Tesla begins offering a CCS adapter in South Korea, ahead of promised US launch.
Connector standard consolidation has been moving in the direction of CCS, with Tesla having switched to this standard in Europe.
The automaker appears to be reconsidering the case for its Supercharger network's continued exclusivity, with Elon Musk promising to open Tesla's network to other EVs in late 2021.
Ahead of promised availability in the US, Tesla has begun offering a CCS adapter for owners of its cars in South Korea. The long-awaited move was announced without much fanfare or explanation why it was happening at this precise point in time, with South Korean Tesla owners joining those in Europe in being able to easily access non-Tesla charging stations.
European buyers, of course, have had this option for a while compared to those in North America—European market Teslas now use the CCS connector. But its arrival in the US as an official Tesla item is still on the horizon, with Tesla only indicating that it will arrive in North America "soon." If pricing in South Korea is any indication, such an adapter could be offered for about $255.
This adapter should not be confused with (or purchased in the belief) that it will permit non-Tesla EVs to charge at Supercharger stations in the States. That device has still not been offered by the automaker, despite CEO Elon Musk indicating earlier this year that it was coming later in 2021.
The timing of the debut of both types of adapters was believed to be close for a number of reasons, including the fact that third-party stations have grown in number to a point where they would offer added flexibility to Tesla owners, while the number and variety of non-Tesla EVs has started reaching a point where opening the Supercharger network to other brands might make sense for Tesla now that the case for excluding other EVs has waned.
Tesla has used its own proprietary connector as a selling point for much of its existence, of course, and it continues to be purchase a factor for Tesla buyers. But as the number of non-Tesla EVs has grown, there has been an expectations that the connector standards would eventually allow for interoperability, since Tesla owners could end up in a minority in the future and therefore at a disadvantage on the road.
The second type of adapter—one that would allow non-Tesla EVs to use Tesla Superchargers—could pose some technical hurdles of its own, as non-Tesla EVs might need software to permit them to talk to Tesla's Supercharger stations, and could be a process that may need to occur on a brand-by-brand basis.
Depending on when both types of adapters arrive, these events should serve to promote EV ownership as a whole now that the numbers of third-party stations have begun to swell, compared to roughly half a decade ago when it was a much different landscape.