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Tesla opens up its charging standard to third parties and could be the end of CCS chargers

If Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors have supplanted Japanese CHAdeMO connectors, will CCS connectors in turn be replaced by Tesla NACS connectors? For electric car users, the question deserves to be asked, as Tesla recently opened up the design of its Superchargers to third parties. As such, North American Charging Standard (NACS) plugs may be required.

While the CCS plug (and Type 2 as CCS2) has indeed become the fast charging standard in Europe, the situation is different in the US. According to Tesla, there are twice as many vehicles with NACS connectors as those running with CCS connectors, and the Supercharger network has 60% more NACS terminals than all networks equipped with CCS combined.

Accumulating 32 billion kilometers of charging and launched in 2012 with the Tesla Model S, NACS sockets naturally imposed themselves on the US market until they became the norm. But if some could consider this hegemony through the simple prism of a protocol war, NACS charging has an undeniable advantage: it is able to support up to 900 kW of power. Tesla announces that it has succeeded in delivering a voltage of 1000 V at an intensity of 900 A – in contrast, the CCS plug seems to only be able to support services of up to 450 kW. Its plug also appears to be able to operate at both 500V and 1000V interchangeably.

Tesla therefore invites “charging network operators and vehicle manufacturers to equip their equipment and vehicles with the Tesla Connector and Charging Port (NACS)”. To encourage the operators, Tesla goes so far as to post the design and specification files on its blog and at the same time recalls with its plug “is twice as small and twice as powerful as the CCS connector”. However, there is little chance that this format will prevail for the time being in Europe, as vehicles equipped with CCS connectors remain in the majority, and Tesla should convince its competitors to change the charging standard.

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