What are USCAR-Approved Interconnects?

By Amy Goetzman | March 07, 2023

Meet the Connector: USCAR-Approved Interconnects

USCAR connectors are part of a wide range of interconnect products that meet the specifications of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR), a collaborative automotive research company founded in 1992 to “strengthen the technology base of the U.S. auto industry through cooperative research and development.” Comprised of a number of technical teams, USCAR strives to develop industry-wide automotive testing standards to prepare for technological advancements and challenges in new vehicle development. USCAR’s work is particularly focused on advanced propulsion, electrical and electronics, energy storage, hydrogen fuel cells, manufacturing, materials, and safety. Its main research centers on advanced propulsion, electrical & electronics, energy storage, hydrogen fuel cells, manufacturing, materials, and safety.

Its member companies are Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis. Interconnects fall under the electrical and electronics category of USCAR’s research and falls under the guidance of EWCAP (Electrical Wiring Component Application Partnership). EWCAP’s technologies include: 

  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
  • Electrical Power Systems
  • Electrical Wiring Components
  • Electronic Module Testing and Validation
  • Energy Efficient Computing
  • Lighting

Amphenol FCI WireLock 1.80mm Compact Wire-to-Board Connectors, from Mouser Electronics feature a compact design that addresses the growing need for miniature automotive connectors. These double-row connectors offer four coding options in various colors and have a nominal current carrying capacity of 3A and a cable wire gauge range from 26AWG to 22AWG.  They are available in 10 to 40 positions with vertical and horizontal TH and SMT configurations.

In addition, USCAR’s energy storage arm, USBCA, focuses on EV technologies, including energy storage, charging, and battery systems, including:  

  • Battery Recycling
  • Beyond Li-ion
  • Cathodes/Electrodes
  • Lithium-ion
  • Low-cost/Fast-charge
  • On-Board Charging

USCAR-approved interconnects include sealed and unsealed connectors (multiple sizes and hybrid versions), specialty connectors (HSD, coaxial, USB, high-voltage, airbag, Ethernet, and trailer tow), and wire harnesses. 


IMS Connector Systems offers MCA/MCA-H (Mini Coax Automotive) 5G Miniaturized High-Speed multi-pole RF Solutions. This newly developed MCA & MCAH series complies with the high requirements set by the automotive industry for coaxial interconnections in high speed data transmission up to 20 Gb/s and frequency range up to 15 GHz and  is compliant with the new mini-coax interface from VW, aka mini-FAKRA and is USCAR 2 and USCAR 49 compliant.

Design Notes 


USCAR specifications span every major electrical and electronic system in modern automotive applications, and have undergone multiple revisions, with products available on the market spanning several decades. USCAR specifications cover product materials, testing practices, component performance, ergonomics, manufacturing equipment, shipping practices, and other parameters related to the automotive industry. Individual specifications are described using a numbering system that ranges from USCAR 1, which covers Salt Spray Testing and Evaluation of Fastener Finishes to USCAR 49, which covers performance testing of electrical terminals, connectors, and components for mini coaxial-style cables. Revisions are continually made and indicated with a dash followed by a number indicating the number of the revision. Example: USCAR 15-5 is the fifth revision of the performance specification for automotive RF connector systems. 

JAE’s MX80 Series of compact waterproof in-line connectors

JAE’s MX80 Series of compact waterproof in-line connectors for automotive applications is IP67 compliant and follows automotive standard USCAR-2.

USCAR-2, Performance Specification for Automotive Electrical Connector Systems, applies specifically to connectors. This specification covers performance testing at all phases of development, production, and field analysis of electrical terminals, connectors, and components that constitute the electrical connection systems in road vehicle applications that are low voltage (0 to 20 VDC) or coaxial. Incomplete (mechanical) specifications for jacketed twisted pair connectors are also provided. These procedures are only applicable to terminals used for in-line, header, and device connector systems. They are not applicable to edge board connector systems, twist-lock connector systems, >20 VAC or DC, or to eyelet terminals.  

TE Connectivity Generation 50 connector

TE Connectivity’s Generation 50 connector portfolio offers both size and weight savings while satisfying the USCAR-2 environmental and mechanical requirement for 0.50 mm systems. Mouser Electronics carries TE’s selection of USCAR interconnects.

Markets, Sectors, and Applications 

Automotive, Transportation 

USCAR specifications have been designed specifically for components used in automotive applications. However, the harsh environments of automotive manufacturing and operation calls for very high reliability and durability, making USCAR connectors suitable for other industries where miniaturization, ruggedness, reliability, and performance are required. 

KYOCERA AVX’s 9715 Branch Connector

KYOCERA AVX’s 9715 Branch Connector is designed for automotive and marine applications and features a 1000Vrms withstanding voltage, 125V/contact rated voltage, and 8A to 9A of current per contact. It meets USCAR-2 standards for high waterproofing (IP69K) and reliability in automotive components.


Amphenol, Chief Enterprises, ept, Hirose Electric, IMS Connector Systems, JAE, Kyocera AVX, Molex, Mouser Electronics, TE Connectivity, Aptiv, HellermannTyton, Yazaki
Related products: 

See our USCAR-Approved Interconnects Product Roundup 

Like this article? Check out our other Meet the Connector and Power connector articles, our Automotive Market Page, and our 2022 and 2023 Article Archive

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Amy Goetzman
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