SAE is standardizing NACS – making it less dependent on Tesla

SAE International announced that it is starting the process to officially standardize the North American Charging Standard (NACS), which should make the connector less dependent on Tesla.

In November 2022, Tesla announced that it was opening its proprietary connector as a charging standard to be adopted in North America. It named it North American Charging Standard (NACS).

It took a while, but NACS is now gaining momentum, with GM, Ford, Rivian, and Volvo announcing that they will adopt the connector.

We reported that CharIN, the association behind CCS, was not thrilled about the situation, and one of its claims against NACS was that it wasn’t an official standard like CCS yet.

Now it’s happening as SAE International announced today that it is going to standardize NACS:

SAE International today announced it will standardize the Tesla-developed North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector. 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. Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Rivian, and a number of EV charging companies recently announced plans to adopt the NACS connector through adaptors or future product offerings.

Frank Menchaca, president of Sustainable Mobility Solutions, an innovation arm of SAE’s parent company, Fullsight, commented on the announcement:

Standardizing the NACS connector will provide certainty, expanded choice, reliability and convenience to manufacturers and suppliers and, most of all, increase access to charging for consumers.

While the deals announced by the previously mentioned automakers gave NACS momentum, this should help convince those who are holding out since it will make the connector less dependent on Tesla.

SAE is talking about producing the standard on an “expedited timeframe”:

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.

We expect that this announcement will result in more automakers jumping on board the NACS train.

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