Owners of Ford electric trucks and SUVs will soon have easy access to more than 12,000 Tesla V3 Superchargers in the US and Canada thanks to a partnership between the two automakers announced today. From early 2024, the Tesla Supercharger network will become available through Ford’s BlueOval Charge network via a hardware adapter, and from 2025, the next generation of Ford EVs will have a built-in Tesla charging port.
The BlueOval Charge network is Ford’s collection of partner EV charging providers that customers can search for and access through their on-board route planning software, the FordPass mobile app or other methods. Ford boasts access to more than 10,000 DC fast charging stations — at networks including Electrify America, EVgo, ChargePoint and others — soon to be joined by more than 12,000 Tesla Supercharging points.
Drivers will connect to the V3 Superchargers via a Tesla-developed hardware adapter that converts Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) cable to the Combined Charging System (CCS) port, which is standard on F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and Electronic transport electric cars. Charger activation and payment will then be processed via the FordPass app or Ford’s Pro Intelligence on-board software.
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Starting in 2025, Ford’s second-generation EVs will feature built-in NACS charging ports – possibly alongside the familiar CCS connection. Ford’s adoption of the open source charging standard will eliminate the need for an adapter to power Tesla Supercharger stations.
On the one hand, the fact that the North American EV charging ecosystem is still split between the CCS and NACS standards seems a bit backwards. Now that the ChaDeMo standard is on the way out and after the European Union settled on the CCS standard long ago, it looked like we were headed for one port to rule them all. Viewed in this light, Ford’s endorsement of dual-charging systems could be seen as a step in the wrong direction that could confuse new EV buyers.
On the other hand, Tesla operates perhaps the largest, most widespread and, importantly, most the most reliable charging network in America. So is Tesla the largest EV manufacturer in the world, so if there’s an argument to be made about who’s winning the standard charging war, it’s Tesla. Ford’s partnership with Tesla is a smart move, providing great customer value for the low cost of a hardware adapter. Also, if there is room in the new vehicle design for both ports – and why not give the NACS a compact design? — then offering both connections in the future feels like a win-win for customers and for Ford.
“The Tesla Supercharger network has excellent reliability, and the NACS plug is smaller and lighter,” said Marin Djaja, chief customer officer for Ford’s Model E division. “Overall, it provides a superior customer experience.”
Tesla also recently pledged to open at least 3,500 of its Supercharger stations to all electric vehicles by the end of 2024.
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