For all the ways in which Tesla’s CEO is a buffoon, there’s a prior stroke of genius reverberating today. In its attempts to be competitive in the EV space, Tesla built out its supercharger network and has used its ease as a major selling point. It has worked. For years, it’s been Tesla's charging port (NACS) vs CCS plugs. Now though Tesla is about to become the de facto standard for all public charging in the US. Aarian Marshall at Wired has more
Yesterday, it was General Motors CEO Mary Barra’s turn to make a Twitter Spaces appearance. (Barra had not tweeted since Musk took over the platform last fall.) The deal appears similar to Ford’s: GM vehicles will be able to access Superchargers starting in 2024 using an adapter, with vehicles with built-in Tesla-compatible inlets coming 2025. “Tesla is supplying the adapter & other hardware to car companies at zero profit,” Musk wrote on Twitter after the announcement. So far, other automakers selling EVs in the US are sticking with non-Tesla equipment, but the announcement puts pressure on the industry industry to coalesce around the electric leader’s tech.Wired
This GM partnership follows a similar one with Ford last month. Combined with Tesla, this is 75% of the EV market and one that will put Tesla charging ports on all these cars. Suddenly a car with a CCS port is now legacy technology.
Similar to format wars of the past, this could be the tipping point for NACS (what Tesla has renamed its charger). How do the likes of VW and Kia / Hyundai fare in the sudden threat of obsolescence to the CCS charging port they use? Only time will tell but the dominoes are falling. The US market is quickly becoming the best of both worlds for Tesla. They make money on their cars and will soon make money on other manufacturers' cars that need to charge.
Sure enough, yesterday EV charging station company Blink announced they're adding NACS too. Their chargers shown at this year's CES will include both styles of plugs.
Electric vehicle charging equipment maker Blink Charging said on Monday it will launch a new fast charger with Tesla's connector, as the industry moves away from the standard Combined Charging System connector used by many automakers.Reuters
The supercharger network has been consistently the most widespread and reliable charging network at least in the United States. Every review of a non-Tesla car comes with the caveat that you couldn’t rely on public charging at the level of Tesla owners. The exclusive chargers were the ace in Elon's back pocket. It was an early bet on his part that a reliable and widespread charging network was key to selling cars. The bet paid off. Now the bet is that network will be the default network used by many for the same reasons.
Tesla has made money selling environmental credits to other car manufacturers. That's allowed it to get the company off the ground and continue to roll out a pure EV fleet without competition until recently. Now, Tesla will not only make money on its cars but soon will make money on everyone else's cars. Personally, I don't want to give Elon Musk a cent of my money. However, I cannot deny the fact that if I need to charge on the go, I would instantly choose a Supercharger station over anything else. Reliability is the key difference between charging up or possibly getting stranded at a non-working charger.
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