Tesla’s Supercharger network is growing rapidly, but a major push is needed before it opens the network to other EVs.
As you likely already know, Tesla has announced that it will soon open up its massive, reliable, and fast Supercharger network to other EVs. Fans and owners had concerns that this might ramp up traffic at stations, which could be problematic, especially at high-volume locations. However, it seems Tesla has big plans to expand the network before it starts sharing.
According to a recent report by Electrek, Tesla is adding several new job listings related to Superchargers. More specifically, the jobs are for design managers of new Supercharger sites in several major US cities.
For those out of the loop, Tesla has offered to “share” its Supercharger network for years, but there have been no takers. It would likely be very expensive for another automaker to join hands with Tesla in using the fast-charging network.
As part of a more recent effort, Tesla has decided to share the network with all EV owners rather than another brand. Tesla will simply allow EV owners to download its app and pay the company to charge at its stations, though they’ll need an adaptor in North America.
The Supercharger network is continuously growing, and the rate has increased of late. Electrek notes that last quarter, Tesla had 26,900 Superchargers at 2,966 stations across the globe. This marks nearly 50% growth year over year. However, with all other EV owners soon able to charge at Tesla’s stations, growth needs to ramp up even more.
When Tesla first announced its plans to open the network, online chatter was mixed. Some folks were excited that Tesla would not only be helping to expand its mission of promoting all EVs, but also reap the huge financial benefits and exposure that will come from sharing. Other fans and owners were not only concerned that the stations would become too busy, but also that Tesla may be “giving up” its biggest advantage.
Fortunately, it looks like Tesla will push hard with expansion ahead of opening the network. The brand recently updated its map that shows current and future Supercharger stations, as well as estimated timelines. It shows new routes, as well as what Electrek sees as a focus on increasing capacity in urban areas. Areas like Austin and Los Angeles could see the network double in the future.
As Gigafactory Texas opens, Tesla should see a significant increase in production, so it will have to expand the network regardless of the impact of sharing.
It’s also important to note that Tesla may enjoy access to funding in the US as part of the expansion efforts. The recently approved infrastructure bill includes some $7.5 billion for EV charging efforts. However, to get access to the new funding, networks have to be open to more than a single automaker. With that rule, Tesla would specifically miss out, but not after it begins sharing the network.
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