Tesla’s NACS To CCS1 Adapter Works Great, But Has One Flaw

Less than two years ago, Tesla announced in November 2022 that they would be opening their charging protocol to all automakers. They hoped to turn their formerly proprietary standard, now dubbed the North American Charging Standard (NACS), into the default fast charging solution for electric vehicles in North America.

While automakers and consumers initially did not seem interested, we began to see cracks form in the CCS alliance. In early 2023, Ford announced it would be departing and siding with Team NACS. By the end of the year, most major automakers had abandoned the CCS protocol and adopted the NACS standard. 

DC Fast Charging Adapters

InsideEV’s own Tom Moloughney has now tested NACS to CCS1 adapters from Tesla, Lectron and A2Z. While all perform very well in tests, the Lectron is the easiest to operate due to a more natural method for detaching the adapter. But only the Tesla adapter is currently approved for use at Tesla’s Supercharging stations. 

Tesla's NACS to CCS Adapter

Now, Tesla has started a slow rollout of approving new brands for use with the Supercharging network. In the future, automakers like GM, Ford and Hyundai will ship with NACS ports as standard. But for current owners, use of the Supercharging network will require a CCS to NACS adapter. 

We have already seen these adaptors in action after Ford began shipping their adapter less than a month ago. State of Charge’s Tom Moloughney got an earlier look at a pre-production model several weeks ago. Now Tom has gotten his hands on the final production version and he is here to provide us with a full review.

At first glance the units appear identical, right down to the patented Tesla panel gaps. While we do not have a teardown of the unit yet, Tom predicts that the actual electronics are encased in a second casing below the exterior shell.

Once the adapter is available for sale, it is expected to cost $230 and it supports a max of 1,000v and 500 amps. The adapter is currently not UL 2252 certified since the certification is not finalized yet. But like his previously reviewed Lectron and A2Z products, the official Tesla-made product is designed to comply with the upcoming UL 2252 specifications.

Tesla CCS Adapter with panel gaps

Testing was done at the same Allamuchy, NJ Supercharger as the Lectron and A2Z adapters. The same charging stall was also used. As before, he charged an F-150 Lightning from 10% to 80%, measuring the temperature of the adapter every 5 minutes. 

To attach the adapter to the Supercharging cable, you merely need to slide it onto the NACS plug. The adapter locks into place automatically.

Removing the adapter isn’t quite as seamless. There is a sliding tab on the lower half of the adapter underneath the NACS plug. Both the adapter and cable have to be straddled awkwardly to release the lock. Tom prefers the ergonomics of the Lectron adapter which has a more natural trigger release.

The ergonomics of the unlock mechanism is quite awkward.

Keep in mind that neither the Lectron or A2Z adapters are officially approved for use with the Tesla Supercharging network. Tom expects that once all of these products are UL 2252 certified, they will most likely be approved for use on the Supercharging network. But until they are officially approved, use other adapters at your own risk. If some fault occurs and causes damage, you could be held liable. 

Tom found that the maximum pull for all three adapters was a respectable 161 kW. This is only a few kW lower than the maximum draw from an EVgo or Electrify America station. Starting at 10% and going up to 80%, the charge session added 90 kWh in 45 minutes.

At the start of the session, the adapter measured 52.5 degrees on a cool, breezy day with an exterior temperature of 55 degrees. The temperature peaked at 88 degrees 25 minutes into the charge session. 

Overall, the official NACS to CCS adapter performed very similarly to the Lectron and A2Z adapters. The only real negative is the process of detaching the adapter. After regular use, EV owners will become accustomed to this ritual and it will feel more natural. But the unlocking of the Lectron adapter is much more immediately intuitive. 

The compact design is nice, as is the sturdy metal tab for locking to your vehicle. The adapter also seems to direct heat away from the sides of the unit where you grip it most frequently. 

The only real downside for owners of other EVs? While these adapters will be shipping out to Ford and Rivian customers over the coming weeks, it will be quite a while before they’re widely available to other EV drivers for purchase.

Have you received one of the NACS to CCS adapters for your EV yet? If so, what has been your experience with the Supercharging network so far? Let us know in the comments below.