USA: Kentucky makes NACS mandatory for charging subsidies
Kentucky has become the first US state to require charging infrastructure providers to implement the Tesla charging system as a condition of receiving funding. The corresponding regulation in Kentucky went into effect last Friday.
In addition to federal requirements for the competing Combined Charging System (CCS), Kentucky stipulates that Tesla’s so-called North American Charging Standard (NACS) must be made available for charge point operators to benefit from state subsidies. “Each port must be equipped with an SAE CCS 1 connector. Each port shall also be capable of connecting to and charging vehicles equipped with charging ports compliant with the North American Charging Standard (NACS),” it says in a request for proposal (RFP) for the state’s EV charging programme, available to Reuters.
Texas and Washington also announced plans for the mandatory implementation of the Tesla charging system – but the new regulation has apparently not yet been implemented in these two states. And in Texas, resistance is already forming. In a letter to the Texas Transportation Commission, a group of charging infrastructure manufacturers and operators rejects the mandatory integration of Tesla’s NACS as “premature”. “Time is needed to properly standardize, test, and certify the safety and interoperability of Tesla connectors across the industry,” the letter states.
Interestingly, according to Reuters, the signatories to the letter include infrastructure manufacturers ABB and ChargePoint. The latter is actually considered a supporter of the NACS offensive and already announced that it would build charging stations with NACS charging cables in the future or retrofit existing stations – specifically on the Express 250 and Express Plus DC fast chargers, but also on various AC chargers.
ABB, ChargePoint and other signatories, such as FreeWire, EVBox and FLO, declined to comment on the letter. However, according to a person directly familiar with the matter, some of these companies “are planning to reach out to the federal government with the issue soon.”
However, according to the Biden administration’s statements, these state requirements should not pose a problem. To be eligible for federal funding, charging operators must provide a CCS plug at the pole – but it is not specified that the CCS plug must be exclusive. Therefore, a charging point with one CCS and one NACS connector would also be eligible for funding.