Tesla made the news last week when Elon Musk announced casually on Twitter that the Tesla Supercharger network would be opening up. This meant that non-Tesla vehicles could access the vast Supercharger network, which has an exponentially higher amount of chargers than any other network. But the company still doesn’t want people lingering at Tesla Supercharger stations, so don’t expect a leisurely charging experience.
The Tesla Supercharger network
Currently, the Tesla Supercharger network is the most extensive network across the U.S. right now. Other companies like PlugShare, ChargePoint, and Electrify America have vast networks requiring specific apps. These are called the Combined Charging System (CCS), which is the standard for non-Tesla vehicles. This means that the process of traveling cross-country in a non-Tesla electric vehicle can be a daunting task. With Musk’s announcement last week, EV owners all over the country were excited.
But it isn’t that simple, Green Car Reports noted. Earlier this week, Musk stated that the process of opening the Tesla Supercharger network meant accelerating the growth of the charging network. Drew Baglino, SVP of powertrain and energy engineering, said, “Increasing the utilization of the network actually reduces our costs, which allows us to lower charging prices for all customers, make the network more profitable…allows us to grow the network faster.”
Baglino went on to say that Tesla is focusing on expanding the network capacity, making charging speeds faster and improving the trip-planning tools currently offered.
Don’t expect to lollygag at the Tesla Supercharger
Part of the point of the Tesla Supercharger stations is the quick charging speed. These Superchargers are meant to get drivers charged up and back on the road as fast as possible. Those who want to use the Tesla Superchargers will need to have the Tesla app. In addition to that, non-Tesla vehicles will need an adaptor. This will make the CCS or CHAdeMO vehicle able to charge through the Tesla charger. Musk suggested these adapters should be available at the stations.
Another step toward universal charging is that Tesla is working on upgrading the current Tesla Supercharger stations. Ideally, these will be upgraded to 300kw peak power, and even those using adapters could achieve this speed. “If the charge rate is super-slow, then someone will be charged more,” Baglino said. Tesla already charges an idle fee for drivers who linger at chargers for too long.
Things are changing for electric vehicles
The point seems to be that Tesla wants to make the Supercharging situation quick for everyone. Suppose you are slowly charging or sitting idle at a charger, you might get charged more. Tesla also plans to adjust pricing due to how busy the chargers are, but that isn’t new. If you plan to charge at peak times, it’ll cost you. It isn’t clear how much these charges will be yet, but that will have to be explained soon enough.
So get ready to charge at Tesla Superchargers in your Ford Mustang Mach-E, Volkswagen ID.4, or Porsche Taycan. Tesla is changing the charging game by opening up the charging network, and you can expect to see more Tesla charging stations in your town soon enough. The good news? This means you will be able to get in and out of the charging stations quickly, which is the entire point of a Tesla Supercharging station.