Electrify America plans to add North American Charging Standard, or NACS, connectors to its EV fast charging network stations within the next several years, according to a recent announcement.
Existing chargers at both Electrify America and Electrify Canada network locations will be retrofitted with the NACS connector, while new chargers will be built with NACS compatibility. All chargers will continue to offer Combined Charging System or CCS-1 connectors as well.
Electrify America expects to have NACS connectors available at all existing and new charger locations by 2025. President and CEO Robert Barrosa said that the company is “focused on building an inclusive and open hyper-fast charging network to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles,” and the availability of common connector types will “increase vehicle interoperability and streamline public charging.”
The date of Electrify America’s NACS connector rollout matches up with GM’s plans to adopt the NACS charging standard for all of its EVs by 2025. Increasing charging compatibility with third-party networks could help The General achieve its EV goals. These include the rollout of new 30 EV models worldwide by 2025 and full electrification of its light-duty vehicles by 2035.
GM’s first NACS compatible vehicles will feature the necessary inlet when they come off the assembly line for the 2025 model year. They will also be furnished with adapters so they can continue to access CCS-capable fast charge stations. In the interim, GM EVs will ship with NACS adapters.
The NACS system is a Tesla invention, and GM vehicles will gain access to the Tesla Supercharger network starting in 2024. This will open 12,000 additional fast chargers to owners of GM EVs. These electric vehicle drivers can already make use of 134,000 chargers through the Ultium Charge 360 initiative.
Potentially making the NACS connector an even more practical choice, the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) says it will develop even more standardized version of the connector. The SAE is undertaking the project on an accelerated timeline to help speed up the adoption of EVs. Its engineers will focus on making the NACS connector more durable, reliable, and able to offer better performance.
Alongside Electrify America several other charging networks – including EVgo and FLO – are adding NACS capability to their chargers. FLO Chief Product Officer Nathan Yang remarked that his company “welcomes initiatives to standardize charging hardware in North America because we believe it will help eliminate confusion for EV drivers.”
GM’s use of the Tesla Supercharger network alone will save it approximately $400 million in infrastructure investment. Widespread adoption of NACS by other networks could potentially reduce its infrastructure costs further.