The U.S. government has unveiled a lineup of standards to make the electric vehicle charging experience more convenient. Here they are.
The U.S. administration has followed up on its promise to make electric vehicle charging more convenient by sharing new standards that federally funded connectors must abide by. As EVs become more popular, the need to strengthen charging infrastructure is growing. While the likes of Electrify America, EVgo, and ChargePoint are expanding their public DC fast charger networks, recent incidents of EVs getting bricked while charging and other issues at public charging stations raise doubts about their reliability.
The U.S. government builds on last year’s promise to establish a nationwide public charging structure by unveiling new prerequisites for connectors. A survey showed that EV owners are often frustrated by issues like “broken chargers” and “sparse stations.” To help fix the situation, the U.S. administration, in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has introduced new criteria that fast-charging providers must follow. The most important requirement is that charging must be reliable, including the availability of compatible plug types, power levels, and a certain number of fast chargers.
More On The New Standards
Public EV chargers must be functional whenever drivers need them, but drivers often discover that they are “out of order,” and that needs to change. Another issue the new criteria seeks to solve is the ease of locating a charger. EV owners can use the mobile application of companies like Electrify America to find nearby charging stations or connectors, but they’ll soon be able to easily get supplementary information like price, availability, and accessibility on these as apps as well. Some third-party mapping applications already do this, but this should improve current offerings even more.
Having to pay with several accounts and apps when using different chargers can be tiresome. Part of the FHWA’s standards is to make payments easier. For users, EV charging sessions across various stations will be done through a single means of identification. And finally, the 500,000 chargers expected to be in the network will support the Plug & Charge feature, currently offered by Tesla’s Superchargers, to adequately simplify the charging process for EV owners.
Meanwhile, the announcement confirmed that Tesla will allow other EVs to access a section of at least 7,500 connectors of its Supercharger and Destination Charger network. One concern regarding the use of Tesla-owned chargers by other EVs is the issue of payment. While a Tesla driver just needs to plug in their EV to begin the session, the same can’t be said for other electric models. There’s no word on how payments will be done, although the announcement explains that all EV drivers will be able to access Superchargers through the website or the Tesla mobile app. The expansion of Tesla’s chargers won’t occur until the end of 2023, so the government and EV maker have enough time to figure it out.