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SAE International publishes updated standard for on-route mechanized conductive EV charging systems for buses: SAE J3105

SAE International published its latest standard, SAE J3105: Electric Vehicle Power Transfer System Using Conductive Automated Connection Devices, along with three new tributary documents. The standard covers the general physical, electrical, functional, testing, and performance requirements for a mechanized (hands-free) conductive power transfer system primarily for transit buses using an overhead coupler capable of, but not limited to, transferring direct current (DC) power.

According to a report published in 2019 by P&S Intelligence, the US electric bus market size is projected to reach $1,948.5 million by 2024. The market growth is primarily driven by several federal, regional, and state grants and incentive programs. In addition, low cost of ownership, coupled with low maintenance cost of electric buses, specially battery electric buses (BEB) is expected to benefit the market during the forecast period.

As the market expands, the need for the continued standardization of DC power distribution remains, and SAE J3105 addresses the many interfaces required to ensure power delivery is consistent.

SAE J3105 defines a conductive power transfer method, including the curbside electrical contact interface, the vehicle connection interface, the electrical characteristics of the DC supply and the communication system. It also covers the functional and dimensional requirements for the vehicle connection interface and supply equipment interface.

The publication of the SAE J3105 Standard was published by SAE International’s Hybrid EV group and is accompanied by three supporting documents that detail the connections in J3105:

  • SAE J3105/1: Infrastructure-Mounted Cross Rail Connection covers the connection interface relevant requirements for an electric vehicle power transfer system using a conductive automated connection device based on a cross-rail design.

  • SAE J3105/2: Vehicle-Mounted Pantograph Connection covers the connection interface relevant requirements for an electric vehicle power transfer system using a conductive automated charging device based on a conventional rail vehicle pantograph design.

  • SAE J3105/3: Enclosed Pin and Socket Connection covers the main safety and interoperability relevant requirements for an electric vehicle power transfer system using a conductive automated charging device based on an enclosed pin and socket design.

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