NACS to CCS Adapter: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying — Lectron EV Skip to content
NACS to CCS Adapter: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying

NACS to CCS Adapter: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying

DC fast charging may not be the first choice for most electric vehicle owners, but it still is a segment of the industry worth several billions of dollars. And Tesla wants a share of the wealth.

The US currently has two major players in the fast charging market: the Tesla Supercharger and the Combined Charging System (CCS). A third one, the CHAdeMO, comprises a small portion of DC fast chargers and is commonly found on older Nissan and Mitsubishi EVs. However, they are slowly being replaced by the CCS.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are roughly 10,000 DC electric car charger stations across the country -- 7,000 of them are CCS charging stations and only 2,200 belong to the exclusive Tesla Supercharger network. However, when it comes to the number of charging ports, Tesla Superchargers far outnumber non-Tesla charging stations, with 25,000 EV chargers compared to the latter's 15,000. And with the North American Charging Standard (NACS) nearing standardization, Tesla is looking to assert its dominance over nearly three-quarters of the US EV market.

The NACS Connector

The NACS connector, initially known as the "Tesla charging connector" or SAE J3400, is Tesla's proprietary direct current (DC) rapid charging connector. After a successful test run of non-Tesla Supercharging in select European cities, Tesla released the design of its connector, prompting an industry-wide campaign for its standardization.

Image courtesy of Tesla

Unlike the CCS, which added two DC pins to the existing J1772 connector, thus making it bulky, the NACS connector sports the familiar compact design of the Tesla connector. While the NACS looks identical to the existing Tesla Superchargers, the former uses the ISO 15118 protocol to communicate instead of the latter's CAN bus, making it electrically compatible with CCS-enabled EVs.

In mid-2023, Ford and GM were the first to announce that they would be releasing NACS-equipped models in 2025. A month later, SAE International announced it would standardize the connector. Less than six months later, the Technical Information Report was published in December, and the organization targets to finalize the standardization by Fall 2024.

What Does this Mean for Older EVs?

The decision by SAE International to standardize the NACS connector is a significant milestone, as it provides clarity and assurance to developers, manufacturers, and electric vehicle enthusiasts, encouraging the widespread adoption of the standard. But what does this mean for older EVs?

Image courtesy of Forbes

As part of its commitment to opening its charging network to non-Tesla vehicles, the company started rolling out Magic Docks to its existing Superchargers. This Tesla adapter allows CCS-enabled EVs to charge at Tesla Supercharger stations at up to 250 kW, allowing them to enjoy fast charger speeds even before the NACS release. However, some users have been reporting being limited to as low as 42 kW of charging.

Where Can You Get NACS Adapters?

The earliest NACS-compatible non-Tesla EV will not be seen until 2025, but major carmakers and third-party manufacturers have already released their own NACS to CCS adapter early this year.

With the anticipated demand for the NACS charging adapters, third-party manufacturers stepped in to fill the gap in the market. One of the first to release their own NACS adapter was Lectron, which started pre-orders for its Vortex Plug in December 2023 and began shipping to customers as of February 2024, coinciding with Ford's access to Superchargers. Lectron's Supercharger to CCS1 adapter allows CCS-enabled EVs access to more than 12,000 NACS charging stations. It features a rated current of 500A and a rated voltage of 1000V for a faster and more efficient charging experience.


Image courtesy of Ford

Beginning February 29 through June 30, 2024, Ford is opening registration to eligible Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning owners in the US and Canada for a free NACS charger adapter, with the first batch shipping out in March. After the said period, the NACS Tesla adapter will be available for purchase for $230, plus taxes and shipping. However, some Ford users are reporting an overwhelming number of registrants, with some finding their names beyond the 50,000 mark.

The Ford adapter can support up to 250 kW of charging and will only be compatible with Tesla V3 Superchargers. Compatible Superchargers can be located using the FordPass.


Image courtesy of Rivian

In mid-March, Rivian announced it is shipping its NACS DC charging adapter for free to R1S SUV and R1T truck owners starting in April. The adapter is only compatible with the Supercharger V3 and will not work with the older V2. The automaker said existing vehicle owners will receive notifications directly on their vehicle's display screen. These notifications will include a QR code that owners can scan to reserve the adapter. Compatible Superchargers have also been added to Rivian's navigation system.

Electrify America Pledge

In June 2023, Electrify America announced the addition of the NACS connector to its fast charging networks in both the US and Canada. The EV charging giant plans to introduce NACS connector options at both existing and future charging stations by the year 2025 while continuing to offer the CCS1 connector across its network.

Locating Superchargers Open to NACS

Tesla said there are currently over 15,000 charging stalls open to NACS across the country. However, there are areas where availability may be limited. So how can you locate these upgraded Superchargers?

Public Charging Apps:

  1. Tap on the Home icon on your vehicle’s touchscreen.

  2. Select Public Charging.

  3. The app will display the nearest charging stations to your vehicle's current location.

  4. Tesla Superchargers requiring a NACS adapter will be identified with a label.

  5. Incompatible stations will be marked with a red alert.

Tesla App:

  1. Download the Tesla App on your phone.

  2. Register your vehicle details to automatically see which NACS Superchargers you can charge at.

  3. Enter your location to find nearby NACS-compatible Superchargers.

Tesla Website:

  1. Open Tesla’s “Find Us” page.

  2. Enter your current location.

  3. Select “Superchargers Open to NACS” from the filter options.

  4. This will refine your search, displaying only the upgraded Tesla Superchargers near you that are compatible with non-Tesla EVs.

What to Consider Before Buying

If you're one of the many who find themselves at the bottom of the Ford or Rivian waitlist and can't wait until your free unit is shipped out, you might want to consider buying the adapter from third-party manufacturers. But before you pull the trigger, here are some factors to consider:

Ship out date

Check the estimated ship-out date for the adapter. Depending on availability and demand, it's important to know when you can expect to receive the adapter after placing an order. If the estimated ship-out date aligns closely with the timeframe for receiving the complimentary adapter, you might want to wait and save your money instead.


Ford says its adapter would retail for $230 outside the registration period, so third-party ones will likely be around the same price point. However, be on the lookout for promos and discounts. Lectron's Vortex Plug, for instance, is currently priced at just $199.99.

Charge Speed

Charge speed is a crucial aspect of electric vehicle charging, as it directly impacts the time required to recharge your vehicle. The NACS to CCS adapter can influence charge speed, as adapters may introduce inefficiencies or limitations compared to direct connections. It's essential to understand how the adapter may affect charging speed and whether it aligns with your charging needs.


Ensure that the adapter is compatible with your EV model. Compatibility issues could prevent the adapter from properly connecting to your vehicle's charging port, rendering it unusable for quick Tesla charging. Verify compatibility with your vehicle's specifications to avoid any compatibility issues and possible damage to your car battery.

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