Kentucky is the first state to mandate Tesla’s charging plug

By RockedBuzz 3 Min Read

Kentucky now requires EV charging companies to include Tesla’s charging plug if they want to get federal funding from a state program to electrify highways. Reuters reports.

The plan went into effect Friday, making Kentucky the first state to officially mandate Tesla’s charging technology. Texas and Washington have also shared plans that would require charging companies to include Tesla’s “North American Charging Standard” (NACS), as well as the Combined Charging System (CCS), if they are to qualify for federal dollars.

The Tesla charging socket swing began when Ford said in May it would build future EVs with Tesla charging technology. General Motors soon followed, causing a domino effect. Now, a number of automakers like Rivian and Volvo and charging companies like FreeWire Technologies and Volkswagen’s Electrify America have said they will adopt the NACS standard. The standards organization SAE International has also said aims to have an industry-standard configuration of NACS in six months or less.

Some pockets of the EV charging industry are attempting to temper the NACS momentum buildup. A group of EV charging companies like ChargePoint and ABB, as well as clean energy groups and even the Texas DOT, have written to the Texas Transportation Commission asking for more time to redesign and test Tesla’s connectors before implementing a proposed mandate. In a letter seen by Reuters, they say the Texas plan is premature and takes time to properly standardize, test and certify the safety and interoperability of Tesla’s connectors.

Despite the pushback, it’s clear that NACS is catching on, at least in the private sector. If the trend of automakers and charging companies lining up is anything to go by, we can continue to expect states to follow in Kentucky’s lead.

California may soon follow, since it’s Tesla’s birthplace, the automaker’s former headquarters, and current “engineering headquarters,” not to mention leading the nation in both Tesla that of electric vehicles. The state DOT did not comment, and the California Department of Energy did not respond to RockedBuzz’s request for further information.

Per Kentucky’s request for proposal for the state’s electric vehicle charging program, each port must have a CCS connector and be capable of connecting to and charging vehicles equipped with NACS-compliant ports.

The US Department of Transportation mandated earlier this year that charging companies must have CCS outlets, which are considered an international charging standard, in order to qualify for federal funds earmarked for implementation. 500,000 public electric vehicle chargers by 2030. The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (NEVI) is offering states $5 billion.

GM and Ford could help spark a war over charging standards by partnering with Tesla

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