On June 29, 2023, Finnish electric motorcycle maker Verge Motorcycles officially announced plans to use Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) charging network to power its motorbikes. That makes it the first electric motorcycle maker to adopt the standard, alongside fellow EV (but non-motorcycle) manufacturers Ford, General Motors, and Rivian.
While many EV owners charge their vehicles at home, access to chargers that fit your vehicle when you’re traveling can be a challenge, particularly for electric motorcycles. Although energy density characteristics and battery technologies have improved over time, the fact remains that electric motorcycles have smaller available ranges than four-wheeled electric vehicles in 2023—and thus, will find themselves in need of a top-up more frequently.
“We have been following with interest the discussion about the future of the charging infrastructure and Tesla’s decision to open up its NACS charging standard. Providing our customers with a comprehensive and easy fast charging system is vital in terms of Verge’s growth. We are currently preparing to enter the US market, and as the Tesla of motorcycles, this decision seemed like a natural solution for us,” Verge Chief Technology Officer Marko Lehtimäki said in a statement.
“Total customer service is everything for Verge. We want Verge owners to have access to the most extensive fast charging system in North America, which is why we plan to utilize Tesla’s network of 17,000 charging stations,” Verge US operations Chief Operating Officer Pekka Parnanen added.
The timing seems particularly ideal for Verge from a strategic point of view, since it’s currently on the cusp of its entry into the US market. Although the company has made positive impressions with appearances at the Consumer Electronics Show in the past, the fact remains that it’s a young company in the electric motorcycle space, particularly as compared to American electric motorcycle makers Zero and Harley-Davidson/LiveWire. Adopting the NACS standard ahead of both those brands, as well as Italian electric moto maker Energica, seems a strong choice to set Verge apart from other electric moto manufacturers that currently sell bikes in North America.
Speaking from personal experience, it’s sometimes easier to find multiple Tesla Superchargers in some locations I’ve wanted to travel on the long-term Zero SR/F that I’m currently borrowing than it can be to find the J1772 ones that I need. (That’s before we begin any potential discussions about charging speed, which could be a separate pain point for some riders. That’s also why I think more restaurants should have EV chargers in their parking lots, because it could potentially be a big win for both the restaurant and the EV operator, but that’s another discussion for another day.)
There are a lot of Tesla drivers on American roads in 2023, and a moto maker taking advantage of that fact seems like a smart call—particularly since Tesla seems to make a habit of installing two or more chargers in each place. That, theoretically, makes it more likely that you’ll be able to find a charger that is both a) open and b) functional when you need it.
Verge’s striking designs have attracted much positive commentary since the introduction of the Verge TS lineup. Clearly, that’s only one piece of the puzzle—and how well the bikes (and the brand) are received in North America will depend on all the usual things: Riding experience, customer service experience, fit/finish/longevity, and so on. The NACS announcement is an intriguing piece of the puzzle, and we look forward to seeing the entire picture as Verge’s bikes begin to roll out in the US in the not-too-distant future.