Tesla NACS standardization gets support from Biden White House

Credit: Tesla Charging/X

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and US President Joe Biden might not necessarily have the best relationship right now, but it would appear that the White House at least recognizes the electric vehicle maker’s role in the United States’ rapid charging market. As per recent reports, SAE International, formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers, has confirmed Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) as a standard EV connector. 

The United States is a key electric vehicle market. It is also home to Tesla, arguably the world’s premier pure electric car maker. But while the US’ growth in the EV sector has pretty much been carried by the sales of mainstream Tesla vehicles like the Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossover over the years, the United States still lags behind China and some European countries when it comes to electric car adoption. 

A key reason behind this is the lack of rapid chargers in the United States. Tesla’s Supercharger Network has been established for years, and the company’s customers have been conducting seamless long trips since the days of the Model S and Model X. But outside Tesla’s electric cars, the situation is much different. Rapid chargers like Electrify America exist, but they are nowhere near the level of Tesla Superchargers. 

Thus, it was no surprise that when Tesla proposed to open its NACS to other automakers, many carmakers followed suit. Ford and General Motors were only the beginning, and more recently, even holdouts like Volkswagen have committed to the charging standard. As noted in a report from the Associated Press, SAE International, formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers, noted in June that it would be setting standards for Tesla’s EV charging plug so it could work with other electric cars. 

And on Tuesday, SAE International confirmed that Tesla’s North American Charging Standard is a new standard electric vehicle connector. In a statement, the U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation noted that the new standard “ensures that any vehicle or charging equipment supplier or manufacturer will be able to use, manufacture, or deploy the connector and expands charging access for current and future EV drivers across the country.” 

Loren McDonald, CEO of EVAdoption LLC, a firm that currently tracks the adoption of NACS, noted that SAE International’s announcement proves that Superchargers are no longer something that is exclusive to Teslas. McDonald, however, also warned that the transition from the previous CCS plugs in non-Tesla chargers to NACS may result in some inconveniences for electric vehicle owners in the near future. 

“Now, nobody can say it’s just ‘the Tesla thing.’ There’s nothing now to hold them back… We are still going to have several years of millions of CCS connector vehicles on the road, and they’re going to last a long time. Until we know how the automakers are actually going to distribute these adapters, to me, it’s really unknown how it’s going to help solve this problem over the next couple of years if you’re an existing CCS owner.

“The reality of all of this is we’re going to be living in adapter hell for the next several years, and that transition, then, is problematic for mainstream consumers who say, ‘I don’t get this,’” McDonald noted. 

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Tesla NACS standardization gets support from Biden White House
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