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EV charger networks are turning to Tesla standard as support accelerates

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Teslas charging at Superchargers
Image Credits: SAUL LOEB/AFP / Getty Images

Support for Tesla’s charging connector and charge port — called the North American Charging Standard — has accelerated in the days since Ford and GM announced plans to integrate the technology into its next-generation of EVs and sell adapters for current EV owners to gain access.

More than a dozen third-party charging networks and hardware companies have publicly backed Tesla’s NACS. Now CharIN, the global association founded to promote the adoption of the Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors that are used in every EV sold in the U.S. aside from Tesla, is starting to waver.

CharIN said Monday during the 36th Electric Vehicle and Symposium in Sacramento that while it “stands behind” CCS it also supports the “standardization” of NACS. CharIN isn’t giving an unabashed endorsement. It is, however, acknowledging that some of its members in North America are interested in adopting Tesla’s charging tech and said it will create a task force with the goal of submitting NACS to the standardization process.

For any technology to become a standard it must go through a due process in a standards development organization such as ISO, IEC, IEEE, SAE and ANSI, the organization noted in a press release.

The comments are a reversal from last week when CharIN said diverging from the CCS standard would hamper the global EV industry’s ability to thrive. It also cautioned, at the time, that the use of adapters, which GM and Ford will sell to give current EV owners access to the Tesla Supercharging network, could lead to poor handling and increased damage of charging equipment and potential safety issues.

Last year, Tesla shared its EV charging connector design in an effort to encourage network operators and automakers to adopt the technology and help make it the new standard in North America. At the time, there was little public support to make Tesla’s technology the standard in the industry. EV startup Aptera publicly supported the move and charging network company EVGo had added Tesla connectors to some of its charging stations in the United States.

Since Ford and GM made their announcements, at least 17 EV charging companies have signaled support and shared plans to make NACS connectors available. ABB, Autel Energy, Blink Charging, Chargepoint, EVPassport, Freewire, Tritium and Wallbox are among those that have indicated plans to add Tesla connectors to its chargers.

Even with this mounting support, CCS has one major backer that will help it stay alive. The White House said Friday that EV charging stations with Tesla standard plugs would be eligible for billions of dollars in federal subsidies as long as they also included the CCS charging connector.

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