White House adviser John Podesta tried to coax Elon Musk into opening all Superchargers but Tesla was noncommittal
The two most senior White House officials in charge of implementing the clean energy initiatives included in the Inflation Reduction Act - John Podesta and Mitch Landrieu - have asked Tesla's CEO Elon Musk for help in reaching the bill's targets faster. At a meeting in D.C. last month, they promised to let Tesla's own Supercharger network in on the US$7.5 billion government subsidy earmarked for hitting half a million nationwide EV charging stations in the shortest timeframe possible.
In order to participate in the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) bonanza, however, the White House demanded that Tesla let other electric vehicle brands top up at Supercharger stations. Previously, Tesla argued that as long as there are CCS chargers at a station, it should qualify for government subsidies, but that suggestion was never seriously entertained, it turns out. Instead, the minimum standards for getting federal funding that will be unveiled next week demand that each stall built with government money has a CCS charging component to it and a certain percentage of it is made in the US as well.
Tesla probably already has such solution developed and is preparing to deploy it soon. Tentatively called Magic Docks, these stalls feature a CCS adapter so that drivers don't have to lug one with them, and most likely include other software and hardware compatibility improvements. Those Superchargers with "CCS compatibility" popped up in the Tesla app not long ago as a pilot at the Hawthorne station, while the automaker already leaked the coming subscription charges for non-Tesla vehicles that want to top up at its stalls.
Another hint that Tesla has been preparing its compliance with the government's requirements for a good while was the open-sourcing of its proprietary charging system for other automakers and charging infrastructure builders, and calling it the North American Charging Standard (NACS).
Sources privy to Tesla's meetings with federal and state officials say that the EV maker's representatives were noncommittal about opening the Supercharger network to other cars directly, just promised to expand the network's compatibility. It remains to be seen what "minimum standards" for participation in the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program get unveiled next week and if there will be an immediate Tesla reaction to the government's electrification push in the form of an official statement about its Supercharger network plans.