New details about Tesla’s plan to open up its Supercharger network to non-Tesla electric vehicles were revealed this week. And hilariously, the White House remains our best source of information about this potentially transformational plan.
Elon Musk’s company will make 7,500 Supercharger stations available to non-Tesla EVs by the end of 2024, the White House says in a fact sheet about its EV charging investments that it published Wednesday. Under new White House standards issued last year, the company is required to make its chargers accessible to the “broadest number of people” in order to qualify for billions in federal funding.
Hilariously, the White House remains our best source of information on this potentially transformational plan
The newly open chargers will be distributed across the US. And they will include “at least 3,500 new and existing 250 kW Superchargers along highway corridors” and an unspecified number of “Level 2 Destination Charging at locations like hotels and restaurants in urban and rural locations.”
The stations will be accessible to anyone using the Tesla app or website. And the White House also dropped this extremely interesting nugget of news (emphasis ours): “Tesla will more than double its full nationwide network of Superchargers, manufactured in Buffalo, New York.”
The company has been allowing non-Tesla EVs to use its Supercharger plugs in several countries in Europe for months but has been quiet about when US charging stations will be available to non-Tesla EV owners.
The company’s Supercharger Twitter account acknowledged the announcement with a couple of tweets. Tesla did not respond to an email seeking confirmation of these plans. (Musk disbanded the company’s communications department in 2019.) However, on Wednesday evening, Musk replied to a tweet from President Joe Biden to say that “Tesla is happy to support other EVs via our Supercharger network.”
Tesla’s Supercharger network is often held up as the best possible example of an EV charging network: fast, reliable, and plentiful. But for years, Tesla’s network in the US has been exclusive to Tesla owners, meaning someone driving a plug-in Volkswagen, Ford, or Chevy vehicle wouldn’t be able to use it.
While the company uses CCS connectors in Europe, the connectors at its Superchargers in the US are proprietary and exclusive to Tesla owners — which may complicate the plan to open it up to non-Tesla EVs. Rumors are swirling that the company will include a CCS adapter at its charging stalls in order to bypass this issue.
For years, Musk has talked about opening up his Superchargers to other companies’ electric vehicles. In 2021, the company started doing just that, starting in Norway and eventually expanding to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
There are approximately 6,756 Supercharger plugs in the US, according to the Department of Energy. (The company says it has over 42,000 Supercharger plugs globally.) There are approximately 59,000 public charging stations — including Superchargers — in the United States, with more than 130,000 outlets.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which passed in 2021, allocates $7.5 billion to grow the EV charging infrastructure in the US. Federal money will only be available to install charging ports that can be used by the broadest number of vehicle owners, according to standards laid out by the Biden administration.
The White House boasts that “the number of publicly available charging ports has grown by at least 40%” since Biden took office. “Further accelerating the buildout of a convenient, reliable charging network is critically important to make electric vehicle charging a seamless experience.”
Update February 15th, 8:29PM ET: Added tweet from Elon Musk.