In a groundbreaking move, the state of Kentucky has become the first to mandate the use of Tesla’s charging plug, the North American Charging Standard (NACS), in electric vehicle (EV) charging stations that are funded by the state. This new requirement is part of an initiative to electrify highways and any company wishing to participate must comply with this mandate. It is worth noting that this mandate is in addition to the federal requirements for the Combined Charging System (CCS), a competing charging standard.
This decision has been seen as a major victory for Tesla and its CEO, Elon Musk. It further solidifies Tesla’s dominance in the US electric vehicle market and comes after a recent win when Ford Motor decided to adopt Tesla’s charging technology.
However, there has been opposition from a group of EV charger manufacturers and operators who argue that including Tesla’s technology in charging stations is premature. They believe that more time is needed to standardize, test, and certify the safety and interoperability of Tesla connectors across the industry. Despite this opposition, the US Department of Transportation allows for the use of other connectors in federally funded EV charging stations as long as they support the CCS, a national standard. This flexibility enables states like Kentucky to include Tesla’s NACS in their charging infrastructure plans.
The need for extensive and reliable charging capabilities is crucial for electric vehicle owners, especially for those traveling long distances. Instances where owners faced challenges and significant delays due to charging difficulties highlight the urgent need for robust EV charging infrastructure to support the growing number of electric vehicles on the roads.