The auto industry is currently grappling with the standardization of EV charging connectors. However, there’s another significant transition going on inside cars: the shift from the Universal Serial Bus-A (USB-A) to the more efficient USB-C charging port. This USB upgrade began around 2014 among computer and electronics companies. Although the transition is still ongoing in the automotive sector, the tech industry has widely adopted USB-C.
The USB-C offers significant benefits, including the ability to deliver more power and data. For perspective, modern USB-C can deliver 240 watts of power and up to 80 gigabits-per-second data rates, while the original USB-A from 1995 could only handle 7.5 watts or 1.5 megabits per second.
Various automakers are handling the USB transition differently. Companies such as Volkswagen, Toyota, and BMW are shifting entirely to USB-C. In contrast, Ford, GM, and Stellantis offer both types of ports. The adoption of USB-C offers customers faster charging times, and it is more cost-effective for automakers.
Industry experts believe that USB-A ports still exist for backward compatibility, but they predict that eventually all vehicles will transition to USB-C. While the USB-C technology offers numerous advantages for automakers, especially in electric vehicles, it remains to be seen if it will be the final charging cable solution. If a new disruptive technology emerges, the industry will adapt.