It's all about saving the world, regardless of which brand helps you do it.
During the Financial Times Future of Cars Conference, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a bold claim that could greatly improve the charging experience for non-Tesla owners: opening the supercharger network. "It's a little trickier in the US because we have a different connector than the rest of the industry, but we will be adding the rest of the industry connector as an option to Superchargers in the US," Musk said. This is a clear reference to the CCS charging connector, which every automaker besides Tesla currently uses in the US.
That's great news. But wait, didn't Musk already claim Tesla would open the Superchargers to other brands back in 2021? Well, like many of Musk's promises, you need only scratch just below the surface to find a contradiction or asterisk. Musk never said he would open up the chargers in the US... until now.
This is the first time Musk has explicitly mentioned the US when talking about opening the Superchargers to other brands. Tesla already uses the industry-standard CCS plug in Europe because it is mandated, but continues to use a proprietary plug here in the US. To ensure Tesla owners can still charge their vehicles, it appears Tesla will add the CCS connectors without eliminating the existing J1772 plug. It's unclear if Musk plans to make this change to existing stations, or only apply this change to newly built facilities. As with many Tesla-related ideas, no timetable was given for this expansion.
If Musk follows through, this would be a positive change for EV adoption. By giving EV owners more places to charge, Tesla could help inspire more people to trade in their gas-powered cars. However, this change is more difficult than just adding new plugs. The Superchargers will still need to communicate with every other EV, ranging from the Polestar 2 up to the Mercedes-Benz EQS. A Tesla Model 3 owner can currently plug in and charge without initiating any payment, as it's all handled by the car. Streamlining this same experience for other EVs will require countless lines of code.
We are happy to hear Elon Musk is at least pondering the idea of opening the Superchargers, but we remain dubious of when/if it will actually happen, and if it will be on a wide enough scale. CarBuzz will continue to monitor this situation closely as it develops.
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