Tesla and the White House announced that they reached a deal for the former to open its Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs in the US. The automaker also confirmed plans to double its number of chargers in the US by 2024.
Over the last year, Tesla has been working to open its Supercharger network to non-Tesla electric vehicles.
In Europe, Tesla has already opened hundreds of stations in most countries it operates in. The automaker indicated that it planned to do the same by the end of 2022 in North America, but we are now in 2023 and Tesla has yet to do it.
We knew it would be a bit more complicated in North America since, unlike in Europe where Tesla uses the standard CCS connector that is on all electric vehicles there, here, it uses its own proprietary connector, which makes opening the Supercharger to non-Tesla EVs more difficult.
When the automaker decided to open-source its proprietary connector in an attempt to make it the new North American standard last year, it cast some doubts about Tesla’s plan to open the network.
But we have since learned that Tesla has a solution to onboard EVs with CCS connectors on the Supercharger network with something called the Magic Dock, which is basically an integrated CCS adapter on Supercharger stalls.
With this in place, it’s unclear why Tesla had yet to open the Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs in the US yet.
We know that Tesla has a strong incentive to do so since a requirement to get access to the $7.5 billion in funding for EV charging infrastructure that the federal government announced is that the chargers work for EVs from more than one automaker.
Today, the White House released its official guidance for this program and as part of the announcement, it confirmed that Tesla has agreed to open the Supercharger network in the US by the end of 2024.
Furthermore, Tesla plans to “more than double” its Supercharger network in the US.
Here’s the official announcement coming from the White House:
Tesla, for the first time, will open a portion of its U.S. Supercharger and Destination Charger network to non-Tesla EVs, making at least 7,500 chargers available for all EVs by the end of 2024. The open chargers will be distributed across the United States. They will include at least 3,500 new and existing 250 kW Superchargers along highway corridors to expand freedom of travel for all EVs, and Level 2 Destination Charging at locations like hotels and restaurants in urban and rural locations. All EV drivers will be able to access these stations using the Tesla app or website. Additionally, Tesla will more than double its full nationwide network of Superchargers, manufactured in Buffalo, New York.
The announcement comes just days after Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with Biden administration officials regarding EV charging infrastructure.
The White House didn’t disclose how much funding Tesla will receive as part of the program but it is undoubtedly significant.
The Supercharger network is widely considered the best DC fast-charging network in the US, and Tesla currently owns about 60% of the US EV market.
This is undoubtedly great news for EV drivers everywhere. Tesla owners will get twice as many charging options while other EV drivers will have the opportunity to charge at many more locations on a reliable network.
The devil is always in the details however. Will Tesla owners have to wait on other EV drivers at busy Superchargers? Will Tesla have to change its Supercharger layout to facilitate other EV charge port locations? Will Tesla open important Supercharger locations or just enough to get the federal money and still leave other EV makers hamstrung?
It will be interesting to see how this goes but for now we should be optimistic that Tesla is helping with its stated goal of moving the world to sustainable energy and transport.
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