Automobile

Tesla May Open Its Superchargers to Other EVs, Starting in Scandinavia

  • Since early in its history, Tesla has made its Supercharger charging stations a point of pride, offering Tesla drivers easy access to thousands of fast-charging stations for people taking road trips.
  • But these stations can only be used by Tesla electric vehicles, something that the Norwegian government wants to change if it’s going to pony up public money for the automaker to build more in the country. Government documents show that a small number, maybe five, of the Superchargers will be open to all EVs by the third quarter of 2022.
  • There’s discussion about opening up the stations in Germany, too, but nothing as specific as in Scandinavia.

    The Tesla Supercharger network is a prominent public display dotted around the world, proving that the company supports its drivers. As useful as these stations are for Model S, Model 3, and Model Y owners, the DC fast-charging stations are proprietary, which renders them unusable by other electric vehicles. The company’s lower-power Level 2 Destination Charging stations can be used by non-Tesla EV drivers, but they take a lot longer than Supercharging. Which is why it’s news that this paradigm might be about to shift in a way that makes it easier for non-Teslas to access the Supercharger network, at least in limited areas.

    Teslarati reports that Tesla and the Norwegian government are discussing a requirement that Supercharger stations that were built or are being built using public funds must be available to all EV drivers. The Norwegian government, which has spent millions on promoting EV sales and infrastructure over the last decade-plus, has come to an agreement where Tesla will open a small number of publicly funded Superchargers to other EVs by the third quarter of 2022 in order to qualify for a charging station subsidy.

    Tesla’s website lists more than 100 Supercharger stations in operation, or coming soon, in Norway, and the company operates around 2500 stations with more than 25,000 Superchargers around the world.

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    Norwegian government documents obtained and translated by Teslarati lay out the deal:
    “Tesla applied to expand five fast-charging stations. Tesla’s charging stations today are just available for Tesla cars. The type of infrastructure is then only open for use by one group and not for the general public otherwise. In the application, Tesla describes the relevant charging stations will nevertheless be publicly available from the third quarter of 2022. The administration considers that the charging stations for which benefits have been applied for will be qualified under the scheme, provided that the benefits be paid out after Tesla opens the charging offer for all car brands no later than the end of September 2022. The administration urges Vestland County Municipality to take note that the benefit can be abbreviated if the conditions are not met.”

    While this agreement is just for Norway, Teslarati reports that Germany and Sweden are also in talks with the California automaker to open up its Superchargers in those countries as well. The discussion over six stations in Sweden are along the same lines as the Norway deal while the discussions in Germany could potentially open up all Superchargers there, but those discussions are in the early, early stages so we don’t expect any changes soon.

    It’s not just the proprietary connector that makes it difficult for non-Tesla EVs to use a Supercharger. Since both the station and the car are made by the same company, the two devices talk to each other in order to manage charging and payment. There are no screens or credit card readers on Superchargers for non-Tesla drivers to input their payment information.

    Tesla CEO Elon Musk has talked about opening up the Supercharger stations for many years. Last December, for example, Musk said on twitter that non-Tesla electric vehicles are using the Supercharger network, but in a “low-key” way. “Tesla Superchargers are being made accessible to other electric cars,” he wrote at the time.

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