‘Why Ford Betting on Tesla’s Plug is Bad News’

I’m beginning to think I was wrong to applaud Ford’s decision to adopt Tesla’s EV charger (AKA the North American Charging Standard, or NACS). Here’s Tim Stevens with a compelling argument in his Substack newsletter:

Congrats, because now we get to do it again. Until today, the explanation was If you have a Tesla, it’s this. If you don’t, it’s this.” No more.

Not only did I not realize that the US had standardized around one charger style (save for Tesla), but it sounds like the Combined Charging System (CCS) was well on its way to be the global go-to as well. Improvements could have been made to bring its usability and speed closer to Tesla’s. Plus, I’m more and more loathe to an Elon Musk company gaining more power and influence.

But now that GM, Rivian, and others have adopted the Tesla charger as well, I fear the toothpaste will be very difficult to coax back into the tube.

A few more worthwhile quotes:

Today, I get to dust it off for the rather disheartening news that Ford is, seemingly, abandoning the single biggest global charging standard for its EVs, the standard that already defeated another major charging standard, the standard that finally, after years of confusion, aligned every major global EV manufacturer — well, except for one.


Ford went through great, great lengths to explain how the F-150 Lightning’s bidirectional Charge Station Pro could not only power your house in an outage, but could even offset your power usage, recharging at night then running your AC unit during the day.

Now, it’s moving to a standard that has no support for bidirectional charging.

Musk did make a vague promise that it’s coming in the next two years, let’s say,” but I don’t need to tell you how reliable these sorts of timelines tend to be.

And now individual states are weighing in, too. Here’s Wes Davis for The Verge on the news that the states of Washington and Texas will require NACS plugs at new charging stations to get grant money:

It’s been a good week for Tesla’s NACS standard — Texas made a similar announcement on Tuesday, saying it would also start requiring electric vehicle charging companies to use the standard in order to receive federal dollars. The state’s DOT told Reuters via email that the decision by Ford, GM, and now Rivian to adopt NACS changed requirements for Phase 1” of Texas’ rollout of a federally-funded electrification program.

Also on Tuesday, electric automaker and Tesla competitor Rivian announced its intention to adopt NACS for its future vehicles, which would give those cars access to the already-robust network of Tesla Supercharger stations throughout the country. Hyundai is also considering the standard, though it said it depends on customer interest, as Tesla’s chargers don’t charge at the higher rate supported by its own EV platform. Electric charging company BTC Power, which supplies DC and AC vehicle chargers to convenience stores and fleet operations, also announced its intention to support NACS.

The train has left the station and is gaining speed.


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