By on July 21, 2021

On Tuesday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that his company’s proprietary charging network would be opened up to other brands by 2022. It’s something Europe has been pressing the automaker on for years and a topic that’s become increasingly popular in the United States. Tesla announced it had completed over 25,000 charging points this year and most Western governments have committed themselves to advance electrification whether or not consumers or the industry feels ready.

But the charging infrastructure necessary to support the transition isn’t in place, leaving countries to craft grand infrastructure programs that cost taxpayers a literal fortune. Meanwhile, various energy concerns and automotive giants have attempted to build charging networks of their own under names like ChargePoint, Blink, or Electrify America. These public charging stations have helped support EVs that don’t wear the Tesla badge while establishing an entire subcategory of mobile apps designed specifically for finding them. But it hasn’t helped standardize charging, which some see as a major hurdle for EVs. Opening up Musk’s Superchargers might go a long way toward achieving something greater, albeit at some expense to his own clientele.

Tesla is inarguably the king of electric vehicles. Love or hate the brand, it’s the one that brought battery-driven vehicles into the mainstream and this was made possible due partially to the fact that it was building its own charging network.

“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,” Musk explained via Twitter. “That said, we’re making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year.”

After scouring the dregs of social media, Tesla owners seem to be annoyed that something that was originally seen as a perk (a charging network all to themselves) will now be handed out freely to lesser members of the EV community. There are worries that charging lines will become the norm at Tesla-branded stations. Some are also accusing it of breaking its promise of offering a lifetime of free charging to certain customers — an issue that has come up before. While we’re not sure how the latter issue plays into this, the former is undoubtedly something that could become a problem for Tesla owners that previously enjoyed the VIP treatment.

Tesla leaned into this too, often advertising its products of having the advantage of using their exclusive charging stations. Though it was often hinted at that this was a way to rope in customers when EV adoption was practically nonexistent. It’s also already possible for other EVs to use its network using adaptors (e.g. the J1772 connector), leaving only the slickest high-speed chargers for Tesla customers.

Musk did not specify which countries would be the first to see universally available charging. However, he did state that it would eventually be the status quo in all countries with the first examples taking place in 2021. Tesla has also been rumored to have been in discussing opening its Supercharger network with various European countries, making us think that’ll be the region that’s up to bat first.

We’re also feeling pretty secure in assuming this could set the company up for new government subsidies. It already makes a mint selling carbon credits to its rivals and announced $518 million in revenue from sales of regulatory credits in the first quarter of 2021. Sharing its network could result in new tax exceptions, regulatory crediting, and government grants.

[Image: JL IMAGES/Shutterstock]

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42 Comments on “Tesla Opening Charging Network to Other Brands...”


  • avatar
    hardline

    About damn time, this is only logical if people want to replace ICE. Im glad finally.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “most Western governments have committed themselves to advance electrification whether or not consumers or the industry feels ready.”

    You misspelled “dictatorships”.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      I guess it’s always a dictatorship when they’re pushing a policy that you don’t agree with?

      I’m guessing you’re somewhere near my age (71) since you don’t have to worry about what kind of world you’re going to be leaving to the next generation.

      Never mind that the average EV is a much better, and more pleasant, driver than the average ICE automobile.

      • 0 avatar
        hardline

        Its always a dictatorship when they are dictating…..

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        The PR China is a de facto dictatorship, few would argue that point. The EU always was or has become a dictatorship, this was already established by an insider in a PBS interview but no one was listening at the time:

        “The European Parliament is a false, pseudo democratic institution. Its no more than democratic disguise for the [European] Commission. The idea that its a democracy is absurd.”

        Sir James Goldsmith, Member of European Parliament, 11/15/1994

        https://youtu.be/wwmOkaKh3-s?t=2604

        Whether you want to believe the past US election was in any way legitimate, or that the 2016 election was legitimate, is your own affair. I have no doubt a junta is in control in D.C., and it has the unwavering support of US State Media. The language coming from State Media, think tanks, and NGOs both in the US and across the pond leaves no doubt they want to bring about *major* societal changes and I personally doubt any of this would be even acknowledged with the previous US administration in control or without the events of 2020. The end game is neo feudalism which was baked into the cake after 2008 but I believe they were not ready to execute the implementation because either the technology was not ready or didn’t yet exist. I have been into technology since I was 10 and I’m here to tell you they will use it in order to force about a dystopia, I believe one of neo-feudalism along the lines I described.

        The EV is part of this dystopia because:

        1. “Over the air” allows for the vehicle to not only be tracked but bricked at the push of a button. This can already be accomplished with ICE vehicles but I imagine could be defeated given enough research. They will likely build the EVs so it self destructs if it thinks its being tampered with.

        2. EVs will always have a limited range, this is a feature not a bug. In the neo-feudal world of the future if you have one at all will mean you’re on the upper end of the social strata. I envision something similar to the automotive situation in the Warsaw Pact nations. Party member and cronies have access to the best (and imports), the next strata will have quick access to Leaf 3.0, and the rest either nothing or on a waiting list. Similar thing happened with the KdF car in 1938 and 1939 (Beetle).

        3. Unless something changes EV will be designed for a lifespan of the battery pack and then disposal. Currently the cost of a Model 3 replacement was $16K, unless there is going to be some kind of trade situation where the original owner gets a new Model 3 et al before year 10 without taking a bath and the used one becomes remanufactured somehow for remarketing, I don’t see how the economics are going to work on these. What may happen is an eternal lease cycle in concert with #1 and the general propaganda coming out about a feudal like rental only lifestyle that may be what’s in store.

        https://www.currentautomotive.com/how-much-does-a-tesla-model-3-battery-replacement-cost/

        4. I do believe it is wise to investigate hybrid options for automobiles because there are Earth science factors at play every day, but the minute some lunatic spouts off about science being absolute and Manbearpig will eat me in my sleep I know they are absolutely lying to advance an agenda. The fact the hybrid seems to have been completely abandoned when it fulfills so many positive goals tells me all I need to know about an agenda in EV.

        5. The IP issues in EV abound, and we thought FoMoCo or John Deere were dicks just wait until you want to do anything with your laptop-car.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          “2. EVs will always have a limited range, ”

          So are ICE cars. There are EVs with a longer range than some ICE cars now. A Mustang GT350 has a 256-mile range that is less than a Chevy Bolt. Limited range is more of a problem for ICE since the number of gas pumps will be going down as the number of chargers increases.

          “3. Unless something changes EV will be designed for a lifespan of the battery pack and then disposal.”

          That is happening. Here’s a Model X that had its battery last 317,000 miles. The car has 400k now, so it didn’t last the life of the vehicle, but the new 4680 cells should be better.

          https://jalopnik.com/this-tesla-model-x-has-driven-over-400-000-miles-here-1841761190

          My LiFe cell provider is quoting 2k to 3k cycles which would be 600k to 900k miles on a 300 mile range EV. Tesla is probably using the same cell in the LiFe battery Model 3. So, avoid the lithium ion batteries if you want to keep your car beyond 300k miles.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Limited range is more of a problem for ICE since the number of gas pumps will be going down as the number of chargers increases.”

            I can’t see into the future but I do not see that exact scenario playing out anytime soon.

            “So, avoid the lithium ion batteries if you want to keep your car beyond 300k miles.”

            I take it the Model 3 shipped with lithium ion batteries then and there is a better technology called LiFe cell now being offered?

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      @28-Cars-Later

      You may be onto something there.

    • 0 avatar

      No, we voted out the dictator last November. ;)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        If voting really mattered they wouldn’t let you do it.
        – Carlin

        • 0 avatar
          Nick_515

          as someone who grew up under an ACTUAL dictatorship… your comments amuse me, 28-cars.

        • 0 avatar
          Wheatridger

          Yes, thirty years ago when Carlin was alive and kickin’.

          Nowadays, in certain states, they’re placing new obstacles to voting, proving it does matter. (Ex: Just one mail ballot dropoff site in the county housing two million people in Houston. Really? here in Colorado, I have at least six sites with a five-mile radius

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “Just one mail ballot dropoff site in the county housing two million people in Houston.”

            Yeah, I’d try to limit mail fraud too. Do they only have one polling station there as well or is it just to hard to go to the one within a mile or two of your location?

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        “No, we voted out the dictator last November. ;)”

        Would that be some sort of historical first then? Typically removing a dictator requires killing them. Think Chauchesceau (yeah I know…spelling) in Romania when the Iron curtain fell.

        • 0 avatar

          ““No, we voted out the dictator last November”

          Who are “we”? Sounds like Politburo.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Ceaușescu, and IIRC he was the only Warsaw Pact leader to be tried and executed as the result of the events of 1989/90. My limited understanding is he was just that much of an asshole that everyone wanted his head. He was charged with genocide for the people killed during the 1989 revolution, conversely Erich Honecker of East Germany -though charged with decades of crimes- was released after 169 days in custody for health reasons (after being under house arrest and later hiding in the Chilean embassy from 1989 to until June 1992).

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
          Trial_and_execution_of_Nicolae_and_Elena_Ceau%C8%99escu

  • avatar
    Syke

    As Tesla adapters are already easily available for all the other electric vehicles, the hardware side is already taken care of. Of course, said adapters are only useful at Tesla Destination Chargers (which is another way of saying a dumb Level 2 charger, usually found at motels, etc.) which don’t actually interface with the vehicle. It just plugs in. Non-Teslas using the adapter will immediately find out that their car cannot talk to the Tesla charger.

    I’ve been waiting a while for this to happen. It was pretty much inevitable, and does level the playing field, since a Tesla can charge at any of the other brand chargers.

    • 0 avatar
      hardline

      Totally agree. This step is only logical if yall want to replace ICE.

    • 0 avatar
      Synchromesh

      “Non-Teslas using the adapter will immediately find out that their car cannot talk to the Tesla charger”

      That makes me smh pretty hard. You know what I find out when I pull up in my ICE car to a gas station and try to fill it up? Nothing. It just charges me the amount displayed and fills up my car whether I’m pulling up in my ’72, ’84 or ’12. But I hope EV owners enjoy Musk’s musk every time they attempt to fill up their pseudocars and the charger won’t let them.

      • 0 avatar
        jalop1991

        “It just charges me the amount displayed and fills up my car whether I’m pulling up in my ’72, ’84 or ’12.”

        …2012 OR my 1912, for that matter.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        The more that I hear about adapters the more that I think of e-waste and all of those disposable phones that’ve been tossed over discontonued adapters.

        Meanwhile I can’t think of a single ICE car that needs an adapter.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “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,” Musk explained via Twitter.

    I think J1772 existed, as did CHAdeMO, because they were both on the 12 Leaf. But thankfully, CHAdeMO has died off, and CCS (which is a J1772 with two high-power DC pins added) is taking over.

    But I’ve said all along that the Tesla protocol should be The Standard, due to its proliferation and compact size.

    But I don’t think it will be ‘freely available’. Even Model 3 users pay for it.

    • 0 avatar
      Matt Posky

      Touché. They will be “freely available” to pay for.

    • 0 avatar
      RangerM

      Most Tesla chargers (in a row) I see are rarely all being used at the same time, and making no money sitting idle, so they should take advantage of that excess capacity. It’s smart business, if they can at least break even. (rather than losing money on an unused charger)

      But, I expect it’ll bother Tesla drivers to pull up to Tesla chargers and not be able to use them (when they just happen to be all full), if another brand is there.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        I live in the EV wilderness of western PA, but I think CA Tesla owners have already been stepping on each other at Supercharging stations, from time to time. However, I think some of this was due to laziness (not charging at home), or squatting. Having for-pay charging has probably reduced the percentage of freeloaders.

        As for Tesla drivers, they’ll have to get over it. They’ve already been able to use every other network. For its part, the company will just continue to expand the network.

        As for the cost, at one point Tesla said the charging price would be equal to the local $/kWh, without Tesla making a profit. I don’t know if that is how it played out. I’d think they deserve at least a little profit. But I’ll tell you, the prices charged by EVGo and others are sky-high, based on my limited experience.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The info I see for the cost at a Supercharger in my state is ~2x the cost of electricity at home. That still beats the 3x price with membership that EA charges.

          Of course the electricity is not their only cost so I certainly would expect it to me more expensive than at home.

          I do think the root motivation for this move is to increase income/amortize the cost of building the network quicker.

  • avatar
    Fred

    Imagine what it would be like if your car could only use a certain brand of gas.

  • avatar
    Tirpitz

    This seems like a loss on the vehicle sales side for Tesla. The Supercharger network has always been a trump card for Tesla. They were the only EVs you could somewhat easily road trip with. I always thought that is Tesla had failed someone would have bought the company to get ahold of the Supercharger system.

    I’m sure Tesla has looked at the numbers and the crappy rollouts by other charging systems and decided they can make more money and ultimately dominate the future charging market. Ultimately as far as charging goes Tesla won’t care if you show up in a Tesla or another brand’s EV. They make money either way.

    This seems like a win for Tesla, a win for non-Tesla EV owners and a loss for Tesla vehicle owners because they have to share the chargers with the great unwashed.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Just paying Tesla to handle EV infrastructure build out is probably much more likely to succeed versus whatever piecemeal, goofball bureaucracy would happen in the alternative.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    sounds like a non-issue to me. people that can afford a tesla can also afford a nice house with a garage for it to charge in away from all the deplorables

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      The issue is at holiday times when many folks travel longer distances, the charge time causes backups at the charge stations on major routes. You see these pics on the internet with long lines of Teslas sitting waiting for a juice slot.
      And of course while you’re sitting in line watching Netflix and heating/cooling the cabin, the charge depletes further.

  • avatar
    hardline

    About time, just in time for the lefts 100% ev future

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Let’s imagine a perfect world where this is just a story about cars and chargers, eh? As a non-Tesla owner, comes as good news to me. Increased compatibility and interoperability has been an essential goal in the success of many tech systems, such as computers, television, video and photography. Thanks, Elon- you’re still kind of a jerk, but if you try enough things, you’ll do some good.

    Last year I drove between 4,000-6,000 EV miles. I never even thought about using a charger, because Ford is a plug-in hybrid, when the battery goes flat, I have a 2.0 liter four that gets 45mpg+ at speed on the highway, good for 500+ miles on a tank. My lifetime average over 50K miles is 65 mpg. There’s no EVs offering that kind of usability and economy and versatility. Some call plug-in hybrids a half-assed, halfway step, and I have no problem with that. We’re in a long overdue transition from fuel to volts, and we’re not even halfway to that benchmark yet. For now, most of us need the capability to use whichever power source is available.

  • avatar
    mcs

    “We’re also feeling pretty secure in assuming this could set the company up for new government subsidies.”

    Exactly. All of those new chargers the government wants to fund won’t be proprietary. To get that money, Tesla has to open up. That being said, the odds of my next EV being a Porsche or EQS just went up a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      That EQS sets the bar very high in so many ways.

      Saw my first Taycan in the wild in May (in Turkey of all places). Looks better in person than in photos.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @SCE: The problem is sometimes sanity takes over and I realize I’m spending 6 figures on a daily driver that’s going to get beat on and I go cheap. So, we’ll see. I’ve been back and forth on what EV to get next for a daily driver. A wide range of vehicles from the EV6 to the EQS. I can afford something expensive, but not sure I want to have something I worry about in a parking lot. That’s the whole idea of having the daily driver. Something that can take a beating on a daily basis while the toys stay in the garage most of the time.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Yet another bait-and-switch pulled by Musk on current Tesla owners. So much for your exclusive charging network. You can sit in your Model S Plaid and wait in line behind Ma and Pa Kettle charging their Bolt.

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