Faceoff: NACS Charger vs J1772 Charger — Lectron EV Skip to content
Faceoff: NACS Charger vs J1772 Charger

Faceoff: NACS Charger vs J1772 Charger

As the North American Charging Standard (NACS) closes in on its official standardization, some of you may be wondering what this means for the beloved J1772. A bit of background: SAE J1772 is still the charging standard for AC charging in North America. NACS is not here to claim the throne but to establish its own as the DC fast charging king.

They may be from completely different sides of the electric vehicle charging market, but people can't help but compare NACS and J1772. While this might look like comparing apples to oranges, we'll indulge you anyway.

What is the J1772 Charging Standard?

In the US, there are two main connector types for EV charging: Tesla and non-Tesla. Tesla electric vehicles use a proprietary charging connector for both AC and DC fast charging. For non-Tesla owners aka the rest of the EVs in North America, the J1772 connector is used.

The J1772, also known as the J-Plug, is used in Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations in North America. The 5-pin, single-phase connector can deliver 1.44 kW to 19.2 kW, depending on whether it's plugged into a NEMA 5-15/NEMA 14-50 outlet or hardwired. Following its standardization in 2009, the J1772 connector was first used by the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf.

Just 2 years later, it became the basis for the Combined Charging System (CCS) connector for DC fast charging stations.


J1772 Chargers offer several advantages that contribute to their popularity and widespread adoption in the EV charging infrastructure.

Compatibility: One of the standout features of J1772 chargers is their extensive compatibility. Designed to work with a wide range of electric vehicles, these chargers provide a versatile and future-proof charging solution, accommodating both current and upcoming EV models.

Safety: Safety is paramount in EV charging, and J1772 chargers incorporate advanced safety features to ensure secure and hazard-free charging experiences. These features include interlocking mechanisms and ground fault protection, safeguarding both the vehicle and the user during the charging process.

Ease of Use: The user-friendliness of the J1772 connector enhances the charging experience, allowing for simple and convenient plug-in and disconnect actions. This ease of use not only improves the overall charging process but also encourages more people to embrace electric vehicles.

Integration with Existing Infrastructure: Many public charging stations across the United States are equipped with J1772 connectors, seamlessly integrating with the existing charging infrastructure. This widespread availability makes it easy for EV owners to find charging options and access charging facilities wherever they go.

Reliability: J1772 Chargers have established a reputation for reliability and durability over time. Their proven track record in the field contributes to their acceptance as a standard charging solution, instilling confidence among EV owners and operators alike.


Despite their many advantages, J1772 chargers encounter several challenges.

Slow Charging Speed: Level 2 J1772 chargers typically offer limited charging speeds, capping out at around 19.2 kW. This slower rate is notably less than what DC fast chargers provide, leading to extended charging durations for EV owners.

Concerns Regarding Physical Durability: Users have reported issues with the physical durability of J1772 connectors. Components like the latch tend to degrade faster than anticipated, needing regular replacement due to normal wear and tear. A study conducted in the Bay Area showed only 72% of J1772 chargers are functional, far from the government mandated uptime of 97% or more.

Pressure for Technological Advancements: With the continuous evolution of the EV market, there is a growing demand for faster charging technologies. The current J1772 standard is under pressure to evolve to meet these demands or risk becoming outdated compared to newer or improved charging standards.

What is the Tesla (NACS) Charging Standard?

Contrary to popular belief (or what it may look like from the outside), the NACS connector is not the same plug currently used across Tesla's Supercharger network. NACS will use power-line communication (PLC) instead of the CAN bus communication currently in Tesla connectors. It will also utilize the ISO 15118 protocol similar to CCS connectors, making it electrically compatible with CCS-enabled non-Tesla EVs.

While the industry is already referring to it as a charging standard, the NACS has to pass through SAE International before its commercialization. That may not be too far from now as the organization has already released the Technical Information Report at the end of 2023, a mere 6 months after the announcement of the planned standardization. Once standardized, commercialization of the NACS connector will be greenlit, with major electric vehicle manufacturers already plotting a 2025 release of NACS-equipped EVs.


Tesla's North American Charging Standard (NACS) offers several significant advantages, particularly within the Tesla ecosystem.

Universal Compatibility: While the Tesla Universal Wall Connector is already available for Tesla and non-Tesla charging, the standardization of the NACS will allow compatible EVs unrestricted access to Superchargers without needing adapters. This streamlined approach promotes inclusivity within the EV industry.

Enhanced Accessibility and Convenience: The expansion of NACS charging stations, particularly the introduction of 250 kW Tesla Superchargers strategically located along highways, addresses a critical concern for potential EV buyers: the availability of reliable and fast charging options.

Emphasis on Speed: NACS chargers prioritize DC charging, enabling much faster charging times compared to the traditional J1772 standard that deliver AC power. This emphasis on rapid charging enhances the overall charging experience for non-Tesla cars, particularly during long-distance travel.

Compact and User-Friendly Design: Despite its high-power output, the NACS connector is designed to be compact and user-friendly. This ergonomic design enhances the overall user experience, making charging more convenient and accessible for any EV model.


Despite its promising future, the NACS Tesla connector is not immune to cons:

Slow Rollout: With a Fall 2024 target for official standardization, Tesla has rolled out, albeit slowly, the Magic Dock to select Supercharger stations to accommodate non-Tesla charging. In March 2024, the company announced that Ford EVs can now access its network using a complimentary adapter to be shipped to Ford owners for free. However, users have been reporting being too far down the waitlist and shipping time taking too long. Other EV brands expect access in the following months. Some have opted for third-party NACS adapters instead of waiting for the free ones.

Potential Higher Charging Costs: The specialized nature of Tesla's charging technology may result in higher charging costs over time. While Tesla's Superchargers offer fast and convenient charging, the associated costs may be less competitive compared to other charging networks, especially for non-Tesla EV owners.

Complexity for Non-Tesla EV Owners: While select non-Tesla electric vehicles can now access Superchargers using Tesla adapters, compatibility is not guaranteed for all vehicles or charging conditions. This introduces a layer of complexity for non-Tesla EV users seeking to tap into Tesla's expansive charging network, potentially leading to uncertainty and inconvenience during the charging process.

The Ultimate Faceoff

The NACS charger and the J1772 charger represent two distinct standards in the EV charging landscape. While both serve the common goal of powering EVs, they differ significantly in their design, capabilities, and compatibility. Understanding these variances is crucial for EV owners to make informed decisions about charging their vehicles.

Fast Charge and High-Speed

The differences between NACS and J1772 chargers have a significant impact on charging speed and efficiency. NACS focuses on high-speed charging, making it suitable for long-distance travel. The upgraded Supercharger v3 will carry these connectors, providing up to 250kW. On average, DC chargers can fill up your battery from 0 to 80% in under an hour. However, frequent use of fast charging is bad for EV battery health.

On the other hand, J1772 chargers are meant for AC charging. They can provide anywhere between 1.44 kW and 19.2 kW, which should be enough for overnight charging.

Charging Infrastructure

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are currently 2,280 NACS charging stations across the US with 25,342 Tesla chargers available. Tesla is looking to open 7,500 more Supercharger stations by the end of 2024 to address the growing demands from both Tesla and non-Tesla EVs.

In comparison, there are 52,290 J1772 charging stations (or 116,587 charging ports) in the country. While the disparity may be glaring, a study has found that only 72.5% of non-Tesla chargers were functional in the Bay Area, while only 4% of Tesla owners reported difficulty in using the Supercharger network.

Non-Tesla EV Owners and NACS Plug

Previously, non-Tesla EVs were only able to charge with Mobile Connectors, Wall Connectors, and Destination Chargers using Tesla to J1772 adapters. However, clamor for access to the proprietary Supercharger network and a movement to make EV charging more inclusive prompted Tesla to do a test run of non-Tesla charging in select European cities.

In 2022, Tesla released the design of its connector to third-party manufacturers to strengthen its campaign of standardizing the Supercharger in North America. In mid-2023, major automakers Ford and GM announced they were adopting the connector starting in 2025. More brands followed suit and just this March, Ford released its NACS adapter to the first 15,000 customers.

Tesla Charging at J1772 Chargers

Tesla vehicles can access J1772 chargers using J1772 to Tesla adapters for Level 2 charging. Additionally, CCS-enabled Teslas are allowed access to CCS fast chargers using CCS to Tesla adapters for up to 150 kW charging rate.


The North American Charging Standard is still far from officially becoming the standard connector for EVs. Until the first NACS-equipped non-Tesla EV is released in 2025, it remains to be seen how NACS will fare in the broader electric vehicle market. However, its rapid expansion and integration within Tesla's ecosystem showcase its potential to revolutionize the charging landscape.

Meanwhile, the J1772 standard continues to play a crucial role in EV charging, offering compatibility and accessibility to a diverse range of electric vehicles. As the EV industry continues to evolve, the coexistence of multiple charging standards highlights the importance of interoperability and cooperation among manufacturers and stakeholders. Ultimately, the future of EV charging will depend on innovation, standardization, and the collective effort to address the growing needs of electric vehicle owners worldwide.


  • Is CCS charger same as J1772?

    While they share design similarities, the CCS (Combined Charging System) adds two larger pins to the existing J1772 plug to facilitate fast charging. CCS chargers offer higher power levels for compatible EVs, whereas J1772 chargers are more commonly found in residential and public charging stations for slower AC charging.

  • What is the difference between CCS and NACS chargers?

    CCS (Combined Charging System) and NACS (North American Charging Standard) are both DC fast charging standards, but they serve different markets. CCS is used by non-Tesla EVs for fast charging, while the NACS is an upcoming DC charging standard based on Tesla's proprietary charging connector.

  • Is Type 2 charger same as J1772?

    No, the Type 2 charger refers to the Mennekes connector used as the charging standard in Europe. Meanwhile, the J1772 is the charging standard in North America.

  • Is NACS a standard?

    NACS (North American Charging Standard) is on its way to becoming a standard for Tesla's DC fast charging, although it's not yet universally adopted. As of now, NACS is primarily associated with Tesla's proprietary charging infrastructure, particularly the Supercharger network.

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