Lucid Motors, the American electric vehicle manufacturer, has officially announced its decision to embrace the Tesla-developed North American Charging Standard (NACS) as its preferred charging standard for electric vehicles (EVs). This strategic move will mark the beginning of a transition from Lucid's current CCS1 charging inlet to the NACS inlet for its North American offerings, with the integration of NACS set to commence in 2025. Moreover, Lucid plans to introduce an adapter, ensuring that existing CCS1-compatible Lucid EVs can seamlessly utilize the NACS charging infrastructure.
The significance of this transition lies in the fact that it will grant all new and existing Lucid electric cars access to Tesla's extensive Supercharging network, comprising over 15,000 charging stalls across North America. This collaboration reflects the broader industry trend toward a unified charging standard, gradually phasing out the CCS1 and J1772 AC plug options over the next decade or two.
Initially, Lucid expressed hesitancy in adopting the NACS standard, citing the necessity of supporting high-voltage battery systems ranging from 800 to 1,000 volts. Tesla Superchargers, at that time, supplied power at voltages of approximately 500 volts, posing limitations on the fast-charging capabilities of Lucid EVs and other high-voltage electric vehicles.
However, recent developments indicate that these concerns have been addressed. Multiple manufacturers, including those focused on high-voltage battery systems, such as Lucid and the Hyundai Motor Group, have joined the NACS initiative. In November 2022, Tesla announced the availability of a 1,000-volt configuration for the NACS connector, reinforcing the industry's shift toward higher-voltage charging solutions.
Peter Rawlinson, CEO and CTO at Lucid, underscored the importance of this transition, stating, “Adopting NACS is an important next step to providing our customers with expanded access to reliable and convenient charging solutions for their Lucid vehicles. We believe that a unified charging standard, backed by the nationwide rollout of future-ready higher-voltage charging stations, will be a critical step in empowering American consumers to adopt electric vehicles.”
The commitment to a nationwide rollout of higher-voltage NACS chargers signals a proactive approach toward enhancing the EV charging infrastructure. In addition, SAE International is set to standardize the Tesla-developed NACS charging connector as SAE NACS, enabling various suppliers to develop, certify, and offer their equipment and components. This move aims to diversify the market and ensure that Tesla does not remain the sole provider of NACS-compatible charging solutions.
It's worth noting that a few prominent automakers are yet to officially announce their transition from CCS1 to NACS in North America, including the Volkswagen Group, Stellantis, and some smaller brands. These developments indicate that the industry is undergoing a dynamic transformation, aligning with the broader vision of unified charging infrastructure to facilitate the widespread adoption of electric vehicles.