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Saturday, May 15, 2010

The First Public J1772: Another Leap Closer to Plugging In

The first Level 2 public J1772 charging station in the world went operational on Monday, May 3rd 2010, some 10 miles from Sacramento Airport in Woodside, California. This is a historic achievement for the new generation of plug-in vehicles. J1772 is the universal standard that will charge all the coming new plug-ins in the U.S.

Tom Dowling, charging infrastructure manager with the Electric Auto Assn. and long-time EV driver (12 years!), had the J1772 interface installed. The charger itself, is a ClipperCreek model CS-40 with a 208 volt capacity.

Of course, there are no vehicles for the station to charge at the moment because there are no J1772-capable cars on the road yet. But at press time, Tom expected an early Leaf, slated to visit UC Davis, to visit the charging station for a photo op and a charge in mid-May. In a tantalizingly few months, there should be lots of J1772-capable cars craving a charge at the station.

"This installation of an SAE J1172(tm) charging station is an important milestone" Tom says. "Here we have a fully UL-approved charging station, cable, and connector. Suppliers are ready to provide fully-approved equipment in volume. We're actually ready for vehicles before the vehicles arrive. We don't have the problems the BMW Mini E trial had, where the vehicles arrived before all the approvals were complete, and we have a new universal standard connector, not a vehicle-manufacturer-specific connector. Now all we need are the vehicles."

The J1772 location also boasts the first public Tesla charging station, a ClipperCreek TS-90, installed in '09 as well as legacy charging stations for Toyota's RAV4 EV and Ford's Ranger EV.

Source: Plug-in America may 2010 Newsletter