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Elon Musk said it’s his goal to support the transition to sustainable energy without creating a walled garden. While it’s not easy, Musk is working to expand the network faster than Tesla can produce its cars. Musk added that he hopes to make it as fast as production speeds to encourage more EV owners to take advantage of the Supercharger network. Ultimately, that will benefit both Tesla and other EVs.
In the bipartisan effort to promote EV adoption, President Obama has called on the Biden administration to provide federal funding to support EV infrastructure, including public charging stalls. A proposal by Volta, a national owner operated and ad-driven EV charging provider, would expand Volta’s “Charging for All” initiative and multimillion-dollar investment in equitable planning. Volta would use its “PredictEV” planning intelligence platform to extend its services to any state. State Departments of Transportation would also receive free media space from Volta.
If successful, this new program could allow non-Tesla owners to use the Supercharger network. While some EV owners may not like sharing the Superchargers, it would eliminate the range anxiety that plagues many electric vehicle owners. But while the first phase of the program is set to launch later this year, the company plans to expand the network to include non-Tesla EVs.
Having the ability to charge other EVs with Superchargers has many benefits. Compared to a typical garage charger, a Supercharger delivers more power than a typical garage charger, making it ideal for long trips or stopovers. But, if you’re not a Tesla owner, you’ll need a special adapter and the Tesla smartphone app to take advantage of the Supercharger network.
While the U.S. government has pledged to provide more superchargers, Tesla has been contemplating expanding the network to other EVs in the U.S. and abroad. It has begun pilot applications in over a dozen countries, and the company plans to expand its network this year to include other electric vehicles. However, it didn’t provide any specific dates for this expansion.
Tesla’s expansion of its Supercharger network to other EVs could encourage more Americans to purchase electric vehicles. It could also spur competition with other car makers. Ford Motor, for example, is a competitor to Tesla. By making charging easier and cheaper for EVs, this could help Tesla increase sales and encourage more Americans to switch to the electric vehicle. But what if the other EVs have better charging infrastructure?
Besides the F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, Ford has several other EVs in its stable. To keep its customers happy, the company has to expand its U.S. Supercharger network to include these other vehicles. Developing a charging network is similar to creating an automated teller machine in the 1970s, when laptop computers were still relatively new. But a charging network isn’t as effective as it should be, Stover argues. Ford’s Blue Oval Charge Network can operate across seven charging systems, and it can plug into more than 6,000 fast-charging stations.
While the majority of EV charging occurs at home, public chargers are a key piece of the puzzle. Despite the benefits of EV charging at home, public charging will never be as hassle-free as in combustion vehicles. To that end, President Biden announced that $5 billion will be allocated over the next five years to build out the Nation’s EV charging network. This funding will be based on a bipartisan infrastructure law.
In an interview with Bloomberg, CEO Elon Musk said he hopes to expand the Supercharger network beyond the U.S. to other countries, including Europe. This will be a big help to non-Tesla owners, who might find it difficult to plug their cars in other chargers. In addition, the network will include adapters for non-Teslas, which will help prevent theft.
There are challenges with Musk’s plan, however. Tesla has been attempting to expand its network to non-Tesla EVs for quite some time, despite the challenges of establishing a universal charging network in the U.S. The biden administration’s proposal has been complicated by the fact that the money was originally intended for charging new infrastructure and steel in the ground. Although the government has not yet made a final decision, the current status of EV infrastructure in the U.S. is not ideal.
The network will be expanded to other EVs in the United States. This plan comes at a time when the U.S. government announced that it would need more than a thousand charging stations for electric vehicles. Tesla plans to expand its Buffalo-based Gigafactory, which employs over 1,600 people, and begin manufacturing new supercharger equipment later this year.