A monumental step towards ubiquitous fast charging interoperability across electric vehicle makes and models occurred this week. SAE International, formerly the society of automotive engineers, formally adopted Tesla’s charging connector as the definitive North American standard.
This confirmation cements the ‘North American Charging Standard’ (NACS) protocol promoted by Tesla as the go-forward common plug backed by industry consensus. First pioneered for Tesla’s exclusive Supercharger Network, the NACS design can now be integrated into third-party EVs and charging infrastructure.
As the U.S. Joint Office of Energy and Transportation declared, standardizing on the Tesla-developed NACS connector and communication protocols promises enormous accessibility benefits for drivers. With NACS becoming the norm, charging equipment and station manufacturers can confidently build to one specification knowing full compatibility for all vehicles. Automakers like VW, Ford, GM and BMW announcing NACS-equipped models will grant their customers access to the rapidly expanding charging infrastructure. It’s a win-win for both EV owners and manufacturers!
The NACS specification utilizes technology engineered by Tesla to deliver high-power 250kW charging rates today with a roadmap to support even faster speeds moving forward. Whether pulling up to a Tesla Supercharger, generic third-party fast charging station, or even connecting at home, NACS ensures consistently speedy charging.
Widespread adoption is crucial to improve charging convenience and make transitioning to an electric lifestyle easier for mainstream buyers. So by taking the industry lead and having their connector tech formally endorsed by SAE, Tesla helps break down barriers standing in the way of mass EV adoption. Expect to see NACS-compatible vehicles from major automakers hitting showrooms soon, all speaking one convenient charging language!
The news builds on commitments earlier this year from Tesla to open its proprietary charging network to other brands. With almost every manufacturer now on board to embrace NACS either natively or via adapters, Tesla charging is poised to become more ubiquitous than pumping gas by 2025!
But work remains converting existing stations and vehicles using the outdated CCS standard. And distribution plans for adapters enabling legacy EVs to use NACS plugs remains unclear. Still, SAE’s blessing Tesla’s connector dramatically accelerates progress towards charging that “just works” regardless of vehicle make or model.
So as the entire auto industry coalesces around NACS for the future of EV charging, Tesla is realizing its long-term interoperability vision. We can expect the days of puzzling over plugs and compatibility to fade fast. Thanks to Tesla’s standard becoming THE standard!