USA considers requiring CCS standard for subsidies
The US Department of Transportation is expected to set the final requirements that all electric vehicle charging stations must meet to qualify for the US government’s $7.5 billion incentive programme this week. According to an agency report, one of the policy decisions is unlikely to please Tesla.
As Reuters has learned, the use of the CCS fast-charging standard will be made a condition. In North America, the CCS1 standard is used, which combines the Type 1 connection for AC charging that is widespread there with the two DC contacts – in Europe, the CCS2 with Type 2 socket + DC is used.
This alleged policy decision in favour of CCS would increase the pressure on Tesla to make its Superchargers accessible to electric cars of other brands in the US as well. Otherwise, Tesla will go away empty-handed in terms of subsidies. Along with the new EV tax credits, the charging infrastructure subsidy is seen as a central element of US President Joe Biden’s plan for battery-electric cars to account for half of sales in 2030.
Against the background of the system duel between CCS and Tesla’s own charging plug called NCAS (“North American Charging Standard”), Tesla released the design of the NCAS in November 2022. When Tesla launched the Model S in 2012, there was simply no industry standard yet. Therefore, Tesla had developed its own charging plug at the time, which combined AC and DC charging. By releasing the design, Tesla wanted to encourage other carmakers and charging network operators to install the NCAS – and thus make its own system the charging standard in North America.
If the Reuters information is correct, the CCS1 would be favoured and Tesla would be virtually excluded from subsidies for charging infrastructure – the news agency cites unnamed government officials. Tesla had long announced the opening of its Supercharger network to electric cars from other brands, but has not yet done so in the US. In Europe, selected Tesla Superchargers are already accessible to third-party brands in a total of 15 countries, and some Superchargers were recently added in Australia.
There is one major difference: in Europe, Tesla has been using the CCS2 standard since the premiere of the Model 3, both on its vehicles and in the charging infrastructure. The older V2 Superchargers were retrofitted with a CCS cable, the new V3 Superchargers are pure CCS charging stations. Here, the opening for foreign brands was a pure software release that could immediately reach a large audience. In the USA, opening up NCAS charging stations would be more complicated.
Whether the possibility to charge with an electric car of another brand at the Superchargers with an adapter from NCAS to CCS1 is sufficient for eligibility is currently unknown.
- ADVERTISEMENT -
Forcing a clunky, poorly designed connector on Tesla is a horrible mistake and is taking a step backwards in technology. That’s like making the old USB type A connectors the standard for all cellphones instead of the better designed USB type C that everyone loves.
If this really happens it’s purely political.
About time. It’s never been about who has the prettier plug – Tesla shot itself in the foot by: 1) Offering a supposed “open” plug design that was anything but, also requiring anyone using it to give up their own patents, so builders stayed away. 2) creating a “charging as a club member”model – which works find if you want exclusivity, but when you also want government subsidies paid for by the public trust, then you can’t expect to get grants. They learned that lesson in Europe, which is why EU Teslas are CCS.
By that time (2018?) Tesla should have seen the writing on the wall, but instead they doubled-down and bifurcated the charging market in the US. Now, they’re on the outside looking in…how’s that membership feeling now?
It woukd be correct if tesla made its standard open in 2012 and not 2022.
You compare with USB c, failed to mention tesla was not open , and injection of politics was just to flame passion
This is the only rational decision as the government should only give support to a standard charging plug and not proprietary ones. No one says Tesla has to support CSS, but the government should not be subsidizing chargers that can only be used by one brand.
CSS doesn’t really have any downsides unless you consider “looking sleek” to be a feature. Industry standards are far more important.
Given that there are more EVs using the NACS connector and also more chargers, forcing CCS will be a bad political move. How about some public comments?
CCS1 is not only a monstrosity it is also technically inferior. Tesla’s charger had a higher power rating than CCS1 so it has a longer path to adapt.
Others had mentioned that the Tesla standard want originally open. That’s putting more than a bit of a spin on how things happened. Tesla was open to sharing details with other manufacturers but it required then to contribute to the build out of the charging network to do so. None of the other manufacturers took them up on it. So now those manufacturers want to fix the lack of charging capacity for their vehicles by getting the government to subsidize the build out of an inferior charging network that less then one third of existing EVs can use.