Ford has become the first major automaker to leap into bed with Tesla after the US government pushed to make EV charging more widely accessible. The carmaker has signed a deal, starting spring 2024, so selected Ford EVs can slurp down power at some Tesla Supercharger stations. As part of the pact, Ford said, from the 2025 model year, it’ll switch to Tesla’s open-source North American Charging Standard (NACS) on its vehicles. Meanwhile, existing models that still use the (more or less) global standard Combined Charging System (CCS) will be able to pick up a Tesla-designed adapter to bridge the gap.
The deal is surprising, especially given the relative power, size and prestige of the two companies involved. Ford, one of the world’s biggest car makers, is ceding control of its charger future to a relative minnow, albeit one that built a sizable own-brand charging network. Not to mention it runs the risk of creating a NACS–CCS EV-charging format war, which may erode consumer faith in EVs. After all, if you pull up at a gas station anywhere in the US, there should be a one-size-fits-all way to get fuel in your tank without worrying about the size of the pipe.
– Dan Cooper
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