Plugged Up: GM to Adopt Tesla Charging Standard

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

plugged up gm to adopt tesla charging standard

It was only a few short days ago we brought you news of Ford announcing it will be granting its EVs the capability of hoovering electricity from Tesla-branded charging stations. If that news gave you whiplash, last night’s announcement of a similar move from General Motors will surely put yer back out.

While plenty of (valid) shade can be thrown at Tesla and its big cheese, there’s no argument the company used its 10-year head start on electric cars to completely flip the script and build up an impressive charging network. While many third-party chargers are broken, refusing payment, or thoughtlessly placed behind the second dumpster at Pizza Hut, Tesla’s Supercharger network is clean, largely seamless, and – most importantly – reliable. 

The prevailing wisdom is that while there was plenty of incentive for third-party charging companies to get their stations up and running, there has been precisely zero motivation to keep them working. After all, there doesn’t seem to be a ton of profit (yet) in selling electricity through CCS plugs, so why should companies dump untold billions into their maintenance – especially once they’ve set up shop and won the game in terms of land grab (which is the real fight, if you’re wondering).

Well, if people shop using these third-party chargers, their owners will find out real quick why it is important to do all those things. In a conversation with Elon Musk yesterday on Twitter, GM boss Mary Barra explained her company will begin to integrate the North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector design into its EVs beginning in 2025. This is huge news since it’ll mean America’s three biggest sellers of electric vehicles will all be using the same power port. Standardization isn’t bad when it comes to this type of stuff, especially if it erases the frustration of rocking up to a Level 3 fast charger and finding it devoid of the plug you need.

Left unclear is if future GM (and Ford) EVs will ditch the CCS port in favor of NACS or simply add the latter to its cars. We say ‘simply’ but, of course, there’s nothing simple about it, really. There isn’t a ton of real estate behind the doors of most EV charging ports, even if NACS does have a relatively tiny footprint, not to mention you just increased the amount of charge cabling required in a car. And designing a second charging flap door on another part of the car to house a NACS port would be very expensive. The specter of adapters and such is also being bandied about.

By the way, the term “North American Charging Standard” is just a name Tesla gave to its own plug design. It’s like inventing a new proprietary barbecue in your backyard and marketing it as the “North American Grilling Standard” and then waiting for the likes of Traeger and Weber to team up with you. Or, more apt to this scenario, if ExxonMobil was in the business of making cars and shaped their filler necks to only accept their gas pumps – and waited for Chevron and Shell to change their cars to match. As unlikely as it sounds, that’s pretty much what is happening with EV charging ports in 2025.

Hey, if it means one less variable in the forthcoming EV onslaught, bring it.

[Images: GM, Tesla]

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6 of 32 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jun 09, 2023

    China will decide which EV charging protocol will become world wide standard.

    • Tassos Tassos on Jun 10, 2023

      No it won't. It at most will decide what will happen INSIDE China.

      PS it's "THE world standard".

  • Tassos Tassos on Jun 10, 2023

    These last months, every day seems to be another great, consequential piece of news for Tesla, who does not just DOMINATE, it OWNS the US and FREE WORLD BEV market.

    It is the ONLY (repeat ONLY) maker that builds its huge best sellers at a PROFIT, ie, SUSTAINABLY. FOrd EV is bleeding 3 billion in losses. GM hides theirs, and I bet they are even HIGHER. VW has spent a huge no of billions and its ID series has been an UTTER FAILURE.

    Toyota, already 12 years too late, is yet to try. I doubt they will succeed to dethrone TESLA.

    • See 2 previous
    • Deanst Deanst on Jun 12, 2023

      I guess if you ignore the fact that purchasers of Teslas receive billions in subsidies to buy their EVs, then Tesla could be seen as “profitable”.

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