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Another one bites the dust: GM goes all in on Tesla NACS

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Hot on the heels of news that Ford Motor Co. is abandoning the Combined Charging System (CSS) network in favor of the Tesla North American Charging Standard (NACS), General Motors has decided to follow suit. GM will begin to integrate the Tesla NACS ports into its vehicles beginning in 2025.

The big driver: Tesla already has an established and functioning network of 12,000 Superchargers throughout the U.S., when the rest of the charging infrastructure is stumbling through its infancy.

Similar to the Ford strategy, GM EV drivers will be given access to the Tesla chargers at some point in 2024 via adapters that will convert their CCS ported vehicles to enable NACS access. In 2025 (no specific timeline), GM EVs will be built with an NACS inlet exclusively for direct access to Tesla Superchargers. At that time adapters will be provided for CCS chargers.

In a press release, GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra said:

“Our vision of the all-electric future means producing millions of world-class EVs across categories and price points, while creating an ecosystem that will accelerate mass EV adoption. This collaboration is a key part of our strategy and an important next step in quickly expanding access to fast chargers for our customers. Not only will it help make the transition to electric vehicles more seamless for our customers, but it could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard.”

Is the GM-Tesla partnership a CCS death knell?

When two of the Detroit Three make a very vocal announcement about switching to NACS, the Magic 8 Ball is having “signs point to yes” vibes. Though Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) has several plug-in hybrid vehicles on the market, it has yet to produce a full-on EV in the U.S. So, this could be an opportunity to switch gears before it even gets started.

While a lot of people poo-poo the Teslarati, there’s no denying the fact that Tesla has the most robust and functioning charging network in the U.S. I’ve rarely (if ever) heard a Tesla owner complain about not being able to take a road trip because of range or lack of chargers on the route.

So, this GM-Tesla partnership is just another step in the all-in NACS direction.

The problem with NACS

While this all sounds really good to the EV curious, here’s the problem – especially with the GM situation – most Tesla Superchargers peak out at 150 kW. This is fine for Ford, but GM has been focused on 800-volt battery systems and 300 kW charging. So, what happens to the promised ultra-fast 18- to 30-minute charging times?

Perhaps this will actually spur Tesla to innovate and force GM to contribute to building an infrastructure that is both fast and functioning to support this new endeavor. GM is currently in collaborations with Pilot Company and EVgo to add more than 5,000 DC fast chargers in North America. So, will this continue to be a CCS installation, or is there somehow a switch to NACS?

The bottom line on the GM-Telsa partnership

We are currently living in interesting times. I’m not sure anyone knows how this move away from CCS will affect the future of electric vehicles.

But two things are certain: It will build range confidence among EV hesitaters, and it will line Elon Musk (and Tesla’s) pockets with gold.

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Jill Ciminillo

Jill Ciminillo is the Managing Editor for Pickup Truck + SUV Talk as well as a Chicago-based automotive writer, YouTube personality and podcast host, with her articles and videos appearing in outlets throughout the U.S. Additionally, she co-hosts a weekly radio show on car stuff for a local Chicago station. Previously, Jill has been the automotive editor for both newspaper and broadcast media conglomerates. She is also a past president for the Midwest Automotive Media Association and has the distinction of being the first female president for that organization. Jill is also currently a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year (NACTOY).

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous June 9, 2023

    FYI fyi, Tesla is rolling out supercharger 4 which is a 1000 volt system.


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