The standards organization known as SAE International is announcing support for Tesla’s EV “North American Charging Standard” or NACS port. SAE’s adoption will make it easier for electric vehicle charging station manufacturers and operators to implement the port while also making charging for EV owners more consistent and reliable. Tesla’s formerly proprietary charging port was opened up last year in a bid to become the de facto EV standard in the US.
The US Joint Office of Energy and Transportation has worked with Tesla and the SAE in an effort to expedite the Tesla plug as a standard to improve the country’s charging infrastructure.
SAE is also working with the ChargeX consortium, which was put together by the Biden administration so the Department of Energy’s National Labs can help EV manufacturers create consistent tech across vehicles and chargers for items like universal error codes. SAE is lending its Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) technology to make charging more secure against cyber attacks.
Also today, ChargePoint announced that customers setting up charging stations with its equipment could add Tesla’s port standard to new orders of several commercial AC stations and DC fast chargers, as well as home AC charging systems later this year (via Electrek).
ChargePoint joins a handful of similar electric vehicle charging station companies that have announced support for Tesla’s charging port. The standard has been gaining momentum since major legacy automakers Ford, GM, and Rivian all announced commitments to add Tesla’s plug to their future vehicles.
Like ChargePoint, many other electric vehicle charging station manufacturers and operators have recently rallied to add Tesla’s plug as an option to their units. Some of those companies include EVgo, Tritium, Blink, and ABB. ChargePoint’s name is on about 2,184 DC fast charging stations in North America, according to the US Department of Energy, and the company claims to have more than 743,000 “active and roaming ports” available to charge cars at both AC and DC speeds.
Most non-Tesla-owned DC fast charging stations that you’d find in places like mall parking lots, including ChargePoint’s own (largely identifiable as the orange ones), use the Combined Charging System, or CCS, as the main connector. Several may also still have CHAdeMO plugs to charge Nissan Leaf vehicles, but those are slowly dwindling away.
Some EV charging companies like EVgo had added Tesla’s connector to their stations by hacking existing CHAdeMO connectors with Tesla’s official adapter. ChargePoint had also tested stations with Tesla ports in the past, but all these solutions have been insignificant due to slower charging rates when compared to Tesla’s fast (and vast) Supercharging network.
Now, with SAE supporting NACS, larger EV charging company holdouts like the Volkswagen-owned Electrify America may have an easier time making the jump.