Volkswagen in talks with Tesla to adopt its charging standard

FILE PHOTO: Car chargers at a Tesla Supercharging station are shown in Carlsbad, California, U.S. Sept. 14, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) -Volkswagen is in talks with Tesla to adopt its North American Charging Standard (NACS) technology, while the German automaker's charging network unit Electrify America has already agreed to use the system.

The announcement comes as a slew of automakers and charging equipment makers choose Tesla's charging design on concerns of losing out on customers if they offer only the Combined Charging System (CCS) design, which is backed by automakers like Volkswagen and Hyundai Motor.

Ford, General Motors and ChargePoint are among the companies that have signed up for Tesla's charging design in the past few weeks.

"Volkswagen Group and its brands are currently evaluating the implementation of the Tesla North American Charging Standard (NACS) for its North American customers," Volkswagen said.

Electrify America, Volkswagen's EV charging network unit, has more than 850 charging stations with about 4,000 chargers in the United States and Canada.

During the NACS transition, Electrify America will continue to offer the widely used CCS connector.

Tesla, meanwhile, has expanded beyond its connectors to include CCS at some of its U.S. charging stations as the Biden administration seeks to provide billions in subsidies to expand charging networks.

Tesla's Superchargers account for about 60% of the total number of fast chargers in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The companies' decisions for NACS transition have shaken up the EV charging industry that likely was drifting towards the rival CCS connection, with the help of federal subsidies.

Separately, Polestar has signed an agreement with Tesla to make available its charging network to the customers of the Swedish electric vehicle maker in the United States and Canada.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram and Nathan Gomes in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli, Arun Koyyur and Shweta Agarwal)

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