After years of talking about it, Tesla CEO Elon Musk this week confirmed that the electric-car company will start to open up its network of Superchargers to other vehicles “later this year.”
Musk revealed the news on Tuesday, July 21, in response to a tweet about the company’s technology for rapid charging.
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
Details about the move are currently scant, but the news is of course a big deal for drivers of non-Tesla electric vehicles (EVs) who’ll soon have the chance to boost the juice at a bunch of new locations.
For drivers in the U.S., it’s going to mean getting hold of a charging adapter to fit the Superchargers, which may of course cost. Tesla will no doubt be happy to help.
In Europe, however, Tesla vehicles — and therefore its Superchargers — use the Combined Charging System also used by other automakers, suggesting that Tesla will open up its Superchargers there first.
Musk has long talked about opening up Tesla’s Supercharger network to EVs made by other automakers. Three years ago he insisted its system was not “a walled garden” that’s designed to keep other automakers out, but said that issues such as the connector compatibility would have to be overcome to make it happen. He added that at the time other automakers had shown little interest in using Tesla’s Superchargers, but it seems that this attitude could now be changing.
Offering its Superchargers to more vehicles would create a new revenue stream for Tesla through sales of both power and adapters. But Musk’s revelation may mean that drivers of its own vehicles will now be fearing longer lines at Supercharger stations when other electric cars start showing up as well.
However, the move looks like a positive one overall, giving drivers of non-Tesla vehicles more charging options while hopefully encouraging Tesla to further build out its network of Suerpchargers to improve its service and lower the chances of long waits at its stations.
Tesla currently has around 25,000 Superchargers at some 2,700 stations globally, with the technology enabling drivers to add up to 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes.