BMW is latest NACS convert
OEM also reaffirms commitment to previously announced, but not yet fully consummated charging alliance
Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) has gained another feather in its cap. Last week it was South Korea’s Hyundai Group and this time it is German legacy OEM BMW adopting the Tesla charging system for its BEVs in the US and Canada.
“With six fully electric BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce models now available in the US market, and more to come, it is our top priority to ensure that our drivers have easy access to reliable, fast charging,” says Sebastian Mackensen, CEO at BMW of North America. “This agreement is the latest in our longstanding and continued effort to expand charging options for our customers as we continue on the road to electrification.”
As with the raft of previous announcements of the adoption of NACS by automakers BMW will provide adapters for its existing BEVs to make them compatible with Tesla connectors, before manufacturing new vehicles with built-in NACS compatibility from 2025 onwards.
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“The companies will work together in the coming months to create a seamless customer experience enabling BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce drivers to find and access available Superchargers on their vehicle’s display, and make payments through their respective vehicle’s brand app,” Mackensen continues.
In July, BMW, along with six other automakers — GM of the SS, Japan’s Honda, Hyundai and its sister firm Kia, Germany’s Mercedes, and Amsterdam-headquartered Stellantis – signed a joint venture (JV) agreement to install a North American highway charging network.
As several members of this coalition have since migrated to Tesla’s system, the OEMs have largely been reticent to give updates on the progress of the project. BMW, though, insists that its agreement with Tesla will not affect the previous JV.
“This agreement is independent of BMW North America’s recently announced commitment, with six other automakers, to create a joint venture company that will build a new, high-powered electric vehicle charging network in North America,” it stresses.
The new joint venture will build at least 30,000 new chargers in metropolitan areas and along major highways, which will be accessible to drivers of all battery electric vehicles from any automaker using CCS or NACS charging standards. But BMW’s statement reveals that the seven automakers’ coalition has not yet become official.
“The joint venture is expected to be established this year, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals,” it says
As well Hyundai and Kia, BMW joins US players GM, Ford, Rivian and Fisker, Sweden’s Volvo and Polestar, Japan’s Nissan and Honda and Germany’s Mercedes in the NACS camp. German legacy peer VW, while not yet intending to manufacture its EVs with Tesla ports or provide Tesla-compatible adapters, did add NACS connectors to its Electrify America CCS charger network in June. Now only Stellantis and Japan’s Toyota are left among volume makers of US cars in resisting NACS.