White House throws some cold water on Tesla’s NACS victory

The White House decided to rain on Tesla’s victory parade for its connector, NACS, becoming the charging standard in North America. The government still wants some CCS connectors to be included in order to get funding.

After Ford and GM both announced that they plan to adopt NACS as the new connector in their future electric vehicles, Tesla’s connector has basically become the new standard in North America.

Both GM CEO Mary Barra and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said as much during the announcement yesterday.

We reported this morning that it is creating a domino effect where all the charging station manufacturers are announcing that they will offer their stations with NACS connectors; more automakers are expected to follow.

But there’s one group of people that don’t seem to be completely on board: the White House.

White House spokesperson Robyn Patterson said in statement regarding the new development with NACS in the last few weeks (via Reuters):

Earlier this year, we developed minimum standards to ensure publicly funded EV charging is accessible, reliable, and affordable for all drivers, and we required interoperability to promote competition. Those standards give flexibility for adding both CCS and NACS, as long as drivers can count on a minimum of CCS.

It sounds like it is not willing to let CCS die just yet. It will require that charging stations have a “minimum of CCS” in order to qualify for federal funding.

The federal government has made $7.5 billion available to advance EV charging infrastructure in the US.

Electrek’s Take

I think the government is a bit misguided here. I understand wanting to protect existing EV owners with CCS, but this is not the right approach.

The right way to look at it is that you want the best experience possible for as many EV owners as possible in order to increase adoption. No matter what, CCS EV owners will not have a worse experience than they do now.

NACS doesn’t completely kill CCS since Tesla plans to make an adapter available for EV owners with CCS plugs. On the contrary, EV owners with CCS will have access to more charging stations.

The goal of making NACS the standard is to simplify the EV experience and make it more efficient going forward with a unified standard at-the-ready for when the real volume of electric vehicles hit the market, which is undoubtedly starting to happen now.

But it’s the government, after all, and they are always a bit behind the market.

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