Tesla will have to open its Supercharging network in the US to all EVs to continue receiving federal incentives
The company prematurely released a feature to the Tesla app that shows they are working on memberships
This could be a way to still favour Tesla drivers despite allowing every EV to use the network
Tesla has been talking about opening its Supercharging network to every electric vehicle in the United States for a while now, but it might have to actually do it quite soon in order to continue receiving federal funding for new stations.
This is because the Biden administration is prioritizing EV charging stations that can accommodate every electric vehicle on the road, which means that Tesla’s current Superchargers that can only be used by Tesla vehicles do not qualify.
Since the exclusive use of the Supercharging network is one of the company’s strongest selling points, many Tesla drivers are not happy with this requirement, which means that the automaker will have to find a way to comply with the requirements while still favouring Tesla drivers.
To do so, the company will use membership packages that will be offered to drivers of non-Tesla electric vehicles. Since the company recently released these memberships on the Tesla app by mistake, many of the details of this scheme are already known.
Indeed, the information that was displayed on the app for a short while included two types of membership: a pay-per-use plan and a monthly subscription.
The pay-per-use system will allow access to the Supercharging network for everyone, but it is likely that users who choose this plan will have to pay a higher price per kWh than Tesla drivers using the same stations.
In the case of the subscription plan, the company indicated users would benefit from a lower price per kWh, which could mean they will pay the same rate as Tesla drivers, in addition to a monthly fee.
In the app, this fee was shown to be only $0,99 per month, which seems unlikely. The actual subscription should be closer to $10 per month.
This will make it possible to charge any electric vehicle on the Tesla network but it will not be as cost-efficient for non-Tesla drivers as independent networks.
This could be a middle ground that would allow Tesla to comply with federal regulations while making sure that other EVs are not clogging all of the Supercharger stations in areas where third-party solutions are offered for them.