- Tesla will open up part of its US charging infrastructure to outside manufacturers for the first time.
- At least 7500 Tesla chargers will be available for non-Tesla EVs by the end of 2024, with approximately 3500 new and existing 250-kW Chargers along highway corridors, and 4000 Level 2 chargers at destinations such as hotels and restaurants.
- After years of keeping the system contained, the switch will give Tesla access to a slice of the $7.5 billion released in federal charging infrastructure investments.
One of the main factors in Tesla’s dominance in the EV segment is the superiority, reliability and coverage of its wide charging network. Part of the network will be available to non-Tesla owners for the first time, according to a statement from the White House on Wednesday.
Compared to the rest of the industry, Tesla’s charging network is huge. According to data from the Department of Energy, Tesla Supercharger sites make up about 24 percent of all DC fast charger sites in the U.S. Additionally, with more than 17,000 fast charger cables, Tesla has more than 61 percent of all available fast chargers. in the US
The company will now provide at least 7500 chargers for EVs outside of its original ecosystem. By the end of 2024 approximately 3500 new and existing 250 kW Chargers along public highway corridors will be open to non-Tesla EVs. Additionally, approximately 4000 civilian facing Level 2 chargers from Tesla will be placed in what the White House has named “Destination Charging” locations in places such as hotels and restaurants.
Uncle Sam Enters
The move to allow off-grid vehicles to use its network didn’t come from Elon Musk’s magical change of heart. The company needs to leverage the availability of CCS to earn a portion of the $7.5 billion federal charge infrastructure spending, which it otherwise would not see.
As with the ruling surrounding public funding for EV development, the White House requires that effective immediately, final assembly and all charging station-related manufacturing for components such as iron or steel charging enclosures or housing take place in the United States. In addition, by July 2024, at least 55 percent of the cost of all components must be spent on domestically produced products.
A White House official said at a briefing that as long as its chargers allow other vehicles to charge using CCS, Tesla will be eligible for subsidies, including modifying existing charging infrastructure, as reported by Reuters.
Tesla has opened its Supercharger network to outdoor EVs before, just not here in the U.S. It launched a pilot program in the Netherlands in 2019, starting with 10 Supercharger locations. After years of the European Union talking about requiring all EV chargers to be compatible with all modern EVs, the company is moving away from the proprietary charging ports it uses in the United States, and starting selling vehicles with CCS connectors in Europe.
More Ports More Problems?
Tesla’s network can be compared to Apple’s ecosystem. The company controls almost all variables, and hence, the system works in a clear and simple way. In addition to simply being less widespread, charging networks such as ChargePoint, Electrify America and EVGo are subject to frequent issues with bandwidth and damaged or inoperable chargers, according to consumer complaints. A 2022 survey by Plug In America reported that the most frequently reported issue by EV owners was faulty or malfunctioning chargers, although Tesla’s Supercharger network scored “significantly better than its competitors on every metric.”
Opening up the system to add CCS compatibility along with proprietary hardware and software could result in Tesla’s charging network losing its reputation for reliable fast charging. Guidehouse Insights analyst Sam Abuelsamid thinks so: “There is a strong possibility that if they open up the supercharger network to other vehicles, their current excellent reliability rates will drop significantly,” Abuelsamid said, as quoted by Reuters.
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