North America should embrace Tesla's proprietary EV charging standard
All EV owners expect to finally have a universal connector they can use for all commercial electric charging stations, and Tesla hopefully found the solution. Imagine not worrying about buying connectors or their compatibility with Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 public stations. Finally, we can have one single charging standard that fits all EVs in the USA.
On November 11, Tesla informed the world about their plan to make its connector's design available to all charging network operators and EV manufacturers. Since the first launch of the Tesla Model S on the market, Tesla drivers have been among the lucky ones - available to charge their EVs using both AC and DC commercial car charging stations. But the company has a bold goal to introduce to the world a new proprietary charging standard that we can finally call universal. The plan is to name this EV connector design the North American Charging Standard, or NACS.
Tesla claims its charger type NACS is the most frequent connector used in America. But why?
First, in the third quarter of this year, Tesla sold 343,830 EVs, of which 298,383 were registered in America. Statistics show that every third electric car sold in the country is a Tesla. Compared to other electric car manufacturers that have the power to accept DCFC and have the right type of connector, Tesla's NACS connector outnumbers them by two times. Even more, Tesla's Supercharging network has 60% more NACS connectors than other types, making it publicly accessible for Tesla owners but not for other EV drivers.
There are 3 types of EV connectors. The first type is the American and Asian connector J1772 which works with both Level 1 and Level 2 chargers. The second type is the trial-phase plug for the European market. And the last ones are CHAdeMO (10-pin plug) or CCS (5-pin plug) and Tesla connectors, all compatible with Level 3 DCFC.
The only issue for Tesla owners is this one - they have to use an adaptor to charge at other network operators' DCFCs that don't belong to Tesla. The same thing works for other EV brands on the market that want to use Tesla’s superchargers. Today, only some charging network operators use Tesla plugs at their stations through special CHAdeMo adaptors, but things can significantly improve in the future.
At first sight, it seems like a win-win situation. Charging network operators can install NACS and attract another flow of customers that didn't use their public chargers until that moment, like Tesla owners. On top of that, EV manufacturers can expect an increase in sales, as people will not have to worry about charge anxiety and will benefit from an "almost universal" connector. And, of course, Tesla is the obvious winner, as Tesla car sales will grow, and their NACS design will be adopted across the whole country, maybe by other continents as well.
This is an excellent opportunity for the future of EV charging, but untimely in today's economic situation. Tesla's competitors and other charging operators quarrel about their market portion and want to retain their share in the long run. Although we are talking about DCFC, the J1772 connector's future can be in danger, too, as Tesla's NACS works with both AC and DC charging stations. In the end, there will be no need for J1772 connectors.
We must recognize that Tesla has ambitious ideas and goals that benefit Americans, but it takes time for people to adopt them. We expect more exciting news from Tesla, so stay tuned for updates. One thing we can be sure of for now is that the EV trend is already here, and we should do everything possible to facilitate its development.
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