Tesla plans to open up its Supercharger network to non-Tesla electric vehicles in the US in late 2022, according to a White House memo.
The company has been allowing non-Tesla EVs to use its Supercharger plugs in several cities in Europe as part of a limited pilot program but has been quiet about when US charging stations would be available to non-Tesla EV owners. A “fact sheet” published by the White House on June 28th and noticed by InsideEVs indicates that those EV owners may be able to use Superchargers as soon as the end of this year.
“Later this year, Tesla will begin production of new Supercharger equipment that will enable non-Tesla EV drivers in North America to use Tesla Superchargers,” the White House states.
Tesla did not respond to an email seeking confirmation of these plans (Elon Musk disbanded the company’s PR office in 2019). It’s not clear whether the White House purposefully scooped Tesla’s own announcement on this project. Musk has been extremely hostile to President Joe Biden, and Biden has gone out of his way to avoid mentioning Tesla while touting the auto industry’s electrification plans.
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 has been exclusive to Tesla owners, meaning someone driving a plug-in Volkswagen, Ford, or Chevy vehicle wouldn’t be able to use it.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has, for years, talked about opening up his Superchargers to other companies’ electric vehicles. And last year, 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.
If the US version of the pilot program works the same as it does in Europe, non-Tesla EV owners will need to download the most recent version of Tesla’s smartphone app in order to access the stations. They will be prompted to select “Charge Your Non-Tesla” in order to find the closest participating Supercharger site. Tesla owners can still use the stations just as normal. And the company has said it would closely monitor each site for congestion and other concerns.
Tesla uses a proprietary connector in North America, so non-Tesla vehicles here will need an adapter in order to access the company’s Superchargers, of which there are over 6,798 plugs in the US, according to the Department of Energy. (The company says it has 35,000 Supercharger plugs globally.)
There are approximately 41,000 public charging stations — including Superchargers — in the United States, with more than 100,000 outlets. The Biden administration has said it will spend $5 billion to grow that number to 500,000 chargers by 2030. According to new standards laid out by the White House, federal money will only be available to install charging ports that can be used by the broadest number of vehicle owners.