Home Kentucky Makes History as First State to Require Tesla’s Charging Plug

Kentucky Makes History as First State to Require Tesla’s Charging Plug

Electric vehicle (EV) charging companies that want to apply for federal funding through a state program aimed at electrifying highways are required to use Tesla’s charging plug in order to be eligible for the funding, making Kentucky the first state in the nation to take this historic step. In particular, this is a reference to the program known as “Electrify Our Highways,” which is being implemented in the state of Kentucky.

This establishes a standard that will be followed by other states; both Texas and Washington have announced their intention to require charging companies that receive federal funding to implement Tesla’s “North American Charging Standard” (NACS) and the Combined Charging System (CCS). Other states will follow this example. The subsequent actions of other governments will be modeled after this one. The decision made by Kentucky is reflective of the larger trend that sees an increasing number of automakers and charging companies adopting the charging technology developed by Tesla.

The momentum toward widespread adoption of Tesla’s charging plug was given a significant boost with the announcement that Ford would use Tesla’s charging technology in its future electric vehicles. This news came in the month of May, and it was made by Ford. Almost immediately, GM replicated the strategy, which triggered a domino effect throughout the industry as a whole. As a direct result of this change, a number of automakers, such as Rivian and Volvo, as well as providers of charging infrastructure, such as FreeWire Technologies and Volkswagen’s Electrify America, have stated their intention to adopt the NACS standard. In addition, the organization SAE International, which is responsible for establishing standards, has announced that it plans to create a NACS industry standard configuration within the next six months.

NACS is facing opposition from certain members of the electric vehicle charging industry despite the fact that its popularity is on the rise. Companies that provide charging services, organizations that promote clean energy, and even the Texas Department of Transportation (DOT) have written a letter to the Texas Transportation Commission requesting additional time to re-engineer and test Tesla’s connectors before the mandate is put into effect.

These parties contend that the plan ought to be postponed until appropriate standardization, testing, and certification of the safety and interoperability of Tesla’s connectors have been completed. They also argue that this should take place before the plan is implemented. They argue that the allotted amount of time for the plan is insufficient.

To comply with the precedent that Kentucky has established, it is likely that other states will require the use of the Tesla charging plug in order to qualify for federal funding. It’s possible that Tesla’s home state of California, which is also the current sales leader for the company and electric vehicles, will soon follow suit. However, neither the California Department of Transportation nor the United States Department of Energy have issued any public statements regarding this issue.

The United States Department of Transportation issued a mandate at the beginning of this year requiring charging companies to have CCS plugs. CCS plugs are recognized as an international charging standard. In order to receive federal funding for the installation of 500,000 public electric vehicle chargers by the year 2030, the United States Department of Transportation issued the mandate. The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (NEVI) has made available to the states funding with a total value of $5 billion in order to expedite the process of electrifying the nation’s highways.

Each charging port must be able to connect to and charge vehicles that are equipped with NACS-compliant ports and have a CCS connector, as stated in the request for proposals that the state of Kentucky issued for the electric vehicle charging program. This requirement was imposed in order to ensure that the program is successful. Because of this mandate, compatibility is ensured, and the state takes another step toward establishing a standardized charging infrastructure.

By making it mandatory for electric vehicle owners to use the charging plug manufactured by Tesla, the state of Kentucky hopes to simplify and expand access to charging infrastructure for owners of electric vehicles. By standardizing the charging infrastructure, we can increase the interoperability between different makes and models of electric vehicles and reduce the need for multiple charging adapters at the same time. If a greater number of people make the decision to purchase electric vehicles as a direct result of this measure, the transportation system in the state will become more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

The private sector is making progress toward adopting NACS, but there are still challenges and concerns that need to be resolved before full adoption can occur. In light of criticism from electric vehicle charging companies, clean energy groups, and the Texas Department of Transportation, it is imperative that Tesla’s connectors be subjected to extensive testing and standardized in some way. Before enforcing any regulations, it is essential to make certain that the infrastructure for charging electric vehicles is reliable and secure. On the other hand, the current trend of automobile manufacturers and charging companies moving toward the NACS standard is an indication that this upward trajectory will continue.

By making the use of Tesla’s charging plug mandatory, the state of Kentucky has made a significant contribution to the evolution of electric transportation and has earned a place in the annals of history. It is likely that additional states will adopt NACS if they follow suit, as a growing number of states are considering implementing measures that are analogous to NACS. As a result of this step, we are one step closer to realizing a national charging infrastructure that is both standardized and interoperable, which will result in fewer obstacles standing in the way of potential EV owners.

It is possible that the Golden State will soon follow suit, which will further cement Tesla’s position as the market leader in charging technology. This would be significant because California is such a prominent player in the electric vehicle market. It is essential for the various stakeholders to collaborate and address any outstanding challenges in order to guarantee a smooth transition towards a more sustainable future. Given the increasing momentum behind the electrification of highways, it is of the utmost importance that this be done.

First reported on TechCrunch

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Deanna Ritchie
Former Editor

Deanna was an editor at ReadWrite until early 2024. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind, Editor in Chief for Calendar, editor at Entrepreneur media, and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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