Tesla will open its network of superchargers to other electric vehicles later this year, Elon Musk has tweeted.
Exact details about when the US car company will make its charging stations available to other manufacturers have not yet been confirmed – and no clarity has been given on which countries will benefit first from the new scheme.
The electric car manufacturer’s fast charging network includes more than 25,000 superchargers worldwide.
The US manufacturer confirmed in March that it has more than 600 in the UK, with more than 100 installed since last summer, when it celebrated its 500th supercharge in Britain in June 2020.
Tesla Superchargers open to everyone: Elon Musk said in a tweet on Tuesday that the brand’s network of fast chargers will be open to all EV drivers from the end of the year
“We are opening our Supercharger network to other EVs later this year,” Musk said on Tuesday.
He later responded to another tweet confirming that Tesla’s charging network will be available to other electric vehicles in all countries over time.
We made our own connector because there was no standard back then and Tesla was only the maker of long range electric cars.
It’s a pretty slim connector for both low and high power charging.
That said, we’ll be opening up our Supercharger network to other EVs later this year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2021
The Supercharger network is rated highest among electric car drivers, according to the latest Zap-Map satisfaction survey.
Tesla’s network topped the ratings of 16 service providers, receiving an overall score of 4.8 out of five in the poll of 1,500 EV owners.
Access to the devices has – until now – been reserved exclusively for Tesla cars, with the company controlling access in its older vehicles by designing its own charging connector.
However, since 2018, the American brand has switched to more conventional Type 2 and CCS charging points that would be compatible with other EV models.
It has maintained exclusivity for Telsa customers through a software restriction, although this could be turned off before the end of the year, as suggested by Musk’s recent tweet.
This has given Musk’s brand a significant edge over rivals, who have been forced to form alliances or invest in network startups as they rush new entrants into the electric vehicle market.
Currently, Tesla has just over 6,000 Superchargers across Europe, with 624 in the UK and Ireland, based on the last count in March.
If the network were made available to all vehicle brands, it would eventually provide access to one of the faster charging services now available.
When connected to a Supercharger, the latest Tesla Model S Plaid can add 200 miles of range in 15 minutes.
Access to the devices has – until now – been exclusively reserved for Tesla cars, with the company controlling access in its older vehicles by designing its own charging connector.
Since 2018, the American brand has switched to more conventional Type 2 and CCS charging points that would be compatible with other EV models. However, questions remain about how drivers of other electric cars are billed to use the network
While models from other brands may not be compatible to charge at such high speeds, the devices still offer shorter plug-in periods than drivers can find elsewhere.
The only problem Tesla could have is how it receives payments for charging through the Supercharger network.
Currently, Tesla owners are billed based on the amount of electricity they consume with each charging session and the rate at which they charge their car.
Once a session is completed, the invoice amount is automatically updated on their personal Tesla accounts.
By opening up the Supercharger network to other electric vehicles, Tesla must install a contactless payment system in each location or allow other EV drivers to create their own Tesla accounts for the sole purpose of paying for use of the charging network. .
Best and worst public charging networks ranked
Zap-Map, the UK’s leading electric vehicle mapping service, unveiled the results of its annual network satisfaction survey in February, which surveyed 1,500 plug-in car owners about their experiences using 16 different suppliers.
The investigation found that Tesla had maintained its top spot as the nation’s most highly regarded provider of EV chargers, described by one driver as “the standard by which all networks should aspire.”
Coming in second overall, and the best for multi-brand networks, is InstaVolt, which maintains its second place for the third year in a row, while Osprey (formerly Engenie) posted the best performance boost since its 2019 results to rank as ranked third overall, scoring high on reliability and ease of use.
At the other end of the scale, ecotricity was rated worst.
It recently operated the entire Electric Highway network of devices at motorway service stations, although it was bought earlier this year by Gridserve – the company that sets up more than 100 dedicated charging stations in the UK.
dr. Ben Lane, co-founder and chief technical officer at Zap-Map, said earlier this year, “This year’s network rankings should be the heads of all EV charging providers.
“As the research shows, EV drivers are very clear about the factors that make for a good charging experience, where reliability and ease of use are paramount.
“A new generation of drivers want to arrive at a charge point and trust that it will be easy to use and hassle-free.
“They quickly understand that different networks offer different levels of service and will actively visit networks that provide a reliable and user-friendly experience.”
He added: “Zap-Map’s user rankings also show which networks urgently need to improve their charging services.
“As the EV market moves from early adopters to the mass market, EV drivers just want to be able to charge without the hassle.
“Poorly performing networks will have to look long and hard at the quality of the services they offer if they are to retain their customers as the EV market grows rapidly.”
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