US charging industry and CharIN warming towards NACS
Ford and General Motors’ declared goal to rely on Tesla’s fast-charging standard has been followed by a whole wave of announcements by charging infrastructure players who also want to integrate the so-called “North American Charging Standard (NACS)”. And the CCS organisation CharIN is reacting to these developments.
In a press release, CharIN announced the establishment of a task force intending to subject NACS to a standardisation process. The group invites members and other stakeholders to join the task force and has already prepared a corresponding form. CharIN has also said that NACS “uses DIN 70121 and ISO 15118 protocols, which are based on Power Line Communication (PLC) and enable CCS functionality”. These protocols were developed for CCS, but CharIN points out these are “versatile communication standards that could help build bridges between all charging standards in North America”.
Initially, when Ford announced its cooperation with Tesla and that it would be adopting NACS standards, CharIN said it feared that early, unconsolidated announcements of changes create uncertainty in the industry and create barriers to investment. But General Motors’ commitment followed shortly after, saying it also wanted to too wanted to adopt the NACS standard.
CharIN is now saying it stands behind CCS and MCS, but also supports the standardization of Tesla NACS. The organisation notes that some of its members in North America are interested in adopting the North America Charging Standard (NACS). CharIN also notes that NACS is not yet a standard and does not provide an open charging ecosystem for the industry to build upon. For a technology to become a standard, it would have to go through a proper process in a standards development organisation.
But CharIN also sees potential for this, saying it is pleased that NACS is using DIN 70121 and ISO 15118 protocols, which are based on power line communication (PLC) and enable CCS functionality. “These protocols were created for CCS but are versatile communication standards that could help build bridges across all charging standards in North America. These standards are also deeply rooted in CharIN membership and activities.”
As with the megawatt charging system, CharIN will convene an open working group to align requirements with the goal of bringing NACS into the standards process. CharIN says that an open standards process ensures proper peer review of the technology and the opportunity for all interested parties to contribute to the development of this standard.
Since the two largest carmakers in the US have backed Tesla’s charging standard, part of the charging industry is also moving towards NACS, with ChargePoint announcing that it will soon offer a NACS plug option for its products, “with low-cost upgrades available in the field for chargers already in service”. Blink Charging plans to unveil the design of a new DC fast charger with a dual CCS NACS port at the EVS36 show in California. EVgo announces it will equip its fast charging network in the US with NACS plugs nationwide. And charging network Flo assures that all its stations are “already designed to support NACS cables if requested by customers or site operators”.
Some major hardware manufacturers are also positioning themselves: ABB E-Mobility, for example, has published a statement on Twitter that it will continue to be a leader “by offering the North American Charging Standard (NACS) as an option for our products”. Tritium, as well as Kempower and Wallbox have published similar-sounding announcements.
Reporting by Cora Werwitzke.