Two more major automakers are jumping on the Tesla bandwagon. Hyundai and Kia announced today plans to adopt the North American Charging Standard (NACS), aka the “Tesla plug,” for its future electric vehicles.
Hyundai and Kia models compatible with Tesla’s NACS plug will start arriving in the fourth quarter of 2024. In the first quarter of 2025, the automakers will also provide adapters to its current customers so they can access Tesla Supercharger stations. Hyundai’s current EV lineup, which includes the Ioniq 5 and Ioniq 6, along with Kia’s EV6 and EV9, have charging ports that are compatible with the Combined Charging Standard, or CCS, for DC fast charging.
So let’s just look at the scoreboard really quick
Hyundai and Kia are both involved in a joint venture with BMW, GM, Stellantis, and Mercedes-Benz to build out a nationwide network of fast EV charging stations. The plan is to install at least 30,000 high-speed EV chargers by 2030, with the first ones to open summer 2024 in the US.
Tesla’s Supercharger network is widely recognized as superior to many of the third-party EV charging stations, most of which feature CCS plugs and the less utilized CHAdeMO charging standard. The company says it has 45,000 Superchargers worldwide, 12,000 of which are located in the US.
And while other EV charging stations struggle with software glitches and faulty chargers, Tesla says its Superchargers are nearly perfect in their reliability. The company says that the average uptime of Supercharger sites last year amounted to 99.95 percent, down marginally from 99.96 percent in 2021.
Until recently, Tesla Superchargers were exclusive to Tesla owners, but that began to change several years ago when the company started offering access to non-Tesla EVs. Earlier this year, the Biden administration announced that Tesla would begin to do the same in the US as a prerequisite to tap into some of the $7.5 billion for EV charging in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Unlike in Europe, Tesla Superchargers in the US use a proprietary connector — this was Tesla’s “competitive moat,” the thing that initially offered protection from other automakers. In order to allow non-Tesla vehicles to access the chargers, the company installed a device called the “Magic Dock,” in which a CCS adapter is applied to the connector.
Updated October 9th 9:26AM ET: Updated to include Kia’s announcement that it would also adopt NACS.