Tesla opens its charging connector design in pursuit of making it the North American standard (NACS)



Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) announced on Friday last week that the company has decided to open its charge port and connector design for adoption by other electric vehicle manufacturers. Tesla has named its charge port/connector design the North American Charging Standard (NACS).

As the name suggests, Tesla is pursuing its NACS charging connector design to become a standard across the United States and Canada. In an official blog post last week, Tesla also detailed the reasons why the NACS should be the standard charging connector in this region.

The main reason Tesla presents for making NACS the charging standard in North America is the already widespread charging network and the use of this connector design at Tesla Superchargers and Destination Chargers locations.

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According to the data by Scrapehero.com, Tesla had 1,498 Supercharger locations across the United States at the end of September 2022. The number of Destination Chargers in the country stood at 3,904 locations.

This makes it around 5,402 Tesla public charging locations in the US as of Sep 2022. There are small and large Tesla Supercharger locations, some have 4-5 charging stalls and some have up to 100 stalls. Each stall has 2 connectors, so the actual number of available charging connectors is very much significant.

The closest competitor of the Tesla NACS connector is the Combined Charging Standard connector called CCS in short. Since CCS is widely used in Europe, Tesla transitioned its charge port to CCS back in 2018.

According to Tesla, if there is 1 CCS charging connector in North America, the Tesla NACS has 2 charging connectors available. Tesla outnumbers CCS by a ratio of 2:1 in this region already.

One other reason is the compact design and lighter weight of the Tesla charging connector compared to the bulky and heavy CCS charge connector.

Comparison of the size and design difference between the Tesla charging connector and the Combined Charging System connector.
Visual comparison of the size and design difference between the Tesla charging connector and the Combined Charging System connector. Credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.
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Here’s Tesla’s press release on this matter in its entirety:

With more than a decade of use and 20 billion EV charging miles to its name, the Tesla charging connector is the most proven in North America, offering AC charging and up to 1 MW DC charging in one slim package. It has no moving parts, is half the size, and twice as powerful as Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors.

In pursuit of our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy, today we are opening our EV connector design to the world. We invite charging network operators and vehicle manufacturers to put the Tesla charging connector and charge port, now called the North American Charging Standard (NACS), on their equipment and vehicles. NACS is the most common charging standard in North America: NACS vehicles outnumber CCS two-to-one, and Tesla’s Supercharging network has 60% more NACS posts than all the CCS-equipped networks combined.

Network operators already have plans in motion to incorporate NACS at their chargers, so Tesla owners can look forward to charging at other networks without adapters. Similarly, we look forward to future electric vehicles incorporating the NACS design and charging at Tesla’s North American Supercharging and Destination Charging networks.

As a purely electrical and mechanical interface agnostic to use case and communication protocol, NACS is straightforward to adopt. The design and specification files are available for download, and we are actively working with relevant standards bodies to codify Tesla’s charging connector as a public standard. Enjoy.

Source: Tesla, Inc. website.
Tesla NACS charge port and connector design.
Tesla NACS charge port and connector design. Credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

Interestingly, Tesla revealed the maximum charging capacity of its NACS charge connector as 1 MW DC. The current peak charging rate at Tesla Supercharger V3 connectors is 250 kW.

To be able to hold the load up to 1 MW, the Tesla NACS connector is potentially able to charge even larger electric vehicles like pickup trucks and large SUVs.

Tesla recently revealed the charge port of the Cybertruck, and it’s the same NACS design. Tesla claims that the large battery pack of the Cybertruck will be able to deliver up to 500 miles (~800 km) of range and the electric pickup truck will be charged with the same charging cable and connector.

Even if Tesla introduces the next generation of V4 Tesla Superchargers next year along with the Cybertruck, the automaker will not need to upgrade its connectors or cables. And the Cybertruck will be able to charge quickly.

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Iqtidar Ali
Iqtidar Alihttp://www.teslaoracle.com
Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii


  1. If the legacy car companies had taken Tesla up their offer of the Supercharger Network in 2012 (at cost + power) none of this angst regarding charging standards would exist

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