J1772 vs CCS: What’s the Difference?


J1772 vs CCS: What’s the Difference?

Amid the growing shift to electric vehicles (EVs), understanding EV charging standards, notably J1772 and CCS, is indispensable. These standards, formulated by vehicle and charging equipment manufacturers, dictate the charging process's parameters, such as connection interface, charging speed, and power types. Despite sharing a common goal—consistent and safe charging—J1772 and CCS have distinct features and differ in areas including connector design, charging speed, and station support.

Understanding these differences is critical as they heavily influence charging options. This knowledge equips both existing EV owners and potential adopters to make informed decisions that can significantly impact their electric motoring experience. Familiarity with J1772 and CCS, from charging speeds to station choice and home charging setups, paves the way to harnessing the full potential of EVs.

In this article, we navigate the differences and unique advantages of these two EV charging standards. By dissecting their characteristics and pivotal roles, we aim to shed light on their influence on the overall EV charging experience. 

What is the J1772 Standard?

Developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the J1772 standard, often referred to as Type 1, is a ubiquitous charging protocol primarily utilized in the United States for electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). The J1772 standard forms the backbone of EV charging infrastructure in the United States and is integral in simplifying and standardizing the charging process for a wide range of vehicles.

The J1772 connector, distinguished by its round shape, comprises five pins: two for power, one for an earth-ground connection, and two for communication signals between the electric vehicle and the electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), colloquially known as the charger. The two power pins carry the alternating current (AC) power. However, the communication pins play the crucial role of enabling safe and efficient power transfer. They facilitate a handshake protocol that allows the vehicle and the charging station to exchange information about the rate of charge, maximum current, and so on, enabling smart charging that's tailored to each vehicle's unique conditions.

Distinctive attributes of the J1772 standard include the support for both Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging. Level 1 charging utilizes a 120V supply, similar to a standard household outlet, offering a slow but convenient charging solution. Level 2 charging, on the other hand, involves a higher voltage of 240V, offering significantly faster charging speeds, and is typically used in public charging stations and dedicated home charging setups.

Another notable feature of the J1772 standard is its inherent safety characteristics. This includes a locking mechanism that securely connects the charging plug to the vehicle, effectively eliminating the risk of accidental disconnections during the charging process. This feature is especially beneficial when charging in public or unsecured locations, as it prevents unintentional dislodging of the connector.

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of the J1772 standard lies in its universality. By adhering to this standard, charging infrastructure developers have ensured that vehicles outfitted with a J1772 receptacle can universally accept charges from nearly all charging stations, irrespective of the brand or the manufacturer. This means that irrespective of whether you drive a Nissan Leaf, a Chevrolet Bolt, or a BMW i3, you can confidently plug into any J1772-equipped charging station, be it standalone charge points, public parking lots, or even dedicated EV charging parks.

Taken together, the J1772 standard is characterized by its safety, convenience, and above all, its capability to offer universal charging for a vast array of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles—a crucial factor driving the EV revolution forward.

What is the CCS Standard (Combined Charging System)?

Addressing the need for a more versatile charging solution, the Combined Charging System (CCS) was brought to life. Conceptualized and developed primarily by leading European and American car manufacturers, which include BMW, Daimler, Ford, and Volkswagen, the CCS charging standard blends AC slow charging and DC fast charging capabilities into a solitary plug. This holistic approach marks a significant leap in the functionality and ease of use of EV charging systems.

The CCS charging standard is essentially an extension of the J1772 charging interface, building on its foundational five-pin design and adding two extra pins dedicated to DC fast charging. This ensemble of seven pins comprises three for AC charging (just like J1772) and adds two larger pins that are designed to handle high-power DC for fast charging.

This coupling of both AC and DC charging options within the same connector offers a multitude of charging opportunities to users. On the one hand, it guarantees compatibility with slower Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging, which is ideal for at-home charging or when there's plenty of time to spare.

Cable Matters J1772 vs CCS

Alternatively, for a quick top-up when on the move, the CCS connector can switch over to DC fast charging, also known as Level 3 charging. This type of charging bypasses the vehicle's onboard charger, delivering a high current directly to the vehicle’s battery and significantly slashing charging time, making mid-journey recharging more practical and convenient. In response to the vehicle's needs and the specific circumstances of the charging site, the CCS standard can flexibly shift between AC and DC charging modes, showcasing its true versatility.

Moreover, the CCS standard continues to promote safety through features like the charging coupler lock. To ensure secure charging, the charge port of the vehicle is equipped with a locking system that holds the charging connector steady during the charging session, mitigating risks associated with accidental disconnections.

All in all, the CCS charging standard marks an important milestone in the world of EV charging by integrating the convenience of slow AC charging and the speed of DC fast charging into one plug. Its dual design obviates the need for multiple connectors and allows users the flexibility to choose the most suitable charging speed according to their requirements. It's a testament to the automotive industry's drive towards achieving seamless and efficient EV charging.

The Key Differences Between J1772 vs CCS

The comparison between J1772 and CCS reveals key differences that dictate when and where they're typically used. This fundamental variance springs primarily from their distinct design and charging capabilities.

At the heart of the differences between J1772 and CCS is the range of charging speeds each standard supports. J1772 supports Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging, providing a charging solution for home-based and public charging. However, it cannot accommodate DC fast charging, which is particularly advantageous for long trips requiring a rapid recharge.

In contrast, CCS serves the full spectrum of charging speeds as it caters not only to Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging but also to high-speed DC fast charging (Level 3). This comprehensive approach allows CCS-equipped vehicles to recharge quickly at DC fast charging stations while maintaining the flexibility to charge at slower speeds when the fast charging option isn't necessary or available.

The second prominent distinction lies in the physical design of the connectors. The J1772 connector involves a single plug that handles both Level 1 and Level 2 AC charging. This universal design ensures a wide compatibility range, allowing J1772-based vehicles to be charged from almost any AC charging station.

On the other hand, the CCS connector represents an extended design that combines a standard J1772 plug at the top (handling AC charging) and introduces two additional large pins at the bottom aimed at facilitating high-current DC fast charging. This unique, dual-purpose design ensures versatility and functionality for diverse charging needs.

These differences may seem technical, but they directly influence the user experience, dictating factors such as how and where users can charge their EVs. As different as they may be, both J1772 and CCS play crucial roles in expanding the EV charging infrastructure and driving the adoption of EVs.

Users looking to invest in an electric vehicle should, therefore, understand the implications of these differences to make informed decisions revolving around charging capabilities and compatibility requirements based on their unique needs and preferences.

Charging Speed and Power Levels: J1772 vs CCS

The SAE J1772 and the Combined Charging System (CCS) both facilitate electric vehicle charging but have different power levels, thereby offering various charging speeds.

The SAE J1772 standard regulates Level 1 and Level 2 charging. Level 1 charging lies at the low end of the power spectrum, with a maximum capacity of about 1.9 kW. It pulls power from a regular 120V AC outlet, the same type found in most homes across the US. Although this level of charging is relatively slow, typically adding only 2-5 miles of range per hour of charging, it's convenient because it doesn't require any special infrastructure.

Level 2 charging, on the other hand, involves a higher voltage of 240V, similar to larger home appliances like dryers. Capable of delivering up to a maximum of 19.2 kW, Level 2 charging offers a substantially faster rate of charge as compared to Level 1 – typically adding 10-60 miles of range per hour, depending on the vehicle and the specific charger's power rating.

Cable Matters - J1772 vs CCS EV Charging

However, it's worth noting the actual speed of charging depends on several factors. These include the power rating of the supply equipment, the car’s onboard charger, and the rate at which the vehicle itself can accept the charge.

CCS can facilitate both slow AC charging and high-power DC fast charging. The AC charging capabilities of the CCS standard operate at similar power levels to the J1772 standard, offering Level 1 and Level 2 charging.

Where CCS truly stands out is its ability to handle DC fast charging. The power levels for this method can reach a dramatic 350 kW, making it several times faster than Level 2 AC charging. For example, a DC fast charger can add 60-100 miles of range in just about 20 minutes for most vehicles.

With CCS, DC fast charging becomes a game-changer for electric vehicle users, enabling far faster recharge times and making long-distance travel more feasible. It essentially bridges the gap previously seen as a limitation for electric vehicle adoption.

Remember though, the speed of charging ultimately depends on three essential factors – the power rating of the charger, the car's onboard charging technology, and the capacity of the car battery itself. Not all electric vehicles can take advantage of the full 350 kW at present, but it does lay the groundwork for future possibilities in EV technology.

J1772 vs CCS: Connector and Pin Configuration

The connector and pin configurations of both the J1772 and CCS charging standards have been designed to cater to their respective charging capabilities and to ensure safe and efficient operation.

The J1772 connector features a five-pin configuration:

Power Pins (2): These two pins are responsible for providing electricity - one for the line (L) and the other for the neutral (N).

Ground Pin (1): This pin ensures grounding, providing a safety path for any potential faults or leakage current from the vehicle and charging station.

Communication Pins (2): These two pins enable communication between the vehicle and the charging station. One pin is a control pilot (CP) which serves to detect when the connector is plugged into a vehicle, while the other pin is a proximity pilot (PP), which helps determine the various types of cables and connectors being used. Together, they exchange information and feedback to ensure safety, prevent a disconnect in case the charging process is still ongoing, and manage power levels during charging.

In comparison, the CCS connector builds upon the J1772 design, retaining its five-pin configuration, while supplementing it with an additional two large DC pins.

J1772 Pins: The top portion of the CCS connector comprises the same five J1772 pins that manage AC charging and maintain communication between the vehicle and the charging station.

DC Pins (2): The additional two large DC pins are placed beneath the J1772 connector. These pins facilitate the high-current DC fast charging, which significantly reduces charging times for electric vehicles at fast charging stations.

In essence, the connector and pin configurations of both the J1772 and CCS charging standards are designed to cater to different charging scenarios while ensuring safety, communication, and power delivery. By incorporating the J1772 design within its structure, the CCS connector maintains compatibility with older models and AC charging while opening avenues for DC fast charging in modern electric vehicles.

Cable Matters - J1772 vs CCS EV Charging

Charging Networks for J1772 and CCS

The availability of charging networks is a crucial element in determining the overall user experience in owning and operating electric vehicles. The J1772 and CCS standards each possess extensive network support, although their prevalence varies largely depending on the geographical location, the type of charging stations, and the evolution of EV charging technology.

The J1772 standard is incredibly common in the United States and is also widely used in other countries. It is supported by nearly every public and residential EV charging station across the country due to its compatibility with Level 1 and Level 2 charging. Commonly found at workplaces, homes, shopping centers, and various public places, these chargers are suitable for the bulk of everyday charging needs.

Popular charging networks like ChargePoint, Blink, EVgo, and many others provide an extensive array of J1772 AC charging points, further broadening the applicability of this standard.

The robust capabilities of the CCS standard, specifically its DC fast charging feature, have led to a significant surge in its network support, especially in Europe. Nonetheless, its presence is rapidly growing in North America as well.

Major players like Electrify America in the United States and Ionity in Europe predominantly deploy DC fast-charging stations that are compliant with the CCS standard, recognizing its potential for high-speed EV charging.

Electrify America, for instance, aims to proliferate its nationwide network with numerous CCS-compatible fast charging stations, designed to keep up with the increasing number of CCS-equipped EVs.

In Europe, Ionity – a joint venture of BMW, Ford, Daimler AG, and the Volkswagen Group – is working on a widespread network of CCS fast-charging stations along major highways, thereby facilitating hassle-free long-distance EV travel.

To conclude, while the J1772 standard continues to serve the majority of home and public AC charging needs, the emergence of CCS and its fast-charging capabilities is exponentially enhancing the EV charging infrastructure, particularly for long-distance travel and quick top-ups. This ongoing development underscores a perceptible shift in the balance of power in the EV charging sphere, with a heightened focus on reducing charging times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Type 2 charger the same as J1772?

No, they are not the same. Type 2, also known as Mennekes, is the standard used primarily in Europe, while J1772 is more common in the US.

Can J1772 use a Tesla Supercharger?

Teslas uses a proprietary connector for Superchargers, and it's not compatible with J1772 without an adapter. Tesla owners can utilize a J1772 charging station by connecting a Tesla - J1772 adapter. Non-Tesla Supercharging is only accessible for CCS-enabled vehicles.

What is the difference between J1772 and Tesla?

Tesla uses its proprietary connector for Superchargers, while J1772 is a universal standard used by many EVs in the US. Tesla vehicles sold in North America do come with a J1772 adapter, allowing them to charge from J1772 stations.

Is J1772 the same as CHAdeMO?

No, CHAdeMO is a different standard made popular in Japan. It supports DC fast charging, much like the CCS standard. However, unlike J1772 and CCS, CHAdeMO requires a separate port on the vehicle.

Comments (2) -

  • Just to be clear, can I use the J1772 adaptor that came with my 2018 Tesla Model 3 to connect to JUST the J1772 portion of a CCS1 charger and get Level 2 AC charging from that charging station?  The very detailed description in this article   www.cablematters.com/Blog/Power/j1772-vs-ccs   certainly states that, but I'm just a little worried that Tesla has done something software-wise to make it so that I can't do that.  My concern is when the only chargers near me do not include Tesla Superchargers and do not offer a J1772 connection specifically.  Can I safely connect my Tesla using the Tesla J1772 adaptor to just the J1772 portion of the CCS1 charging cable and everything will be fine, not only as far as Level 2 AC charging but also supported by Tesla's allowed amperage range, their software, etc?  Thanks very much in advance for the help!
  • I have a 2021 Prius Prime which comes with a J1772 port and a Level 1 (120v) charger.
    I recently went to an Electrify America charging station, which has the CCS charging plug.  Is there an adapter that I can use in order to charge my Prius Prime at an Electrify America charging station?

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