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Washington decision to require Tesla charging standard not finalized

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(The Center Square) – There is a lot of work ahead for the Washington Department of Transportation in developing the state’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including finalizing a charger standard.

The department first began work to electrify state roads in July 2022, as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program. The department visualized a network where all Washington drivers can choose to drive or ride electric with a convenient, reliable and affordable charging experience.

Washington state officials expect the program to cost about $71 million over five years, along with a 20% non-federal match of $17.75 million, according to the Washington state Plan for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Deployment.

Nearly a year into the program, Washington Department of Transportation Communications Director Kris Rietmann Abrudan said department officials are still looking at potential impacts of implementing electric vehicle infrastructure.

“We are still in early stages of considering how recent industry developments may impact our efforts to build out [electric vehicle] charging infrastructure in the state and region,” Rietmann Abrudan said to The Center Square in an email.

The transportation department is aiming to begin construction on electric vehicle charging infrastructure this year, according to the plan. However, one key aspect of electric vehicle charging has yet to be determined: what connector types are required by charging companies.

According to Rietmann Abrudan, the department has not made a decision regarding the state’s requirements for charging connector types beyond the federal requirements for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program.

The department could choose between the President Joe Biden-backed Combined Charging System or Tesla’s North American Charging Standard.

Tesla claimed in a blog post in 2022 that its North American Charging Standard is the most common charging standard in North America. According to the company, Tesla’s supercharging network has 60% more North American Charging Standard posts than all the Combined Charging System-equipped networks combined.

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