Tesla can apply for a portion of the $7.5 billion funding that is set aside for electric vehicle chargers in the recently finalized Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill after it opens its Supercharger network to other manufacturers.
Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
For a few weeks, Teslarati has been following the progress of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill due to its inclusion of the possible funding of certain electric vehicle programs. After revealing that $7.5 billion of the $1 trillion bill would be set aside for expanding the electric vehicle charging network, the details of who or what would be eligible remained unclear. However, upon the finalizing of the bill, yesterday and its imminent send-over to Senate members later this week, the language of the bill is now revealed, and it may be one of the reasons Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been pondering the possibility of opening the EV charging network to other vehicles, as he announced last week.
Tesla will begin opening its expansive Supercharger network in the United States before the end of the year. Aiming to increase the number of available EV charging options to third-party companies, Tesla owners will have a distinct advantage in charging at the company-owned chargers, while other car owners will have limitations in terms of time and output. However, the opening of the Supercharger network allows owners of EVs that are not produced by Tesla access to a more broad network of charging options, which could make EVs a more appealing option for those who worry about charge points.
How the $7.5 billion pie will be cut
According to the Bill published by the Senate earlier today, several terms need to be met to qualify for the funding. These include:
(1) Standards – Electric vehicle charging infrastructure installed using funds provided under this title shall provide, at a minimum–
“(A) non-proprietary charging connectors that meet applicable industry safety standards; and “(B) open access to payment methods that are available to all members of the public to ensure secure, convenient equal access to the electric vehicle charging infrastructure that shall not be limited by membership to a particular payment provider.”
On page 2,646 of the bill, the language states:
Provided further, That funds made available under this paragraph in this Act may be used to contract with a private entity for acquisition and installation of publicly accessible electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the private entity may pay the non-Federal share of the cost of a project funded under this paragraph: Provided further, That funds made available under this paragraph in this Act shall be for projects directly related to the charging of a vehicle and only for electric vehicle charging infrastructure that is open to the general public or to authorized commercial motor vehicle operators from more than one company.
Essentially, any private entity that has an open charging infrastructure that is operable by more than one automaker can apply for some of the $7.5 billion funding.
Tesla opening the Supercharger network to other manufacturers
In late July, CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla would make its Supercharger network open to other EVs later in 2021. This will occur in more than one market, as Norway and Sweden are also set to benefit from the open availability starting 2022.
The full Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is available below. I suggest using the “Find in Page” feature, as it is 2,702 pages long.