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Texas Mandates Tesla Tech in EV Chargers

In a controversial decision, Texas has approved a plan requiring Tesla's technology in electric vehicle charging stations for eligibility for federal funds, sparking interest and opposition alike.

Tesla Charge Stations
Tesla Charge Stations

Texas Leads in Adopting Tesla's Technology for EV Chargers

Texas has given the green light to a plan that requires companies to include Tesla's technology in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for federal funds eligibility. The decision was made despite requests for more time to re-engineer and test the connectors, making Texas the biggest recipient of a $5 billion program aimed at electrifying U.S. highways.

Elon Musk's Vision: A Step Forward

The Texas move is being closely monitored by other states and marks a step toward Tesla CEO Elon Musk's goal to make its technology the U.S. charging standard. Tesla's influence is noticeable as the company won projects in Pennsylvania but none in Ohio, reflecting the early tests of the initiative.

Federal Rules and State Variations

Although federal rules stipulate that companies must offer the rival Combined Charging System (CCS) as a minimum for fund eligibility, states can implement additional requirements. The endorsement of Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS) by Ford Motor and General Motors created a significant industry shift.

Other States Follow Suit or Consider Tesla's Technology

Texas plans to deploy $407.8 million over five years to mandate Tesla's plugs, while Washington and Kentucky have similar plans. Florida has also revised its plans, indicating it would mandate NACS one year after official recognition by standards body SAE International.

Charging Companies Express Concerns

Several charging companies expressed their opposition to the Texas plan, citing concerns about supply chain and certification issues. They believe the requirement would jeopardize the successful deployment of EV chargers, leading Texas to defer voting on the plan twice before unanimously approving it.

The Two-Connector Approach: Texas' Strategy Explained

Humberto Gonzalez, a director at Texas Department of Transportation, presented the state's plan, emphasizing that the proposed two-connector approach will help cover at least 97% of the over 168,000 electric vehicles with fast charge ports in the state, showing the state's commitment to comprehensive EV infrastructure.