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Joint Office Supports Charging Standardization to Enhance EV Charging Experience

Sept. 14, 2023

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $7.5 billion in electric vehicle (EV) charging, $10 billion in clean transportation, and over $7 billion in electric vehicle battery components, critical minerals, and materials. The law also set new national standards for EV charging, including those funded by the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula (NEVI) Program, which provides funding to states to deploy EV charging infrastructure. In February 2023, the administration announced next steps—including publishing national charging standards—towards the goal of building 500,000 EV chargers by 2030.

In late 2022, Tesla announced that it would open their EV connector design—termed the North American Charging Standard (NACS)—to the world and invited charging network operators and vehicle operators to incorporate it into their equipment and vehicles. Gabe Klein, executive director of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation (Joint Office), recently talked about the new charging standards with Steve Lommele, communications and stakeholder engagement lead for the Joint Office. “We ultimately want to pave the way for more EVs to charge at the greatest number of charging stations. This is about reaching true interoperability,” Klein said.

Open charging standards unlock the pathway to charging reliability for customers and interoperability for chargers. “A truly open standard allows companies and individuals to contribute and collaborate to make a standard better,” Klein said.

Manufacturers and companies pushed for an industry standard not controlled by one single company, and the move to a charging standard means that there will be rigorous standards development and interoperability testing. Opening nonproprietary connectors allows manufacturers to innovate with charging, Klein added.

Klein also discussed the Joint Office’s strategy to help the industry accommodate multiple types of charging connectors, including NACS and CCS, as part of the collaborative effort to establish an industry standard.

The Joint Office was created through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support deployment of zero-emission infrastructure. The Joint Office’s work includes convening and collaborating with stakeholders to support charging standardization.

As part of that standardization work, the Joint Office collaborates with the National Charging Experience Consortium (ChargeX Consortium) to develop solutions in support of national charging infrastructure. This collaboration aims to improve the customer experience with EV charging infrastructure throughout the U.S.

“I think we're heading towards a world where literally every customer in every vehicle will be able to use every station,” said Klein. “The way we're going to get people to adopt these vehicles—whether they drive or ride electric—is by making it as seamless, easy, frictionless, and cost effective as possible.”