After years of talking about it, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed this week that the electric car maker will begin opening its network of superchargers to other vehicles “later this year.”
Musk announced the news on Tuesday, July 21, in response to a tweet about the company’s fast charging technology.
We developed our own plug because back then there was no standard and Tesla only made long-range electric cars.
It’s a pretty slim connector for low and high power charging.
That means we’re making our Supercharger network accessible to other electric vehicles later this year.
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2021
Details about the move are sparse at the moment, but the news is of course a big deal for non-Tesla Electric Vehicle (EV) drivers who will soon have the chance to see the juice up in a number of new locations.
For drivers in the US, this means getting a charging adapter for the Supercharger, which is of course expensive. Tesla will no doubt be happy to help.
In Europe, however, Tesla vehicles – and thus its Superchargers – use the Combined Charging System, which is also used by other automakers, suggesting that Tesla will open its Superchargers there first.
Musk has long talked about opening up Tesla’s Supercharger network to electric vehicles from other automakers. Three years ago, he insisted that his system was not a “walled garden” designed to keep other automakers out, but said that problems like connector compatibility would have to be overcome to achieve this. He added that other automakers had shown little interest in using Tesla’s superchargers at the time, but it seems that attitude may now be changing.
Offering its Supercharger for more vehicles would open up a new source of income for Tesla through the sale of electricity and adapters. But Musk’s revelation could mean that drivers of his own vehicles will now fear longer lines at Supercharger stations if other electric cars show up too.
Overall, however, the move looks positive as it gives drivers of non-Tesla vehicles more charging options and hopefully encourages Tesla to expand its network of superchargers to improve its service and reduce the likelihood of long waiting times at its stations.
Tesla currently has around 25,000 superchargers at around 2,700 stations worldwide, with the technology enabling drivers to achieve a range of up to 200 miles in just 15 minutes.