Supercharger network one of Tesla’s greatest features
Expanding to other automakers could provide new revenues
One of Tesla‘s biggest features is the Supercharger network. A massive network of Level 3 fast-chargers spread out across the world. Now, CEO Elon Musk says that the company will start to make the network available to the electric vehicles of other brands. The questions then are when and where?
The announcement came, as is usual for Musk and Tesla, through Twitter. Musk replied to a tweet about the supercharger network saying that “we’re making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year.”
We created our own connector, as there was no standard back then & Tesla was only maker of long range electric cars.
It’s one fairly slim connector for both low & high power charging.
That said, we’re making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2021
Follow-up questions asked if this would apply to only specific countries, to which Musk replied “over time, all countries.”
Tesla vehicles in North America use a Tesla-specific charge plug, meaning that if the company wanted other brands to be able to use its charging stations that either extensive retrofits would be needed or consumers would be forced to purchase an adapter.
In Europe, Tesla Supercharger stations have largely already been retrofitted with a CCS Combo 2 plug. That is the plug used on the Model 3 in Europe, related to EU laws on compatibility. The CCS Combo 2 plug is the current standard for Level 2 fast-charging used by nearly every other automaker, currently able to charge up to 350 kW. This could put Europeans far ahead on the list to get Supercharger access since it would be a matter of updated software in the Supercharger rather than requiring a hardware change.
There is some incentive to convert U.S. stations, though. Possible new incentives meant to boost green spending including electric vehicle adoption could lead to new government funding sources to help Tesla’s bottom line.