Lucid Seems Reluctant To NACS, Wants Excessive-Voltage Model

Lucid Motors shouldn’t be anticipated to be among the many first movers to undertake Tesla’s North American Charging Normal (NACS).

The Wall Road Journal‘s Stephen Wilmot had a possibility earlier this month to talk with Lucid Motors CEO Peter Rawlinson and ask him about the entire CCS1 to NACS transition.

As we will see within the video (see from about 7:00 right here or a small half in a tweet beneath), Lucid’s boss doesn’t look like too enthusiastic about NACS. He identified that the CCS1 and NACS are simply plastic plugs with some copper. The much more essential factor, in his opinion, shouldn’t be the plug, however the high-voltage (a degree of 1,000 volts), which have to be utilized to cut back the present (assuming the identical energy) and losses, and thus enhance effectivity. That is elementary, in keeping with Peter Rawlinson.


The Lucid Air mannequin is understood for its ultra-high effectivity, lengthy vary (over 500 miles, in keeping with the EPA), and ultra-fast charging functionality, which is past Plaid. One of many key parts to cost rapidly (at as much as over 300 kilowatts) is the high-voltage battery system of as much as round 900 V.

The Mixed Charging System (CCS1) charging commonplace totally helps such a voltage degree at present, and there’s a rising variety of CCS1 quick chargers prepared for as much as 350 kW of energy at as much as 800-1,000 volts. In different phrases, CCS1 does the job for Lucid.

Within the case of the NACS, so far as we all know, Tesla automobiles and Tesla Superchargers (V3) are presently utilizing a voltage degree of as much as 500 V (DC output). This considerably limits the flexibility to quick cost automobiles with a better voltage battery – just like the Lucid Air, Hyundai Ioniq 5, or Porsche Taycan – so long as there is no such thing as a particular on-board resolution for that.

We noticed this difficulty in a real-world check (50 kW charging of a Lucid Air) when Tesla opened a few of its chargers to non-Tesla EVs. It was very properly offered by our colleague Kyle Conner (Out of Spec) beneath:

With out rising the voltage, Lucid doesn’t have a lot curiosity in having access to the Tesla Supercharging community at present (by way of an adapter or natively), as a result of the charging energy will likely be too low and non-competitive, as in comparison with CCS1 chargers at Electrify America or different networks with 800+ V chargers.

The same voltage-related concern was raised additionally by Hyundai Motor, though we imagine that it has a decrease impression as a result of a decrease voltage on the E-GMP automobiles (600-800 V relying on the battery pack) and a decrease peak charging energy (220+ kW versus 300+ kW on Lucid). However the nature of the difficulty is strictly the identical. Energy output will likely be compromised (by the way in which, the identical considerations the 400-500 V CCS1 chargers as properly).

EV producers, which already adopted higher-voltage battery techniques, need a higher-voltage quick charging infrastructure. Finally, increasingly more EVs are anticipated to be outfitted with such battery techniques, as a result of that is merely a extra environment friendly resolution.

Peter Rawlinson says that 1,000 V (on the infrastructure aspect) is the long run and we agree. For top-end, and many of the mainstream electrical automobiles, we’ll most likely see 600-1,000 V battery techniques. There could be a section with 400 V battery techniques as properly – entry-level/smaller batteries.

Tesla Hints At 1,000 V – It is Coming

Tesla, when saying the opening of its proprietary charging connector in November 2022, mentioned that there’s a 1,000 V configuration of the NACS connector, in comparison with the presently used 500 V model. Furthermore, it will likely be able to supplying as much as one megawatt of energy.

In different phrases, as quickly as the corporate (and different OEMs) will begin producing 1,000-volt chargers, plugs, cables, and inlets (automobile aspect), the difficulty will progressively fade. The CCS1 chargers initially had been additionally solely low-voltage 50-100 kW models.

One other factor is that Ford, Normal Motors and Rivian, which joined the NACS coalition, wouldn’t resolve on the change with out securing a transparent path of supporting higher-voltage battery techniques, which they’re utilizing already or intend to make use of sooner or later.

This makes us fully calm that NACS will help 1,000 V and most charging velocity. Possibly in a single yr, possibly in two, more than likely it will likely be mixed with the 350 kW V4 charging stalls (longer cable is required to achieve charging inlets in numerous EVs).

As we perceive, Lucid’s place is extra associated to its present curiosity – they won’t profit a lot from the Tesla Supercharging community at present and they won’t be prepared to help Tesla (competitor), so long as attainable, to ultimately be part of as soon as every thing is prepared (if your entire market will actually transfer in direction of NACS). That is a very cheap place.

The final aspect is that Lucid is keen on bidirectional charging – Automobile-to-Grid (V2G) functions, and this additionally have to be totally outlined by Tesla, so different OEMs may contemplate adoption. Possibly CharIN will assist to standardize NACS to keep away from misunderstandings.

Yet another factor identified by Peter Rawlinson is that one of the essential issues within the EV business within the US is to help in a single day/residence charging (AC Degree 2) as a result of that is the dominant approach of recharging EVs. The grid requires strengthening. We’d additionally add the difficulty of road charging for individuals who do not have a devoted parking spot.