Tesla charging
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German Minister Wants Tesla To Open Its Supercharger Network To All EVs

The German Federal Minister of Transport wants Tesla to let all Electric Vehicles use its superchargers. Supporters of Tesla expanding access to their superchargers say it will speed up the wide scale adoption of EVs. There are still many logistical hurdles to overcome.
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There have been a lot of ideas put forward as to what the future of EV charging should look like. There was some discussion not too long ago that it may be time for Tesla to stop making their own chargers. There have been those who support a shared charging system that isn’t run by any particular EV maker. However, we are now talking about shared charging network run by Tesla and not another entity.

Why other EV brands could be brought into the fold

Tesla has an elaborate infrastructure of over 25,000 superchargers worldwide. This number should grow as Tesla gains traction in more countries. It has been said Tesla superchargers could be built to be suitable for use even if you have an EV that isn’t a Tesla.

Tesla superchargers are a powerful 250kW. Another EV maker could eclipse Tesla with a figure of higher than 250kW, but Tesla still has a supercharger that could charge most EVs. Tesla also has the global supercharger network already in place. Many startup EV manufacturers are still putting the pieces together in terms of their charging infrastructure.

Concerns about other EVs using Tesla’s chargers

There are many concerns about Tesla spearheading a universal charging network. Tesla is probably capable of doing something like this, but there are potential technical issues as well as issues with this kind of business approach.

In terms of technical issues, some older EVs could be left out of Tesla’s charging system. For example, some Nissan Leaf vehicles use an older plug that may not be compatible with the latest Tesla superchargers.

There are also problems with using this kind of business strategy. Tesla shouldn’t have a monopoly over all of the EV chargers in the world. If Tesla wants to have a large stake in the charging system, they will have to coordinate with other EV manufacturers to make sure the technology caters to the needs of all the various cars across different brands. Another thing that would have to be figured out is payment. It would have to be decided whether a non-Tesla owner would be paying Tesla to charge their car. Also, other EV manufacturers might not want Tesla to control most of the superchargers. It is also unknown if other EV manufacturers will still be making their own superchargers even if Tesla does expand access to their superchargers.

Musk says more Tesla superchargers to be built

A recent tweet shows a long line of Teslas waiting to use a charging station. Musk responded to the tweet and announced that more superchargers will be built. This is another argument against Tesla expanding access to their superchargers. It could cause long lines if Tesla isn’t able to meet demand right away.

Image:Tesla

Daniel Cappo reports Tesla developments at Torque News. He has had a passion for cars ever since age five when his grandparents let him drive their old golf cart around their property in Upstate NY. He has attended numerous auto shows, and even got the chance to drive a Ferrari California on the track. Ever since Tesla opened up a dealership at his local mall, he's been an avid follower of their cars and technology. Dan has a B.S. in Public Communication from U Vermont. Follow Daniel on Twitter and LinkedIn for daily Tesla News.


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Comments

Currently Tesla's Supercharger network remains as one of their market advantages in the EV industry, as they have the best EV charging network in the world currently. But for now only Tesla vehicles can charge at Superchargers. Tesla did talk about opening up their Superchargers to other EV automakers, but the logistics issues are that Tesla owners will always need to have priority access to Superchargers, and if Tesla does open them up in Europe they will have to create some reservation features in Tesla's vehicle and phone services. And work out payment and authentication processes for other EV owners to use the Superchargers. In Europe, Tesla's Superchargers and vehicles use the more common CCS, high power electrical plug. But in the U.S. all Superchargers use Tesla's proprietary plug connector (which is not CCS) and matches the plug sockets only found in Tesla vehicles. There are a few CCS to Supercharger plug adapters available to buy, but the software and registration components would need to be added as well before any non-Tesla Supercharger use could happen.
To me this mostly makes no sense. If I own a BMW I generally have to take it to a BMW dealer, or one trained on BMW's, and that's the same for any car out there. You don't see Ferraris being taken to any other dealer. Same with gas stations - it is OK to have four different brands of gas on each corner of a street intersection. So when it comes to charging stations, it seems to me it should be just like a gas station - build it and they will come - and you can make the profit no matter who or what brand of EV you drive. I don't think Tesla should be penalized because they had the ideas and we first to the market with a halfway decent car and system - everyone else had fair opportunity to invent EV vehicles - especially those with DEEPLY funded pockets, but they chose to drag their heels (read: Dodge, Chevy, Mercedes, BMW)
To me this mostly makes no sense. If I own a BMW I generally have to take it to a BMW dealer, or one trained on BMW's, and that's the same for any car out there. You don't see Ferraris being taken to any other dealer. Same with gas stations - it is OK to have four different brands of gas on each corner of a street intersection. So when it comes to charging stations, it seems to me it should be just like a gas station - build it and they will come - and you can make the profit no matter who or what brand of EV you drive. I don't think Tesla should be penalized because they had the ideas and we first to the market with a halfway decent car and system - everyone else had fair opportunity to invent EV vehicles - especially those with DEEPLY funded pockets, but they chose to drag their heels (read: Dodge, Chevy, Mercedes, BMW)