The face of electric vehicle (EV) charging is changing as major automakers are steadily adopting the North American Charging Standard (NACS), a plug design introduced by Tesla. Nissan, a significant player in the automotive industry, has recently announced plans to adopt the NACS plug for its EVs1.

Historically, Nissan has demonstrated its commitment to EV charging infrastructure development. As an early pioneer of EVs, the automaker initially chose the CHAdeMO standard for its Leaf models. When it launched the Ariya crossover, the third-generation EV, it transitioned to the Combined Charging System (CCS), a charging standard that seemed to be gaining widespread acceptance in the industry.

The NACS, first unveiled by Tesla in 2022, has gained traction among major automakers. Manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, Rivian, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and Polestar have all signed on, with the majority incorporating NACS plugs into their hardware.

Nissan plans to switch to the NACS plug starting from 2024 with an adapter for Nissan Ariyas. From 2025, Nissan will fully transition to the NACS plug for its future EVs2. For early adopters of the Nissan Ariya, the transition to the NACS standard should be smooth, though they will require adapters to charge at Tesla sites.

Nissan’s decision is likely to reshape the EV charging landscape, forcing other manufacturers to reconsider their charging standards. It also signals a broader shift in the adoption of EV charging standards in the industry, with Nissan’s move likely influencing other Japanese and global automakers3.

With this transition, Nissan EV drivers gain access to Tesla’s Supercharger network, which accounts for approximately 60% of the total number of fast chargers in the United States2. However, this may lead to increased use of the Supercharger network and potential strain on its reliability and usage.

Looking forward, Nissan’s Ambition 2030 strategy outlines its commitment to electrification, including launching two new EVs by late 2025. Moreover, the company aims for 40% of its U.S. vehicle sales to be fully electric by 2030 [2].

In conclusion, Nissan’s switch to the NACS charging plug can potentially reshape the EV charging landscape and set a trend for other automakers. Its broader implications suggest a future of electric mobility with increasingly standardised charging infrastructure.