The White House gathers auto industry execs on EV charging 'interoperability' and this time Elon Musk was invited
As part of the US$1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed last year, President Biden’s administration included a US$7.5 billion provision for a chain of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations in cities and along major highways. To brief the automotive industry on the scope of the project and ensure everyone is on the same page, it held a meeting at the White House with industry execs that included GM's CEO Mary Barra and even Tesla's Elon Musk for a change. Until Wednesday's meeting, Musk could often be heard complaining that President Biden's administration snubs him for such events and doesn't recognize Tesla's EV leadership enough.
According to a statement from the White House after the meeting, "there was broad consensus that charging stations and vehicles need to be interoperable and provide a seamless user experience, no matter what car you drive or where you charge your EV." Since Tesla owns a lot of the EV chargers in the US and has the most electric vehicles on the road, Elon Musk's presence at the meeting was needed, but mum's the word on his input so far. Tesla already gave a lengthy opinion on the administration's plans saying that its Superchargers should also be considered for government rebates and subsidies when the administration starts rolling out the nationwide EV charging network:
Today, there is no single DCFC connector that can serve all EVs in the US. There are currently three DCFC connectors utilized in North America: CCS, Tesla and CHAdeMO, however, the CHAdeMO standard is being phased out in North America. The combined charging system (CCS) and Tesla as the predominant connector types in the US. While the Tesla connector is currently only used by Tesla vehicles, Tesla vehicles are the majority of DCFC capable vehicles on the road, whereas most new EV models utilize CCS.8 To serve as many vehicles as possible with IIJA funded stations we recommend establishing a connector ratio as an eligibility threshold for rebated connectors. The program should, at a minimum, have CCS at a charging site to be eligible, but not require CHAdeMO or Tesla connectors at the site. However, Tesla or CHAdeMO connectors should be eligible for rebates as long as there is a CCS connector at the location for every rebated Tesla or CHAdeMO connector. In other words, the rebated connectors should be installed in locations co-located with multiple connector types, the ratio should only apply to rebated connectors, and should not restrict the overall site size. Operators should be able to install additional non-rebated chargers if they choose.
The government plans to earmark US$4.75 billion of the EV charging network development funds for the states and use the rest (about US$2.5 billion) for charging projects in rural locations or those serving disadvantaged communities. Besides the CEOs of GM and Tesla, the charging infrastructure meeting at the White House hosted Ford's Jim Farley, Chrysler's Carlos Tavares, as well as execs from Toyota, Hyundai, Lucid, Mazda, Subaru, and Mercedes. From the government's side the Transportation and Energy Secretaries were present, as well as the National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy and the Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu.