Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) has cast a spell across the industry. An increasing number of companies, led by General Motors and Ford, are gearing up to adopt NACS to benefit from thousands of Tesla Superchargers across the country. However, it could be a while before we see the real-world effects of this change.
Figures from the US Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuel Data Center reveal that the Combined Charging System (CCS1) has a much larger footprint compared to NACS. As of June 21, 2023, there are 5,240 CCS1 charging station locations in the US, compared to 1,803 locations for the Tesla Superchargers.
However, Tesla has more ports than CHAdeMO and CCS1 combined.
Although, don’t expect things to change overnight. CCS1’s death is likely to be slow. After all, carmakers and charging companies spent over a decade establishing CCS1 networks across the US.
The first ever CCS public fast charger opened in October 2013 at the Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego, as per Green Car Reports. It was installed by EVgo.
CCS1 vs. Tesla vs. CHAdeMO: Figures from US DOE Alternative Fuels Data Center as of June 21, 2023.
GM was the first automaker to use the CCS1 version of the fast charger on its 2014 Chevrolet Spark EV. Quickly, CCS1 became an industry standard, and carmakers increasingly adopted it. Volvo embraced the charging standard in 2016, followed by the Hyundai Motor Group in 2018.
Moreover, brands like Porsche and Lucid Motors took charging speeds to the next level using the CCS1 port. The Porsche Taycan was the first EV with an 800-volt architecture, while the Lucid Air went a step ahead with a 900-volt system. The Air can charge at over 300 kilowatts and is the fastest-charging EV currently.
Tesla’s V4 Supercharger may match or even exceed CCS1’s advertised capability (350 kW at 800 V).
CharIn, the global association behind CCS, stated recently that “NACS is not yet a standard and does not provide an open charging ecosystem for the industry to build upon.” It also suggested that NACS be put through a standards process to “ensure proper peer review of the technology and the ability of all interested parties to contribute to the development of this standard.”