Kentucky Mandates Tesla Charging Plug on State-Funded Stations
It's been less than two months since Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) began being adopted by a number of automakers and charging companies. This week, however, the charging hardware has gained its first nod of approval from a state government, with Kentucky mandating the equipment on all new federally funded charging stations.
Above: A Tesla Supercharger (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).
Kentucky is set to require Tesla’s plug at all electric vehicle charging stations using federal incentives for construction, according to documents seen by Reuters earlier this week. The news marks the first state to require the equipment, although automakers like Ford, General Motors, Rivian and Volvo, as well as a number of charging companies, have formally adopted the NACS plug in recent weeks.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation mandated that charging companies must offer Combined Charging System (CCS) plugs to qualify for federal funding. The funding is expected to help deploy as many as 500,000 EV chargers by 2030.
While Federal requirements mandate the CCS system for qualification for the incentives, Kentucky’s legislation adds a mandate for the NACS to this requirement. The mandate is detailed in a Kentucky Request for Proposal (RFP) seen by Reuters, and applies to plans for the state to electrify its highways using federal funding.
"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)," the document reads.
Reuters also reports that Texas and Washington have shared considerations for similar legislation, though Kentucky remains the only state to have implemented such plans. The law officially went into effect last Friday, according to the documents.
In Texas, some EV charging companies have pushed back against the plans in a letter to the state’s Transportation Commission, calling it “premature” to name a charging standard at stations.
"Time is needed to properly standardize, test, and certify the safety and interoperability of Tesla connectors across the industry," the companies wrote in the letter.
The news also comes about a week after Volkswagen-owned charging company Electrify America announced plans to add NACS connectors to its charging stations. A number of other charging companies including Blink and EVgo have also announced plans to add the Tesla-designed hardware, along with the automakers which have done so.
In any case, recent weeks seem to have propped Tesla up as the winner of the charging standard race in North America, with a number of auto giants and charging companies adopting the hardware. Tesla first opened its charging hardware to other companies last November, officially dubbing it the North American Charging Standard — and it appears the company may be coming close to forging that title in stone.