Tesla starts applying for funds to expand Supercharger network to non-Tesla EV owners

Tesla has reportedly started applying for more public grants to expand its Supercharger network with the requirement that it can be used by non-Tesla electric vehicle owners.

The company already announced plans to open its Supercharger network to all-electric vehicles globally, but the rollout of the initiative has been slow and is currently limited to Europe. The move makes sense considering Tesla has adopted the CCS standards in Europe like all other automakers, and its Supercharger stations are already equipped with CCS connectors.

Therefore, opening the Supercharger network there only requires opening up its software compatibility.

In North America, Tesla uses its own proprietary connector on both its vehicles and its Supercharger stations. This approach prevents non-Tesla EV owners from using the Supercharger network and limits Tesla owners to the Supercharger network for fast-charging unless they can get their hands on a CHAdeMO or CCS adapter.

It hasn’t been clear how Tesla plans to implement its plan to open the Supercharger network in the United States, but CEO Elon Musk previously talked about having an adapter at the stations for non-Tesla EV owners to use.

Earlier this year, Musk hinted that Tesla will be adding the CCS connectors directly at the stations.

As for the timing of this happening in North America, everything points to something happening by the end of the year. Even the White House recently announced it on its website.

Why would the White House get involved in that? The US federal government recently opened up billions in funding for EV charging infrastructure, but to get access to the funding, the charging stations need to be open to EVs from more than one manufacturer.

Therefore, another good indicator of Tesla starting to open up the network is when they start to apply for those funds on new stations.

Now the Wall Street Journal reports today that Tesla has already started applying for those funds based on “recent regulatory filings and other documents”:

Tesla already has a national network of fast chargers for its own drivers, but they aren’t available to other types of vehicles in the U.S. For a year, the company has said it plans to open its U.S. network to others, though details about timing and whether it would open existing stations or new ones have been sparse. Recent regulatory filings and other documents indicate that the company is applying for public funding that, if granted, would require access by other makers of EVs to the network.

However, the Journal is light on details as it only references two applications for funding from Tesla.

The first one is a previously reported application for funds in Texas, but that wasn’t from the new federal effort but from remaining funding from the VW Dieselgate settlement, and as we previously reported, Tesla didn’t win any funding from that program.

The only other effort mentioned in the article is for some new Superchargers in California as part of a state program:

While federal infrastructure dollars won’t start to become available until later this year, Tesla sites in Willows, Barstow, Coalinga and Baker are among 17 likely winners of a California grant to help build public chargers. The California Energy Commission would have to approve the funding, possibly at an October meeting of the five commissioners, according to the agency.

The $7.5 billion in funding from the federal infrastructure bill is not expected to be distributed until the end of the year.

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