Lucid has just announced the adoption of the Tesla-developed North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging standard in its electric cars.
The company will begin the switch from its current CCS1 charging inlet to the NACS inlet in North America in 2025. This is when Lucid will integrate NACS into its new vehicles and introduce an adapter so the existing CCS1-compatible cars will be able to use the NACS charging infrastructure as well.
As a result, all new and older Lucid electric cars will gain access to the Tesla Supercharging network of more than 15,000 stalls across North America, the company says.
The official confirmation of the switch by Lucid is not a surprise, as the entire industry is making the switch, essentially condemning the CCS1 (and J1772 AC plug) to extinction over the next a decade or two.
Tesla: North American Charging Standard vs CCS Combo 1
Lucid was initially reluctant to make the switch, stating that the high-voltage battery systems (800-1,000 volts) must be supported. Tesla Superchargers, as of today, supply power at voltages of up to around 500 volts, which significantly limits the fast charging of Lucid EVs (and other high-voltage EVs).
But as expected, these doubts appear to be fully settled now. Various manufacturers are joining NACS, including those focused on high-voltage battery systems (like Lucid and the Hyundai Motor Group). When announcing the opening of its proprietary charging connector in November 2022, Tesla clearly said that there is a 1,000 V configuration of the NACS connector.
Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO at Lucid said today: "Adopting NACS is an important next step to providing our customers with expanded access to reliable and convenient charging solutions for their Lucid vehicles. We believe that a unified charging standard, backed by the nationwide rollout of future-ready higher-voltage charging stations, will be a critical step in empowering American consumers to adopt electric vehicles."
In other words, there will be a nationwide rollout of higher-voltage NACS chargers. There is still some time (more than one year) to start deploying new infrastructure. Meanwhile, SAE International will standardize the Tesla-developed NACS charging connector as SAE NACS, while various suppliers will be able to develop, certify, and offer their equipment and parts so that Tesla won't remain the sole provider.
A few large OEMs have yet to officially announce their switch from CCS1 to NACS in North America. The list includes the Volkswagen Group and Stellantis, as well as some smaller brands.