SAE International announced today that it will standardize the Tesla-developed North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging connector.
This important decision follows the switch from the SAE J1772 Combo (aka Combined Charging System - CCS1) charging standard in North America to NACS, announced by Ford, General Motors, Rivian and most recently Volvo, as well as a double-digit number of other companies (charging equipment manufacturers or networks), which we've kept track of here.
"The global engineering organization that engages nearly 200,000 engineers, technical experts and volunteers said in a press release that it will work to help with deployment of the NACS connector, an alternative to the longstanding SAE J1772 Combined Charging System (CCS) connector, after Ford, General Motors and a number of EV public-charging equipment suppliers recently indicated they intend to adopt the NACS connector design."
SAE noted, similarly to CharIn, that the NACS is not a "standard," additionally pointing out that it wasn't reached through industry consensus. Well, it seems that it will become standard after all, through market domination:
"Although Tesla dubbed the NACS connector a “standard,” it is not one that had been reached through industry consensus."
Both SAE and CharIn will assist in making NACS a new standard. There will be a new SAE NACS charging connector standard, "developed on an expedited timeframe."
We don't know when the SAE NACS might be ready, but potentially by 2025, because multiple automakers announced that they will start using NACS charging inlets in new electric cars in 2025.
SAE and the entire EV industry must now gather to complete the standardization process as soon as possible, which will allow any company to access the documentation (just like CCS1) and use, manufacture, or deploy NACS (independently to one company/competitor - in this case, Tesla).
All doubts (like the ones about the voltage of up to 1,000 V or vehicle-to-grid applications) must be cleared, and every single detail described.
Having a standard will "will provide certainty, expanded choice, reliability and convenience to manufacturers and suppliers," the organization explains.
"This will ensure that any supplier or manufacturer will be able to use, manufacture, or deploy the NACS connector on electric vehicles (EVs) and at charging stations across North America."
"The standardization process is the next step to establish a consensus-based approach for maintaining NACS and validating its ability to meet performance and interoperability criteria."
It's worth noting that the NACS standardization will be one of the priorities, alongside cybersecurity for charging infrastructure and reliability of charging infrastructure.
"The new SAE NACS connector standard will be developed on an expedited timeframe and is one of several key initiatives to strengthen the North American EV charging infrastructure. This includes SAE-ITC’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for cyber-secure charging. In close cooperation with National Labs, SAE also is contributing to reliability design for the national ChargeX consortium."
Well, it seems that there will be a happy ending with a single charging plug for electric light-duty vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickups) in North America for all charging scenarios (single-phase AC and DC). Heavy-duty vehicles will get something heavy-duty, appropriate for their needs, but that's a different story.