EV charging is currently at the top of the list of the biggest concerns for consumers and OEMs alike. Consumers want to know that the infrastructure exists to allow them to charge wherever and whenever, and OEMS and governments are desperately trying to answer this call.
A major development to this end came when Ford and Tesla jointly announced that Ford's electric vehicles will soon have access to Tesla's Supercharger high-speed charging network. On the surface, this announcement may seem small, but in reality, this move ignited a potential war over EV charging standards.
When Ford announced its switching from the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Combined Charging System (CCS) standard charging plug to Tesla's North American Charging System (NACS) plug, many believed this could lead to a confusing standards battle.
Initially, SAE reiterated that its J1772 standard (with the piggybacked DC fast-charging CCS connector) is the industry standard, but in November Tesla released its NACS charging specification to all manufacturers. The NACS charging port handles both Level 1 and 2 AC charging as well as the Supercharger network’s DC fast charging. Today, Tesla has more charger locations available than the non-Tesla networks.
Standards ‘battle’ over before it begins?
Now, what seemed as if it could be a battle of standards is seeming more like a rout: Other carmakers, beginning with GM, are following in Ford's footsteps and beginning to switch allegiance to Tesla's NACS design.
And in late June, SAE International announced that it would standardize the NACS connector, meaning the standard would no longer be maintained by Tesla—presumably giving some peace of mind to EV makers wanting access to Tesla’s charging network but wary of relying on this rival’s good graces at the connection point.
Most recently, a group of seven EV makers announced a joint venture to create a new EV charging network with 30,000 charge points in the US. That network will feature NACS connectors along with SAE’s Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors.
In this piece, we’ll look at 11 companies that are either committed to or considering the switch to Tesla’s NACS. Read on to learn about 11 Automakers and Charging Companies Using Tesla’s NACS.