BMW adopts NACS standard for the US

BMW joins the list of automakers that will adopt the Tesla-developed NACS charging standard in the US and Canada. The technical switch is adopted cross-brand, so Mini and Rolls-Royce are also joining. The connector will be built in as from 2025.

Over the past weeks, several automakers agreed to synchronize with the NACS standard in the US to facilitate the adoption of EVs and reach parity on charging. Rivian, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Polestar, Fisker, Jaguar, Hyundai, Kia, and Genesis are among the joining brands.

With so many agreeing on NACS, unity is reached about a North American charging standard, like CCS2, the standard in Europe. Brands like Ford and General Motors already announced the phase-out of their CCS1 connectors.

12 000 charging points

By switching to NACS, BMW customers will also gain access to Tesla’s Supercharger network. The Bavarian automaker offers an adaptor to the i4, iX, i7, electric Mini, and Rolls-Royce Spectre drivers to meet CCS customers. These models currently available in the US are only equipped with a CCS port.

The move is considered a win for Elon Musk and Tesla, who developed the North American Charging Standard as a propriety solution for charging at its dedicated Supercharging infrastructure and introduced it in 2012.

Last year, it opened up the standard to third parties, as there’s consensus that only a fully unlocked charging infrastructure can drive EV adoption in the United States to its full potential. How much BMW pays for the NACS license remains undisclosed. Tesla trading the cards isn’t a complete surprise, as the company operates the nation’s largest charging network with 12 000 charging points.

What about the others?

The general NACS conversion has triggered a domino effect. Next to automakers, charging infrastructure providers like ABB, ChargePoint, and Wallbox stated they would incorporate NACS in future products. Worldwide, CCS is the more widespread solution.

The growing momentum puts pressure on the remaining car groups. With Toyota, Volkswagen, and Stellantis sticking to the CCS standard, not everyone is on board yet, but as the NACS standard will prove a sales proposition in the US, they might reconsider their current choice.

BMW stated that the decision has been taken independently from the joint project with Honda, GM, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes, and Stellantis to build 30 000 charging points across the US. However, it was already unveiled that NACS would be incorporated into this pending network of high-power chargers.


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