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Image for Tesla NACS VS CCS. What does this mean for rapid charging in Europe?

Tesla NACS VS CCS. What does this mean for rapid charging in Europe?

Recent collaborations over the pond between Tesla, Ford, and General Motors could alter how EV charging develops in the future.

Ford and GM have struck an agreement with Tesla that will allow Ford and GM EV’s to use the Tesla superchargers (now renamed NACS – North American Charging Standard). Current Ford EV’s such as the Ford Mustang Mach-E will receive an adapter to allow the Tesla charger to connect to the CCS socket of the vehicle. However, the NACS socket will be built in to new Ford and GM vehicles. 

This is a significant move in the evolution of charging standards in the U.S. With GM, Ford and Telsa EV’s using the NACS  socket, it will account for roughly three quarters of the EV market in the U.S. and other manufacturers such as Rivian are following suit with announcements that they too will adopt the NACS standard.

So what could this mean for the future of charging in the UK and Europe? Are we seeing the first signs that NACS will overtake CCS as the charging standard?

Tesla’s NACS connector is widely viewed as a better connector due to its lighter and ore manageable plug size and reliability for providing trouble free charging and EV users are likely to prefer it to CCS for these reasons.

At the moment there doesn’t seem to be any direct threat to the CCS infrastructure in Europe, especially since the EV industry in Europe has sought to standardise charging as much as possible with the Mennekes Type 2 socket for AC charging and CCS for DC charging, whilst Type 1 and CHAdeMO are no longer adopted in Europe by new EV’s.

Although Tesla is likely to want to promote its NACS connector as the standard in Europe, the company had already made their Superchargers and vehicles compatible with CCS technology and has been open to providing CCS charging ports to non Tesla EVs with CCS ports. Tesla owners in Europe now have access to CCS and Supercharger charging points, making it a good selling point to own a Tesla EV and Tesla are not likely to want to compromise this is the short term.

Therefore it would seem that there won’t be any changes to UK/Europe charging standards just yet. The European EV market is still considered to be years ahead of the U.S market, making it a bigger challenge for the NACS to surpass the CCS charging standard. But, recent years have shown that you would be wise not to bet against Tesla, especially if its charging standard is preferred over CCS by more EV manufacturers.

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