Electric Vehicles

Published on September 26th, 2015 | by Nicholas Brown

Tesla May Share Superchargers With Other Manufacturers

September 26th, 2015 by  
 

Electric cars would be more attractive to prospective buyers if charging stations were more ubiquitous, and Tesla understands that, hence its construction of the Supercharger network. The Superchargers, which charge way faster than other chargers, are for Tesla cars. However, Tesla has said it is open to the idea of sharing the Superchargers with cars of other brands.

Now, Tesla is in talks with several car manufacturers about sharing the Superchargers. Elon Musk said:

“We are actually in talks with some manufacturers doing just that and it will be exciting to share that news.”

He also mentioned that it was a European company, but not a German one.

The idea of sharing Superchargers raises some questions. For example: Are there enough Superchargers to share with third-party EVs without making Tesla users have to wait much longer? Will there be once a partnership is launched?

This is partly dependent on how fast the EVs that use the Superchargers will charge. If they’re like the Tesla Model S line and recharge in well under an hour, that is one thing. If they have smaller batteries and charge much faster, great! If they take hours to charge, they may significantly impede the ability of Tesla users to recharge when needed, which could annoy the living daylights out of Tesla drivers. After all, a major reason for buying Tesla cars is the widely-available Supercharger network.

Another issue that could affect the viability of sharing is the driving range of the cars that may be allowed to use the Superchargers. Tesla Model S vehicles don’t need to recharge often due to their 200+ mile range. Many other electric cars achieve half that, and sometimes less. That means they need to recharge more often (if they are being used for trips longer than their driving range, which is uncommon, so that helps).

The number of Superchargers installed will determine how big an issue this will be. As of last April, there were 100 of them around the world. That isn’t a huge number compared to the thousands of other electric cars on the road, but they are now already up to 520 — Tesla has been installing about one a week!

Here’s more from Elon’s recent trip to Germany:





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About the Author

loves attending and writing about/photographing events, and he writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, automobiles, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography.



  • James Rowland

    This was first mentioned a couple of years ago. Not surprising given Tesla’s strategic objectives.

    As for who the mystery partner is, I’ll throw a wild guess and say Rimac. 🙂

    • I’m going with Renault, but mostly as a hope. Rimac doesn’t look set to have any notable effect on the car market, imho. Beautiful $1-million car, but that’s a niche market. 😀

      • James Rowland

        Another possibility is Aston Martin.

        • TedKidd

          …Volvo?

          Those Scandanavian countries have a much more fully formed experience with EV’s and are likely to better “get” the critical role Supercharging will play in replacing ICE.

  • axual

    I would point out there are nearly 3000 chargers at those 520 stations.

    • TedKidd

      An important point!

      Multiple chargers and <30 minute fill times is a critically important part of the greatness and value of this design.

  • Johnny Le

    It’s not like the sharing start tomorrow. These manufacturers have to produce their EVs first. So by the time these EVs come out, there would be thousands of stations. Also, Elon has said several times that he would only allow them to share if their cars can be charged as fast.

  • Levon

    But they should have to pay for the service, unless manufacturers “prepay” for it.
    since the super chargers read vin numbers etc, will they read other manufacturers as well and have an account setup where it bills your cc automatically, or with a pre paid account setup?

    • TedKidd

      Nope. Elon has been clear about this too.

      Might want to try reframing. If your post were in the form of a question rather than declarations of uninformed opinion, responses become answers instead of corrections.

      • Levon

        It wasn’t declarations of facts, it was my assumptions looking for clarification.
        How will it work then?

        • TedKidd

          Elon has made it clear that other mfrs will have to cover the costs.

          I suspect it will be an option, like it was for the s60, where buyers paid $2000 to have their cars Supercharger enabled.

          The thing that becomes ever clearer over time is these guys have really put exhaustive critical thought to design. What appears to be crystal ball predictive accuracy is really simply tremendously customer focused design optimization.

          I’ve been following Tesla for quite a while. A lot of their strategy doesn’t make immediate sense. I remember thinking the SC network seemed like a HUGE risk and expense. Then when people started using it for serious road trips and writing about how amazing the experience was, its started to become obvious just how brilliant the integrated design (based upon the human bladder, and optimal rest breaks time) truly is.

          When my Aunt and Uncle drove theirs from Wyoming to Nantucket, then to Florida, I coached and concierged their 4000 mile trip (a shift in “fill up” thinking is crucial due to charge taper).

          There are so many aspects to the EV experience that require major perspective shift that it requires owning one to get it. For those with really elastic intellects driving one for a few weeks and reading experiences of others can help a lot, but I don’t think you can really get it until you own one.

  • William Brooks

    I wonder if this has anything to do with the SB 454 Bill, signed in California, in 2013. The Electric Vehicle Charging Station Open Access Act. Simplified it requires all Charging Stations to offer charging to all Electric Vehicles.

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