Ford to Add Tesla Charge Ports to its EVs in 2025
Ford will become the first major automaker to adopt Tesla’s formerly proprietary charging standard.
One of the biggest advantages of owning a Tesla is access to the electric automaker's vast proprietary charging network. Tesla has been open about its intention of opening up that network to other automakers, and now one of the Detroit Three will take full advantage of this by adopting Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS) port to its vehicles.
Ford CEO Jim Farley announced the Blue Oval's transition to NACS on Thursday during a Twitter Spaces event co-hosted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. The duo revealed that beginning in spring 2024, more than 12,000 Tesla-branded chargers will become accessible to Ford F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E, and E-Transit vehicles, effectively more than doubling Ford's existing network of 10,000 DC fast chargers across the U.S.
Tesla has been preparing to share its charging network with other automakers for a few years. In fact, Tesla has allowed non-Tesla EVs to charge at its domestic chargers since earlier this year, aiming to open up 7,500 stations (3,500 of which are DC fast chargers) to other automakers. But the partnership between Tesla and Ford will work a bit differently. Instead of relying on Tesla rolling out new hardware, Ford says that its existing EVs with a CCS charge port will be able to use an adapter to utilize Tesla's chargers.
The adapter is only temporary, though. Beginning in 2025, Ford says that its next-generation EVs—presumably beginning with Ford's latest "T3" project—will add a native NACS port as if they were Tesla-branded vehicles. And, just like a Tesla vehicle, Ford will simplify the payment experience for fast charging by allowing vehicles to pay for their top-up via the FordPass app.
To clarify, Ford's announcement doesn't necessarily mean that its new vehicles will ditch the CCS port altogether. It does, however, mean that all new Ford EVs will come standard with a NACS port.
A Ford spokesperson told The Drive that the automaker is currently engineering its vehicles for the NACS port but did not have specific details to share on whether it would completely replace the CCS port. The spokesperson also noted that Ford could keep both in its future vehicles, which opens a new world of convenience without relying on adapters or alienating an entire standard in favor of another. However, it's worth noting that Ford retaining both ports would mean an increased production cost—so whether or not that option will prevail is unknown.
While news of the partnership has been fairly well-received, some owners haven't exactly been welcoming to their new neighbors. Many Tesla owners were concerned that Tesla's already crowded fast chargers would become more congested by allowing Ford vehicles to natively charge at its stations, though with Tesla already planning to transition a number of its supercharging stations, the concern seems fairly moot.
It's also worth bringing up the possible earning potential for Tesla in this scenario. More EVs charging on its network means more income for the electric automaker—much like a gas station reaping profits from all car makes and models. This should also serve as a call back to Tesla's 2017 promise of the Supercharging network "never [being] a profit center" for the automaker. But with more demand from more EVs built by other automakers, has Tesla's need to earn profit through additional income streams shifted?
The real winners here are consumers. Ford's customers will now have access to even more public charging, and perhaps even more important is that paying for charging will become even easier for the consumer. With Ford becoming the first automaker to adopt NACS, it seems like it's only a matter of time before other automakers look to make similar announcements in the future. That or we're about to witness the EV equivalent of Blu-ray and HD DVD.
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