SAE International, the engineering organization behind the development of guidelines for the Combined Charging System (CCS), has formed a team that it says will help it release guidelines for Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) ahead of schedule.
SAE says it will be able to publish NACS-based standards before 2024, with the team’s chair, Rodney McGee, telling Electrek that the organization was better equipped to accomplish the task in a timely manner than other international engineering groups. Going forward, the name of the standard remains uncertain. Although Tesla was the original creator of the NACS, it will not own or control the new guidelines issued by SAE, which works independently from the automotive industry.
The standard has seen a cascade of support from car manufacturers and charging providers in the U.S. after both Ford and General Motors signed agreements allowing them to incorporate NACS outlets into their own products. European car manufacturers, such as Stellantis, have been more reticent to announce support, likely out of concern that Tesla would maintain authority over the standard. However, with the SAE taking responsibility for the guidelines, these attitudes may soon change, given the purportedly improved functionality of Tesla’s design over CCS-based chargers.
While the NACS seems well on its way to becoming THE electric vehicle charging standard, rival CCS chargers are likely to remain in use for some time. The Biden Administration has urged the automotive industry to continue supporting CCS so as not to inconvenience consumers who do not own a NACS-equipped electric vehicle. Nevertheless, the rapidity with which car manufacturers and third-party organizations such as SAE have coalesced around Tesla’s design is a strong indicator of how the future of EV charging will look.