Kentucky joined Texas and Washington as the third state that would like to see Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging connectors alongside CCS1, at publicly-funded, fast-charging stations.
However, while Texas and Washington revealed only plans to require NACS plugs (which raised opposition from some charging companies), Kentucky already requires the NACS plugs.
According to Reuters, Kentucky’s plan went into effect on Friday (June 30), which is the first such case in the United States. Companies that would like to participate in a state program to electrify highways using federal dollars, will have to add NACS plugs (CCS1 is required at the federal level).
“In addition to federal requirements for the rival Combined Charging System (CCS), Kentucky mandates Tesla’s plug, called the North American Charging Standard (NACS), at charging stations, according to Kentucky’s request for proposal (RFP) for the state’s EV charging program on Friday.”
According to the article, documents reviewed by Reuters say that there must be a CCS1 and NACS plug for each charging stall:
“Each port must be equipped with an SAE CCS 1 connector. Each port shall also be capable of connecting to and charging vehicles equipped with charging ports compliant with the North American Charging Standard (NACS),”
That’s an interesting outcome, which might make this summer even hotter for EV charger manufacturers. Most likely they are working around the clock to introduce dual-head, CCS1/NACS chargers as soon as possible.
It’s not trivial, because there is no publicly available standard besides Tesla’s released specs – NACS to be standardized by SAE International in an expedited timeframe, but we doubt it will be this year (rather 2024 and maybe 2025 in the worst case scenario).
Manufacturers must also have time to develop their solutions, test them and establish a supply chain to be able to offer products at competitive prices.
The transition from the CCS1 to NACS charging plug is a groundbreaking change in North America. We are not so sure whether mandating NACS too early will help or rather pause new infrastructure installations in the near-term.
The federal requirement is to have four CCS1 outputs to charge four electric vehicles simultaneously (each with an output of 150 kW or more). Having CCS1/NACS at 100 percent of the stalls would be a tighter requirement.
Maybe a good solution would be a modified requirement, which would allow installation of the NACS plug up to some date (by the end of 2023 or 2024) so as to not slow down installations of the infrastructure. General design is generally the same, and the second plug can be added to existing dual-head chargers later.