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Top 5 Questions About NACS and EVgo

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By Ivo Steklac, Chief Technology Officer, and Dennis Kish, Chief Operating Officer
Aug 16, 2023

EVgo announced earlier this summer that we will be adding North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors to our nationwide fast charging network.  

EVgo has always supported Electric for All and we take pride in being a nationwide network that can charge any vehicle, regardless of make or model. We started with CHAdeMO only, then added CCS, later integrated Tesla connectors, and soon we’ll be adding full NACS support to serve both Tesla vehicles and the non-Tesla vehicles that will incorporate NACS beginning in 2025. We ultimately believe these developments will accelerate EV adoption rates and support our mission to deliver a convenient and reliable charging network that can power all EVs. 

While there is a lot of excitement surrounding the switch to NACS charge ports for non-Tesla vehicles, there are still some common questions about implementation, timing and the customer experience. Here’s what you can expect from EVgo as this transition gets underway. 

  1. How will EVgo decide where to add NACS connectors? 

    EVgo is actively working with electric vehicle service equipment (EVSE) and component manufacturers to ensure future chargers will integrate NACS at the power levels and voltages currently supported by the chargers we deploy (up to 1000 VDC and greater than 500 ADC sustained). Additionally, as part of EVgo ReNew™, the EVgo team continuously evaluates opportunities for upgrading and retrofitting chargers with the latest technology, and we’re planning to integrate NACS connectors as demand necessitates and when they become commercially available to public network operators like EVgo. 

    Ultimately, we know that EV drivers choose where to plug in based on proximity, convenience, reliability and cost. EVgo will take a practical approach to future deployments and retrofits to be able to meet the charging needs of all drivers, whether with CCS, NACS or CHAdeMO. We’ll aim to distribute connector types in proportion to the evolving volume of different vehicle types in each market. 

  2. When will EVgo incorporate NACS connectors on its network? 

    There are three key steps that must be taken before EVgo or any public charging network can incorporate NACS. 

    The first and most important step is that NACS must be fully vetted by the organizations responsible for issuing safety and reliability codes and standards. Neither NACS cables nor connectors have received UL certification yet, and as EVSE manufacturers develop new offerings with NACS connectors, they will need to re-certify their chargers for safety.  

    Second, although SAE announced it will expedite the timeline to standardize the NACS connector, additional work will be needed to ensure vehicle interoperability and adherence to communication protocols. As non-Tesla EVs begin to use Tesla Superchargers, the closed-loop system Tesla has historically used to access both the EV and charger simultaneously through their proprietary communications will no longer be in place, and automakers and charging providers will have to work together to ensure vehicle-to-charger communication delivers a seamless customer experience. 

    Third, we’ll conduct our own testing to ensure seamless NACS integration into EVgo’s charging network. At the EVgo Innovation Lab in El Segundo, CA, our engineering team performs rigorous tests to ensure our customers can enjoy the best possible charging experience in the field. You can find more info about the preventative testing we do through our EVgo ReNew program.   

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    EVgo engineers test equipment in the EVgo Innovation Lab

    Additionally, a Build America, Buy America-compliant supply chain that includes NACS must also be developed for NACS connectors to qualify for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program.

  3. Does this mean that CCS is obsolete? 

    No. Just like we’ve previously deployed CCS alongside CHAdeMO, we’ll plan to offer NACS and CCS moving forward. Given there are about 800,000 EVs on the road today that use CCS1—and millions more to come before the first non-Tesla NACS vehicles begin to hit the road in 2025—we’ll likely have multiple connectors and adapters for a while. Most people in the U.S. also keep their cars for well over a decade,2 and a secondary market for used EVs is starting to emerge, which will keep CCS vehicles on the road for years to come. 

    Some states even have regulations on the books that require non-CCS vehicles to come with CCS adapters off the lot. The EVgo network has long served Tesla drivers with the original CHAdeMO adapter, our integrated Tesla connectors, and Tesla’s CCS1 adapter that allows Tesla drivers to access all chargers on EVgo’s network, including our high-power 350kW fast chargers.  

    Charge Talk Episode 3
    EVgo's CEO Cathy Zoi and COO Dennis Kish discuss the future of CCS and our plans to deploy NACS chargers in Charge Talk Episode 3

  4. What’s the difference between CCS and NACS? 

    NACS cables and connectors are lighter and more slender than CCS cables due to the use of a single set of wires and connections for both AC and DC charging, thus reducing the size and weight.

    Non-Tesla NACS cables will need to be longer than existing Tesla charge cables to accommodate the various charger port locations of all EVs. That’s because CCS cables are designed to charge EVs made by multiple manufacturers with five different charging port locations, making long cable reach a necessity. In fact, EVgo can—and does—currently charge 50 EV models by having a variety of connector types with cables long enough to reach different charge port locations. By contrast, Tesla standardized the charge port location on every model, making shorter cables possible. This will almost certainly need to evolve as non-Tesla EVs seek to use NACS cables and connectors. 

  5. If I drive a Tesla, can I charge with EVgo today? 

    Yes. While the soonest that non-Tesla NACS vehicles are slated to come to market is 2025, in the meantime, Tesla drivers can use the CCS1 adapter or a CHAdeMO adapter, or the integrated Tesla connectors we offer at hundreds of EVgo stations. With the CCS1 adapter, Tesla drivers can also take advantage of EVgo’s high-power 350kW fast chargers and enroll in Autocharge+. Even without an adapter, more than 35% of our sites nationwide offer integrated Tesla connectors; if we look at just our chargers in California, almost half of our stations do.  

    tesla adapter
    A Tesla CCS Combo 1 adapter allows Tesla drivers to access EVgo’s high-power chargers

With the dramatic year-over-year increases in EV sales we’re seeing here in the U.S., the question is no longer if people will buy EVs, but when and how quickly. We’re excited about the opportunity to add NACS connectors to our network as part of our commitment to Electric for All, and we’ll continue to charge all EVs regardless of plug type as we march toward a fully decarbonized transportation system.  

As EVgo continues its path forward on NACS integration, we’ll communicate with our customers so that you stay informed as we work. The EVgo app is a great resource to use to find the latest information, but if you have questions or need help, the EVgo Charging Crew is available 24/7.