CharIN task force on NACS standardisation includes 51 parties
After the CCS organisation CharIN recently announced the establishment of a task force intending to subject NACS to a standardisation process, it now published a preliminary list of companies participating. It includes several carmakers – but one essential player is missing.
The list comprises 51 companies, including car manufacturers BMW, Ford, GM, Hyundai-Kia, JLR, Lucid, Mercedes-Benz, Stellantis, Toyota, Vinfast and Volvo Car. The Volkswagen Group is represented on the list through its charging infrastructure subsidiary Electrify America. CharIN announced such a workgroup in mid-June.
Tesla is missing from the list, even though it is a CharIN member and has been using the CCS standard for its electric cars in Europe. electrive has learned that CharIN and Tesla are still in close exchange about the participation of the US manufacturer. That is underpinned by the wording of the CharIN release on LinkedIn: “Following up on CharINs invitation to all stakeholders and experts of the industry to join an open task force to align requirements with the goal of submitting NACS to the standardisation process, we are happy to give you an update on the registrations for the NACS task force.”
Tesla released the design of its proprietary Supercharger connector in North America last November – and hereafter referred to the system as the “North American Charging Standard” or NACS. Although car manufacturers and charging network operators were invited to use Supercharger plugs and sockets, the move seemed quickly forgotten until a few weeks ago. Within a short period, Ford, GM, and Rivian announced they would rely on the Tesla charging system for their future North American models. Hyundai has allegedly also shown interest but has yet to decide to use the NACS system.
The interest of carmakers in the Supercharger system, which is widely used in the US, has also led to a rethink at CharIN. Following Ford’s announcement at the end of May, it said that the global EV industry “cannot thrive with several competing charging systems. […] CCS is the global standard and therefore focuses on international interoperability and, unlike NACS, is future-proofed to support many other use cases beyond public DC fast charging”, CharIN stated at the time. Following the GM announcement in June, the CharIN acknowledged in another statement: “Some of our CharIN North America members are interested in adopting the North America Charging Standard (NACS) form factor”. For a technology to become a standard, he said, it must go through a proper standard development process.
However, it remains to be seen what impact the working group will have on the future of NACS. Although it is not yet a “recognised” standard, some charging hardware manufacturers and charge point operators in North America have already announced that they will retrofit their products and charge points with NACS connections or offer it as an option. Together with the EVs from Tesla, Ford, GM and Rivian, NACS could thus become a widespread industry solution even before the CharIN certification process – which usually takes several years – is completed.
The US state of Washington now wants to require charging infrastructure providers to implement Tesla’s NACS charging system as a condition for receiving funding. Washington thus becomes the second state after Texas to pursue such a plan. “We want to provide access to as many makes and models as possible,” Tonia Buell, alternative fuels programme manager at the Washington State Department of Transportation, told Reuters. “It hasn’t necessarily been tested and certified for other auto manufacturers, so we want to make sure it’s going to work but we are planning to require NACS at our state funded and federally funded sites in the future.” The state plans to begin the proposal process in the autumn.