- Ford announced it would give its Mach-E and Lightning owners free NACS adapters for Tesla Supercharger stations.
- Nearly every OEM and charging company has now accepted the NACS charger as the standard charging port technology.
- In the future, new Ford EV models will incorporate the NACS port, eventually eliminating the need for adapters.
In the early days of the electric vehicle revolution, there wasn’t much in the way of government regulation or standardization. Therefore, two competing charging port technologies battled it out for dominance: the CCS (Combined Charging System) port used in non-Tesla vehicles and Tesla’s NACS charger port. Tesla named their port the North American Charging Standard (NACS) in a bold move anticipating the industry’s acceptance of it as the standard, which has now happened. In February 2023, nearly every original equipment manufacturer (OEM) selling electric vehicles in the United States has adopted it and will offer it in their vehicles. The same goes for EV charging companies.
Breaking Down Barriers: How SAE Standards are Streamlining EV Charging Port Accessibility
The confusion surrounding charging ports has been a significant barrier to EV adoption. Last year, Tesla opened up some of its Supercharger locations to serve other EVs, but not all locations. This was helpful for some drivers. However, non-Tesla EV owners have had to buy and use an adapter to charge their vehicles at Tesla Superchargers.
Thanks to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), it’s easier now for manufacturers to use the NACS charging port. The society created a SAE J3400 NACS technical information report, which offers up a blueprint for building out a cost-effective approach to mass electrification. It will help provide the ability to use a compact charging connector for both AC and DC charging and has seriously boosted broader adoption of NACS charger ports as the true North American standard.
Bridging the Gap with Tesla Superchargers and NACS Standardization
In 2023, Ford announced that its EV customers would gain access to Tesla Superchargers across the U.S. and Canada beginning in spring 2024. Ford President and CEO Jim Farley made the announcement that eligible Ford EV customers will soon be able to reserve a complimentary NACS fast charging adapter at the end of January 2024. This will make it much easier on Ford EV owners to access the Tesla NACS technology.
In addition, Ford has pledged that its new vehicles will use the NACS port as the standard Ford EV charger beginning in 2025, removing the need for an NACS adapter in future models.
Standardization is a crucial part of the rollout of any new technology. Imagine if internal combustion engine (ICE) drivers were unable to refuel at some gas stations because the nozzle was sized differently. The EV revolution has hit some bumps in the road, and this is a significant one. Now that this is in the process of being resolved, more car buyers will have an easier path to electrification.
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