EV start-up petitions for the Tesla connector to be the U.S.'s charging standard, not CCS

By Kevin Armstrong
Aptera believes the Tesla connector should be the charging standard, not CCS
Aptera believes the Tesla connector should be the charging standard, not CCS
Aptera

A petition has started asking the United States government to make Tesla connectors the standard for all electric vehicles in the country.

Aptera, an electric car start-up, is behind the Change.org petition.

The founders of Aptera, Chris Anthony and Steve Fambro, explained why they started the petition.

They write: While electric vehicle technology has rapidly advanced, the charging standard in the U.S. has not. CCS and SAE J1772, the U.S.'s common standards, are clunky, cumbersome, and expensive.

The solar-powered car company also linked to a report that cited a survey called the J.D. Power U.S. Electric Public Charging Study. Tesla was the decisive winner in every category.

Yet, another indication that backs up their claim request to make Tesla plugs the standard.

Aptera is asking the U.S. House of Representatives to look at the math, pointing to reports that Tesla Supercharger stations cost 1/5 the price of other networks. In addition, it says that switching to Tesla’s charging standards would save $4 billion on projected charging infrastructure spending through 2027.

The Biden administration approved a $1 trillion infrastructure bill in November of 2021, with $5 billion dedicated to building a network with thousands of charging stations.

While Tesla is already the industry leader in Supercharging, the company continues to improve. V4 Superchargers could be deployed later this year, offering charging speeds of up to 350kW.

The CCS, J1772 and Tesla connector profiles compared
The CCS, J1772 and Tesla connector profiles compared
Aptera

The current V3 Superchargers can handle 250kW, but these units are expected to be upgraded to 35% faster charging this year.

It’s also believed that the V4 Superchargers will offer CCS support, allowing non-Tesla vehicles access to the network.

Aptera used its Twitter account to launch the campaign to its 11k followers.

By the way, Aptera follows only one account — Elon Musk.

The company uses a short video with emojis to show how they feel about the other connectors. It’s believed the start-up will use Tesla connectors for solar-powered, three-wheeled EVs.

If you feel the Tesla connector should be the industry charging standard, you can sign the petition.

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 Launches; Adds EV Charger Ratings Using Rivian Data

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

A Better Routeplanner 5.0 launched yesterday, and there are some pretty awesome features coming to all EV owners courtesy of Rivian. Rivian purchased ABRP last year and has made good on its promises to continue its improvement and ensure it remains open to all EV owners.

Charger Scoring

Rivian recently added a feature that would rate any chargers compatible with Rivian vehicles. The list of chargers includes Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) chargers, Tesla Superchargers and any other compatible third-party chargers. The charger score is automatically calculated based on the station's average top speed and reliability.

With the launch of ABRP 5.0, Rivian is integrating its charger scores directly into the free tier of ABRP so that all EV owners can benefit. ABRP users will now be able to see charger scores, and ABRP will automatically route users to chargers with higher scores if they are available on your route.

Google Automotive

Another cool feature for ABRP is that it will now be available as an app to install and use directly in vehicles that support Google Automotive. Any EV that uses Google Automotive, including Volvo,  Polestar, Ford, and GM will support the in-system experience, which will also provide data for charger scoring and routing.

This will be an excellent way to hold third-party networks accountable, which have commonly suffered from uptime or speed issues.

Tesla’s Implementation

Tesla previously implemented a “Qualified Third-Party Charger” program, that would allow highly-rated third-party chargers that meet a strict set of requirements to be displayed directly in the vehicle. However, this is currently limited to Europe and parts of the Middle East. Within North America, Tesla only displays third-party Tesla destination chargers in addition to Superchargers.

While Tesla doesn’t directly show charger scores, they clearly are tracking charge data, and are providing the cream of the crop of third-party chargers for navigation where the program is available. We’d hope that this implementation of qualified third-party chargers also comes to North America, as NACS is becoming the de facto standard for charging.

If Tesla does expand the display of third-party chargers to other regions, it’ll likely be similar to what we see in Europe today, and won’t be as open as Rivian’s implementation in ABRP.

Tesla Begins Testing FSD in China

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla was recently granted permission to test FSD on Chinese streets – specifically in Shanghai. Just recently, Elon Musk visited China and discussed the potential for FSD to come to China.

Gearing Up for FSD China

This is just the first step for Tesla to begin its customer deployments of FSD – Tesla conducts similar ADAS testing in North America, where special testing vehicles and testing employees run the latest FSD (Supervised) versions against a gamut of real-world, real-life tests.

Tesla has recently been working on translating FSD release notes into multiple languages, alongside building a data center in Shanghai and establishing an FSD Operations and Labelling team at the same center. These are the first, key steps to bringing FSD to a new market that has unique and different traffic rules when compared North America.

China doesn’t have the regulatory hurdles or challenges that Tesla faces in Europe to bring FSD and has been working with Chinese corporations as well as the government, which has now provided its official approval for FSD testing in-country.

We might even see FSD deployed to early testing customers in China by the end of 2025.

ADAS Competitors

There are quite a few competitors in the Chinese market already- with challengers like Xpeng and Xiaomi working on building their own homegrown systems, mostly driven by a mixture of cameras, radars, ultrasonic sensors, and LIDAR. However, many of these systems face similar challenges to other non-Chinese competitors and don’t have the mileage under their belts to tackle Tesla’s dominating lead in data and data processing.

European Union

Tesla is poising itself for an FSD rollout internationally, with increased testing also taking place in the UK, France, and Spain – some of the key locations with unique infrastructure in the European Union. However, some EU-specific regulations restrict how FSD can perform – each and every action must be manually approved by the driver. Until that regulation is changed to adapt to systems like FSD, it won’t be making its way there just yet.

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