There are only two types of connectors available for charging your EV in the US. They are not compatible with each other. Tesla has its own connector, which was invented when Tesla was still the only EV manufacturer in town. Everyone else uses the North American standard, Combined Charging System (CCS). Tesla, apparently hoping to disrupt that dynamic, announced Friday that it is “opening up our EV connector design for the world”.
Tesla has released its specifications and production designs for the connector. It is rebranding it as the North American Charging Standard, (NACS) in the hope that charging networks like Electrify America or Chargepoint will include the company’s hardware in their stations. Tesla claims that the NACS is “no moving components”, is half as large and twice as strong as the alternative.
The company insists that these networks adopt its technology because “NACS vehicles outnumber CCS 2-to-1, and Tesla’s Supercharging system has 60 percent more NACS stations than all the CCS equipped networks combined.” It’s not hard to see that those numbers are a result of the multiple-year lead Tesla had over its competition in coming on line. A capitalization lead that is rapidly shrinking while marquee brands like GM, Honda, and Audi shift to electrification and Chinese manufacturers like BYD take the EV market in Asia’s biggest market.
Tesla claims that “network operator already have plans in motion for NACS integration at their chargers,” but doesn’t specify which networks or at what scale. The company “looks forward to future electric vehicles incorporating the NACS design and charging at Tesla’s North American Supercharging and Destination Charging networks.”
We can only speculate as to why Tesla has decided that right now — even as Elon Musk sinks faster than Artax into the quicksands of Twitter ownership — is the best tiime to open up their standard to the rest of the industry. Tesla, as well as Twitter, do not have a public-facing PR department. Your guess is as good as any blue checks. All products recommended by Engadget were selected by our editorial staff, which is independent of our parent company. Some stories contain affiliate links. We may earn an affiliate commission if you purchase something through one these links. All prices correct at time of publication.