Attention all owners of electric vehicles! Tesla, the reigning champion of electric vehicles, has announced that it will open its charging facilities to competitors. In fact, Tesla will open at least 7,500 Supercharging stations for electric vehicles from other brands by the end of 2024. That’s 3,000 new charging stations on highways and existing Supercharging stations, and another 4,000 at hotels if you need to quickly juice up before a business meeting.
The U.S. government is also getting into the electric vehicle business, proposing to build a unified national charging network along U.S. highways and in communities that would include a whopping 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations. With a goal of electric vehicles accounting for 50% of new vehicle sales by 2030, the administration is committed to achieving a zero-emissions future by 2050.
However, the U.S. government is not about to let an electric bull take it by the horns. It has put its foot down and declared that Tesla will be excluded from $7.5 billion in government subsidies if the company does not open its charging network to the outside world. They even set specific guidelines for charging stations, including a uniform plug type, power level, and a minimum number of charging stations that guarantee 97% uptime and include publicly available data on location, price, availability, and accessibility via a map application. Charging stations must also have a uniform identification method so that you do not have to carry a whole bouquet of apps and accounts just to charge your electric car.
If Tesla wants to receive special subsidies, it will have to adopt the Compatible Charging System (CCS) recognized by other states. Unfortunately, Tesla has not yet stepped up to the plate in this regard. Tesla currently operates the largest DC fast charging network in the world, with nearly 18,000 charging stations in the United States alone – almost twice as many as its closest competitor, Electrify America. In addition, Tesla’s 17,711 Superchargers account for about 60% of the total network in the United States.
To qualify for the $7.5 billion in subsidies, however, Tesla would have to adopt a compatible charging system and ensure that its charging stations meet certain manufacturing requirements, such as final assembly and manufacturing of all iron or steel charger housings in the U.S. and manufacturing at least 55% of all components in the U.S. by July 2024.
While it is not easy to qualify for the subsidies, this could greatly facilitate the expansion of a nationwide charging network in the United States and enable Tesla to receive a significant portion of the available funding.