Tesla has racked up a series of EV charging wins in recent weeks, with Ford, GM, Volvo, Polestar, and Rivian all announcing plans to adopt the company’s charging connectors for their vehicles. But there are still a number of notable holdouts — although that could shift dramatically in the days to come.
Volkswagen, one of the world’s largest automakers, with brands like Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche, and Lamborghini under its umbrella, said in a statement that it is in talks with Tesla about installing ports in its EVs compatible with Tesla’s plugs. The statement followed the news that Electrify America, the company’s EV charging station operator, would soon begin adding Tesla charging plugs, also called the North American Charging Standard (NACS).
“We welcome access to additional charging infrastructure for our North American customers”
“We welcome access to additional charging infrastructure for our North American customers and always aim for improving the charging experience via open standards and seamless interoperability,” Michael Steiner, a member of VW’s extended executive board, responsible for development at the Volkswagen Group, said in a statement.
Adding VW to the growing NACS coalition would be a feather in Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s cap, for sure. The automaker is currently the No. 4 seller of EVs in North America, behind Tesla, Ford, and GM, and is the largest car company in Europe. If VW were to adopt NACS, other European brands like BMW and Mercedes would likely follow.
But while Tesla’s prospects in Europe are improving, the outlook in Asia is still evolving. Toyota, which rivals VW in annual sales, has yet to comment on the industry’s shift to Tesla’s charging standard. Spokespersons for the company did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Verge.
For his part, Musk thinks Toyota should take the plunge. In a recent tweet replying to a story about the Toyota bz4X’s poor charging performance, the Tesla CEO said that the Japanese automaker should “join the NACS coalition!”
Nissan also has yet to confirm whether it’s considering adopting NACS for its future EVs. The Nissan Leaf is one of the few EVs that still uses the first-generation CHAdeMO chargers, before the rest of the industry shifted to the Combined Charging System (CCS). The Nissan Ariya, the company’s next-generation EV, utilizes CCS.
Meanwhile, Hyundai told Reuters recently that it’s currently evaluating whether to adopt Tesla’s charging plug. Tesla Superchargers aren’t yet fast enough for the 800-volt charging systems of Hyundai and Kia electric vehicles, which the companies have said is a sticking point.
The last remaining major automaker would be Stellantis, which owns brands like Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, Peugeot, Maserati, and Ram. The company told Reuters it is also considering adding Tesla’s NACS outlets to its future vehicles, though a deal has yet to be announced.
To be sure, Musk certainly seems to be holding all the cards at the moment. Increasingly, it’s not a question of if the rest of the industry will join the NACS coalition but when.