For years, one of the unique advantages of being a Tesla driver has been having access to Tesla’s widespread and well-built public charging network. Now, that charging network is starting to open up to other electric vehicle (EV) drivers too.
The “Apple” Of EV Charging
Tesla has, from the get-go, built its vehicles with proprietary charging technology. Tesla vehicles do not use the CCS or CHAdeMO standards for DC Fast Charging that all the other automakers use (for more information on those standards, check out our Charging Basics page). Instead, they are built with proprietary ports and software that only work with the proprietary “Super Chargers” built and maintained by Tesla. (The easy parallel is to consider Apple vs Android phones.)
For Tesla drivers, the charging experience has been great. Tesla invested early and heavily into building out a robust network of charging stations, so Tesla drivers have been able to comfortably make long-distance road trips for years.
As many of our non-Tesla EV drivers are well aware, the non-Tesla public charging network is not yet as robust or reliable as the Tesla network. A host of different actors – charging network operators, electric utilities, state and city governments – are trying to build out more public charging. But now there is a new option for non-Tesla drivers: certain Tesla Superchargers.
First Stations Are Live!
Back in February, the White House announced that Tesla would open up parts of its charging network to non-Tesla drivers. Specifically, Tesla agreed to open up 7,500 of its chargers to non-Tesla drivers by the end of 2024: 3,500 DC Fast Chargers and 4,000 Level II chargers. This week, we learned that the first handful of these stations has been made live.
The video below shows a Chevrolet Bolt driver in New York using one of these stations. You’ll see that the Tesla station has a new dock installed into it. When the driver indicates he is a non-Tesla driver in the Tesla charging app, the station knows to attach a CCS adapter to the plug before releasing it from the charging station.
Here’s another excellent video from a Rivian driver in New York.
So far, it looks like only eight stations have been outfitted with this technology – some in New York and some in California. For now, it looks like non-Tesla drivers will pay a slight premium over Tesla drivers (at least, according to this early report) or subscribe for $12.99/month to get access to lower rates.
Coming Soon To Massachusetts & Rhode Island?
We don’t yet know when the first stations with this technology will be available in Massachusetts or Rhode Island. If you hear of a station like this nearby, please let us know by commenting here or emailing us at [email protected].
In the meantime, remember that this is just one of MANY developments that will make charging your EV way easier in the coming years. Thanks to the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, all states – including Massachusetts and Rhode Island – received National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program funds to build out more DC Fast Charging along highways, so that there’ll be fast charging every 50 miles across the country. And in Massachusetts, we have even more funding for charging coming: $50 million from last year’s economic development bill and $400 million from our electric utilities. Let’s get goin’!
The above was originally posted by Anna Vanderspek on the Green Energy Consumers Alliance website on Thursday, March 02, 2023
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