Texas’s plan to force businesses to use Tesla’s (TSLA.O) technology in EV charging stations in order to qualify for federal money was authorized on Wednesday, despite requests for more time to re-engineer and test the connectors.
Other states are keenly watching Texas’ decision, which is a step ahead for Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s plans to make his company’s technology the U.S. charging standard. Texas is the biggest beneficiary of a $5 billion program to electrify U.S. highways, and its choice is being widely followed.
As some states begin to distribute the monies, Tesla’s efforts are already being put to the test. The company received numerous projects in Ohio last month, but none in Pennsylvania’s first round of funding, which was revealed on Monday.
Federal regulations mandate that businesses offer the competing Combined Charging System (CCS), a U.S. standard that the Biden administration prefers, at a minimum in order to qualify for the money.
However, before allocating the federal monies at the local level, each state may add its own standards on top of CCS.
A number of automakers and charging firms have embraced the technology as a result of Ford Motor and General Motors’ statement just over two months ago that they intended to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS).
Texas, which will receive and use $407.8 million over five years, was said to be planning to require businesses to use Tesla plugs, according to a June story from Reuters. Similar measures have been discussed in Washington State, and Kentucky has already made it mandatory.
Another significant receiver of funding, Florida, suddenly changed its plans, announcing that it will enforce NACS one year after the technology’s formal recognition by standards organization SAE International, which is now studying it.
Some charging firms opposed the initial round of funding requirements in letters to the Texas Transportation Commission, stating that it would jeopardize the effective deployment of EV chargers and raising questions about the certification of Tesla’s connectors and the supply chain.
Due to Texas’ need to fully comprehend NACS and its ramifications, the commission was forced to postpone voting on the plan twice before unanimously approving it on Wednesday.
“The two-connector approach being proposed will help assure coverage of a minimum of 97% of the current, over 168,000 electric vehicles with fast charge ports in the state,” said Humberto Gonzalez, a director at Texas’ department of transportation, while outlining the state’s proposal to the commissioners.