Automakers Band Together To Form Tesla Supercharger Competitor

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

Tesla’s Supercharger network seems to have taken over the world, with several major automakers recently announcing a shift to the standard in the coming years. However, that hasn’t stopped many others from banding together to form their own charging network, including some who signed on with Tesla.

General Motors, Stellantis, Honda, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai/Kia recently announced plans to create a new EV charging entity in the United States. The group said it planned to become the preeminent fast-charging provider targeting 30,000 chargers nationwide.

Earlier this year, Tesla announced that it would open a portion of its Supercharger network to outside brands, and then in the last couple of months, Ford, GM, Rivian, and others have voiced plans to install Tesla’s NACS charging plugs in new EVs as soon as 2024. 

Though far from perfect. Tesla’s Superchargers have a leg up on almost every other charging brand on reliability, speed, and availability. Automakers’ decision to move to Tesla’s NACS charging standard was seen as a shot across the bow of companies like EVGo and Electrify America, as they frequently suffer downtime and have annoying payment systems. 

This decision by some of the world’s largest automakers shows that while many believe Tesla’s network is superior to other options, they aren’t convinced it is a permanent solution. Let’s just hope everyone can agree on a format so we don’t all need four adapters to charge at different locations.

[Image: Tesla]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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8 of 30 comments
  • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on Jul 26, 2023

    Wait until their board members realize that they also have to spend money ongoing to keep these things running--that the problem doesn't stop with the buying and installing of the wires and stations. "Why didn't anyone tell us???!!!???"

    In 20 years, we'll be seeing the pictures of the crumbling infrastructure and saying, "remember when?".

    • See 2 previous
    • Jalop1991 Jalop1991 on Jul 28, 2023

      @Syke: you misspelled "four or five quarters".

  • THX1136 THX1136 on Jul 27, 2023

    Chris' last sentence doesn't make sense to me. Many automakers have adopted - or will adopt - the connector that Tesla currently uses. Many automakers, as a group, have plans to build their own charging network. Why would those same automakers - both groups -then decide to use a completely different connector from Tesla's? I would agree with SCE's comment way upthread.

  • Haze3 Haze3 on Jul 27, 2023

    The competition is good, especially if it leads to standardization of communication protocols across many manufacturers. Plug standardization is just the 1st step, though very welcome.

    Concern seems to be proprietary behaviors in the protocols, which are currently managed by manufacturer-specific vehicle software. I'm sure many elements of the protocols work across makes (i.e. EVGo and ElectrifyAmerica actually charge cars) but the relatively seamless Tesla-to-Supercharger interaction doubtless takes advantage of comms that relate to bespoke Tesla programming. Things probably won't be as seamless for Ford-to-Supercharger interactions unless there is substantial software openness between Tesla and Ford, for instance.

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jul 27, 2023

      This isn't about charging protocols - just billing.

      At this point, nobody is introducing a charging standard to compete with NACS.

  • VoGhost VoGhost on Jul 27, 2023

    How do I short this?