Tesla is being urged by German Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer to unlock the company’s Superchargers for all electric vehicles, regardless of manufacturer. The move would give every EV on the road access to the broadest, well-rounded, and most efficient EV charging network in the world.
Tesla’s Supercharging network is among the most robust and complete in the world. With over 25,000 global Superchargers that give charging speeds as fast as 250 kW to Tesla’s industry-leading EVs, the company has established itself as the most well-rounded in terms of the product and the charging mechanisms that it provides.
The Superchargers are only compatible with Tesla vehicles currently, basically giving owners an extra incentive to buy one of the company’s vehicles instead of a competitor. When buying a Tesla, you won’t only get the best car in terms of performance, range, and efficiency, but you will also have access to the widest selection of Superchargers in the world.
However, some are critical of the idea that Tesla keeps these chargers exclusive to their owners. While it gives Tesla a competitive advantage over other EV manufacturers, it limits the options for other cars. Some see it as a financial disadvantage for Tesla as it could make the company more money when vehicles made by other OEMs choose to get more range at a Tesla Supercharger.
Scheuer, who has held the Office of Federal Minister of Transport since 2018, said that he believes the company should open up its Superchargers to other cars, a move that could accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles everywhere.
In a recent interview with German media outlet Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, Scheuer said (via ecomento.de):
“I am in direct contact with manufacturers like Tesla to ensure that the existing infrastructure, for example, Tesla Supercharger, is also opened for other manufacturers.”
Scheuer said there are still technical concerns that need to be answered, such as how the drivers will pay for the system. He suggested a uniform Smartphone application that will work universally with EV chargers from all manufacturers. Whichever way it works out, he said he expects a solution to be found.
The electric vehicle industry has come a long way in the past several years, according to Scheuer. When discussing the overall e-mobility package, including the vehicle, the charging infrastructure, the network, and users, he said that it has become better over the past few years. Scheuer added:
“There is still a long way to go so that not every electric car trip becomes an adventure, but a new normal. That is the goal. And we’re getting closer to that with great strides.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has talked about opening up universal usage of Tesla Superchargers on several occasions in the past. The latest comment Musk made on the subject was in December 2020, when he said:
They are, although it’s kind low-key. Tesla Superchargers are being made accessible to other electric cars.
— Elon Musk, the 2nd (@elonmusk) December 21, 2020
Some electric cars were already using Tesla Superchargers in September 2020, but a bug was the reason for the loophole, and Tesla quickly fixed it.