Tesla boss Elon Musk has confirmed that the EV maker will open up its Supercharging network to owners of other electric vehicles later in 2021, a move that will enable owners of other EVs to benefit from the same charging accessibility as Tesla owners.
The comment, made on Twitter on Wednesday morning (Australia time) firms up reports in June that Tesla had applied to Norwegian authorities to make up to five stations in the country of Vestland available to other EV makes. New Tesla publicly accessible Superchargers in Sweden may also be installed.
In response to a Twitter fan’s post regarding criticism for Tesla’s proprietary network, Musk said, “We created our own connector, as there was no standard back then & Tesla was only maker of long-range electric cars.”
While Tesla has in recent years started a transition by adding CCS2 plugs to new EVs (that is now regarded as the plug standard in Western countries such as the US, UK and Australia), older Tesla models have the original Tesla plug which can be used at older DC charging stations as well as AC Tesla destination chargers.
“It’s one fairly slim connector for both low & high power charging,” said Musk.
“That said, we’re making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year.”
We created our own connector, as there was no standard back then & Tesla was only maker of long range electric cars.
It’s one fairly slim connector for both low & high power charging.
That said, we’re making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2021
Tesla created its own charging network, and plug, simply because it recognised the need if its first volume electric vehicle, the Model S, were to have any chance of being a success.
In more recent years it would appear this has been criticised as being exclusionary, even though Musk has made it clear in the past Tesla was open to negotiating with other carmakers to allow them to use the Supercharging network, and that its ultimate mission is to encourage competition to accelerate the transition to clean electric transport.
Now, it would appear this will be the case, and Musk says that it will occur globally, but over time.
Over time, all countries
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2021
In the case of Norway, Tesla would receive a grant from the government in return for making a small number of chargers available to other EV makers. It appears that something similar may also happen in Sweden.
It’s not clear if Tesla’s motives are driven by further funding – be it from governments, other carmakers or simply from selling energy to more EV owners.
With a decline in regulatory credits that has enabled Tesla to report profits in recent quarters on the cards, it could be that the EV maker is looking to boost other revenue streams.
Whether this is the case, opening up the Supercharger network will be the great equaliser for EV owners: those purchasing other EV makes will be able to access as many chargers as Tesla owners with CCS2 plugs.
With the new V3 chargers soon to have a 300kW top charge rate up from 250kW, the Supercharger network will be close to on par with 350kW chargers such as those made by Swedish-Swiss electrification giant ABB and Australia-based Tritium.
And although many EVs of today cannot take advantage of that full charger rate (the Porsche Taycan which starts at around $200,000 being the fastest charging EV on the market today), new players like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 that have optional 800-volt, 350kW charging capabilities not far off a global launch will soon mean more EV owners looking for a fast top-up.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.