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Tesla open-sources its connector to take on CCS with 'half the size twice the power' North American Charging Standard

Tesla wants other EVs to adopt its charging standard instead of CCS (image: Tesla)
Tesla wants other EVs to adopt its charging standard instead of CCS (image: Tesla)
In a surprise move, Tesla opened its proprietary charging port and connector schematics for all EV makers and charging networks to employ at will. The open-sourced design and specification documents call the heretofore custom connector the North American Charging Standard as Tesla argues it is 'half the size, twice as powerful' in comparison with CCS.

Instead of transforming its Superchargers into Magic Docks with a CCS adapter tacked on the proprietary connector in order to comply with the government's charging network buildout subsidy requirements, Tesla opted to try and make others to adopt its charging technology by open-sourcing it.

In a somewhat surprise move, Tesla announced that its custom charging system's design and specs will be open for the world to use as other networks and electric vehicle makers see fit. Besides the obvious advantages of its connector being the most ubiquitous one in the US, it "has no moving parts, is half the size, and twice as powerful as Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors."

Its connector supports up to 1 MW DC output "in one slim package," continues Tesla, and the combination with the port on its vehicles will from now on be called the North American Charging Standard (NACS) in an apparent move to slow the proliferation of the CCS one that other EVs use.

The open-sourcing of Tesla's unique charging system may also have something to do with the government's requirements for CCS-compatible Superchargers on a planned nationwide network that will be built with billions in federal subsidies. According to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act under which said billions are about to be disbursed, "electric vehicle charging infrastructure installed using funds provided under this title shall provide, at a minimum... non-proprietary charging connectors that meet applicable industry safety standards... and open access to payment methods that are available to all members of the public..."

Given that Tesla now provides direct access to its custom charging port and connector schematics as a free download, and is working with the respective global bodies to list NACS as a public standard, its charging system would automatically qualify as non-proprietary, just as the subsidy scheme requires.

Moreover, Tesla claims that unnamed charging network providers have already started the motions to implement the newfangled North American Charging Standard at their bays. This would allow Tesla vehicles to top up at non-Supercharger locations without an adapter, though it's not clear if it's Electrify America, EVGo, or some other network that is considering the aforementioned NACS adoption.

EVGo, in particular, has been having Tesla connectors at its locations for a while now, and just announced a new Autocharge+ plan that will be exclusive to Tesla vehicles, though that one still requires that they carry Tesla's $250 CCS Combo 1 Adapter which was recently released in the US.

While competing charging networks may adopt NACS in some way, it remains to be seen if Tesla's larger goal to make other EV makers switch to its charging system will actually take place, spelling trouble for the clunky CCS connector life cycle.

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Tesla superimposing its NACS connector to show its superior to CCS design
Tesla superimposing its NACS connector to show its superior to CCS design

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2022 11 > Tesla open-sources its connector to take on CCS with 'half the size twice the power' North American Charging Standard
Daniel Zlatev, 2022-11-12 (Update: 2022-11-12)