Synop has been monitoring the adoption of NACS (North American Charging Standard) by various OEMs and charge point operators. Recent announcements indicate support for NACS from vehicle manufacturers, such as Ford, GM, Rivian, Volvo, Polestar, Mercedes-Benz, and Nissan, as well as charge point operators including Electrify America and Chargepoint. Regulatory developments in Texas and Washington state are also pushing for state-funded charging stations to support NACS. This raises questions about the implications for EV fleets.
What is NACS?
Formerly Tesla's proprietary connector architecture, NACS is a connector architecture that simplifies the charging process with the vehicle taking more responsibility for facilitating the transaction. It offers advantages such as lighter weight, easier handling, higher amperage, and faster charging rates compared to CCS.
NACS vs CCS:
This debate is not just about technology; it is also about addressing passenger car manufacturers' concern about range anxiety. Adopting NACS gives customers access to Tesla's extensive and reliable charging network. However, for fleet vehicles with depot-centric use cases, the over-the-road charging constraints faced by passenger cars may not be as relevant.
Standardization and reliability:
NACS is currently going through the standardization process with CharIn and SAE. However, certification is expected to be at least six months away. The connector architecture of NACS differs from CCS; the NACS approach claims improved reliability by reducing the burden on connectors in the vehicle-charger architecture. Whether this holds true outside of Tesla's vertically integrated stack remains uncertain.
As the adoption of NACS gains momentum, fleets need to stay informed about the implications and factors that may impact their operations. There are three key considerations that fleet managers should pay attention to in the evolving landscape of NACS adoption including: (1) the standardization process for NACS, (2) the importance of ISO15118 support (plug & charge), and (3) the reliability of NACS architecture beyond Tesla's vertically integrated stack. By understanding these factors, fleet operators can make informed decisions and maximize their presence in the evolving electric vehicle charging space.
As a software company focused on EV fleet management, we embrace a platform-agnostic approach that allows us to seamlessly monitor and control charging operations via the charger or vehicle. Our interoperability stems from our commitment to supporting various connector standards. Whether it's CCS, NACS, Chademo, or any other charging standard, we have developed solutions to handle their intricacies. At Synop, we understand the far-reaching impact that commercial and regulatory decisions in this rapidly evolving landscape can have on our clients. That's why we strive to stay at the forefront, continuously improving our software and providing the necessary information and support to help our clients thrive in this dynamic space.