Volkswagen is courting the idea of embracing Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS), putting it in the ranks of auto giants like Ford and General Motors. Tesla’s charging design, already gaining momentum in the industry, could soon secure another major player in Volkswagen.
“Volkswagen Group and its brands are currently evaluating the implementation of the Tesla North American Charging Standard (NACS) for its North American customers,” Volkswagen stated.
This decision reportedly comes as the German automaker continues to beef up Electrify America, its EV charging network, which already hosts over 850 charging stations and about 4,000 chargers across the United States and Canada.
Volkswagen’s move to consider NACS is not an outright abandonment of the Combined Charging System (CCS) connector, a popular charging standard. The auto maker, which sold nearly 16,000 EVs in the U.S in the first quarter of this year, a stark increase from last year’s 7,900 units, will keep offering CCS during the NACS transition.
Meanwhile, Tesla is stretching its lead in the charging infrastructure, supplementing its proprietary connectors with CCS at certain U.S. charging stations. With the Biden administration funneling billions into expanding charging networks, Tesla’s Superchargers now make up around 60% of all fast chargers in the U.S, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
Adding to the story, Swedish electric vehicle maker Polestar has inked a deal with Tesla to provide its U.S. and Canadian customers with access to Tesla’s expansive charging network.
As Volkswagen mulls over Tesla’s NACS, it’s clear that Tesla is not only setting the pace in EV production but is also forging a path in establishing charging standards. The possible alliance could signal a stronger push towards a unified EV charging infrastructure.