Ford’s CEO Jim Farley took to a Twitter Space on Thursday afternoon with some pretty big news. Ford and Tesla have agreed to give Ford EVs access to Tesla’s Supercharger network. Ford, like most of the industry, uses the CCS plug for fast charging, but Tesla has a proprietary port and cable, one that’s noticeably smaller and lighter than the cumbersome CCS plug. Current Ford EVs will require an adapter to connect what Tesla is now calling the “North American Charging Standard” (NACS) cable to its Combined Charging System (CCS) ports. But Ford’s next series of EVs will feature native NACS ports, removing the need for an adapter.
“This is great news for our customers who will have unprecedented access to the largest network of fast-chargers in the US and Canada with 12,000-plus Tesla Superchargers plus 10,000-plus fast-chargers already in the BlueOval Charge Network,” Farley said. “Widespread access to fast-charging is absolutely vital to our growth as an EV brand, and this breakthrough agreement comes as we are ramping up production of our popular Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning, and preparing to launch a series of next-generation EVs starting in 2025.”
Many words have been written these past few years about the poor state of the US’s DC fast-charging infrastructure. EV drivers of all stripes have horror stories about inscrutable charger errors, out-of-order stations, and hours-long delays to road trips… except Tesla drivers, who have access to an expansive DC fast-charging network that seems to just work.
Now, those Tesla drivers will have to share their toys. From spring 2024, Ford EVs will be able to charge at Superchargers using a Tesla-designed adapter. Payment will be handled through the FordPass app. And from 2025, new Ford EVs will be designed with the NACS port instead of CCS. “The Tesla Supercharger network has excellent reliability, and the NACS plug is smaller and lighter. Overall, this provides a superior experience for customers,” said Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer at Ford Model e. It’s unclear if these future Fords will feature both NACS and CCS charging ports or just NACS—Ford is not providing that information at this time.
This is not the only move to open the Supercharger network to other EVs. In March, Tesla unveiled a new Supercharger for the US market that includes a CCS plug, allowing it to be used by non-Tesla EVs. It also gives Tesla access to federal funds for charging infrastructure that requires the infrastructure to be accessible to the widest range of EVs.