When Tesla first struck a deal with Aptera in early 2023 to give the company its North American Charging Standard (NACS), it seemed like it would be one of the only companies to do so. The partnership granted Aptera the ability to use Tesla Superchargers when its vehicles finally hit the road, a major advantage for a startup with such a small size.
But several months later, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ford CEO Jim Farley announced they would be hopping on a public conference call known as a “Twitter Spaces,” where the two announced the Detroit-based automaker would also adopt the NACS connector in 2024, offering Ford EV drivers the opportunity to access Tesla Superchargers across North America.
Then GM did it.
While these companies are either seasoned in their EV efforts or not, there is one thing they all have in common: they lack an in-house charging network for their drivers. For years, these companies have chosen to opt into third-party connectors run by companies like ChargePoint, Volta, Electrify America, and others.
Good morning! @RateYourCharge EA, EVgo, and Tesla Supercharger update from Stamford, CT.
Can you tell that that NY area makes me angry? 😂 pic.twitter.com/wXEHKG2CSe
— Kyle Conner (@itskyleconner) October 21, 2023
Tesla is the only car company in the U.S. to operate an expansive network of its own chargers, and it has a reputation for having well-maintained and operational stalls that are rarely under the weather in terms of their ability to function.
Other manufacturers understand Tesla’s prowess with its charging infrastructure, but two large companies still have yet to adopt the NACS: Volkswagen and Stellantis.
Volkswagen was once a formidable ally of Tesla’s, but that goes back to prior management. Herbert Diess had the helm at VW for years and worked hard to push the German automaker to relevance in the EV sector. His approach ruffled the feathers of many at VW Group, and ultimately, Diess left to pursue other things.
Stellantis has several brands under its umbrella, including Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler, Maserati, and Alfa Romeo, to name a few. It has also opted not to adopt Tesla’s NACS port for reasons not known. However, it said it is mulling a switch, which Toyota also said it would do, and it eventually made the jump.
It seems unlikely any car companies out there would not want to take advantage of such an expansive charging network for its vehicles. In past articles, I have stated that Tesla’s biggest advantage, in my opinion, is the charging network. Giving up this advantage will help competitors catch up to Tesla, and consumers might be prone to buy other EVs because they can access the network regardless of the car they drive.
However you feel about Tesla and its CEO Elon Musk, the company’s mission has always been to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy, and this move is one that truly seems to make many believe that it is more focused on helping sustainability succeed than itself as a company.
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