Yet another major carmaker is opening up their fleet to Tesla’s formerly exclusive, proprietary charging stations. On Tuesday, Volvo announced plans to include the North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging port for its future vehicles available in the US, Mexico, and Canada beginning in 2025. Starting next year, owners of existing fully electric Volvos such as the EX30, XC40n, and C40 Recharge that currently feature the Combined Charging System (CCS) ports will be able to utilize Tesla’s Supercharger network via a separate, purchasable port adapter. In a somewhat ironic reversal, Volvo EV owners who wish to still utilize CCS charging stations after 2025 will then be able to purchase a separate port adapter.
“As part of our journey to becoming fully electric by 2030, we want to make life with an electric car as easy as possible,” Volvo Cars CEO Jim Rowan said in Tuesday’s announcement. Rowan added that one of the biggest hurdles for EV car adoption has been ensuring an accessible, convenient charging infrastructure.
Although the ongoing division between CCS and NACS vehicles has been an issue, a number of industry leading vehicle manufacturers have recently announced partnerships with Tesla to ensure NACS compatibility—a tacit admission of the system’s increasing popularity, performance, and reliability. Earlier this month, both Rivian and GM revealed their own agreements with Tesla to begin offering similar port adapters next year alongside plans to include NACS ports in all new electric models starting in 2025. In May, Ford made a similar announcement for its own EV fleet.
This isn’t Volvo’s first attempt at expanding charging capabilities and access for its vehicle owners. Last year, the company announced a pilot program to install EV chargers at certain Starbucks locations across 5 states in the Western US, including Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. According to the company, Volvo aims to only manufacture EVs by 2030, as well as become climate-neutral by 2040.
Such economical and creative partnerships are key to ensuring a smooth and timely transition to a majority EV transportation landscape. By the end of the decade, an estimated 25 percent of all vehicle sales are expected to be EVs, with 70 percent of all new purchases expected to be electric by 2040.
According to Grist on Wednesday, the Biden Administration’s Joint Office of Energy and Transportation recently announced a forthcoming “expedited review” alongside the Society for Automotive Engineers to consider making NACS a “public standard” akin to the USB-C cord.