South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor and Kia on Thursday announced a shift to Tesla's charging system for their electric vehicles sold in North America, joining other automakers such as General Motors, Ford and Mercedes-Benz. The change will take effect in the US by the end of next year and extend to Canada by mid-2025.
The transition from the Combined Charging System, the widely adopted charging standard that Hyundai-Kia currently employs for their North American EVs, to Tesla's North American Charging Standard, marks a significant change. It will allow Hyundai-Kia EVs to access over 12,000 Tesla Supercharger stations across the US, Canada, and Mexico, a significant expansion from approximately 7,000 stations available through the CCS network.
While CCS technically supports competitive fast charging, its status as an industry standard in North America is being challenged as NACS boasts better compactness, efficiency, consistent fast charging support and more strategic placement along major highways.
Many automakers in the region, such as General Motors, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and Nissan have already announced plans to transition to NACS earlier this year.
With the change, all-new or refreshed Hyundai and Kia EVs will come exclusively with a NACS port. To smooth the transition for current Hyundai-Kia EV owners, the companies plan to provide free NACS adapters for EVs equipped with CCS by early 2025.
Hyundai also resolved compatibility issues with Tesla Superchargers for its E-GMP platform-based electric vehicles, which are tailored for ultra-fast 800V charging. Collaborations with Tesla ensured optimized charging speeds for these vehicles.
However, the Hyundai-Kia app will manage Supercharger access, as opposed to Tesla's native application. Users will have to use the automakers' app instead of Tesla’s.
Despite this shift, Hyundai Motor Group remains invested in expanding industry-standard charging infrastructure alongside major automakers, including GM and Honda. The conglomerate is participating in initiatives to establish at least 30,000 charging stations across North America, supporting both CCS and NACS.