Tesla Inc.’s proprietary network of high-speed Superchargers in North America and Europe has been a major selling point for the California-based maker of electric vehicles, helping to make it the leader in the segment.
CEO Elon Musk confirmed what TheDetroitBureau previously reported: he’s opening the entire network to other electric vehicles — although about a year earlier than expected.
“(W)e’re making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year,” Musk said in a tweet Tuesday, later adding the network will be opened to other electric vehicles “Over time, all countries.”
The EV maker’s fast charging network boasts more than 25,000 ports globally. Naturally, it gave the company a leg up on its competition because of the proprietary hardware. Musk pointed out in his tweet the company really had no other choices as there was no single standard and the company was the only one making long-range EVs.
“It’s one fairly slim connector for both low & high power charging,” he tweeted.
Plans revealed earlier
Last month, TheDetroitBureau.com reported Tesla would begin allowing other brands to start plugging in to the Supercharger network, starting in September 2022. Details have yet to be formally announced, but it appears to transition will begin in Europe where Tesla chargers share the same CCS-style plug used by competitors.
Tesla began building its Supercharger network a decade ago, CEO Elon Musk seeing it as a way to address two of the biggest concerns voiced by potential EV owners: range anxiety and the lack of places to charge when traveling away from home.
The company currently operates more than 25,000 Superchargers at 2,700 stations worldwide. At the end of the first quarter of this year, that included 986 stations in the U.S. alone.
Initial move was thought to begin in Europe
Until Tuesday’s tweet, it was thought the transition would begin in Europe. The move has been rumored for some time, and officials in Germany and other parts of Europe announced they are in discussions with Tesla about opening its charging network.
According to website Electrek, there are several reasons for such a move. Among other things, it could help Tesla win incentives for its Supercharger system.
The website obtained minutes of a council meeting in Norway’s Westland County during which government officials confirmed plans to open up the Supercharger system by September 2022. That was a necessary prerequisite to winning government incentives available only for charging stations that are open to all EVs, whatever the brand.
Such a move could pose challenges in the U.S., however. Here, the carmaker uses a unique plug on its Superchargers. It would either need to make adapters available — or require non-Tesla owners to bring adapters with them.
Tesla already makes adapters available for its own customers so they can use the growing network of charging stations being set up by companies like EVgo, ChargePoint, Green Lots and Electrify America.