Washington could be the next state to require Tesla charging standard

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Washington state plans to require companies to support Tesla’s electric vehicle charging plug in order to tap into federal funds. The pending rule is the latest domino to fall in favor of the automaker’s North American Charging Standard (NACS), following a similar move from Texas earlier this week.

An official for Washington’s Transportation Department, Tonia Buell, said the mandate would help future proof the state’s infrastructure. Buell — who leads Washington’s alternative fuels program — told TechCrunch that the department will “present the recommendation to Washington’s Interagency Electric Vehicle Coordinating Council for final review and approval.”

Buell added that the “exact number of [required] NACS connectors is still TBD.”

The report comes just a month after Tesla signed a 245,619 square foot warehouse lease in Marysville, which is about an hour’s drive north from Seattle. It’s not clear if the lease had any influence on Washington state’s implicit endorsement of the NACS standard, but it surely didn’t hurt.

Texas’ and Washington’s plans deal another blow to the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard, but federal rules still require charging stations to support CSS to access federal funds. In other words, CCS plugs certainly aren’t going away overnight.

Ford, GM, Rivian and several charger networks also recently threw some weight behind NACS. As my colleague Rebecca Bellan recently reported, there are some advantages to Tesla’s standard, including lighter cables and support for contactless payments.

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