Tesla opens up its EV connector design to other automakers

Tesla is sharing its EV charging connector design in an effort to encourage grid operators and automakers to adopt the technology and help make it the new standard in North America.

Tesla said in a blog post Friday that its design and specification files are available for download. The company said it is “actively working with relevant standards bodies to codify Tesla’s charging connector as a public standard.”

The charging connector in all Tesla vehicles offers AC charging and up to 1 MW of DC charging. Its compact design and performance are considered superior to the Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors used by most electric vehicles in North America.

Tesla claims that its charging connector and charging port — which it now calls the North American Charging Standard (NACS) — is the most common charging standard in North America. This is a statistic based on Tesla’s North American vehicle sales and the number of chargers at its branded supercharger stations. Tesla has nearly 1,500 Supercharger stations in the United States. Each station has an average of nine chargers.

Tesla did not name any automakers or charging infrastructure companies as converters. In this highly competitive environment where nearly every automaker now uses CCS, it’s hard to see GM, Ford and Stellantis switching to Tesla’s technology.

However, at least one company – EV startup Aptera – is backing the move. Earlier this year, Aptera urged the US government to adopt Tesla’s Supercharger technology as the standard for all EV charging in the country. And EVGo has added Tesla connectors to some of the charging stations in the United States.

The company said in the blog post that network operators “already have plans in motion” to include NACS in their chargers. If network providers like ChargePoint, EVConnect or Electrify America add NACS, it will allow Tesla owners to charge at those stations without the need for an adapter.

If automakers switch to NACS on their EVs, it will give owners of those vehicles access to Tesla’s North American charging networks and charging destinations.

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