Volkswagen Group, which also owns Audi, Porsche, and Scout Motors, is finally doing what nearly every other automaker has already done: announce its intention to adopt Tesla’s electric vehicle charging standard.
VW said it is “exploring adapter solutions” so that its current EV owners can access Tesla’s Supercharger network and expects to have something to roll out by 2025. That same year, you’ll start to see new VW electric vehicles rolling off the assembly line with Tesla’s charging port natively installed. All told, VW says the deal will give its customers access to 15,000 Supercharger locations in North America.
VW said it is “exploring adapter solutions”
Of course, VW is incredibly late to this parade. Things started rolling in November 2022, when Tesla announced that it was renaming its charging technology to the North American Charging Standard (NACS) and would be opening it up to other automakers. Ford came first, then GM, and then, well, everyone else.
Volkswagen Group, one of the world’s largest automakers, with brands like Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Porsche, and Lamborghini under its umbrella, stayed mum throughout. All we got was some reporting that the company was “in talks” with Tesla. That story followed the news that Electrify America, VW’s EV charging subsidiary, would begin adding Tesla charging plugs itself. The rest of Germany’s auto industry soon followed, including BMW, Mini, and Mercedes-Benz.
Until recently, Tesla Superchargers were exclusive to Tesla owners. In fact, it was one of Tesla’s main selling points: consistent, exclusive, and abundant EV charging. But that began to change several years ago when the company started offering access to non-Tesla EVs —first in Europe and then in the US after the Biden administration said it would be a prerequisite to tap into some of the $7.5 billion for EV charging in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
Tesla’s Supercharger network is widely recognized as superior to many of the third-party EV charging stations, most of which feature CCS plugs and the less utilized CHAdeMO charging standard. The company says it has 45,000 Superchargers worldwide, 12,000 of which are located in the US.
And while other EV charging stations struggle with software glitches and faulty chargers, Tesla says its Superchargers are nearly perfect in their reliability. The company says that the average uptime of Supercharger sites last year amounted to 99.95 percent, down marginally from 99.96 percent in 2021.
Now, with VW out of the way, Tesla can train all of its attention on the last real holdout: Stellantis, which owns brands like Jeep, Chrysler, Ram, Dodge, Peugeot, Fiat, and many more.