Tesla announced this morning that it would open some of its United States Supercharger Network to competitors in an effort to not only make some of the $7.5 billion in funds from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law available to the automaker, but also to make EV charging more available to consumers.
Tesla officially confirmed this morning that it would open select Superchargers in the U.S. to all EVs, an unprecedented move in the company’s history. In the past, Tesla has offered an exclusive strength to its owners by offering an expansive, robust, and dependable EV charging network. It has been arguably one of Tesla’s biggest advantages, and since CEO Elon Musk said in 2021 that the Supercharging Network would be opened to competitors that year, the automaker has reluctantly moved toward that goal.
Now, it has finally come to fruition.
This morning, The White House confirmed the plan with further details, stating:
“Tesla, for the first time, will open a portion of its U.S. Supercharger and Destination Charger network to non-Tesla EVs, making at least 7,500 chargers available for all EVs by the end of 2024. The open chargers will be distributed across the United States. They will include at least 3,500 new and existing 250 kW Superchargers along highway corridors to expand freedom of travel for all EVs, and Level 2 Destination Charging at locations like hotels and restaurants in urban and rural locations. All EV drivers will be able to access these stations using the Tesla app or website. Additionally, Tesla will more than double its full nationwide network of Superchargers, manufactured in Buffalo, New York.”
Last week, it was confirmed that Musk’s late January meeting with White House staff dealt with the potential opening of the Supercharger Network. Unsurprisingly, some Tesla fans were not super pleased with the idea. Superchargers are already relatively crowded, and the admittance of other non-Tesla brands to these chargers would only make matters worse. However, this is not always the case, as Superchargers in some areas of rural America, where EVs have yet to make a significant impact on the overall automotive market, are not always completely occupied.
While the locations that Tesla will choose are still up in the air, at least 7,500 piles of the U.S. Supercharger Network will be open to all EVs, and this is a win-win for everyone. Why?
Tesla owners will still have a distinct advantage
While 7,500 of the Superchargers will be open to other manufacturers by the end of next year, Tesla owners will still be the only ones to have the ability to utilize all of them.
This freedom gives prospective EV owners the ability to have a wide variety of options in terms of which company they will purchase from. However, Tesla will still have a significant advantage because it is the only manufacturer that will allow unlimited access to any Supercharger in the United States. It is important to emphasize this fact, because while other manufacturers will have access to some of the network, only Tesla owners will have access to all of it.
It eliminates a lot of the “There is not enough charging” argument
Even in 2023, as EVs continue to grab a more significant share of the total U.S. automotive market, we still hear that there are not enough chargers to justify an EV purchase.
While home charging is an option, those who rent or are apart of a strict Home Owners Association (HOA) may not have the ability to charge at their residence. This requires more public charging options to be available to those people, and the expansion of the charging network through Tesla’s decision to open select locations to all EVs only makes this outdated argument a lot less valid.
Even still, there are plenty of other companies out there that support the other manufactuers. Electrify America, ChargePoint, Blink, EVgo, and many others help electric vehicle owners get a charge before their drives.
Tesla’s decision shows its commitment to its mission
Tesla has always maintained that its goal is to “accelerate the transition to sustainable energy.” While the company is a business, and a for-profit business at that, Tesla has disrupted the entire automotive sector by showing EV options are sometimes more ideal than others. Because of the company’s influence on consumers, legacy automakers have been working on EVs for several years, and an influx of startups have come to light, hoping to be the next big thing.
If Tesla was not actually committed to pushing more companies to build EVs, it likely would not make this move. As previously stated, many prospective car buyers are still under the impression that EVs are not feasible because of a lack of charging options. However, Tesla’s move to work toward expanding the Superchargers to other companies is further proof that it is more concerned with putting more EVs on the road, even if they’re not Teslas, than hoarding its robust charging infrastructure to itself.
This move is completely and entirely based on Tesla’s push to bring EVs to the mainstream, as if they were not already. However, the move is a further committment to the mentality that any EV is better than a combustion engine, and whatever the company can do to help another EV of any kind get sold is more than acceptable. But, don’t be fooled, Tesla still will take necessary steps to make its EVs more appealing than others, and that is evident with its continuous and relentless development of its vehicles, making them better and better as time goes on.
I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at email@example.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.