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CharIN response to Tesla opening its North America Charging Standard

In November, Tesla opened its EV charging connector design—called the North American Charging Standard (NACS)—to charging network operators and vehicle manufacturers. (Earlier post.) Now, the Charging Interface Initiative (CharIN e.V.) and its CharIN North America Chapter (operating as CharIN Inc.), issued a response.

CharIN is the largest global association focused on the electrification of all forms of transportation based on the seamless and interoperable charging experience enabled by the Combined Charging System (CCS) and the Megawatt Charging System (MCS). CCS and MCS are the global standards for charging vehicles of all kinds.

CharIN applauded Tesla for including DIN 70121 and ISO 15118-02 communication standards for the NACS proposal. However, CharIN sai, it encourages stakeholders to investigate ways to focus on market acceleration rather than the creation of yet another form factor alternative, which will lead to further consumer confusion and delay EV adoption.

CCS has gone through many years of rigorous standardization processes—a required activity for any new standard proposal. After a decade of collaborative work, the domestic and international EV industry has aligned around CCS. For example:

  • Nearly 300 domestic and international CharIN members are using or investing in CCS.

  • The majority of major domestic and international automakers are using and supporting CCS, including Audi, BMW, Daimler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai/Kia, Lucid, Lotus, Mazda, MAN, Mercedes-Benz, Navistar, New Flyer, Nikola, Nissan, PSA Groupe, Proterra, Renault, Rivian, Scania, Stellantis, Subaru, Suzuki, Tata Motors, Tesla, Toyota, Volvo, and Volkswagen.

  • In the US, CCS is used in more than 50 passenger vehicle models.

  • The Combined Charging System can connect to all AC charging stations without an adapter via the J1772 standard.

  • Worldwide, there are 61,000 DC fast chargers using the CCS connector, compared to 40,000 Tesla Super chargers according to data published by CharIN and Tesla.

  • In North America, there are 18,880 CCS connectors compared to 18,405 Tesla Super charger connectors and 178,926 J1172 connectors compared to 15,529 Tesla destination connectors, according to recent Plugshare data (includes public and restricted use).

At a minimum, says CharIN, the Tesla proposal will have the hurdle of passing through an established standardization process via standards bodies, such as ISO, IEC, and/or SAE.

CharIN noted the challenges of creating new standards or changing the existing standards, such as:

  • Market disruption: Creating a standards proposal will disrupt the EV industry by causing companies to divert energy and resources towards integrating and implementing another standard into vehicles and chargers, which typically have a product develop cycle of 3-6 years.

  • Policy and regulatory disruption: Creating an additional standard proposal will likely disrupt existing regulatory and policy discussions and delay important EV charging infrastructure decisions and investment at local, state, and federal levels. Decisionmakers should not divert EV charging infrastructure funding for non-industry standard charging systems.

  • The pathway to standardization: CharIN supports a rigorous peer review process applied to the development of standards, such as ISO, IEC, and SAE. The current CCS standard, including connectors and related communications protocols, is a true international standard that has gone through the standardization process described above. Any newly introduced idea, including a mechanical improvement to the existing CCS connector design, would have to follow the same process before the industry can safely adopt it. There is a significant chance that what is ultimately approved in the standards development process may not align with what is currently proposed by Tesla.

CharIN strongly encourages Tesla, as a CharIN member, to work with CharIN’s membership base, the standards organizations, and others to accelerate the adoption of a fully interoperable EV charging solution to transition to electric vehicles more quickly.


One connector is small and elegant.

One connector is large and clunky.

Go ahead, continue to give Tesla a significant competitive advantage.


All those in favor of proprietary standards raise both hands now.

Nothing wrong with passing control entirely over to an obvious sociopath.

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