Yesterday, General Motors revealed it will integrate Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) charge port in all its EVs starting in 2025. Which pretty much means the Combined Charging System (CCS) charge port, the standard in Europe, is on the verge of being a dead man walking – at least, here in North America.
Just last month, Ford was the first Detroit automaker to reveal it will be using the NACS port with its EVs starting next year. And while Stellantis – the parent company of Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Alfa Romeo, among others – hasn’t said anything yet, you can bet they won’t be far behind their cross-town rivals.
This move towards Tesla’s charge port is kind of a surprise, but not really. The surprise is that the company’s controversial founder and CEO, Elon Musk, has managed to alienate other carmakers, to the point that both GM and Audi pulled advertising from Twitter and stopped tweeting altogether after Musk’s takeover of the social media giant. Major collaborations with Tesla were unheard of.
But politics and personalities aside, the Tesla NACS and the company’s vast Supercharger network are far superior to the CCS and the patchwork of other types of chargers across North America. GM’s move to the NACS means its EVs will be able to access more than 12,000 Supercharger stations across North America. The automaker says it will supply an NACS adapter for the CCS port next year before making the Tesla tech standard in its EVs in 2025. GM will also supply adapters for a CCS charger for its NACS-enabled EVs.
GM will also add the Tesla Supercharger Network to its vehicle and mobile apps, meaning that not only can drivers easily find a charge station, but they can also pay for and initiate charging through the GM systems. The Tesla network adds to more than 134,000 chargers across Canada and the US that make up GM’s Ultium Charge 360 charging ecosystem, as well as additional charging stations GM makes available through existing integrations with other charging networks.
The Tesla NACS charger connector is smaller than the CCS and is capable of both Level 2 charging and up to 1 MW of Level 3 DC charging. And according to Tesla, its current NACS-equipped vehicles outnumber CCS two-to-one, and Tesla’s Supercharging network has 60 per cent more NACS posts than all the CCS-equipped networks combined. The network has also been proven to be far more reliable than other CCS chargers.
What does this mean for the CCS port and chargers? They’ll still be around as long as other major carmakers are using it, but it’s more likely that other charger networks will now incorporate NACS along with CCS. And considering both Ford and General Motors have basically allowed Tesla to do the groundwork of installing a vast charging network for them, how long will it be before even the Japanese and European carmakers incorporate NACS for their North American-bound vehicles? Certainly the ones built in Canada and the US would benefit with the addition, not just in a technical sense, but also as a smart marketing ploy to help alleviate ‘range anxiety’.
You may or may not like Elon Musk, but give the man his due: he’s won this round against the biggest legacy automakers in North America.