Yes, Tesla can still do great things.
“In pursuit of our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, today we are opening our EV connector design to the world,” says the Prodigal Pioneer. “We invite charging network operators and vehicle manufacturers to put the Tesla charging connector and charge port, now called the North American Charging Standard (NACS), on their equipment and vehicles.”
Tesla understood from the beginning that a capable and convenient charging standard would be a critical factor in getting people to buy EVs. Back in the early days of EVs, as other automakers were slowly deliberating over charging standards, Tesla simply created its own system and started rolling out chargers.
Since then, the Combined Charging System (CCS) has come into widespread use, but Tesla makes a pretty good case that its design is still superior: “With more than a decade of use and 20 billion EV charging miles to its name, the Tesla charging connector is the most proven in North America, offering AC charging and up to 1 MW DC charging in one slim package. It has no moving parts, is half the size, and twice as powerful as Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors.”
To be clear, what Tesla is now making available is simply the design of the charging connector and charge port, which can be incorporated into any EV or any type of charger. “As a purely electrical and mechanical interface agnostic to use case and communication protocol, NACS is straightforward to adopt,” says Tesla. “The design and specification files are available for download, and we are actively working with relevant standards bodies to codify Tesla’s charging connector as a public standard.”
With this step, Tesla is accelerating a shift that was already slowly creeping into the charging world. Network operators are already beginning to add Tesla-style connectors to their chargers in order to serve Tesla vehicles, and Tesla is beginning to open up its Supercharger network to EVs from other brands.
The design and specification files are available for download here.
This is the Tesla that we all know and love, doing something positive for the whole EV industry, while at the same time pulling off a brilliant marketing coup for itself. If other automakers and charging players do embrace Tesla’s NACS, it will be an admission that the company remains the industry trend-setter.
More of this, please, and less of the robots and the politics.