Electric Vehicle Charging: The Role of SAE and Tesla's North American Charging Standard

July 5, 2023

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What is Tesla charging standard?

The North American Charging Standard (NACS), previously known as the Tesla charging connector, is an electric vehicle charging connector system developed and owned by Tesla, Inc. It has been used on all North American market Tesla vehicles since 2012 and was opened for use to other manufacturers in 2022.

In November 2022, Aptera announced that it would adopt NACS. In May 2023, the Ford Motor Company announced integration of NACS into their electric vehicles and the ability to pay for charging at Superchargers via the FordPass app.


Ford’s Adoption of NACS standards partnering Tesla instead of CCS?

Starting in 2025, new Ford electric vehicles will have native NACS charge ports and prior electric Ford models will be able to connect to NACS chargers by use of a NACS to CCS adapter. In June 2023, automakers General Motors, Rivian, Volvo, and Polestar all announced that they would equip their electric vehicles with NACS charge ports from the factory starting in 2025.

Tesla began to test a proprietary dual-connector "Magic Dock" connector at select North American Supercharger locations in March 2023. Magic Dock allows for an EV to charge with either an NACS or CCS1 connector, which would provide the technical capability for almost all BEVs the chance to charge.

In November 2022, Tesla renamed its previously proprietary charging connector to "North American Charging Standard" (NACS) and opened the standard to make the specs available to other EV manufacturers. Tesla argued that NACS should become the connector of choice because it is more compact, Tesla vehicles outnumber CCS equipped vehicles by a margin of two-to-one, and Tesla's Supercharging network has 60% more NACS posts than all the CCS-equipped networks combined.

On June 27, 2023, SAE International announced that they would standardize the connector.


What are the New Standards for American Electric Vehicle Marketers?

The Biden-Harris administration announced new standards and significant progress for a Made-in-America national network of electric vehicle chargers on February 15, 2023. The new standards aim to make charging electric vehicles (EVs) convenient and reliable for all Americans, regardless of the car they drive or the state they charge in. The standards also require strong workforce standards.

Key points from the announcement include:

  1. New Standards for EV Charging: The Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Department of Energy, finalized new standards to make charging EVs convenient and reliable for all Americans, including when driving long distances. The standards also require strong workforce standards.
  2. Made in America Policies: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) outlined its final plan for compliance with the Build America, Buy America Act for federally funded EV chargers. Effective immediately, all EV chargers funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law must be built in the United States.
  3. Investments in EV Charging Infrastructure: The Department of Energy announced $74 million in funding for seven projects to develop innovative medium- and heavy-duty EV charging and hydrogen corridor infrastructure plans serving millions of Americans across 23 states. FHWA announced details for its soon-to-launch Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) discretionary grant program, which will make available more than $2.5 billion over five years.
  4. Private Sector Commitments: Companies including Tesla, General Motors, EVgo, Pilot, Hertz, and BP, among others, are announcing new commitments to expand their networks by thousands of public charging ports in the next two years, using private funds to complement federal dollars.

How will EV market evolve in 2024 in United States?

The evolution of the EV market in the United States in 2024 is expected to be significantly influenced by the standardization of charging infrastructure. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has announced its intention to standardize Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS), signaling the end of the 'Standard Wars'.

This move is expected to pave the way for a more unified and efficient electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure, benefiting the entire EV industry with increased interoperability and standardization.

  1. Standardization of Charging Infrastructure: The standardization of charging infrastructure is crucial for the growth of the EV market. It simplifies the charging process, allowing EV owners to charge their vehicles at any station, regardless of the car brand. This boosts the appeal of electric vehicles, making them a more attractive choice for consumers.
  2. End of Standardization Battle in the US: The US was the last major market still caught in a standardization battle between Tesla’s proprietary NACS and the Combined Charging System (CCS) used by most other EVs. The SAE’s move to standardize NACS ends this confusion and consolidates the market. Leading automakers like Ford and General Motors have already announced their plans to adopt NACS, indicating a significant industry shift towards Tesla’s charging technology.
  3. Global Charging Standards: With the US moving towards NACS, each major region now has its distinct DC charging standard. In Europe, the Combined Charging System (CCS) is the dominant standard. Japan uses the CHAdeMO standard, while China has its GB/T standard. These different standards do not pose a significant problem, as vehicles are rarely taken from region to region. The important thing is that within each region, a unified standard exists, allowing for interoperability of charging networks.
  4. Improved Interoperability: The SAE’s decision to standardize Tesla’s car charging hardware marks a significant development in the global standardization of DC charging. This standardization allows for improved interoperability among charging networks, paving the way for a more seamless charging experience for electric vehicle owners.

These developments, along with the Biden-Harris administration's actions and investments, are expected to significantly influence the evolution of the EV market in the United States in 2024 and beyond.


Who is adopting Tesla charging standard?

Volvo and Electrify America are two companies that have announced their adoption of Tesla's charging standard. Here are the details:

  1. Volvo: Volvo has signed an agreement with Tesla to provide current and future electric Volvo car drivers access to Tesla's Supercharger network across the US, Canada, and Mexico. Under the agreement, future Volvo vehicles in the region, starting from 2025, will be equipped with the North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging port. This makes Volvo the fourth automaker, after Ford, General Motors, and Rivian, to announce support for Tesla's NACS EV charging connector.
  2. Electrify America: Electrify America, the second-largest electric vehicle fast-charging network in the US, has announced its plans to add Tesla's connector to its charging stations. With 800 direct-current fast-charging stations and over 3,600 plugs nationwide, Electrify America aims to work on adding Tesla's connector to existing and future chargers by 2025. This move is another step towards adopting Tesla's plug as an industry standard.

These announcements reflect the growing recognition and adoption of Tesla's charging standard by major automakers and charging networks. By embracing Tesla's connector, these companies aim to enhance interoperability and provide a seamless charging experience for EV owners.


What are the regulations and installation requirements for providers of home EV charging equipment?

The installation of home charging equipment for electric vehicles (EVs) involves several considerations, including the level of charging equipment, electrical capacity of the home, compliance with regulations, and costs associated with charging. Here are some key points:

  1. Choosing the Level of Charging Equipment: EV owners may install Level 2 (240 V) charging equipment in their homes for a faster charge or opt for the Level 1 cordset provided with the vehicle. Many EV owners are able to meet their daily driving range requirements by charging overnight with Level 1 equipment, requiring no additional cost or installation, provided that a power outlet on a dedicated branch circuit is available near their parking location. Level 2 charging equipment can be installed for drivers with less regular schedules, longer commutes, or EVs with large batteries that require more than overnight or the typical dwell time to fully charge.
  2. Electrical Capacity of the Home: A certified electrical contractor can inform homeowners whether their home has adequate electrical capacity for vehicle charging. Some homes might have insufficient electric capacity for Level 2 equipment, however, a qualified electrician can add circuits to accommodate the capacity needed for Level 2 charging.
  3. Compliance with Regulations: Charging equipment installations must comply with local, state, and national codes and regulations. Appropriate permits may be required from the local building and permitting authorities. In many areas, a site installation plan must be submitted to the permitting authority for approval before installation.
  4. Electricity Costs for Charging: The cost of charging an EV at home depends on the cost of electricity in dollars per kWh and the efficiency of the vehicle (how much electricity is used to travel 100 miles). For example, if electricity costs $0.107 per kWh and the vehicle consumes 27 kWh to travel 100 miles, the cost per mile is about $0.03.

As for the companies that provide home EV charging equipment, there are several on the market, including Tesla, ChargePoint, Blink, and JuiceBox, among others. Each of these companies offers different models of home charging stations with various features and capabilities.


What is Society of Automotive Engineers - Initial years, mission, activities, members, what it does?

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is a global association of over 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial-vehicle industries. Founded in 1905 in New York City, SAE has a rich history of contributing to the automotive engineering field. One of its most notable members, Charles Kettering, patented the automobile self-starter in 1911.

SAE's mission is to advance mobility knowledge and solutions for the benefit of humanity. It achieves this through its core competencies of lifelong learning and voluntary consensus standards development. SAE has been instrumental in setting industry standards, including the recent standardization of Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS) for EV charging, marking a significant step forward for the entire EV industry.

SAE also serves its constituents through its globally recognized magazines, including Automotive Engineering International, Aerospace Engineering, and Off Highway Engineering, informing the mobility community about the latest developments in the field.

The standardization of charging infrastructure, such as the recent backing of Tesla's NACS, is a crucial part of SAE's work. This standardization simplifies the charging process, allowing EV owners to charge their vehicles at any station, regardless of the car brand, and boosts the appeal of electric vehicles, making them a more attractive choice for consumers.

In essence, SAE plays a pivotal role in shaping the automotive industry, setting standards, providing learning resources, and driving innovation in mobility solutions.


  1. North American Charging Standard
  2. Charging Electric Vehicles at Home

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The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has announced its intention to standardize Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS), signaling the end of the 'Standard Wars'.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is a global association of over 128,000 engineers and related technical experts in the aerospace, automotive, and commercial-vehicle industries.


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