In 2022, Tesla renamed its proprietary charging system to the North American Charging Standard (NACS) and open sourced its specs with the hope that other automakers would jump on the Tesla charging bandwagon and, in fact, make this the new standard. Today, it appears Tesla might have succeeded in its mission.
First Ford Motor Co. and then General Motors said they’d adopt NACS, now Rivian and Volvo followed suit. Then you have this news: It appears SAE International (SAEI), a global organization of engineers and tech experts, is going to standardize the NACS connector. In case you missed it: SAE helped pioneer the Combined Charging System (CCS), which is the current U.S. standard.
In a press release, Frank Menchaca, president of Sustainable Mobility Solutions, an innovation arm of SAE’s parent company, Fullsight, which focuses on initiatives that lead to net zero transportation throughout mobility sectors, said:
“Standardizing the NACS connector will provide certainty, expanded choice, reliability and convenience to manufacturers and suppliers and, most of all, increase access to charging for consumers.”
Keeping it simple: This essentially means that more charging locations will support the NACS infrastructure, more adapters for CCS-to-NACS charging will be available, and SAEI is going to help make sure it’s done right.
Ford, GM, Volvo and Rivian have all committed to installing the NACS port on their vehicles starting in 2025, and they’ve all also stated they will provide adaptors for current vehicles using the CCS ports starting in 2024.
The end result is more charging capability for more vehicles.
In a previous story I compared Elon Musk and the Teslarati to Pinky and The Brain, cartoon characters who keep trying (and failing) to take over the world. As Tesla sales wane with the onslaught of new and more EV choices, this NACS takeover might be the winning strategy.
However, just like there are still CHAdeMO-charged vehicles out there (Nissan Leaf), there are going to be a lot of CCS vehicles out there for years to come.
Not to mention the fact that CCS is the European charging standard, and that doesn’t seem to be changing. So, Pinky and The Brain might have successfully conquered the U.S., but “the world” is likely out of reach. For now.