New York have opened new fast charging stations funded by the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program. Other new charging station launches will follow in coming weeks and months, with stations already under construction in Maine, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. In total, twenty-nine states have issued NEVI solicitations, and more than a dozen of these states have already awarded contracts or have agreements in place. The FHWA RFI will solicit feedback from stakeholders on updating its minimum requirements to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of new public charging stations on America’s roads and highways serve the needs of EV drivers now and into the future.
The SAE Technical Information Report (TIR) for J3400 is now available online. The Joint Office encourages continued industry collaboration with SAE to keep updating the standard to support new technologies and ensure safe, convenient, and reliable charging for all.