Video: NACS / J3400 is the Future, But Don't Worry About CCS

Over the next few years, automakers are transitioning their EVs to use the SAE Standard J3400 also known as the Tesla port. The new port will open up the Tesla Supercharger network to other EVs and is part of a larger effort to make EV charging more reliable and efficient. But how did we get here and what does that mean for the current charging standard CCS? 

How We Got Here

If you've read the headlines, watched the news reports, or experienced it yourself, you are likely aware that the charging infrastructure is in need of some upgrading. Fortunately, thanks to government subsidies and companies like ChargerHelp training and dispatching charging station technicians, the charging situation is getting better. 

Yet for automakers that have spent billions on the transition to electrification, the issues with the charging infrastructure are less than ideal. It became a big enough issue that one automaker decided to change the future of charging after an opportunity presented itself. 

In November of 2022, Tesla opened up its proprietary charging network to other automakers. It also renamed the system the North American Charging Standard also, known as NACS. 

In March of 2023, Ford took Tesla up on its offer and announced that it would support the NACS standard and that in 2024, via an adapter, Ford EVs would support charging at select Tesla Supercharging locations. 

That announcement created a domino effect with other automakers following suit by announcing NACS and Supercharging support for their future EVs. Right now, every automaker selling or planning to sell EVs in the United States has announced support for the NACS standard. 

Soon after the Ford news, SAE announced that it, along with industry stakeholders, would standardize the NACS port. The result is the SAE standard J3400. Tesla has since handed control of the standard over to SAE and the final standard is expected by the end of 2024. 

What it Means

Over the next few years, EVs will start shipping from the factory with the J3400 / NACS port. Many of these electric vehicles will also be able to charge at select Tesla Supercharging stations. The industry is shifting to a single standard in the United States and that should streamline the buildout of the charging infrastructure and EV manufacturing. 

As for the current standard, there's no need to panic. 

The CCS standard that's currently on every EV that doesn't have a Tesla badge will be supported for decades. Charging stations will still be outfitted with the CCS plug to ensure that the three million EVs on the road right now with CCS ports will be able to charge while on the go. 

In the meantime, automakers like Ford and Rivian are already updating their EVs to support the Tesla Supercharging network via NACS to CCS Adapters. 

The future is NACS, but those who already own or are planning to buy a CCS-outfitted EV shouldn't worry. That standard will be supported for a very long time. 

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