Tesla announced on Friday they are opening up the design of their electric vehicle (EV) charging connector to anyone who wants to use it, in the hopes that it will become the new standard in North America.
In a new blog post on the automaker’s website, Tesla says their charging connector design is the “most proven in North America,” and when you look at the stats it is hard to argue with that.
Tesla says their charging connector has been in use for more than a decade and has provided over 20 billion charging miles to its EVs in that time.
When compared to the next closest competitor in the EV charging world, Tesla’s Supercharger connectors outnumber those from all CCS-equipped networks combined by 60%.
Despite having such a dominating presence in the EV charging worl, the CCS connector has become the de-facto standard in North America for all other EVs. Tesla hopes to change that by renaming their charging connector and charge port as the North American Charging Standard (NACS), and allowing any automaker or charging network provider to use their design.
“In pursuit of our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, today we are opening our EV connector design to the world. We invite charging network operators and vehicle manufacturers to put the Tesla charging connector and charge port, now called the North American Charging Standard (NACS), on their equipment and vehicles,” Tesla said.
Tesla appears to have been working behind the scenes ahead of this announcement, saying that unnamed charging networks are already working to add NACS at their charging stations. Tesla didn’t provide a timeline for when this will happen, only saying that “owners can look forward to charging at other networks without adapters.”
Tesla is making it as easy as possible for anyone to use NACS, posting a link to its design and specifications directly on the website. You can check them out here.
Will NACS become the new standard in North America?
The big question is whether this move will actually allow NACS to become the new standard in North America. As the stats have already shown Tesla’s design has been battle-tested for a decade and the reliability of the Supercharger network is unmatched.
From a pure user perspective, we hope NACS becomes the new standard because it provides a far better experience for all EV drivers. Tesla’s design, even though it is a decade old, is elegant and minimalistic when compared to the bulky and heavy CCS connector.
This is also a smart move by Tesla because if even one automaker adopts the design, the Supercharger network becomes eligible for federal funding to expand the EV charging network across the US. To be eligible the network has to be available to EVs from more than one automaker.
EVgo has so far been the lone charging network provider that has added Tesla’s NACS design at their stations, first adding some in 2019, but with this announcement that number is set to grow, the question is by how many.
Aptera has also advocated for Tesla’s design to become the new standard, launching a petition earlier this year that has gathered nearly 40,000 signatures.