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Tesla’s public Superchargers are deemed ‘illegal’ in Germany due to technicality

Tesla’s Supercharger stations that are open to non-Tesla electric vehicles are deemed “illegal” in Germany due to the lack of kWh counter on the units.

Over the last year, we have been reporting on Tesla ramping up its effort to open the Supercharger network, its extensive global network of fast-charging stations, to electric vehicles from other automakers. In November 2021, we saw Tesla take its first step in that direction with a pilot program running at 10 Supercharger stations in the Netherlands, where non-Tesla EV owners can charge using the Tesla app.

When announcing the new pilot program, Tesla said that it planned to slowly expand it as it tests the user experience for both new non-Tesla EV owners being onboarded on the network and current Tesla owners who are going to see more traffic at those charging stations.

In January, the automaker announced that the program is expanding to more stations in Norway and France, and a month later, the program was expanded to all Supercharger stations in the Netherlands. Now Tesla has expanded the pilot program to some Supercharger stations in the UK, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, and Austria.

In May, the automaker also added Spain and the UK to the program, and finally in June, Tesla expanded the program again to include Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

Now that the Supercharger network is partly public and open to all EVs, it faces different rules in some markets and it is becoming a problem in Germany.

Handelsblatt reports that Tesla’s Superchargers are considered “illegal” because they don’t have a visible kWh counter at the stations (translated from German):

Every charging station at which charging current is billed according to kilowatt hours must comply with calibration law in Germany , i.e., have a meter that precisely measures the charged current. This applies to public space, but also to company and private premises.

Tesla has always relied on its mobile app to monitor charging sessions, and the stations are not equipped with screens.

Thomas Weberpals, head of the Bavarian State Office for Weights and Measures, said that it is Tesla’s job to retrofit the stations, and it is working toward that. The government doesn’t plan to act on it right now:

The illegal operation is not hindered and not sanctioned. It was and is being worked toward a lawful state.

There are a few other charging companies that are also in violation of the regulation, but Tesla has the highest number of stations in violation.

When Tesla opened its Supercharger network to the public in Europe, it automatically became the “largest public 150 kW+ fast-charging network.”

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