Polestar will join Volvo in switching to Tesla's EV charging standard

The Polestar 5 and 6 may come with NACS from the very start.

Photo by Sam Rutherford/Engadget

You knew it was just a matter of time before Polestar echoed Volvo's adoption of Tesla's charging technology. The EV-oriented brand has confirmed that it will use Tesla's NACS connector in North America. You'll see "convenient" CCS-to-NACS adapters for existing cars in mid-2024, and cars released in 2025 onward will have the standard built-in. An adapter will help those future models charge at CCS stations.

The news complicates the expansion of Polestar's lineup. The Polestar 3 SUV and Polestar 4 SUV coupe are expected in 2024, while the Polestar 5 grand tourer and Polestar 6 roadster are coming later. In other words, some models will have as little as one year of CCS-native charging before moving to Tesla's port while others will ship with NACS from the outset. You may have to decide if it's worth dealing with an adapter just to get an EV as soon as it's available.

The reasoning behind the switch is the same as for Volvo: using NACS gives Polestar drivers access to Tesla's much larger (not to mention more reliable) Supercharger network in North America, with over 12,000 charge points available so far. This could "greatly increase" EV uptake in the area, Polestar chief Thomas Ingenlath argues. You could buy a Polestar 3 knowing you'd have enough charging stations to complete a long-distance trip.

Volvo and Polestar aren't alone. Ford, GM and Rivian have also committed to using Tesla's tech in North America, while Hyundai and Stellantis have said they're evaluating that move. For Polestar, however, the decision may be more symbolically significant than for other marques. It's considered one of the closest competitors to Tesla — the Polestar 2 is an obvious Model 3 alternative. This isn't an outright capitulation to Tesla, but it is an acknowledgment that access to the Supercharger network is a major advantage that sways customers.