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NACS electric vehicle charging gets support from VW, Porsche, and Audi

VW Group supporting NACS electric vehicle standard is a big deal

A person standing at the right rear side of a VW ID.4 charging the EV's battery with an NACS charger.
VW / VW

The rush by automakers to implement Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) for electric vehicle recharging just gained another major global brand. The allure of Tesla’s network of 15,000 Superchargers is proving too strong to resist. Volkswagen Group of America recently announced that starting in 2025, Porsche, Audi, and Scout Motors EVs manufactured for the North American region will use the NACS charging port.

Tesla Supercharger station
Soly Moses / Pexels

Why VW Group piled on

Volkswagen Group was one of the first automakers to pledge to a broad transition to electric cars. Before its recent announcement in support of the NACS, Volkswagen Group had been one of the diminishing minority of car makers that didn’t pledge to connect to the NACS.

VW EV owners can charge their cars at Electrify America and Electrify Canada charging points, which total more than 3,800 fast charging stations. Electrify America has already announced its charging stations will have NACS connectors by 2025.

Tesla and Electrify America continue to build out their respective charging point infrastructures, so at the minimum, it’s likely that, counting those two networks, there will be more than 20,000 charging stations in North America by 2025.

Volkswagen Group of America President and CEO Pablo Di Si praised the decision to support the NACS. “It would mean that customers of our fast-selling electric vehicles like the Volkswagen ID.4 will have access to an extensive and growing charging network,” Di Si said.

2024 Volkswagen ID.7 flagship EV is rated for nearly 400 miles per charge.
Courtesy Volkswagen of America / Volkswagen US Media Site

Who are the NACS holdouts?

The Volkswagen Group brands will join EV automakers Ford, General Motors, Polestar, Volvo, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Rivian, BMW, MINI, Kia, Hyundai, Genesis, Jaguar, Honda, Acura, Toyota, Lexus, and Rolls-Royce, which have all committed to supporting NACS with future EVs. Jeep, RAM, Chrysler, and Fiat parent company Stellantis is the only holdout among the major vehicle manufacturers that sell in the U.S.

Gray Audi e-Tron S Sport left three-quarter view driving on a highway with a rocky ridge in the background.
Audi USA / Audi USA

VW Group won’t orphan earlier EVs

The path is open to more abundant charging station access for 2025 model-year EVs from VW Group brands, but what about earlier EVs? Like the other brands on the team-NACS list, VW Group members VW, Audi, and Porsche are already “exploring adapter solutions” that will allow their brand’s owners of pre-2025 EVs to charge at Supercharger stations. There is no statement about whether VW Group will sell the NACS adapters or supply them at no charge to existing customers.

Scout Motors, the newest brand with VW Group, won’t have an issue with bringing older models up to speed with NACS adapters because Scout isn’t scheduled to commence production in 2026 of its rugged EV trucks and SUVs intended to revive the heritage of the original International Harvester Scout. IH ceased building the Scout in 1980. The new Scouts will have NACS connectors from the beginning.

VW Group also keeps its electric vehicle charging options open, restating its support for open standards and interoperability for EV recharging.

Red Porsche Taycan Turbo S EV right front three-quarter view driving on a highway with a small body of water in the background.
Porsche
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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
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