Electric cars would be more attractive to prospective buyers if charging stations were more ubiquitous, and Tesla understands that, hence its construction of the Supercharger network. The Superchargers, which charge way faster than other chargers, are for Tesla cars. However, Tesla has said it is open to the idea of sharing the Superchargers with cars of other brands.
Now, Tesla is in talks with several car manufacturers about sharing the Superchargers. Elon Musk said:
“We are actually in talks with some manufacturers doing just that and it will be exciting to share that news.”
He also mentioned that it was a European company, but not a German one.
The idea of sharing Superchargers raises some questions. For example: Are there enough Superchargers to share with third-party EVs without making Tesla users have to wait much longer? Will there be once a partnership is launched?
This is partly dependent on how fast the EVs that use the Superchargers will charge. If they’re like the Tesla Model S line and recharge in well under an hour, that is one thing. If they have smaller batteries and charge much faster, great! If they take hours to charge, they may significantly impede the ability of Tesla users to recharge when needed, which could annoy the living daylights out of Tesla drivers. After all, a major reason for buying Tesla cars is the widely-available Supercharger network.
Another issue that could affect the viability of sharing is the driving range of the cars that may be allowed to use the Superchargers. Tesla Model S vehicles don’t need to recharge often due to their 200+ mile range. Many other electric cars achieve half that, and sometimes less. That means they need to recharge more often (if they are being used for trips longer than their driving range, which is uncommon, so that helps).
The number of Superchargers installed will determine how big an issue this will be. As of last April, there were 100 of them around the world. That isn’t a huge number compared to the thousands of other electric cars on the road, but they are now already up to 520 — Tesla has been installing about one a week!
Here’s more from Elon’s recent trip to Germany: