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EV charger maker Tritium wins order from Hawaii under federal funding program

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Tritium DCFC said on Tuesday it had won an order from Hawaii to make high-speed electric vehicle chargers – the first funds to roll out in a federal program meant to blanket the country with charging infrastructure and boost EV adoption.

The U.S. government plans to dole out $5 billion to states over five years as part of the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program (NEVI) to electrify highways and interstates with 500,000 chargers.

Hawaii, which was granted access to $2.6 million in September as part of the first round of funding, is buying 32 150-kilowatt Tritium chargers and 16 power units, the company said.

“These fast chargers are expected to be among the first funded and installed under the NEVI program,” Brisbane, Australia-based Tritium said in a statement.

While several states, including Ohio and Texas, are in various stages of seeking proposals from companies, Tritium said Hawaii was using an existing contract with Sustainability Partners, an infrastructure-focused public benefit company to place the order.

Hawaii is estimated to receive a total of over $17.6 million under NEVI.

The federal funding – seen critical to President Joe Biden’s plans to tackle climate change and create local jobs – requires companies to offer the U.S. standard Combined Charging System (CCS) in the chargers.

But Hawaii’s order comes at a time when several states such as Texas and Washington have said they plan to mandate EV market leader Tesla’s charging standard along with CCS to be eligible for the funds after major automakers embraced the technology.

That has sparked a pushback from some charging companies against mandating Tesla’s the North American Charging Standard (NACS) for the first round of funding, saying more time was needed to standardize, test, and certify the safety and interoperability of Tesla connectors.

However Tritium, which said it would offer NACS connectors on its chargers by late 2023 or early 2024, supported the move in a letter sent to Texas on Monday and seen by Reuters.

(Reporting by Abhirup Roy in San Francisco; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee)

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