Tesla will allow other cars on its charging network in the U.S. but wants the government to pay for Superchargers, too
In comments sent to the Federal Highway Administration over its guidance for federal EV charging infrastructure deployment, Tesla says it is willing to open its Supercharger network to other EVs, for a price. The federal government has set US$7.5 billion aside for a nationwide rollout of electric vehicles charging network as part of the bipartisan infrastructure initiative passed not long ago. Of these, US$4.75 billion will go to individual states, while US$2.5 billion will be granted to projects that offer innovative solutions to serving rural areas or disadvantaged communities with charging stations deployment.
Tesla has said numerous times that it is willing to let other brands charge on its stations, and has even started pilot projects allowing them to do so in order to preempt upcoming regulatory mandates. In its comments to the Federal Highway Administration, Tesla now wants that "all charging connector types participate in the program" that will be giving away government grants to station builders or owners:
Today, there is no single DCFC connector that can serve all EVs in the US. There are currently three DCFC connectors utilized in North America: CCS, Tesla and CHAdeMO, however, the CHAdeMO standard is being phased out in North America. The combined charging system (CCS) and Tesla as the predominant connector types in the US. While the Tesla connector is currently only used by Tesla vehicles, Tesla vehicles are the majority of DCFC capable vehicles on the road, whereas most new EV models utilize CCS.8 To serve as many vehicles as possible with IIJA funded stations we recommend establishing a connector ratio as an eligibility threshold for rebated connectors. The program should, at a minimum, have CCS at a charging site to be eligible, but not require CHAdeMO or Tesla connectors at the site. However, Tesla or CHAdeMO connectors should be eligible for rebates as long as there is a CCS connector at the location for every rebated Tesla or CHAdeMO connector. In other words, the rebated connectors should be installed in locations co-located with multiple connector types, the ratio should only apply to rebated connectors, and should not restrict the overall site size. Operators should be able to install additional non-rebated chargers if they choose.
In other words, Tesla will take the government money for creating public charging stations serving other standards, but wants reciprocal grants to apply towards Supercharger stations that only fill up Teslas, too. Tesla uses a proprietary charging system for its cars, so if your non-Tesla EV has to use the Supercharger network in North America, you need an adapter. In Europe, Tesla sells its vehicles with the more common Combined Charging System (CCS) port that Volkswagen, Mercedes, BMW, Ford, Jaguar, GM, and others use. That is why in Europe, and more precisely in Norway and the Netherlands which have the densest electric vehicle charging infrastructure, Tesla's Superchargers are now opened to other EVs. To recoup the costs and discourage non-Tesla vehicles from clogging its network, Tesla makes it more expensive to use a Supercharger if you fill up a different brand of electric car there.
Not long ago, a coast-to-coast trip of a Porsche Taycan set a speed record as it took less than two and a half hours on the charger and US$76.82 in electricity costs to cover the 2,834.5-mile distance between Los Angeles and New York. The trip was executed in partnership with Electrify America's high-speed CCS network, showing that there are viable alternatives to Tesla's Supercharger network in the U.S., and it remains to be seen who will get the government grants that aim to create a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.