Texas says state-funded EV chargers must include Tesla plugs

Texas will require electric vehicle charging companies to include Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) and the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard in order to qualify for a state program to electrify highways through federal funds, Reuters reports.

“The decision by Ford, GM, and now Rivian to adopt NACS changed requirements for Phase 1. Each Direct Current Fast Charge port will be required to have 1 CCS connector and 1 NACS connector,” the Texas Department of Transportation said in an email to Reuters on Tuesday.

Late last month, Ford sparked an EV charging standards war by choosing to build future EVs with Tesla’s NACS technology and charge ports. General Motors promptly announced its own adoption of Tesla’s charging standard, causing a domino effect, with Rivian following Tuesday and talks of Hyundai soon to come.

A range of charging companies like FreeWire Technologies, Flo and EVgo, have also promised to include NACS connectors to their public charging stations. Tesla’s charging standard is considered to be a better user experience. The cables are smaller, lighter and easier to use and contactless payment enabled by Tesla’s technology is a huge convenience.

Tesla’s Supercharging network in the U.S. is vast. There are 22,128 Tesla Superchargers compared to 22,262 CCS connectors, according to recent PlugShare data, and those CCS connectors span a variety of charging companies. Until recently, Supercharging stations were reserved for Tesla vehicles, which is why the Biden administration’s federal subsidies were initially geared toward CCS connectors.

Last week, the White House said EV charging stations with NACS plugs would now be eligible for billions of dollars in federal subsidies, as long as they also included the CCS charging connector.

It’s not surprising to see Texas be the first state to require charging stations to have a NACS and CCS charger in order to get funding. In 2021, Tesla moved its headquarters to Austin and has since brought around 12,777 jobs to the region as of the end of 2022. The Elon Musk–run automaker has invested billions in a Texas gigafactory to produce EVs and batteries, as well as a new lithium refinery plant.

Other states will likely follow. California’s Department of Transportation didn’t respond in time to provide a comment to TechCrunch, but California would be the next state to watch. It’s the birthplace of Tesla, the automaker’s former HQ and current “engineering HQ,” not to mention it leads the nation in both Tesla and EV sales.

Texas says state-funded EV chargers must include Tesla plugs by Rebecca Bellan originally published on TechCrunch