Mazda’s announcement that it will adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard beginning in 2025 is presently relevant to an exceptionally small number of people. Like other agreements nearly every other brand in the U.S. has reached with Tesla, this one will have Mazda installing NACS charging ports on its new EVs starting in 2025.
The NACS port on the vehicle and the plug that connects to it are significantly smaller than the Combined Charging System equipment brands other than Tesla have been fitting to their vehicles. Additionally, Tesla’s Superchargers make up the majority of the existing DC fast-charging network, which is a critical piece of infrastructure for long-range EV travel.
Having discontinued the electric MX-30 after the 2023 model year (and only a few hundred sales, all of which were in California), Mazda currently sells no EVs in the U.S. There is the plug-in hybrid version of the CX-90, but if you’re on a road trip and need to add range in a hurry, gas pumps trounce even the fastest EV charging stations.
So, what does it matter that Mazda will, as the company said in a statement, “adopt the [NACS] for charging ports on the company’s Battery Electric Vehicles launched in North America from 2025 onward”? First, it confirms that Mazda is, in fact, developing EVs. When the company announced the demise of the MX-30, the official line was that it was focusing on PHEVs.
But in an interview, newly installed Mazda CEO Masahiro Moro described his automaker as “an intentional follower” when it comes to EVs — a wise move given the company’s small size and the volatility of the current EV market. Ford and GM are just two automakers scaling back their investments in EVs as the spate of recent new-vehicle introductions has outpaced consumer demand.
Mazda has said it plans to have seven or eight EVs on sale globally by 2030, with the first arriving between 2025 and 2027. While the announcement that it will incorporate the NACS port in its electrified vehicles beginning in 2025 might simply refer to the plug-in CX-90, it could also be an indicator that we’ll see a Mazda EV in the U.S. soon.