Tesla drivers will soon have a new place to fast-charge their electric vehicles. Today, the charging network ChargePoint announced it will have Tesla-style North American Charging Standard support for both its AC and DC chargers over the next few weeks. And in November, it will start shipping NACS cable upgrade kits for existing DC fast chargers, which will allow Tesla EVs to charge at those ChargePoint DC fast chargers.
“We’ve already said we’re already taking preorders on the home charger, and then over the next few weeks, we’ll start shipping the fast-charge cables to preorder customers that have our fast chargers, and you can already order a new fast charger with NACS cables on,” said Pasquale Romano, ChargePoint’s CEO.
“We think the most important difference is we do not make our customers decide by parking space whether the cable is NACS or CCS. I think that’s a mess and no one should do that. No one should have a dedicated parking space because you’ll never get the ratio right, and it will change over time. So every solution that we have is going to enable both connector types per parking space,” he told Ars.
It’s the latest development in a flurry of activity over the past few months that started in May when Ford announced that in 2025 it is swapping the type of charging plug its EVs ship with, from the Combined Charging Standard 1 format to NACS, which was opened up by Tesla to other OEMs last November and which is now under the auspices of the standards body SAE International.
Since then, a steady stream of automakers have announced they’re also making the jump, each negotiating access for their customers to Tesla’s robust Supercharger network in the process. Those car makers won’t start building cars with NACS sockets until 2025, with promises of a CCS1-NACS adapter sometime next year.
The design process was pretty trivial, according to Romano. “We have modular cables on all our chargers, modular holsters. The design problem set is trivial because the systems are already designed not to care what the cable is,” he explained, and as we’ve previously noted, NACS already uses the CCS1 software protocol.
“The limiting step is getting through all the agency approval. And getting your supply chain set up. We’re not buying from Tesla, we co-design with our supply chain partners for cables and connectors, and we had that in process, so we’re continuing that, so getting all that lined up is really the delay,” Romano said.
Like Ars, Romano thinks that some of the conversations around changing plug types for EV fast charging have been overblown and that just changing the plug from CCS to NACS is unlikely to be the panacea that some believe it will be.
“It is mind-numbingly uninformed. The functionality between the two connector types is identical. So as long as you do not dedicate a parking space to one connector type or the other, you basically have changed nothing for the driver, except the one good thing is now Tesla drivers have all fast chargers they can use without having to buy the adapter,” he explained.