How to Charge a Tesla Model 3

Federal Government Looks To Ensure Charging Standards

The Biden administration, through the Department of Transportation, has sent out a request for information (RFI) on the types of charging connectors that the electric vehicle (EV) charging stations the Federal Government funds across the United States are using, according to a report from Autoweek.

The North American Charging Standard

The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) released a press release last week that highlighted the objective of their inquiry, “Current federal recruitments allow for alternative types of connectors on all federally funded DC fast chargers so long as there is also a Combined Charging System (CCS) connector. However, SAE International recently standardized the North American Charging Standard (NACS) Connector as standardization J3400 (trademark), making it possible for any supplier or manufacturer to use, manufacture, and deploy the NACS connector.”

The NACS connector the FHA refers to is the Tesla Supercharger connector SAE International named the standard for EV chargers in North America in June 2023. EV charging station manufacturers must build new stations that can accommodate the NACS connector for charging infrastructure in the US to improve. Autoweek’s report cites this as why the FHA is issuing the RFI: to ensure non-supercharger stations comply with the new standard.

In the months following SAE International’s announcement of Tesla’s Supercharger connector as the NACS, automakers ranging from Ford and GM to BMW, Honda, and Hyundai all inked deals with Tesla that would allow their EVs to use the Supercharger network in the future. Last week, Ford announced that they would send out NACS adapters to Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning owners who ordered them at the end of this month.

The Ionna charging network, which automakers BMW, Honda, GM, Stellantis, Kia, Hyundai, and Mercedes are collaborating on, will bring an additional 30,000 EV charging stations to the US by the end of the decade. All Ionna chargers will also be NACS compatible. So many automakers are eager to join Tesla’s Supercharger network because of the reliability their chargers have demonstrated.

According to Autoweek’s report, Shailen Bhatt, administrator for the FHA, said in the organization’s press release, “As EV charging technology continues to rapidly evolve, we want to ensure our federal standards for EV charging keep pace with private sector innovation, adapt to a quickly evolving industry, and meet the needs of EV drivers.”

There’s A Lot To Do Before The Election

The Biden administration could find themselves in a time crunch to ensure EV charging station manufacturers meet federal standards because former president Donald Trump has signaled his intention to stop environmental and EV initiatives and instead pursue domestic oil drilling if he wins the Presidential election this November.

Author: Jarret Hendrickson

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