The charging network battle in North America is officially over. In a bombshell development, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has announced that it will standardize Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector. This means that the SAE will make the NACS connector available to any automaker that wants to provide NACS to its customers.
The SAE is a professional organization that aims to educate and connect automotive engineers worldwide. It boasts over 128,000 members.
Standardizing the NACS connector will provide “certainty, expanded choice, reliability, and convenience,” said Frank Menchaca, a department president at Fullsight (the SAE’s parent company). The SAE will standardize NACS on an “expedited timeframe,” although the organization did not mention specific dates.
Some US states, including Texas and Washington, have already made the adoption of NACS a requirement to qualify for state funding. The SAE’s announcement comes on the heels of decisions by Ford, General Motors, and Rivian to adopt the NACS connector.
The partnership between the SAE and Tesla was facilitated by the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation is a government task force that is responsible for implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). The BIL, which was passed in 2021, required that EV projects adopt the Combined Charging System (CCS) to be eligible for federal funding.
However, it’s evident that the Biden Administration has changed its mind about CCS in recent weeks. By pushing the SAE to standardize NACS, the administration has recognized that NACS is better positioned to provide a standardized charging network than CCS. With the force of government now behind NACS, NACS is unstoppable.
It’s only a matter of time before CCS electric vehicle charging stations go the way of the dodo.