ADS-TEC Energy, a leading provider of battery-based ultra-fast charging systems in Europe and the U.S., today announced it is open to supporting all options for charging system standards. The two largest vehicle manufacturers in the United States, Ford and General Motors (GM), among others, recently announced plans to adopt Tesla’s North America Charging Standard (NACS) for plugs and charging protocols for electric vehicles (EVs). This raises the question of whether NACS will displace the Combined Charging System Combo 1 (CCS1) standard in North America or whether they can exist in parallel in the long term. It also presents implications for existing EVs and future EV development and equipment, as well as for the further expansion of charging infrastructure and the development of e-mobility in the U.S. and worldwide.
“Whatever a future standard in the U.S. will look like, we can develop the solutions for it,” said Thomas Speidel, CEO of ADS-TEC Energy. “Based on our very in-depth development, we are capable of taking action and will continue to offer solutions for vehicles with the NACS connector.”
The company is committed to the U.S. automotive market—one of the most important in the world—where electric mobility is only just beginning. ADS-TEC Energy was listed on NASDAQ at the end of 2021 and established a presence in the U.S. at the end of 2022 with a site in Auburn, Alabama.
With its products and services, ADS-TEC Energy pursues the goal of providing battery-based, ultra-fast charging solutions to expand the charging infrastructure for EVs where it is needed: in inner cities and rural areas. Its flagship solution, the ADS-TEC Energy ChargeBox, offers up to 320 kW of charging power with connection to existing power-constrained grids, without additional expansion of the grid, providing fast, reliable charging in minutes rather than hours for EV users.
Until now, it was generally accepted that the combined charging standards—CCS1 for the U.S. and CCS2 for Europe—would be the norm. As a pioneer of electric mobility, Tesla initially had its own proprietary fast-charging standard, but this was replaced in Europe in favor of the CCS2 standard. Some Tesla charging stations in Europe still offer both standards as a transition with two cables and plugs each (Tesla specific as well as CCS2), whereas all new Tesla charging stations in Europe only provide CCS2. In the U.S., the same development had been expected: a transition by Tesla to CCS1 as its only US standard. However, Ford, GM and Rivian recently surprised the industry by announcing that they will support NACS as the future standard. It will be interesting to see how this will impact the largest car market in the world and existing CCS1 charging infrastructure as well as what it means for car manufacturers with existing CCS1 vehicles.
The debate over a single U.S. standard is still expected to continue. Even though Tesla has the largest installed base of fast chargers, they have been designed for 400 volts, to date, and more and more 800-volt vehicles are coming to the market. This means that there will have to be upgrades here, as well. So why not just switch to CCS1? At many existing chargers, there are also questions about cable lengths and plug configurations for the various manufacturers’ cars.
According to Tesla, it currently operates 45,000 Supercharger charging points worldwide, of which around 12,000, or 60%, are in the USA and Canada, and around 10,000 in Europe. It remains to be seen how the other global automakers will react to the announcement by NACS with regard to CCS1.
The CCS2 standard is already established in Europe with over 440,000 charging points at the end of 2022. The Biden Administration also favors and promotes the CCS approach. It therefore remains interesting as some powerful e-mobility organizations in the US weigh in. ADS-TEC Energy’s expertise and flexibility are important assets in dealing with these developments. In addition to the connector format, charging port locations on the vehicle, cable lengths, voltage levels, current strengths and safety standards of car manufacturers and charging infrastructure providers must also be considered.
ADS-TEC Energy is optimally positioned to respond to changes with its highly integrated and storage-based system platforms consisting of hardware, software and services. ADS-TEC Energy’s existing CCS1 charging systems can already charge NACS vehicles with a plug adapter.
Thomas Speidel affirms: “Our existing CCS1 charging systems can already charge NACS vehicles with a plug adapter. It would be disadvantageous to permanently maintain both standards, which actually only differ in the plug pattern. For the sake of e-mobility, we can only hope that only one standard will actually prevail for North America. We will follow suit.”
SOURCE: ADS-TEC Energy