Another day brings more significant news related to the transition from the CCS1 to the NACS fast charging standard in the United States.
According to an exclusive report from Reuters, the Texas Department of Transportation will introduce an additional requirement of NACS compatibility to new charging infrastructure, if companies would like to get federal funding.
“…Texas saying it would require electric vehicle charging companies to include both Tesla’s standard as well as the nationally recognized CCS if they want to be part of a state program to electrify highways using federal dollars.”
Let’s recall that, on the federal level, there is up to $7.5 billion available for charging infrastructure, as long as new projects comply with multiple requirements. Particular states remain in control, as the funds are flowing through their transportation departments, which means that they can add their own additional rules and regulations.
“”The decision by Ford, GM, and now Rivian to adopt NACS changed requirements for Phase 1″ of the rollout, the Texas Department of Transportation said in an email to Reuters on Tuesday, adding that it would require direct current fast chargers to have one CCS and one North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector.”
On the federal level, there is a requirement for a minimum number of Combined Charging System (CCS1) charging stalls (even Tesla Superchargers will have to have CCS1 to get funds). But between mid-2022 and now, a lot changed in the US. Ford, General Motors, and Rivian are switching from CCS1 to join Tesla‘s North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging connector.
Because the main point is to make sure that the infrastructure will be ready for the new vehicles, Texas’ NACS requirements appear to be totally reasonable. They also add a new geographical dimension to the transition.
In our humble opinion, if the EV industry is willing to make the switch from the CCS1 to NACS, it should be completed as seamlessly as possible. The best thing to do now would be to update the federal requirement and require both CCS1 and NACS plugs for the next couple of years, to make sure that the older CCS1-compatible vehicles will not be left behind.
Let’s say that after 2030, only the NACS requirement would remain active, while the CCS1 requirement would be dropped (there will be plenty of CCS1 chargers at that point and adapters to NACS, while new BEVs will be equipped with NACS). We saw a similar process in Europe, where there was a time with two or even three plugs at one charging unit.
Otherwise, some states might follow Texas to rationalize the requirement on the state level. According to the article, there are already a few states, which are considering some NACS-related solutions (additional points or a requirement).
“Others states like California, Iowa and Michigan are reviewing the shifting charging market.
And at least one other state is considering giving applicants bonus points on applications if they include the Tesla charging ports.”
On the other hand, if Tesla’s NACS-compatible electric cars have over 60 percent market share, and there are new NACS-compatible models in the pipeline from other manufacturers, as well as dual-head DC fast chargers (CCS1/NACS), then all the requirements are becoming just something on paper. Charging networks will be able to and will have to add NACS to serve the majority of its potential customers (from a business perspective).