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SAE International begins to set a standard for wireless EV charging

SAE TIR J2954, if accepted and implemented on a wide scale, will ensure wireless charging works on all vehicles that follow the standard.

Oak Ridge Wireless EV Charging
ORNL's proving its charger's worth using a Toyota RAV4 EV with a special 10-kWh battery adapted for wireless charging.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Wireless charging for electric cars is in its early days, and a governing body hopes to make the process easier for everyone.


Already, Oak Ridge National Laboratory is experimenting with 20kW chargers featuring very high efficiency levels.


The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International) is responsible for developing and promoting standards that are used across the automotive industry. It's the reason you can easily pick the oil your car needs from the shelf, and it's the reason why (most) EV chargers work with your electric car. Soon, it will also be responsible for setting a standard for wireless EV charging, which remains in its nascent stage.

SAE TIR J2954 puts in place a framework that will eventually grow to become the standard for wireless electric-car charging.

"Wireless power transfer, using SAE TIR J2954 is a game changer for PH/EVs," said Jesse Schneider, chair of SAE International's wireless power group, in a statement.

"This first in a series of documents will enable consumers to simply park their vehicles into spaces equipped with TIR J2954 equipment and walk away without doing anything to charge their PH/EV," Schneider said. PH/EV refers to both pure electric vehicles, as well as plug-in hybrids.

The initial framework set forth establishes a frequency band for wireless charging, as well as four different charging "speeds" -- 3.7kW, 7.7kW, 11kW and 22kW. Already, we've seen aftermarket companies putting out 7.2kW chargers, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working on a highly efficient 20kW wireless charger. The standard has room for higher power levels as technology advances, too.