North American Charging Standard (NACS)

The North American Charging Standard (NACS) is an electric vehicle (EV) charging connector system developed by Tesla. It offers both alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) charging through a single compact plug. NACS has been used on all Tesla vehicles in the North American market since 2021 and was opened for use by other manufacturers in November 2022.

NACS represents a significant evolution in EV charging technology, aiming to provide a more streamlined and efficient charging experience. Unlike the previous Tesla connector, which used the CAN bus for communication, NACS employs the ISO 15118 protocol, making it compatible with the Combined Charging System (CCS). This compatibility is facilitated by simple pass-through adapters, allowing CCS vehicles to charge using NACS infrastructure, and vice versa for Tesla vehicles needing CCS compatibility. 

The NACS connector’s design is both compact and efficient, offering ease of use and reliability. It supports a wide range of charging scenarios, from residential AC charging at 240 volts to high-powered DC fast charging at up to 1,000 volts and 900 amperes. The connector’s five-pin layout includes provisions for power delivery, grounding, and communication, ensuring secure and effective charging sessions. The inclusion of a control pilot (CP) and proximity pilot (PP) pin allows for sophisticated communication between the vehicle and charging equipment, managing charging states and ensuring safe operation. 

NACS’s adoption by major automakers such as Ford, General Motors, and others, alongside the extensive deployment of Tesla’s Supercharger network, underscores its growing significance in the EV market. The standard is set to coexist with CCS in the North American market, with many public charging networks incorporating both connectors to accommodate the diverse fleet of EVs. This dual-standard approach aims to alleviate range anxiety and support the transition to electric mobility by providing broad, reliable charging infrastructure accessible to all EV drivers.

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