Tesla Inc. has opened the first batch of its Superchargers to non-Tesla electric vehicles in a pledge to share its fast-charging network in exchange for subsidies as part of a $7.5 billion federal program to expand EV infrastructure.
Tesla said on its official Twitter account that "select Superchargers in the U.S. are now open to other EVs" in a post on Tuesday afternoon.
The announcement came a day before Tesla's Investor Day event, where CEO Elon Musk is scheduled to lay out the company's future products and programs.
Prior to Tuesday, the automaker only allowed Tesla vehicles to charge at its stations.
In a mid-February report, iSeeCars.com estimated that Tesla's network represented 60 percent of all fast-charging stalls nationwide, with 17,248 individual chargers. The Level 3 fast-charger units generally fill an EV battery in less than an hour. Tesla also has a network of Level 2 chargers — for overnight charging — at locations like hotels.
Rival networks serving non-Tesla EVs represented 40 percent of fast-charge stalls nationwide, with 11,479 chargers, iSeeCars said. One non-Tesla network, EVgo, also has some charging units with Tesla plugs.
If Tesla were to open its entire network to non-Tesla EVs, it would immediately solve a serious issue facing EV adoption — the lack of reliable fast chargers for non-Tesla brands, said Karl Brauer, executive analyst at iSeeCars.
"Elon Musk could flip a switch, in theory, and add 150 percent to the fast-charger network of the United States" for non-Tesla vehicles, Brauer told Automotive News.