Since Ford signed an agreement with Tesla back in May 2023 – one that will grant Blue Oval EV owners access to the latter’s expansive and reliable Supercharger network in the coming months – just about every one of its rivals have followed suit. So far, that list includes General Motors, Rivian, Nissan, Honda, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Kia, Toyota, Subaru, Volkswagen, and BMW, while Stellantis is “looking into” making such a move. As the same time, SAE International has been working on standardizing the North American Charging Standard (NACS) that Tesla uses, rather than the Combined Charging System (CCS) that other automakers currently utilize, and now, that process is complete, paving the way for future Ford EVs to use the NACS standard.
SAE has released its Technical Information Report (TIR) for what is now known as the J3400 standard, which covers the development and implementation of the NACS connector to couple public and residential charging units to EVs made by any automaker. This release of the TIR for the J3400 standard means that certain critical engineering and development parameters have been established that will allow developers to proceed in the deployment and commercialization process of the NACS connector.
“SAE J3400 provides a blueprint for cost-effective mass electrification of transportation in North America,” said Dr. Rodney McGee, Ph.D., P.E., who is chairman of the SAE J3400 NACS Task Force and also is a Research Engineer at the Transportation Electrification Center at the University of Delaware. The standard “facilitates broad interoperability for EV charging solutions by providing a unified, compact connector for both AC and DC charging,” McGee added, and it also eliminates “the need for separate circuit panels and additional step-down transformers at charging sites, resulting in lower infrastructure costs and higher efficiencies,” according to SAE.
“As the Joint Office supports the buildout of a convenient and reliable national charging network, open and interoperable standards are crucial to ensuring that every EV can charge at any station,” said Gabe Klein, executive director of the Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. “We appreciate the commitment and knowledge of SAE and its experts from the automotive, EV charging, academic, and government sectors to make the charging experience easier and more accessible for Americans nationwide.”