Tesla has always used its own charging technology and port, while other automakers have used a few different standards. While most governments and manufacturers are now behind the Combined Charging System (CCS) for fast charging, Tesla is coming up with an alternative.
Tesla announced today that it will let other companies use its charging connector and technology, while renaming its name to the “North American Charging Standard,” or NACS for short. That means Tesla chargers will show up at more charging stations outside of Tesla’s own Supercharger network, and perhaps most importantly, other EVs will be able to use Tesla’s charging port and infrastructure.
Tesla said in a blog post, “NACS is the most common charging standard in North America: There are more NACS vehicles than CCS two-to-one, and Tesla’s Supercharging network has 60% more NACS posts than any CCS-equipped network. Network operators already have plans to integrate NACS into their chargers so Tesla owners can look forward to charging on other networks without adapters.”
The early days of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles were a jumble of different charging ports, charging speeds and incompatible networks, but the complexity has diminished in recent years. In North America, the J1772 standard is commonly used for Level 1 and Level 2 (AC) chargers, while most fast chargers now use CCS. CHAdeMO charging stations are still common, as it was used on older Nissan EVs, 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 Europeas 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 will allow non-Tesla cars to use Superchargers, according to the White House in June.
It remains to be seen whether 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.