Volkswagen in talks with Tesla to adopt NACS

Volkswagen has confirmed it is actively engaging with Tesla to potentially adopt their electric vehicle (EV) charging technology, now known as the North American Charging Standard (NACS). News of a potential deal comes on the same day its subsidiaries, Electrify America and Electrify Canada, announced they were adding NACS connectors to their EV charging stations.

Tesla opened up its charging design in November last year, but it wasn’t until last month when Ford became the first to announce it was going with NACS over the Combined Charging System (CCS), at the same time giving its EV owners access to the expansive Supercharger network in Canada and the US. That announcement sent shockwaves through the industry, and it didn’t take long for other automakers to see that NACS was indeed going to become the charging standard in North America. Since Ford’s announcement, General Motors, Rivian, Volvo, and Polestar have also jumped onboard, along with virtually every EV charging provider.

Within an hour of the Electrify America and Electrify Canada announcements this morning, parent company VW confirmed it is in discussions with Tesla to also adopt NACS. One of the sticking points appears to be Tesla’s Supercharger network speeds, with VW saying it is working with Tesla to “optimize NACS performance and value for our customers.” (via @Firstsquawk)

We have heard similar sentiments from other automakers who have EVs with high voltage architecture. Lucid is one of those, with their Air sedan featuring 900-volt architecture. This means the Air can take advantage of the limited number of 350kW charging stations currently out there, whereas Tesla’s V3 Supercharger currently only goes up to 250kW. Tesla has of course already released their V4 Supercharger (but for now only in Europe), which should theoretically be able to provide in excess of 600kW. The company is also supposed to be releasing an update to the V3 Superchargers to increase their speed above 300kW, but that has yet to happen.

If VW does go with NACS, they would become the third European automaker to do so, following Volvo and Polestar. That is of course unless someone else beats them to it, as we have learned a major German automaker is finalizing their deal with Tesla and an announcement should be coming in the next few days.

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