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Second-largest US electric vehicle fast-charging network to add Tesla connectors

Second-largest US electric vehicle fast-charging network to add Tesla connectors
Tesla's EV charging connector is pictured at a charging station in Anaheim, Calif., June 9, 2023. A key U.S. automotive industry organization said Tuesday, June 27, that it will set performance standards for Tesla’s electric vehicle charging cords in another move toward using the Tesla plug on all EVs. Credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File

The second-largest electric vehicle fast-charging network in the U.S. says it will add Tesla's connector to its charging stations, another step toward adopting Tesla's plug as the industry standard.

Electrify America, with 800 direct-current fast- and more than 3,600 plugs nationwide, said Thursday it will work to add Tesla's connector to existing and future chargers by 2025.

The Volkswagen subsidiary, formed as part of the settlement to the company's diesel emissions-cheating scandal, is second only to Tesla in number of fast-charging plugs in the U.S.

"We look forward to continuing to support industrywide standards that increase interoperability and streamline public charging," Electrify America CEO Robert Barrosa said in a statement.

The company also will keep the Combined Charging System, or CCS, connector at its stations. At present most electric vehicle models in the U.S. use the CCS connector.

But Ford, General Motors, Rivian and Volvo have said they would join Tesla's large Supercharger and adopt its North American Charging Standard connector in new versions of their electric vehicles. Others such as Stellantis and Hyundai are considering joining Tesla's network.

Also, ChargePoint, which has the most charging stations of any U.S. network, said it will start offering Tesla connectors for use by charging site hosts later this year. Most of its network, though, is made up of slower "Level 2" chargers. Others, such as Blink Charging also have announced plans to add the Tesla connector.

In addition, a key U.S. automotive industry organization said this week that it will set for Tesla's electric vehicle charging cords in another move toward using the Tesla on all EVs.

The move Tuesday by SAE International, formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers, is another big move toward the Tesla charger. It comes even though the CCS connector was designed under standards developed by SAE.

Tesla's Superchargers are coveted by other automakers because it has more direct current fast-charging plugs in the U.S. than any other network, and its stations are in prime locations along freeway travel corridors.

GM, Ford, Rivian and Volvo owners will get access to more than 12,000 Tesla Supercharger plugs. In the U.S., Tesla has 1,797 Supercharger stations and more than 19,000 plugs, according to the Department of Energy.

Since the stations are direct current fast-chargers, they can charge EVs relatively quickly as people travel.

The Energy Department says there are about 54,000 public charging stations nationwide with more than 136,000 plugs. While most are slower Level 2 chargers, the network of DC fast chargers is growing.

Still, industry analysts say there is growing momentum to switch to Tesla's connector to become the standard in the U.S., although vehicles likely will need to be able to use both connectors for a while.

GM and Ford say they're not paying Tesla anything for access to the network.

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