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Texas's Move to Adopt Tesla Charging Standard Sparks Controversy Among EV Firms

Amidst Texas' efforts to adopt Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS), various EV charging companies express their resistance, highlighting potential risks and calling for more testing time.

Tesla Charging Stations
Tesla Charging Stations

Tesla's Charging Standard Faces Pushback in Texas

A coalition of EV charging manufacturers and operators are voicing opposition to Texas' proposed enforcement of incorporating Tesla technology into charging stations. The group labels this move as "premature," as per a document seen by Reuters and an anonymous source privy to the situation.

Federal Funding Dependent on Dual Charging Standards

Texas intends to insist that companies offering EV charging stations implement both Tesla's NACS and the nationally accepted rival, Combined Charging Standard (CCS). Compliance with these dual standards is required for eligibility in a state program seeking to electrify highways with federal funds, a scheme reported by Reuters last week.

SAE International Backs Tesla's Charging Connector

The standards body, SAE International, announced its intention to formulate an industry standard for Tesla's charging connector within half a year, bolstering Tesla CEO Elon Musk's ambition to make NACS the national charging technology. This move mirrors Washington's recent adoption of the standard.

EV Charging Firms Seek Time to Adapt to Tesla's Tech

Five EV charging firms, including ChargePoint Holdings and ABB, alongside a clean energy association, have penned a letter to the Texas Transportation Commission. They appeal for additional time to adapt and test Tesla's connectors, arguing that the rushed integration could compromise the initial rollout of federal funds.

Calls for Safety Standardization and Federal Intervention

These organizations stress the importance of sufficient time to standardize, test, and ensure the safety of Tesla's connectors across the industry. The source further revealed plans by some of these firms to bring the matter to the attention of the federal government.

Tesla Charging Stations
Tesla Charging Stations

Tesla Charging Technology Rides High Despite Concerns

Despite facing opposition, Tesla, the leading EV manufacturer in the US, has been gaining significant support for its charging technology. Major automakers, including Ford Motor and General Motors, have chosen to adopt NACS amid fears of alienating customers by only offering CCS. Tesla's Superchargers currently represent about 60% of all fast chargers in the US, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and these deals will enable non-Tesla users to access this expansive charging network.

Industry Expresses Concern Over Dual Charging Standards

Yet, apprehension persists about the potential challenges of implementing two charging standards. Questions arise regarding their interoperability and whether the existence of both standards might elevate costs for vendors and customers.

Further Considerations and Need for Supply Chain

In the letter, the charging companies mentioned several adjustments required for NACS connectors, such as extending cable length and maintaining adequate temperature ranges. They emphasized the necessity for specific certifications and a robust supply chain of compliant NACS cables and connectors.