Lucid the latest to fall into NACS line

Usability concerns even as Tesla protocol approaches a US charging monopoly

Lucid the latest to fall into NACS line
Almost all US OEMS have now adopted NACS and gained access to the Tesla network

Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) has knocked over another domino on its way to becoming the one-stop shop for US EV charging, as US EV pure play Lucid is the latest automaker to adopt NACS charging.

Lucid customers will now gain access to 15,000 Tesla superchargers in North America. As with other deals between automakers and Tesla for use of the NACS network, Lucid vehicles will be built with integrated NACS ports from 2025 onwards. Existing Lucid EVs, which are built with CCS ports, will be chargeable via NACS adapter in 2025.

Lucid currently manufactures its own Wunderbox charger, which the company says can boast an over 900V architecture and is “the fastest EV charging system available — able to fill up to 200 miles of charge in about 12 minutes.” Lucid also says its cars are “compatible with nearly every public charging station”.

But adopting NACS is proving to be the way for OEMs. Consistently reliable and interoperable charging is sure to be a pull factor for consumers towards adopting EVs.

“Adopting NACS is an important next step to providing our customers with expanded access to reliable and convenient charging solutions for their Lucid vehicles,” says Peter Rawlinson, Lucid’s CEO.

Rawlinson’s emphasis on reliability highlights the central issue that ither charging networks deploying the competing CCS protocol have been plagued by reliability issues for some time, a factor increasingly drawing OEMs towards getting access to Tesla’s more reliable hardware.

“Lucid remains committed to enhancing the charging experience for its customers and accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles,” the firm says. It also hails the move as “bring greater convenience to Lucid customers”.

“We believe that a unified charging standard, backed by the nationwide rollout of future-ready higher-voltage charging stations, will be a critical step in empowering American consumers to adopt electric vehicles.”

However, some commentators have pointed out that current versions of the Tesla supercharger have a cable too short to comfortably reach the placement of the existing charging point on Lucid’s EVs, for example when using the Tesla ‘magic dock’ chargers, which can charge CCS-enabled vehicles.

“The Supercharger’s short cord and the location of the Lucid’s charge port — between the driver’s door and front wheel — present some challenges,” says Alexc Knizek, manager of automotive testing and insight at Consumer Reports.

Lucid now joins South Korean manufacturers Hyundai and Kia, US players GM, Ford, Rivian and Fisker, Sweden’s Volvo and Polestar, Japan’s Nissan, Honda, Toyota and Subaru, the UK’s Jaguar and Germany’s Mercedes and BMW in signing up to NACS.

German peer VW and Amsterdam-headquartered Stellantis remain the two major holdouts stopping NACS adoption from having achieved de facto complete penetration of the US plug-in EV market.

NACS is also made inroads into other non-Tesla charging networks. Charger maker Chargepoint will now provide native NACS connectors for its equipment, while oil major BP has agreed to buy Tesla chargers for its own netwrok

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