At what may have been Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s final quarterly check-in, the electric vehicle evangelist delved into the details about eventually sharing Tesla’s Supercharger network.
Last week Musk tweeted about opening up the exclusive Supercharger network to other electric vehicles. Supercharging has only been available to Tesla owners. During Monday’s second quarter earnings call he spelled out what this change would look like in the near-future.
It’ll be a matter of just downloading the Tesla app and heading to a Tesla charger and plugging in, even if you’re riding in a Nissan Leaf instead of a Tesla Model 3.
For cars that charge at a slower rate than Teslas (Tesla vehicles are all capable of fast charging, while some older non-Teslas can’t take in electricity at that quick of a rate), the longer charge time will cost drivers more.
“The biggest constraint is time,” Musk said.
Tesla will also introduce dynamic pricing, charging more for electricity at rush hour, for example. When a station is empty it’ll be cheaper than when it’s “jam-packed,” as Musk put it.
Tesla vehicles have a different connector in North America (which Musk hailed as “the best connector”) to the charging port, so non-Teslas will need to use an adapter. Tesla will provide those at the Supercharger stations unless there’s a theft problem, Musk said.
You’ll need a Tesla adapter for non-Tesla Supercharging.
In the California car company’s latest earning report there were a reported 2,966 Supercharger stations worldwide, which is up 46 percent from a year before.
But that number needs to keep growing, especially as Tesla sold a record number of vehicles (mostly Model Y and 3 vehicles) in the most recent quarter, and plans to open up access to any and all vehicles with a plug-in battery.
“For the Superchargers to be useful to other cars, we need to grow the network faster than vehicle output,” he said in Monday’s call.
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Since last week’s tweet there’s been a lot of groaning from Tesla owners, especially about longer wait times and crowded stations. But Musk summed up why this will be a good move for the greater EV movement.
“Our goal is to support the advent of sustainable energy,” he said. “It’s not to create a walled garden and bludgeon our competitors.”