Tesla Must Give Other EV Brand Access To Superchargers If It Wants Billions In Government Funding

Government / 9 Comments

The Department of Transportation will likely mandate a Supercharger free-for-all next week.

According to Reuters, Tesla Superchargers will need to support the industry standard connector if the EV maker wants access to government subsidies, say administration officials.

The report states that the Department of Transportation is expected to finalize this requirement next week, putting pressure on Elon Musk's Tesla to accommodate its competitors. If Tesla does not comply, it will be unable to access the billions in subsidies ($7.5 billion) that make up part of the President's EV Charging Action Plan to have 500,000 EV chargers across the country (up from a goal of 100,000 in 2021).

Opening up the Supercharger network is not foreign to Musk, but it has been dragging on for a long time. This requirement could urge him to speed up the process, allowing Ford F-150 Lightnings to charge alongside Model 3 and other Tesla vehicles.


In 2021, Tesla opened Superchargers to other EVs In Norway. Last year May, after some Superchargers opened to other brands in the UK, Musk spoke about this happening in the US, too: "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." There are around 1,500 Superchargers in the US at present, which would be a welcome help in a society with limited access to EV chargers.

In July, the White House announced that Tesla would "begin production of new Supercharger equipment that will enable non-Tesla EV drivers in North America to use Tesla Superchargers." And last month, a Tesla owner accidentally discovered a CCS-compatible Supercharger in North America. CCS stands for Combined Charging System, the industry standard connector.


Clearly, this has been a long time coming. Still, with Tesla's reputation for failing to meet many of its own deadlines and keep many of its own promises, many began to wonder if CCS compatibility at Supercharger stations would become a reality any time soon. With the report that the government plans to exclude Tesla from charging network subsidies if it does not open its network to others, as well as the other developments mentioned above, this plan seems to be finally getting underway.

When we have reported on the potential for this to happen in the past, we have been inundated with messages from Teslarati, who are aggrieved that "their" exclusive network will soon become widely accessible, but it's worth remembering that Musk himself has never intended to keep the network brand-specific.

In an earnings call in July 2021, the Tesla CEO said that the goal of the Supercharger network was "not to create a walled garden and use that to bludgeon our competitors."


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