Ford, Tesla Charging Deal Puts Pressure on CCS Port

Access to fast-chargers is considered crucial to EV adoption.

June 01, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The electric vehicle charging agreement between Ford and Tesla could put new pressure on other automakers’ EV strategies, reports CNBC.

Last week, the companies announced that Tesla will allow Ford EV drivers to use Tesla’s Superchargers, more than 12,000 chargers across the U.S. and Canada, doubling the number of fast-chargers available to Ford EV customers. The partnership will begin next spring.  

A Tesla-developed adapter will provide Ford F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit vehicles fitted with the Combined Charging System (CCS) port access to Tesla’s V3 Superchargers. CCS chargers are the industry standard. Ford says it will equip future EVs with the North American Charging Standard (NACS) charge port, which is what Tesla vehicles use, removing the need for an adapter starting in 2025.

“The CCS is a great standard, but it was pretty much done by kind of a committee, and I think GM and others are going to have a big choice to make,” Ford CEO Jim Farley told CNBC. “Do they want to have fast-charging for customers? Or do they want to stick to their standard and have less charging?”

Ford will be the first company to explicitly tie into the Tesla charger network. Ford’s BlueOval Charge Network is already North America’s largest public charging network with over 84,000 chargers, including access to over 10,000 public DC fast-chargers. Adding more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers creates the single largest integrated fast-charge network across the U.S. and Canada. Additionally, Ford dealers are adding roughly 1,800 public-facing fast-chargers and locations to the BlueOval Charge Network by early 2024.

General Motors said last week that it “believes that open charging networks and standards are the best way forward to enable EV adoption across the industry.” GM said it is working with a group of companies and SAE International to develop and continue to refine an open connector standard for CCS, which it said was important for “the buildout of an open network of fast-charging across North America.”

CNBC reports that Wolfe Research analyst Rod Lache called the deal a “win-win,” as it more than doubles Ford customers’ access to fast chargers and increases Tesla’s network’s utilization.

In February, Tesla announced it would allow non-Tesla EVs to access 7,500 new and existing Tesla chargers, including 3,500 250-kilowatt chargers, by the end of 2024.

EV charging remains a barrier to widespread EV adoption. In a recent Deloitte survey, 48% of respondents said range anxiety was a top concern when buying an EV, followed closely by the time required to charge (47%) and lack of public EV charging infrastructure (46%).

For convenience retailers looking to bring EV charging to their locations, NACS launched the EV Infrastructure Matchmaking Tool, which connects retailers with EV charging companies for all aspects and stages of offering electric vehicle supply equipment.

NACS also offers the EV Charging Calculator, which allows retailers to assess the cost and profitability of offering EV chargers at their sites. The calculator focuses on what retailer utility costs associated with EV recharging are and what the corresponding revenue must be to recover those costs after allowing for potential ancillary in-store visits and purchases.