Different brands of electric cars have required different charging connections. There has been no standard connector for charging. But now, as the transition to electric vehicles is accelerating, there is the North American Charging Standard, which within in the next couple of years, will be common to pretty much any new electric vehicle on the road.
There have been several different charging connector systems in use by auto manufacturers and each charging station offered only a particular one of them. The largest charging network in the US has been Tesla’s Supercharger Network, which uses a proprietary standard it put in place in 2012. Tesla offered to open up their charging technology to other cars but auto manufacturers declined to take them up on the offer for a number of years. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, passed in 2021, provided federal subsidies for building out fast charging networks, provided a common charging standard was adopted. That has broken the log-jam.
The Tesla Charging Standard has been renamed the North American Charging Standard and Tesla opened its technology to other manufacturers in November 2022.
Automakers who have signed on to the standard include BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Lucid, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar, Rivian, Subaru, Toyota, and Volvo. In December, the Volkswagen Group – which includes Volkswagen, Porsche, and Audi – announced that they are also implementing it for future vehicles in North America, starting in 2025. (The only significant holdout is Stellantis, parent of Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep).
It will be a year or two before cars from all these companies will have the NACS connector and be able to charge at the same stations, but it will happen.
Photo, posted July 8, 2023, courtesy of Michael Swan via Flickr.