Biden Administrator Sets Standards for Federally Funded EV Charging Stations

Biden Administrator Sets Standards for Federally Funded EV Charging Stations

Biden Administrator Sets Standards for Federally Funded EV Charging Stations

The nearly $5 billion(Opens in a new window) that last year’s infrastructure law envisioned to upgrade electric vehicle charging will come with a set of system requirements for stations built with that money, starting with support for the combined charging system(Opens in a new window) (CCS) connector in most non-Tesla vehicles and for DC fast charging speeds.

The Federal Highway Administration of the Department of Transportation has announced:(Opens in a new window) the proposal Thursday and published an 82-page notice of proposed regulations(Opens in a new window) detail of these standards.

In addition to fast-charging with CCS and DC power (at least 150 kW), these stations must be able to accommodate at least four EVs simultaneously and provide data feeds on availability and rates in standard formats open to third-party apps.

The concept of a network of fast charging stations that provide real-time updates on their status may be familiar to Tesla owners, who can tell the navigation system in their vehicles to direct them to the nearest available Supercharger.(Opens in a new window) for a quick “refuel”.

Competing electric vehicle manufacturers and charging network operators have worked to provide similar experiences, and the Biden administration wants to accelerate that by raising industry standards through these regulations.

“These new ground rules will help create a network of EV chargers across the country that are convenient, affordable, reliable and accessible to all Americans,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement.

Tesla owners can use these new charging stations with the adapters that come with each vehicle(Opens in a new window), but that AC connector supports a much slower charge rate of just 19.2 kW. Tesla’s v3 Superchargers(Opens in a new window) max out at 250 kW, but are also available in 150 and 72 kW versions.

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Tesla is not mentioned at all in the DOT proposal. It does evoke a third charging standard, the CHADeMO(Opens in a new window) connector used on the Nissan Leaf and a shrinking minority of EVs, saying stations built with federal funds can hold one CHADeMO(Opens in a new window) plug.

Looking down the road, the most likely solution to the auto industry version of an electronics format war is for Tesla to also use CCS. The company is already planning to add CCS connectors to US Supercharger stations(Opens in a new window)and Model 3 cars on the European market(Opens in a new window) already supplied with a CCS port. But the EU mandated CCS as standard years before it focused on gadget charging and set USB-C as standard from 2024, while DOT rules still don’t require electric vehicle manufacturers to use a single connector.

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