When it comes to charging your EV in the US, Canada and Mexico, the only two types of connectors available are not cross-compatible. Tesla has its own proprietary connector, which in the company’s defense was developed when Tesla was still the only EV game in town. All others use the current North American standard, the Combined Charging System (CCS). Tesla is clearly hoping to change that dynamic, announcement Friday that “opens up our EV connector design to the world.”
Tesla has released its specifications and production designs for the connector, which is rebranding as the North American Charging Standard (NACS), in hopes that charging networks like Electrify America and Chargepoint will incorporate the company’s hardware into their stations. The NACS contains “no moving parts, it’s half the size and twice as powerful” as the alternative, Tesla claims.
The company insists these networks adopt its technology because “NACS vehicles outnumber CCS two-to-one, and Tesla’s Supercharger network has 60 percent more NACS posts than all CCS-equipped networks combined.” I mean, sure, but that somewhat ignores the fact that those numbers are a direct result of the multi-year lead Tesla held over its competition at market entry, a market capitalization lead that’s rapidly shrinking as industry leaders like GM, Honda and Audi is moving towards electrification and the Chinese manufacturers like it BYD dominates the EV space in the largest market in Asia.
Tesla claims that “network operators already have plans to include NACS in their chargers,” without specifying which networks are doing so and at what scale. The company “looks forward to future electric vehicles incorporating the NACS design and charging at Tesla’s North American Supercharger and charging networks.”
We can only speculate why Tesla decided that right now—even as Elon Musk sinks faster than Artax into the quicksand of Twitter ownership—is the best time to open up their standard to the rest of the industry. Tesla, and now Twitter, don’t employ a public PR team, so your guess is as good as any blue check.
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