What is a SAE J1772 Charger?

Definition and overview of SAE J1772

The J1772, also known as SAE J1772, is a recognized standard for electric vehicle (EV) charging in North America. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) made a standard that makes sure electric vehicle charging is the same and dependable across different car brands. Using this standard makes charging your electric car easier and more straightforward.

Main Features of J1772

Connector Physical Specs

The J1772 connector has a special shape that’s easy to spot, especially because of the noticeable edge on the top.

The unique shape isn’t for looks; it’s carefully made to make sure the connector fits tightly and safely into the electric car. This design also makes sure you can only plug it in one way, reducing the chance of making a mistake.

This smart design makes sure that every time you plug in your electric car, the energy transfer is not only smooth but also efficient and reliable.

L1 functions as AC line that carry the alternating current to the vehicle.

N stands for “AC Neutral” for 120V level 1 charging, and “AC Line 2” for 240V level 2 charging, which also carry the alternating current to charge your vehicle.

PD stands for “Proximity Detection.” It sends a signal to the car’s control system to help the charger know when it’s plugged in. It also locks the connector in place while the car is charging.

CP stands for “Control Pilot”, it helps communication between the vehicle and the charger. It can be manipulated by the vehicle to initiate charging and carry other information.

G is short for “Gound”, this is the grounding pin, which is crucial for safety.

SAE J1772 Charging Speed

The SAE J1772 charging standard offers two different charging speeds: Level 1 and Level 2. Each level has its own specific details, like how much voltage and current it uses.

For Level 1 Charging

Voltage: Operates at a standard household voltage of 120v in North America.

Current: Usually up to 16 amps.

Power: Up to about 1.4kw (kilowatts).

Charging Speed: Level 1 charging is pretty slow and is usually used for overnight charging at home. How long it takes to fully charge can vary, ranging from 8 to 20 hours depending on the car and battery details. Level 1 chargers are a good choice for cars with smaller batteries, like plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

Contrasting this, for Level 2 charging:

Voltage: It works at 208-240 volts, which is the usual power level you’ll find in home garages or public charging stations in North America.

Current: It ranges from 16 to 80 amps, but 30 to 40 amps are more typical for residential installations.

Power: Ranges from 3.3kw to 19.2kw, depeding on the amperage and voltage.

Charging speed: Level 2 chargers are much faster than Level1 chargers. A level 2 charger can typically fully charge an electric vehicle in 4 to 8 hours for common full EVs. It will certainly take less time for charging PHEVs since the battery capacity is smaller.

Level 2 chargers are ideal for daily use and is the most found type of public charging station. It is also suitable for home installations if you have access to 240-volt outlet.

However, it’s important to know that these numbers can change. They mostly depend on the specific features and abilities of the electric car you have.

Warning! Please consult professional electrician for installation guidance.

Safety and Reliability

When you look at how the J1772 is made, it’s clear that safety is a top priority.

The design is really careful to keep the electrical parts hidden until they’re safely connected to the car. This helps to lower the risk of electric shocks.

Also, the special shape of the J1772 connector makes sure you can only plug it in one way. This helps to avoid mistakes that could be dangerous.

Another safety feature is the built-in communication system. This isn’t just for show; it acts like a guard, constantly checking to make sure it’s safe before allowing electricity to flow.

Compatibility and Interoperability

The tale of J1772 isn’t just about its technological prowess; it’s fundamentally about the promise it holds: universal acceptance and unparalleled compatibility.

J1772 standard is widely adopted by automakers, especially in North America, for most electric vehicle and plug-in hybrids. This means that you can use a J1772 charger to charge various brands of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, except Tesla.

However, limitations are obvious.

  1. If you are driving Tesla, you will need J1772 to Tesla adapters or converters to charge your Tesla.
  2. While J1772 is widely used in North America, it’s less common in Europe and other parts of the world where standards like Type 2 Mennekes or CHAdeMO.
  3. J1772 is designed for Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging, but not for DC fast charging. You will need CCS1 for fast charging in North America.

Can I Charge My EV with a J1772 Plug at Home?

Absolutely yes! More and more people who love electric cars are choosing Level 2 chargers, especially the J1772 type, for charging at home.

But it’s important to remember that before you start using the J1772, you need to get your home’s electrical setup ready. Once that’s done, choosing the J1772 becomes an easy decision.


In a time when the way we get around is changing fast, having a standard way to charge electric cars is really important. The J1772 is leading the way in making this happen.

Known officially as the SAE J1772, this standard is more than just a tool; it’s a trusted and efficient way to charge electric cars. It’s like a building block that helps grow the network of electric car charging stations all over North America.

But what truly sets the J1772 apart is its sweeping range of compatibility married with an unwavering commitment to safety. Whether you’re charging your electric car in the quiet of your home garage or in a busy public area, you can feel sure and confident that it’s a safe and reliable way to charge.

As technology keeps advancing and we move towards a future with more electric cars, standards like J1772 are leading the way. They’re helping us move confidently into a world where the sound of electric engines becomes more and more common.

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