Walled Garden No More: Tesla Opens Part of Its Charging Network to Other EV Brands

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

One of Tesla’s most significant competitive advantages could be fading, as the White House recently announced a deal with the automaker that would open part of its previously-exclusive charging network to owners of other EV brands. The wheels are in motion, as Tesla tweeted last night that the first round of chargers is now open. 

The automaker said that “select Superchargers” are now open in the U.S., and hopeful users can find locations in the company’s app. Teslas use a proprietary plug, requiring the company to install adapters at the pilot locations to allow EVs with CCS plugs – the majority of the market – to access the chargers. 

Tesla’s move comes as part of the president’s plan to expand the national charging network to 500,000 locations along highways and at end-point locations. The White House’s announcement stated that the automaker would make 7,500 Superchargers and Destination Chargers available, but this first wave includes a much smaller number.

As far as the charging experience goes, Tesla owners have had it great for a while, despite long wait times in some locations. Non-Tesla EVs may cost more to charge at Superchargers, but they are still subject to the same rules, including a per-minute charge for occupying a charger after the process is complete.

[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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17 of 21 comments
  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 01, 2023

    I suspect the IRA deal was this: Tesla opens up it charging network to other EVs (something it already planned to do), in exchange for restoration of Federal subsidies on some of its vehicles.

    Tesla lobbied against the bill on principle, but wait until Tesla's volume shoots up even higher when cheaper cars enter the pipeline - incentivized by you!

    • See 1 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Mar 01, 2023

      I assume he is talking about the Inflation Reduction act as that is what restored the tax credit. The Irish Republican Army may have done the seatbelt tensioners in the Genesis though as they are known for their prowess in explosives.

  • Dukeisduke Dukeisduke on Mar 01, 2023

    Okay, so why does Tesla use a proprietary charging plug? Are they better than CCS? Sounds like Apple with the Lightning plug.

    • See 4 previous
    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Mar 01, 2023

      Tesla has had a proprietary plug since the Roadster 1 in 2008, but that plug quickly morphed into the plug seen on the Model S in 2012.

      It is physically smaller than a CCS plug, and way smaller than the near-extinct Chademo plug.

      CCS is a high-powered extension of the J1772 plug, in which two DC connections are added below the J1772. By itself, the J1772 is pretty compact, but it cannot fast charge without the full CCS implementation.

      I have long held that the Tesla plug should be the North America standard, due to its proliferation, compact size, and delivery capacity.

  • Tassos Tassos on Mar 01, 2023

    My time is valuable. half an hour to 'fill my battery' is utterly unacceptable. I am not interested in eating the garbage they have near gas stations and EV chargers while I wait. If it does not go down to FIVE MINUTES, I will not bother using them. (IF AND WHEN I get a BEV or plug-in). This half hour will be MUCH MORE, not only now that Tesla has allowed all the non-Tesla riff-raff to fill in the same chargers, but always in the past, chargers places between popular destinations (eg along the LA-Las Vegas corridor) were way too damned busy, had to wait in line for hours ON TOP of the time to charge. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Is your time WORTHLESS????


    • See 4 previous
    • VoGhost VoGhost on Mar 02, 2023

      The reality is that on an average week, EV owners spend less than a minute refueling at home, whereas ICE owners spend 5-10 minutes refueling at the gas station. And on those rare occasions they drive more than 3 hours, EV owners do spend 20-25 minutes refueling, but overall, you save a lot of time with an EV. Also, you spend those 20 minutes getting coffee or lunch, not standing around in the weather.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Mar 01, 2023

    Ford Motor Company has the largest public charging network in North America.

    • VoGhost VoGhost on Mar 02, 2023

      Ford is also #1 in distributing weed, apparently.