Tesla to open its North American Supercharger Network to non-Tesla Drivers

Tesla to open its North American Supercharger Network to non-Tesla Drivers

­While Elon Musk puts his $44 billion Twitter deal on hold (pending confirmation that spam accounts do, indeed, represent less than 5% of all users), he’s made another quasi-bombshell announcement that’s slipped under the radar – Tesla plans to open its North American Supercharger network to non-Tesla drivers.

That probably seems kinda…meh if you’ve never owned (or plan to own) an electric vehicle or if you happen to live in Europe.

Turns out Europe has been way ahead of us on this – Europe has used the Type 2 Combined Charging System (CCS) for some time now, and Tesla announced two years ago that it’d be releasing a CCS adapter for its vehicles.

But we’ve benefited from neither scenario in the U.S., so not only has the Tesla Supercharger Network been closed to competing EVs, but Tesla owners have been limited in the charging stations they could use, what with Tesla’s own proprietary charging connector.

And that is exactly why tech standards are usually a good thing.

Musk has previously indicated that Tesla would release CCS adapters globally, but so far, only Europe and certain other regions have received them.

But at the FT Future of Cars Conference, Musk reiterated that Tesla would be adding the adapters directly at the stations (and presumably sometime this decade):

“It’s a little trickier in the US because we have a different connector than the rest of the industry, but we will be adding the rest of the industry connector as an option to Superchargers in the US.”

Now…according to Elektrek, there could be a specific reason why Tesla’s dragged its feet with the CCS adapters in the U.S. Back in December, Tesla applied for grants ranging from $375,000 to $500,000 to deploy four different Supercharger stations in Texas, and this is key – at least one CHAdeMO and CCS connector must be installed for each station receiving a grant.

So it’s entirely possible Musk is simply waiting for the optimal business scenario to deploy the CCS connectors in North America.