Tesla's Being Pressured to Unlock Its Superchargers for All Electric Cars

And it's building a 'massive increase' in the Supercharger network.
Brad Bergan
Tesla charging stations.Jag_cz / iStock  

Tesla's supercharger network is a colossal advantage in the EV industry.

However, Tesla is facing new pressure from the German Federal Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer to allow any manufacturer to use the secrets of the company's superchargers for future all-electric vehicle development, according to a recent interview with Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

If Musk lets it happen, this would provide every EV in the world access to the most widespread, well-rounded, and highly efficient charging network on Earth.

Universal access to Tesla's Supercharger network could hasten the adoption of EVs

In case you missed it, Tesla's supercharging network is one of the most comprehensive and reliable ones in existence. It includes more than 25,000 global units capable of charging batteries at rates up to 250 kW. And Tesla alone has enjoyed a status-quo sense of establishment from this state-of-the-art network. But as of writing, the company's superchargers only work with Tesla vehicles, which serves as a special incentive for prospective all-electric vehicle owners to buy from the company, instead of its competitors. And while Tesla cars are among the best in range, efficiency, and performance, this won't last forever -- with several other companies in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere beginning to rival.

However, even if other EVs surpass Tesla in speed or performance, that won't matter much if they lack comparable access to such a wide-spanning supercharger network. This is why some officials are growing increasingly critical of Tesla's (and by extension CEO Elon Musk's) decision to maintain the network's exclusivity to company cars. Some even think Musk and Tesla are missing out on money, since, if everybody used a Tesla supercharger, Tesla might reap more profits.

Since 2018, Scheuer has held the Office of Federal Minister of Transport, and, with the accelerating rollout of new EVs from other manufacturers, he feels it's time for Tesla to allow other vehicles besides Teslas to use the massive supercharger network. This is because, for example, opening up supercharger access might hasten the global transition to all-electric vehicles. "I am in direct contact with manufacturers like Tesla to ensure that the existing infrastructure, for example, Tesla Supercharger, is also opened for other manufacturers," he said during the interview with Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

Elon Musk's Tesla is making a 'massive increase' to its charger network

Naturally, there still exist technical concerns before this could happen, like integrating a way for drivers of non-Tesla EVs to pay for power. Scheuer recommends a uniform Smartphone app capable of working with every all-electric vehicle charger in the world. "There is still a long way to go so that not every electric car trip becomes an adventure, but a new normal," he added. "That is the goal. And we're getting closer to that with great strides."

This comes as CEO Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla is making a "massive increase in Supercharger network", which will lengthen the company's already substantial lead over every other EV firm in the world, should it continue to withhold them from universal EV access. Musk also said Tesla will accept Dogecoin as payment, although it's unclear if this only goes for vehicle purchases, and not charging stations. If it does apply to the Supercharger network, this could impede other EV companies who will probably not accept Dogecoin as payment anytime soon.

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