Get ready for universal all-electric charging stations.
Elon Musk's Tesla just confirmed it aims to reportedly unlock its Supercharger network to other all-electric car manufacturers by September 2022, according to an initial report from Electrek.
This could change the course of the nascent EV industry for keeps.
Elon Musk's Tesla responds to mounting pressure on unlocking Supercharger network
This comes on the heels of rumors and mounting pressure on the pioneering automaker to open its highly-valued electric vehicle fast-charging network. Since Tesla's is by far the most wide-spanning EV fast-charging network in the world, it's difficult to quantify what this will mean for the future of the auto industry. But it will present a new incentive for auto manufacturers who are hesitant to pivot to all-electric, since the prospect of access to Tesla's Supercharger network provides a closer benchmark, removing the need to build out a proprietary fast-charging network.
This was what Tesla did when it rolled out its EV series, instead of relying on third-party networks, which were insufficient for the kind of industry-shifting effect the company wanted. Other third-party networks include Electrify America, ChargePoint, and Ionity. It's been 10 years since Tesla deployed its initial Supercharger, and now there are more than 25,000 installed in more than 2,700 stations worldwide. And now it seems Tesla is finally giving back to the industry.
However, this isn't a gift to the world. Tesla has reportedly engaged in talks with other automakers to reach a deal on sharing its Supercharger network, but these rumored plans have never come to fruition. But now, things seem to finally be moving in the right direction. In recent weeks, Tesla has maintained talks with Vestland fylkeskommune, the government of Norway's Vestland county, with hopes to acquire access to incentives for unfolding its charging stations there. But there's been a snag: the Norwegian government only gives incentives for charging stations that allow universal automaker access.
Tesla might open its universal EV Supercharger network to Europe
This news broke when government officials confirmed during a council meeting that Tesla had plans to unlock its Supercharger network to other EV manufacturers by September 2022, which will enable the company to acquire Norwegian incentives to roll out its fast-charging network in the Scandinavian nation, according to the Electrek report. "The condition for benefits is that infrastructure must be developed with a publicly available offer," said officials, according to a translation of the meeting from Google Translate. "Tesla applied for benefits to expand five fast-charging stations. Tesla's charging stations today are just available for Tesla cars. That type of infrastructure is then only open for use by one group and not for the general public otherwise. In the application, Tesla describes the relevant charging stations will nevertheless be publicly available from the third quarter of 2022."
"The administration considers that the charging stations for which benefits have been applied for will then be eligible for the scheme, provided that the benefits paid out after Tesla opens the charging offer for all car brands no later than the end of September 2022," continued the statement," in the Electrek report. "The administration recommends that Vestland County Municipality take note that the benefit can be removed if the conditions are not met."
In other words, the unfolding of Tesla's Supercharger network for various auto manufacturers has a real-world timeline, for the first time. Sadly, we don't know if this will extend beyond Norway, the European continent, or encompass the globe like SpaceX's Starlink. But Tesla has engaged in recent talks with Germany, which is better than nothing. This is a major shift in the course of the young all-electric vehicle industry, with the potential to fundamentally re-incentivize hopeful entrants, and accelerate the world's pivot from fossil fuel to sustainable alternatives when it comes to life on the road.
This was a breaking story and was regularly updated as new information became available.