Tesla has always used its own charging technology and port, while other car manufacturers used a few different standards. While most governments and manufacturers are now backing the Combined Charging System (CCS) for fast charging, Tesla is presenting an alternative.
Tesla announced today that it will allow its charging connector and technology to be used by other businesses, while renaming it to the “North American Charging Standard,” or NACS for short. That means Tesla chargers will start showing up at more charging stations outside of Tesla’s own Supercharger network, and perhaps most importantly, other EVs can use Tesla’s charging port and infastructure.
Tesla said in a blog post, “NACS is the most common charging standard in North America: NACS vehicles outnumber CCS two-to-one, and Tesla’s Supercharging network has 60% more NACS posts than all the CCS-equipped networks combined. Network operators already have plans in motion to incorporate NACS at their chargers, so Tesla owners can look forward to charging at other networks without adapters.”
The early days of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles were a mess of different charging ports, charging speeds, and incompatible networks, but the complexity has narrowed over the past few years. In North America, the J1772 standard is often used for Level 1 and Level 2 chargers (AC), while most fast chargers now use CCS. Stations for CHAdeMO charging are still common, since it was used on older EVs from Nissan, but Nissan has shifted its lineup to CCS in North America and Europe.
Tesla has already experimented with allowing non-Tesla drivers to use its Superchargers in Europe, since the company’s cars in that region use the same CCS connectors as other vehicles. Tesla is also working on “new Supercharger equipment” in the US that would allow non-Tesla cars to use Superchargers, according to the White House in June.
It remains to be seen if companies like Chevrolet, Ford, Nissan, or Rivian are interested in adding Tesla’s charging port to their future electric vehicles. However, opening up the technology is undoubtedly a good thing.