Tesla is opening up its charging system, but not in the way that helps people who own electric vehicles that aren’t Tesla.
the car manufacturer renames its Tesla connector the “North American Charging Standard” (NACS) and compare it with the current CCS combo charging standard. CCS is the agreed-upon standard that every manufacturer selling in North America has adopted for DC fast charging.
In a new blog, Tesla says its connector is “half the size and twice as powerful” as CCS, pointing out that it’s “the most common charging standard” with a grade of 2 to 1. Tesla currently sells more EVs than any other. manufacturer in the US, but other automakers are starting to catch up. According to the Department of Energy, there are approximately 17,000 Tesla Supercharger connectors in the US and Canada, compared to approximately 11,000 CCS combo ports.
Earlier this year, a White House memo revealed that Tesla Superchargers in the US will begin operating non-Tesla EVs by the end of 2022, but there have been no updates from the company since. The Biden administration has passed an infrastructure bill that aims to boost EV adoption and grow charging infrastructure, but funding would only go to companies that build charging stations that can accommodate more than one company’s EVs. As it stands, this would disqualify Tesla from receiving these funds unless it can convince at least one other automaker to use its plug.
Tesla is essentially challenging EV chargers and other automakers to use its Supercharger — sorry, North American charging standard — instead. It’s a powerful move that can only further disrupt EV charging adoption, which already suffers from fragmentation, with three DC Level 3 plug options. In contrast, Europe has settled for a single CCS2 standard for all manufacturers, including Tesla. The company started opening up its Supercharger stations in some countries on the continent without the need for adapters.
Some EV charger companies have already courted Tesla drivers, including EVgo, which started retrofitting Tesla plugs in place of the declining CHAdeMO standard only largely used by Nissan Leafs. Tesla had been selling a CHAdeMO adapter for a while and now also sells a CCS adapter that gives owners access to other DC fast charging networks.
Tesla has not confirmed that it will add stations suitable for other manufacturers with CSS ports, but it is still a possibility. The company even started selling home chargers with a J1772 plug that works on all other EVs, so it definitely takes some research to meet somewhere in the middle. Although it would be an expensive affair to retrofit about 1,700 Supercharger stations in North America to support CCS combo. Plus, Tesla CEO Elon Musk seems a little distracted these days trying to steer the company in the right direction.