February 27, 2024

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America is moving away from the charging plug: Will it soon be Europe's turn?

America is moving away from the charging plug: Will it soon be Europe's turn?

In the US, a growing number of automakers are planning to switch from the CCS2 plug to the NACS plug popularized by Tesla for fast charging. Is it our turn in Europe? Should we like it?

Fast charging of electric cars has a short and checkered history in Europe. In the beginning there were Chademo and CCS plugs, and soon everyone except Tesla was using CCS, but after a while Musk and his allies switched, and now CCS2 is the standard for all new electric cars and all new charging stations. For those with a Nissan Leaf, you may need to look for a suitable fast charger. Visible to all other users.

It seemed to be the same in America, but while Fastnet in the Netherlands makes fast chargers at the fastest speeds, Electrify America is known for their slowness and chargers that always break. Tesla, meanwhile, pursued its own plug in the U.S. and is now urging other manufacturers to integrate. Tesla has a reliable and extensive charging network with Superchargers in North America, mostly because a fast charger network isn't off the ground.

CCS wins here

In Europe, a large number of players have provided an extensive and reliable CCS network, as a result of which Tesla has started to offer CCS in new models delivered in Europe, and the battle here has already been resolved in favor of CCS. Should we be sad about that? Not really. Tesla's NACS connector can only charge with 1 phase at a conventional charging station. Much slower than the typical 3-phase in the Netherlands. Also, this year you can already drive the vehicle home with the Kia EV9. Tesla still needs to work on getting power from the car via NACS.

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It's unclear what exactly Tesla and the North American auto industry gained by switching to the charging plug standard. In the short term, electric driving with those two competing standards won't be very attractive. And in the long run, the lack of flexibility of the CCS plug when discharging the battery is the only drawback. In Europe we can count ourselves lucky and have CCS2 as standard.

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