General Motors CEO Mary Barra joined Tesla CEO Elon Musk in a Twitter Spaces conversation Thursday to announce that the automaker is adopting Tesla’s electric vehicle charging standard, also known as the North American Charging Standard (NACS). The deal will make thousands of Tesla Superchargers available to owners of GM electric vehicles.
“In order to drive EV adoption, we need to have a robust charging infrastructure,” Barra said on the call. Barra also agreed with Musk that NACS is a better charger and should be the North American standard. After making the announcement, Barra cut the call short and didn’t stick around to answer questions from Twitter users.
GM will make Tesla adapters available to its customers “early next spring,” Barra said. And the first GM-produced electric vehicle to feature Tesla’s charging port will arrive in 2025.
That stood in contrast to the Twitter conversation between Musk and Ford CEO Jim Farley last month, in which the two CEOs chatted for nearly an hour. Farley expressed a real buddy-buddy persona with the rival CEO, even recalling a story of his own children ribbing him over Tesla’s superior charging network. Barra, by comparison, was straight to the point.
GM took a hard stance on Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, temporarily suspending advertising on the platform in October 2022. The company posted its first tweet since then to promote the announcement about Tesla’s charging standard.
GM took a hard stance on Musk’s acquisition of Twitter
Tesla’s Supercharger network has been an exclusive benefit for Tesla owners for a long time, but in recent months, the automaker has begun opening some stations to non-Tesla EVs in both Europe and the US. Tesla’s move to open chargers in the US using “Magic Dock” adapters allows the automaker to dip into the Biden administration’s pool of incentives out of a $7.5 billion plan to expand EVs and charging networks nationwide.
On the call, Musk assured listeners that Tesla wouldn’t do anything to advantage its own cars over non-Tesla EVs when it comes to charging. “Tesla’s not gonna do anything to prefer Tesla, so it really will be, you know, an even playing field,” he said. “I think people should feel comfortable buying a Tesla or a GM car, and we will provide support equally to both. The most important thing is that we advanced the electric vehicle revolution.”
The sheer scale of Tesla’s Supercharger network eclipses other EV charging networks, many of which are riddled with software problems and malfunctioning plugs. Unwilling to expend the money to build their own network, automakers were left to cobble together their own out of available third-party providers.
Similar to Ford’s BlueOval (formally FordPass) network, GM has an Ultium Charge 360 network consisting of Blink, ChargePoint, and others. Now, GM will be able to add Tesla Superchargers to the mix.
With additional reporting by Andrew J. Hawkins