VW, Audi and Porsche have all committed to using the Tesla-developed NACS connector starting in 2025. It’s one of the last dominoes heading toward global adoption of the connector.
NACS revolutionized the industry this year, after Tesla released the specifications for its charging connector in November 2022. It called it the “North American Charging Standard,” which was a somewhat silly name at the time, given that Tesla was the only company to use it. .
However, since Tesla represents the majority of the US electric vehicle market, Tesla’s argument was that most cars and most DC charging stations in America already use the Tesla connector, so it should be considered a de facto standard anyway.
For a few months, not many people took this seriously. However, Ford shook up the industry by announcing that it would adopt the NACS plug in upcoming vehicles. Soon after, GM made the same move, and now everyone is doing it. It’s been certified by SAE as of today, so it’s out of Tesla’s hands now.
The only companies that mattered were the Volkswagen Group, one of the world’s largest automakers (sometimes trading the “largest” title with current leader Toyota), and Stellantis.
Now, one of the final two dominoes has fallen, as the VW Group (or at least its major brands) announced today that it will be using the NACS connector.
The ad covers Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and the brand’s upcoming Scout. Volkswagen’s smaller brands such as Bugatti, Bentley and Lamborghini were not part of today’s announcement.
The connector will come to vehicles starting in 2025, like most other companies that have announced a similar move. Most other companies have also announced availability of inverters in 2024, although VW says it is “exploring inverter solutions for existing vehicles to access the Tesla Supercharger network, starting in 2025.”
The Scout-branded vehicles, which won’t be available until 2026 anyway, will all come with NACS entries from the get-go.
Volkswagen’s announcement is particularly significant, not only because of its size as an automaker, but because of its impact on Electrify America, a major charging network that was spun off from and funded by Volkswagen as part of the company’s penalty for dieselgate emissions. scandal. Volkswagen highlighted Electrify America several times in its report Press release announcing NACS accreditation.
This may be one of the reasons why VW has been a little slower in adopting the standard. Not only is it a big company with a lot of moving parts, it has its own charging network that “competes” with the Tesla Supercharger network, which until now has been based on the CCS connector (although EA said it would add NACS to its network months ago).
The other part is likely the timing of SAE’s NACS certification unveiling today.
There is now still only one major automaker that does not plan to use the NACS connector, and that is Stellantis. However, since SAE certification has just occurred (which may also be a reason for VW’s action today), and Stellantis is part of a major charging network pushed by 7 automakers that will be installing NACS chargers. So we can only imagine that she will soon follow suit and be the last domino to fall.
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