Automakers enforce EV charging standards by announcing the winner

Automakers enforce EV charging standards by announcing the winner

Standards help simplify life. They make sure that nutrition labels are on food, that the next tap is safe to drink, and that electrical outlets are all of the same voltage within the country.

The auto industry is not immune to standards. Several regulatory agencies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), are working to standardize how the public charges their electric vehicles (EVs) in the same way that gas stations and gas pumps are standardized.

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Standards and Requirements are a series of rules established by FWHA and initiated by the bipartisan Infrastructure Act. It’s part of the equation.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) also sets standards. The organization works with existing and emerging technologies to create non-binding rules around the world.

“Typically, a lot of standards start in the conceptual phase where experts basically say, ‘Okay, how do we want this to work?’ So, you start with a blank sheet of paper and get some proposals and then come together on one solution, and that process usually takes a while because you’re creating Something that wasn’t there before, or there were things “before but they were different, they had different requirements,” said Dr. Rodney McGee, PhD, PE on the SAE Tomorrow Today podcast.

Hyundai will use NACS in the future via onboard switches or ports.
Hyundai Motor America

“The next standardization process is a little different as the North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector represents the majority of use in full electric vehicles and also a huge market share of charging stations, especially DC charging stations. What we’re doing with the standard is Actually capturing the existing mechanical connector to make sure that when other manufacturers want to be interoperable with it, they have a standard to follow to ensure things work well.”

As of August 15, companies that made more than 75 percent of the electric vehicles on the road today have committed to NACS certification. Fisker, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar, Rivian and Volvo have all said they will either install NACS charging ports on their vehicles or offer an adapter to work with Compact Charging Solutions (CCS) chargers.

The NACS charger, formerly called the Tesla charger, was created by Elon Musk’s car company to be used only in its supercharging stations. It is lighter and easier to use than the CCS charger.

The Supercharger network is known for enabling cross-country routes, unlike the Electrify America, ChargePoint and EVgo networks, which have focused on chargers installed in urban areas.

In February, Tesla began installing the Magic Dock NACS to CCS adapter at some Supercharger locations. When the driver of a NACS-equipped vehicle wants to use the charger, he or she removes the adapter; When a vehicle is CCS, such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E or Kia EV6, the Magic Dock releases the NACS to CCS adapter.

Electric car charger
An electric vehicle charging station in Monterey Park, California on May 18, 2021.
Frederick J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Automakers like Ford, Nissan, and GM have promised that the NACS connector will be available by 2025 and will offer buyers an adapter with purchase so they can use Tesla chargers. Most other automakers are expected to do something similar. Elon Musk, speaking with Ford CEO Jim Farley on X, previously said on Twitter that the cost of the inverters would not be prohibitive, “maybe a few hundred dollars.”

Electrify America, a public charging company that serves all electric vehicles including Teslas, has already announced plans to add a NACS connector by 2025 as well as continue to support CCS. Electrify America says the technology used in the chargers doesn’t need to change, just the connector.

There is one hiccup. Some older electric cars, hitting the used market now, use a third form of connector called CHAdeMO. It is mostly found in Japanese cars such as the Nissan Leaf, the older Toyota Prius Hybrid and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. It is still factory installed on the sheet.

A new generation of Leaf that uses modern charging technology is expected to appear in the near future.

Toyota RAV4 EV charging
Level 2 EV chargers require a 240V connection.
Robert Nickelsburg/Getty Images

In 2021, charging company Electrify America said it would phase out CHAdeMo connectors except in California, however, there are still approximately 10,000 CHAdeMO chargers operating in North America.

“The electric vehicle charging industry is still in its infancy. It will take a collective effort from all players to scale and meet the growing demand. This will strengthen the national charging infrastructure and improve the electric vehicle ownership experience,” said an Electrify America representative. Tell Newsweek.

While using a public charging station may become more of a barrier for older models of electric vehicles, owners will still be able to continue charging at home or at other locations using a traditional charging cord.

“Our data shows that there is a significant lack of public charging available in the United States. Whether you’re talking about NACS or CCS, there simply aren’t enough chargers. Now with the Tesla Supercharger network that’s becoming a huge advantage for its car owners,” they’re enjoying more Availability, reliability and a more satisfying experience. This feature has generated purchase differentiation for Tesla – 57 percent of Tesla owners cite the number of compatible chargers with the brand’s vehicles as their primary reason for purchase,” said Brent Gruber, executive director of J.D. Power’s electric vehicle practice. Newsweek.

“For non-Tesla owners, only 2 percent cite charger compatibility as a primary reason for purchase. With the broader adoption of NACS, I know not only are OEMs viewing Tesla as a ‘winner’, but rather they view non-Tesla EV owners as They win In this scenario, access to a greater number of public fast chargers for non-Tesla owners helps address the key issue of availability in part, but whether Tesla’s high-performance charging experience can be replicated for non-Tesla owners remains to be seen,” Gruber said.