Increasing Consumer Choice
Electrify America, one of the largest charging networks, has over 850 charging stations and 4,000 individual chargers along some of the busiest highways in the U.S. The company’s chargers offer some of the highest charging speeds available and, starting in 2025, they will offer North American Charging Standard (NACS) plugs as well as the Combined Charging System (CCS-1) connectors for customers.
With a number of vehicle manufacturers, including Volvo, General Motors, Ford, and Rivian adopting the NACS port, which was originally introduced by Tesla, the move by Electrify America makes sense. The company already has arrangements with Ford and Volvo to offer consumers free charging, and as those companies transition to NACS plugs, Electrify America has to follow suit.
Making EV Ownership Easier
Furthermore, by offering Tesla-style plugs, Electrify America also opens its network up to Tesla vehicles, which still represent the majority of EVs on the road today. The move is good for customers, in offering more choice, and good for business as well. It’s kind of the flip side of the strategy adopted by the manufacturers: they’re making EV ownership easier by providing access to Tesla’s excellent charging network, while Electrify America is now opening up its network to Tesla owners.
Electrify America is the first non-Tesla charging network to announce such a major change, but it likely won’t be the last. Uniquely, because many of its manufacturer partners – such as Volkswagen, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz – are still committed to the CCS standard, Electrify America’s chargers will offer both kinds of charging ports, which should make charging as convenient as possible for all EV owners.
“Since our founding, we have focused on building an inclusive and open hyper-fast charging network to facilitate the adoption of electric vehicles,” said Robert Barrosa, president and CEO of Electrify America. “We look forward to continuing to support industry-wide standards that increase vehicle interoperability and streamline public charging.”
Fastest EV Charging Speeds Available
As the transition to electric cars continues to accelerate, Electrify America says that this move will continue to deliver what its customers need. Many of its stations feature ultra-fast 350-kW chargers which offers some of the quickest charging in the world – and the majority of Electrify America stations feature at least 150-kW capability.
With an increasing number of manufacturers adopting the smaller, lighter Tesla-style NACS port, what is the future of public EV charging in the U.S.? Tesla and Electrify America, along with many vehicle manufacturers, are actually participating in a newly-created National Charging Experience Consortium, ChargeX, which is focused on strengthening the U.S.’ national charging infrastructure and improving the EV ownership experience. In addition to charging ports, the consortium is looking at simplified payment options and other standards to make it easier to charge any EV anywhere in the country.