The state of electric vehicle charging in North America is way too much like smartphone charging wars — but focused on much more expensive hardware. Like USB-C, the Combined Charging System (CCS, Type 1) plug is widely adopted by almost every manufacturer and charging network, while, like Apple and Lightning, Tesla uses its own plug but with wider availability across its Supercharger network.
But as Apple is forced away from Lightning, Tesla is on a different path where it’s opening up the connector, renaming it to North American Charging Standard (NACS), and pushing it to become the USB-C of electric vehicles in the region. And it might just work: Ford and GM lined up as the first two automakers to adopt the NACS port, which is also now being recognized by the automotive standards organization SAE International.
Europe solved this by forcing all companies to use CCS2 (Tesla included), while EV owners in the US, for years, have dealt with fragmented charging networks requiring different accounts, apps, and / or access cards. And depending on whether you’re driving a Tesla Model Y, a Kia EV6, or even a Nissan Leaf with the ailing CHAdeMO connector, you’d better hope the station you stop at has the cable you need — and is operational.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is leaving out a nice pool of $7.5 billion to give every major fast-charging network from ChargePoint to Electrify America the chance to build reliable EV infrastructure.
North America can become a great and convenient place to own an electric vehicle, but how long will that take? Find out by reading all the news about electric vehicle charging right here, so come back and plug in often.
Nov 29EVgo and Meijer are linking up to install more fast chargers in Ohio.
The nationwide electric vehicle charging network company and the Midwest superstore chain have already installed 24 charging stalls in six locations across Michigan and Ohio.
Fresh off of National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) funding, EVgo will provide white-label chargers to Meijer and will also manage installation, ongoing operation, and maintenance. Ohio’s $13.8 million allocation of the funding is good for 20 new locations for EV chargers, of which EVgo will handle 14.
Nov 21Ford revises dealership EV charger rules after pushback.
Premium “Certified Elite” dealership locations now only need to install three AC charging stations instead of five by June 30th, 2024 — a six-month delay. They won’t need to install a DC fast charger by 2026. And required EV training costs have also been reduced.Ford tweaks EV dealer program again, loses challenge in Illinois
Nov 20Hertz and EVgo’s year-long offer is like a discount gas card, except for EVs.
Hertz and charging network EVgo are partnering to offer EV car renters one year of discounted charging rates with no monthly subscription or charge fees.
To take advantage, EV renters can sign up online or scan a QR code at Hertz locations and set up a new EVgo account from now until November 2024. Then you can go to one of EVgo’s 950-plus stations in the US — and hope you find one that works!
Nov 16Broken, busted, and out of order.
After experiencing fast-charging frustration in her Mustang Mach-E, WSJ’s Joanna Stern tried connecting DC chargers to a Rivian R1T at 30 LA-area stations from EVgo, Electrify America, and EVCS. More than 40 percent of the stations had a problem somewhere, with 27 percent of the 126 charging stalls offline.
A lot of money is being spent to improve charging electric cars in the US, but broken parts, handshake issues, and payment processing are still hurdles. Opening up access to Tesla’s Superchargers and switching over to NACS may help some in the future, but this is the present.
Mercedes-Benz cut the ribbon on its first EV fast-charging hub in the US, complete with a swanky waiting area and 400kW charging speeds courtesy of ChargePoint.Read Article >
The hub is located at the automaker’s US-based headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, meaning most of the early users are likely to be Mercedes employees. But the company says that owners of non-Mercedes EVs are welcome to use the chargers as well.
Nov 9Lucid Air can now be used as a portable battery bank for Tesla.
The automaker’s electric luxury sedan works with a new vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) adapter called RangeXchange that can charge other EVs at a rate of up to 9.6 kW — delivering 24 to 40 miles of range per hour of charge. Owners can enable the bi-directional charging feature through a new OTA software update.
Nov 6And there goes another one.
Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) is on a roll. ChargePoint recently started rolling out its support for the standard, and Subaru hopped aboard the NACS train, following Toyota / Lexus, and others. Now, Lucid says it’s coming to the party by 2025 in North America.
That leaves precious few holdouts for the Combined Charging System. Pour one out for CCS, my friends. Only be careful. Electricity, and all.
Subaru is hopping on the Tesla charging port bandwagon. The automaker has announced that it will adopt the North American Charging Standard (NACS) for “certain” electric vehicles starting in 2025.Read Article >
Subaru says it will also supply NACS charging adapters to customers who own or lease an EV with the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard in 2025. The company has been relatively slow to adopt EVs. It currently only offers the Solterra, and even that’s only as part of its partnership with Toyota; everything else is gas-powered. Subaru plans to add to its EV lineup, though, and it has three vehicles in the works that it’s supposed to reveal by 2026.
BP is buying $100 million of Supercharger hardware from Tesla, making it the first company to purchase DC fast-charging equipment from the automaker for use in a third-party charging network. The sale is going to the oil and gas conglomerate’s EV charging business known as BP Pulse, which plans to invest up to $1 billion in building a nationwide charging network by 2030, including $500 million over the next two to three years.Read Article >
Tesla’s equipment can charge at up to 250kW and features a Magic Dock connector to connect using the standardized North American Charging Standard (NACS) plug from Tesla or a CCS Combo attachment that supports most other EVs. The press release doesn’t mention whether the deal covers Tesla’s updated V4 Superchargers, which are only just starting to roll out in the US.
Oct 25The first V4 Tesla Superchargers in the US are now operational.
Keen Tesla Owners Club users found this new Sparks, Nevada charging station near Tesla’s first Gigafactory under construction earlier this month, along with another in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Toyota and its luxury brand Lexus will start implementing Tesla’s winning charging plug standard known as the North American Charging Standard, or NACS, in “certain” vehicles starting in 2025. Toyota will also provide current and soon-to-be EV buyers with adapters to access 12,000-plus Tesla Supercharger stations.Read Article >
One of Toyota’s first vehicles to include a NACS connector is a future three-row SUV it is planning for 2025, which will be assembled at the automaker’s plant in Kentucky. Toyota is currently light on EV options compared to most other automakers and has only released the mediocre bZ4X and the Lexus RZ 450e.
ChargePoint, one of the companies racing to put EV charging stations all over the US, announced today that it is beginning to roll out support for the NACS connector that is quickly becoming the national standard. ChargePoint stations that have previously used other ports and power sources can start to use the Tesla-created plug in November, and the company says it now offers “every necessary cable solution to charge an EV in North America and Europe.”Read Article >
The company first said it would add NACS plugs to some of its stations in June, as the standards organization SAE International announced that the NACS (which stands for “North American Charging Standard”) port would be standardized for cars in North America. A number of car makers have since said they plan to make NACS-capable cars and offer adapters for their existing models.
If you’re an urban-dwelling electric vehicle owner, your public charging options are often limited to slow AC chargers found in tight parking spaces that are too small for typical DC fast chargers. Now Gravity, the company that started an EV taxi fleet in New York City in 2021, designed a compact and super fast DC charging system for big dense cities that can reduce your charging time from hours to just minutes.Read Article >
Gravity’s system includes small dispenser boxes that the company calls “Distributed Energy Access Points,” which can be mounted above or in front of a parking spot and deliver up to a ridiculously high 500kW of energy. That compares to DC fast charging stations from other companies, which have larger stall units and max out at 350kW.
BMW, famed German automaker and parent company to Mini and Rolls-Royce, announced its intention to adopt Tesla’s electric vehicle charging standard for its future EVs, in the latest win for Elon Musk’s company.Read Article >
BMW said that owners of electric vehicles with the Combined Charging System (CCS) outlet will get access to Tesla’s Supercharger network in early 2025, most likely through the use of an adapter. BMW will also start producing EVs with Tesla’s charging standard built into the vehicle that same year.
Oct 16Tesla adds the ability to predict Supercharger stall availability.
Drivers could already see what stalls are occupied or broken, but with the new update (slowly) rolling out, Tesla now factors ETAs of drivers navigating to the same station and past activity data to predict wait times before arrival. It probably won’t factor in people taping cables to their cars, though.
Oct 11ChargePoint is finding the help it needs to keep its EV chargers up and running.
If you’re keeping up with electric vehicle charging news, you know that network providers are having a tough time maintaining chargers — which hurts EV drivers who can’t find reliable places to charge up.
After saying it would spend millions on improving, ChargePoint is linking up with fleet maintenance company Amerit to handle the hard work of keeping EV chargers alive.
Under the agreement, Amerit will leverage its 2,200+ technician footprint to provide prompt, efficient and reliable preventative maintenance, inspections and warranty repairs to ChargePoint’s charging stations across the United States, ensuring that ChargePoint stations are operating at peak performance.Amerit and ChargePoint Enter Into Service Agreement
[Amerit Fleet Solutions]
Oct 10The first US V4 Tesla Superchargers are coming.
V4 Superchargers feature a longer cable (which can reach the other side of a VW ID Buzz, as we’ve tested) and up to 350kW charging speeds — both of which are key to the US EV charging rollout as cars from more manufacturers start working with Tesla’s plugs.
The new DC fast-charging stations were spotted getting installed in Wilsonville, Oregon, and in Sparks, Nevada, as discovered by Tesla Motors Club users. One image shows it’ll have credit card terminals and “Magic Docks,” which can dispense a CCS dongle for non-Tesla EV compatibility.
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.Read Article >
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.
Honda revealed that the upcoming 2024 Honda Prologue is “expected” to get an EPA-estimated 300 miles of range on a single charge while announcing a slew of new specs for its first all-electric SUV. Built on GM’s Ultium platform, it achieves this range thanks to the 85kWh battery inside, which is the same size as the Chevy Blazer EV.Read Article >
The two vehicles have many similarities inside and out, from the 121.8-inch wheelbase to the 11-inch driver instrument display. However, the official EPA range for Chevy’s SUV is already known, at 279 miles on a full charge.
Imagine buying a new car, and suddenly, most gas stations are broken. That’s a reality new electric vehicle owners are finding when it comes to EV charging stations supplied by significant players like ChargePoint, Electrify America, and EVgo.Read Article >
Many stations often result in customers leaving without a recharge thanks to unreliable or damaged hardware, and the situation is growing worse over time. For some EV owners, it might feel like the companies behind the charging networks are asleep at the wheel. But occasionally they stick their heads up to let us know they realize there’s a problem, and they’re laboring to fix it.
Sep 22Expect to see more EV chargers at more Marriott hotels.
The hotel chain announced a new deal with EV Connect to install branded electric vehicle charging stations at its hotels in the US and Canada.
Renting or traveling with an EV will be an easier choice if you know there’s somewhere to charge it, and Marriott may also need to compete with Hilton, which just announced a new charging deal with Tesla.
- Jaguar cuts a Tesla Supercharging deal, too.
In new US EV charging news, the automaker will adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) port in its next-generation EVs starting in 2025. Current and future I-Pace customers will also get adapters to use the 12,000-plus Tesla Superchargers beforehand, but there’s no timeframe for availability.
If you were holding off on buying an EV because you didn’t know where to start on getting a home charger installed, Hyundai’s new deal might help you out. The automaker is now offering a free home electric vehicle charger plus up to $600 off the installation cost with the purchase or lease of select Hyundai EVs.Read Article >
Hyundai is offering up the ChargePoint Home Flex Level 2 charger on the Hyundai Home Marketplace. The charger is currently listed at $549 on the website and supports up to 50 amps, which could get you around 37 miles of driving range per hour of charging. The additional $600 installation credit applies only to services ordered through Hyundai’s website.
EV owners fed up with the often broken, discombobulated charging experience in the US are about to get a lifeline from the federal government.Read Article >
The US Department of Transportation is authorizing $100 million to “repair and replace existing but non-operational, electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.” The investment comes from a $7.5 billion pot of money for EV charging that was approved as part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The department has already approved around $1 billion for the installation of thousands of new EV chargers along major highways in the US.
Ford, BMW, and Honda are joining forces to create a new vehicle-to-grid company that aims to help EV owners save money by sending energy back to the electrical grid.Read Article >
The new company, ChargeScape, will “create a single, cost-effective platform connecting electric utilities, automakers and interested electric vehicle customers.” Through that platform, EV owners “earn financial benefits through a variety of managed charging and energy-sharing services never before possible with traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.”