Elon Musk says Tesla will open its vast Supercharger network to other electric vehicles later this year. The Tesla Inc. CEO confirmed the plans to allow non-Tesla EV owners to use fast-charging stations via Twitter. The Palo Alto-based electric vehicle company owns and operates over 25,000 Superchargers globally, by far the largest network in the world.
Before confirming the proposal, Musk explains why Tesla created its proprietary charging connector as there was no standard at the time for a manufacturer of long-range vehicles. According to the Twitter thread, the Supercharger network will initially open in some unspecified markets and gradually in all countries.
Opening its fast-charging stations to other automakers goes beyond simply letting other EVs pull up to a Supercharger and plug in. It will require that non-Tesla EVs come equipped with a compatible charging connector. Currently, the standard in most EVs is the CCS Combo 1, a connector that supports AC and DC charging through the same port using the SAE J1772 charging inlets; another one favored by some Japanese automakers is CHAdeMO, which requires a separate port for AC charging.
It isn’t presently clear whether Tesla is expecting other automakers to adopt its proprietary design or furnish an adapter of some sort. So how, exactly, Tesla is opening its chargers to other EVs has yet to be seen—and that means it could be a while before the sort of Supercharger access Musk is tweeting about becomes a reality for non-Tesla owners. Don’t be surprised if Tesla’s stock price jumps with this news; the Supercharger network has long been one of Tesla’s most valuable assets, and letting non-Teslas get a piece of the action could be a potentially lucrative revenue driver by capturing charging fees from new customers.
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