Mercedes-Benz has announced its adoption of Tesla’s EV charging standard for North American cars. Starting in 2025, new Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles (EVs) in North America will utilize the North American Charging Standard (NACS). To facilitate the transition, drivers will initially have access to the Tesla Supercharger network through a CCS-to-NACS adapter, which is expected to be available in 2024.
This move by Mercedes-Benz will not hinder its plans to establish its own high-speed charging network, which is set to begin deployment in the coming autumn. By 2030, the company aims to construct over 400 “Charging Hubs” across North America, equipped with a total of 2,500 chargers. These Charging Hubs will feature both CCS and NACS connectors and will be open to non-Mercedes EVs.
According to Mercedes board chairman Ola Källenius, this decision is driven by the goal of providing drivers with fast, convenient, and reliable charging options to enhance the overall EV experience. By incorporating Supercharger support, which offers access to a vast network of over 12,000 Superchargers, Mercedes aims to assure potential buyers of models like the EQB or EQS that they can travel long distances with minimal charging time.
Mercedes-Benz is the first German automaker to adopt the NACS, following in the footsteps of Volvo and its sibling brand Polestar. While Volkswagen is considering a switch to NACS, it has not committed to the idea apart from adding NACS to Electrify America chargers. In the United States, companies such as Ford, GM, and Rivian have pledged their support for Tesla’s charging technology. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is also developing a standardized version of the plug, which could enable other vendors to adopt this format.
It is important to note that Mercedes’ transition to NACS is limited to the North American market, as the company maintains its focus on the upscale segment. This decision places additional pressure on Volkswagen and other competitors who continue to use the CCS standard in North America. By sticking to a less common EV plug, these companies risk impeding long-distance travel and, subsequently, car sales.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about EV charging standard
Q: What is the reason behind Mercedes-Benz adopting Tesla’s EV charging standard for North American cars?
A: Mercedes-Benz aims to provide fast, convenient, and reliable charging options to enhance the overall EV driving experience. By utilizing Tesla’s charging standard, drivers will have access to the extensive Tesla Supercharger network, offering over 12,000 charging points and enabling long-distance travel with minimized charging times.
Q: Will Mercedes-Benz continue to deploy its own high-speed charging network?
A: Yes, Mercedes-Benz has plans to deploy its own high-speed charging network, starting in the fall. The company intends to build over 400 “Charging Hubs” in North America by 2030, equipped with both CCS and NACS connectors. These Charging Hubs will be open to non-Mercedes EVs, further expanding charging options.
Q: How does Mercedes-Benz’s adoption of NACS affect other automakers and charging standards?
A: Mercedes-Benz becomes the first German automaker to adopt the NACS, following Volvo and Polestar. While Volkswagen is considering a switch, other automakers like Ford, GM, and Rivian have already pledged support for Tesla’s charging technology. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is also developing a standardized plug, which could enable other vendors to utilize this format.
Q: Will this transition to NACS impact charging options for non-Mercedes EVs?
A: No, the transition to NACS will not affect charging options for non-Mercedes EVs. The Charging Hubs being deployed by Mercedes-Benz will feature both CCS and NACS connectors, ensuring compatibility with a wide range of electric vehicles. This move promotes interoperability and accessibility for all EV owners.
Q: Is Mercedes-Benz’s adoption of NACS limited to the North American market?
A: Yes, currently, Mercedes-Benz’s adoption of NACS is specific to the North American market. Their focus is primarily on North American cars and infrastructure. However, this decision puts pressure on other automakers still using the CCS standard in North America, potentially influencing future charging standards in the region.