New standard: SAE International officializes NACS connector

Infrastructure reliability, secure, and accessible EV charging future

In the landscape of electric mobility, a significant development is underway aimed at making electric vehicle (EV) charging more straightforward and reliable. SAE International, a leading standards organization, has announced standardizing the North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector, initially developed by Tesla. The decision serves as a beacon of standardization, inviting any manufacturer or supplier to use, manufacture, or deploy the NACS connector on EVs and charging stations across North America.

“Standardizing the NACS connector will provide certainty, expanded choice, reliability and convenience to manufacturers and suppliers and, most of all, increase access to charging for consumers,”

Frank Menchaca, President, Sustainable Mobility Solutions, an innovation arm of SAE’s parent company, Fullsight.

Building a consensus for NACS

The standardization process is a major step towards establishing a consensus-based approach to maintaining NACS, while also validating its performance and interoperability criteria. The Joint Office of Energy and Transportation has played a crucial role in fostering the SAE-Tesla partnership, thereby accelerating plans to standardize NACS—an important measure in creating a universally interoperable national charging network.

Broad industry support for NACS

The NACS connector has garnered the attention and support of several industry giants. Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Rivian, Volvo, and several EV charging companies have expressed plans to adopt the NACS connector either through adaptors or in their future product offerings.

Securing EV charging

In addition to the NACS connector standardization, SAE International is launching several key initiatives to bolster the North American EV charging infrastructure. One such initiative is SAE-ITC’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for cyber-secure charging. In close cooperation with National Labs, SAE is also contributing to the reliability design for the national ChargeX consortium.

Significant contribution to sustainable mobility

David L. Schutt, CEO, SAE International, views these efforts as contributing substantially to SAE’s commitment to provide secure, clean, and accessible transportation for all. The organization is actively aligning its work with governmental entities like the Joint Office, aiming to advance sustainable mobility on a national level.

SAE International’s key initiatives

  1. Standardizing the NACS connector
  2. Developing SAE-ITC’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for cyber-secure charging
  3. Contributing to the reliability design for the national ChargeX consortium

The road ahead

The standardization of the NACS connector marks a notable development in the sphere of electric mobility. It signals the birth of a more unified, secure, and dependable EV charging landscape. The long-term implications of this decision are manifold—it widens the road for increased accessibility and convenience for consumers and manufacturers alike, potentially accelerating the shift towards sustainable transport solutions.


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