Tesla has won a second legacy automaker into its camp, with GM sets adopt the North American Charging Standard (NACS) and get access to a network of 12,000 strong Super Chargers in North America.
Mary Barra, CEO of GM, and Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, announced the news on the Spaces Twitter forum late last week.
In North America, GM electric vehicles will be able to access Tesla’s entire Supercharger range from “early 2024”, although these EVs, all of which come with CCS ports, will need adapters.
Starting in 2025, GM will produce EVs headed to North America with NACS ports as standard. It appears that these NACS-equipped cars will not have a CCS port, as GM promises “in the future” to “provide an adapter” so that these vehicles can fast DC charge at CCS-equipped stations.
GM says it will integrate access to Tesla Supercharger stations into its in-car and mobile apps.
It is unclear whether these changes will benefit the Honda Prologue and Acura ZDX. Both of these upcoming crossovers have a Honda-designed body and interior, but will use GM’s electric vehicle architecture, use GM’s Ultium battery, and will be built in GM factories.
GM is currently in production of new cars based on body-on-frame architecture and its latest unibody EV, both of which use its Ultium battery technology.
So far the rollout has been slow and limited to high-priced models, such as the GMC Hummer EV pickup, and the Cadillac Lyriq crossover. There were 968 Lyriqs sold in the first quarter of 2023, just two Hummer EVs in the same time period.
The company has higher volume models coming in the near term, including the Chevrolet Silverado EV and Blazer EV.
Announcing the change, Barra said, “Not only will it help make the transition to electric vehicles smoother for our customers, but it can help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard”.
With GM on board now and Ford jumping into the Tesla tent at the end of May, the chances of NACS becoming the de facto North American standard have grown.
Additionally, rival EV charging networks, EVgo and FLO, have announced that they will soon begin supporting NACS.
Thanks to the F-150 Lighting and the Mustang Mach-E, Ford finished 2022 in second place a long way behind Tesla on the US EV sales chart. And thanks to a surge in interest in the price-chopped and soon-to-be Chevrolet Bolt, GM has jumped into that second spot for the first quarter of 2023.
It will be interesting to see if Rivian, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai-Kia, and Volvo/Polestar join the party at Elon’s house.
Even without the recent announcements by Ford and GM, other EV owners are slowly gaining access to Tesla’s US Supercharger network, with some locations now featuring CCS’s “Magic Dock” adapters.
This helped the company access funds from the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act, which helped fund public CCS chargers, and an earlier promise by Musk to open Supercharger access globally.