“Later this year, Tesla will begin production of new Supercharger equipment that will enable non-Tesla EV drivers in North America to use Tesla Superchargers,” said the White House memo, but Tesla has yet to make a public comment on the announcement.
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Jerrydives into the proposed plan, why this is happening now, and what it means for EV drivers across the country.
Tesla set an industry standard for charging stations
Across the board in terms of accessibility, ease of use, and charging speeds, Tesla Superchargers have been rated as the industry’s best, but they’ve always had one major flaw—only Tesla owners can use them.
For years, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has spoken about opening up Superchargers to other electric vehicles.
Last year across Europe, it finally became a reality as Tesla launched the Supercharger pilot program in Norway, eventually expanding to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
While drivers of non-Tesla vehicles may have to pay higher fees to use Superchargers than Tesla owners, having access to the most extensive existing nationwide charging network could be worth it.
How using Tesla Superchargers will work
If the U.S. version of the program takes the same shape as the European one, users will need to download and sign up with the Tesla smartphone app in order to gain access to its charging stations.
Just like Tesla owners, non-Tesla drivers in the European program were prompted to charge their car via the app, which also can direct users to participating Supercharger sites nearby.
Of course, added congestion at Supercharger sites could be a concern for Tesla owners who have had access to them all along, but Tesla intends to monitor each site closely to maintain current standards.
Because Tesla uses a proprietary adapter at its charging stations in North America, non-Tesla users will also need an adapter to access the company’s Superchargers.
Expanding the EV infrastructure for all
Including Tesla chargers, there are approximately 41,000 public charging stations in the U.S. with more than 100,000 outlets. The Biden administration has pledged $5 billion to reach its goal of 500,000 chargers by 2030.
According to the bill, federal money will only be available to install charging ports for the broadest number of vehicle owners. If they’re being made with government funding, any new Tesla Superchargers being built will be accessible to all.
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