BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce Move to NACS
The trickle of manufacturers moving to the North American Charging Standard (NACS) introduced by Tesla has become a tidal wave. BMW Group, which not only owns BMW, but also Mini and Rolls-Royce, has announced that its vehicles in the U.S. and Canada will adopt the standard for its vehicles starting in 2025. The move will give drivers of BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce electric cars access to the Tesla Supercharger network, massively increasing convenience and charging confidence.
BMW’s Growing EV Lineup
Between its three brands, BMW Group currently offers six electric vehicles in the U.S. market, in numerous trim levels and battery capacities. And there are, of course, more to come. In addition to the i4, i5, i7, and iX, BMW has already announced an all-new Neue Klasse sedan, which will replace the 3 Series. Mini will offer an electric Cooper and Countryman. And even Rolls-Royce is in on the fun, with the all-electric Spectre luxury coupe.
“It is our top priority to ensure that our drivers have easy access to reliable, fast charging,” said Sebastian Mackensen, BMW of North America president and CEO. “This agreement is the latest in our longstanding and continued effort to expand charging options for our customers as we continue on the road to electrification.”
BMW Group: Seamless Payments and Charging Convenience
BMW group says that over the next several months, its brands will work with Tesla to create a “seamless customer experience” that allows drivers to find and access available Tesla Superchargers on their in-vehicle navigation system, and enable payments through the BMW, Mini, and Rolls-Royce apps. That’s a step beyond what other manufacturers like Ford and General Motors will offer, where drivers will have to download the Tesla app and create a Tesla account in order to charge and set up billing.
Currently, BMW Group vehicles in the U.S. and Canada use the Combined Charging System (CCS) plug for their electric cars. Starting in 2025, they too will get access to the Supercharger network through a plug adapter.
New High Speed Charging Network
Of course, access to Superchargers is only part of the story. BMW is one of seven car manufacturers that have announced a new joint venture to build a new, high-power electric charging network across North America. With a commitment to add at least 30,000 new high speed chargers in metro areas and along major routes, the new company will double the number of available high-speed chargers across the U.S. (the current Tesla Supercharger count is about 12,000).
The new company, which has yet to be named, will open its first high-speed charger station in mid-2024, and all of its high-speed chargers will feature both CCS and NNACS ports – making convenient high-speed charging available to drivers of EVs from all brands and standards.