Carmakers embrace Tesla Supercharger trend

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【Summary】More carmakers are joining Tesla's Supercharger network because it is considered more reliable and easier to use than other fast charging networks. Companies like Ford and Lucid have already announced plans to use Tesla's fast chargers, and many others, including BMW, Honda, Hyundai, and Volvo, have committed to adopting Tesla's charging standard by 2025. Tesla's chargers are plug-and-pay, while other networks require apps or RFID cards.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 20, 2023 5:19 AM PT
Carmakers embrace Tesla Supercharger trend

In May, Ford Motor Co. became the first major automaker to announce that its electric vehicles (EVs) would be able to use Tesla Inc.'s Supercharger network. Since then, 20 more brands have joined Ford, including Lucid, which made the announcement in early November.

According to Daniel Breton, CEO of Electric Mobility Canada, companies are choosing Tesla's fast chargers because they are more reliable and easier to use than other fast charging networks. Breton cited Ford CEO Jim Farley's positive experience using Tesla Superchargers during a vacation with his family as evidence of their superior performance.

Tesla's Supercharger network, which was launched in 2012, initially only worked with Tesla vehicles and used a different plug than other chargers. However, Tesla announced a year ago that it would allow other carmakers to use its proprietary charging standard, known as the North American charging standard (NACS).

Many automakers, including Acura, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Polestar, Subaru, Toyota, and Volvo, have committed to switching to Tesla's charging standard on new EVs by 2025. Some of these companies, such as BMW, Mini, and Hyundai, also plan to offer adapters next year so that existing EVs with CCS plugs can use Tesla Superchargers with NACS plugs.

However, two major automakers, Stellantis (which includes Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, and Ram) and Volkswagen Group (which includes Audi, Bentley, Porsche, and Volkswagen), have not yet made a decision on whether to adopt Tesla's charging standard.

In a J.D. Power study, Tesla's Supercharger network ranked first for reliability. The study found that a significantly higher percentage of EV drivers had trouble charging their vehicles at non-Tesla public charging stations compared to Tesla Superchargers.

Unlike most other charging networks that require various forms of payment or authentication, Tesla's Superchargers are plug-and-pay. Users simply plug in their vehicles, and the charging process starts automatically. The cost is then charged to the user's Tesla account.

While some automakers have mentioned that charging at Superchargers will be activated and paid for through their apps, it is unclear if plug-and-pay capability will be available in the future.

Despite the increasing number of EVs that will be using Superchargers, industry experts believe that wait times will not significantly increase. They expect other charging networks to adopt Tesla's NACS plug, allowing Tesla drivers to use them more easily. Additionally, Tesla's navigation system directs drivers to less busy Superchargers based on their destinations.

Tesla owners and EV enthusiasts generally view the expansion of Tesla's charging network as positive news for the EV industry. Tesla's network is known for its reliability, and the company continues to open more charging stations and add more chargers to meet growing demand.

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