Mythbusting the world of EVs: are the 'plug wars' over?
Tesla's proprietary connector in the US is the North American Charging Standard - but is it better than CCS?
MYTH: “plug wars are over”
Yeah I know charging away from home is still absurdly hard, because too many charging networks insist on their own payment cards or apps. But at least we have settled on a single connector for Europe: the CCS, which fits plugs that work for both AC (overnight) and DC (rapid) charging. Even Tesla uses it here, and Nissan is moving that way too. So that’s settled.
Not in the US though. There is CCS there, but Tesla has something different. Recently Tesla renamed its proprietary connector the North American Charging Standard (NACS).
Tesla claims that by opening its patent it’s generously moving to common ground. But other makers already have CCS. Huh? As background, you might be interested to know that the recent US Infrastructure Act provides subsidies for installing EV chargers, but only if those chargers can juice up more than one make of car. And now EV minnow Aptera has adopted NACS. So Tesla can collect grants for Superchargers. Was this Tesla’s motivation for opening up NACS? Surely only a hardened cynic would say so.
Tesla says its connector is technically superior. Well yes, it is marginally smaller than a CCS and can run slightly higher power. But EV drivers don’t care about a slightly better connector. They care about certainty that every charger can charge their car. Tesla is claiming to help with that, while actually not.
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