Site logo

White House: Tesla to make some EV chargers available to all

Electric car giant Tesla will, for the first time, make some of its charging stations available to all US electric vehicles by the end of next year, under a new plan announced by the White House.

The plan will make at least 7,500 chargers from Tesla’s Supercharger and Destination Charger network available to non-Tesla EVs by the end of 2024, the White House said.

The plan to open the nation’s largest and most reliable charging network to all drivers is a potential game-changer in promoting EV use, a key component of United States President Joe Biden’s goal to fight climate change. Biden has set a goal that 50 per cent of new US car sales be electric by 2030, and he has pledged to install 500,000 chargers across America and build a network of fast-charging stations across 53,000 miles of freeways from coast to coast.

Soon, charging an EV “will be as easy as filling up at a gas station”, Mitch Landrieu, a White House aide who oversees implementation of the 2021 infrastructure law signed by Biden, told reporters on February 14.

The plan to open up Tesla’s charging network was among a series of developments announced Wednesday by the White House, such as new standards to make EV charging networks convenient and reliable for all Americans, including those driving long distances. The new standards will ensure that everyone can use a charging network, no matter what car they drive or what state they charge in, Landrieu and other officials said.

“No matter what EV you drive, we want to make sure that you will be able to plug in, know the price you’re going to be paying and charge up in a predictable, user-friendly experience,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

New standards imposed by the US Transportation Department require that EV chargers funded through the infrastructure law be built in the United States, effective immediately. By July 2024, at least 55 per cent of the cost must come from components made in the US.

Automakers warned before the rules were issued that imposing made-in-America requirements on EV components could harm EV growth.

Tesla, General Motors, EVgo, Pilot, Hertz and other companies have agreed to expand their charging networks by thousands of public charging ports in the next two years, using private funds and federal spending from the infrastructure law, “putting the nation’s EV charging goals even closer within reach”, the White House said.

Under the administration’s plan, Tesla will set up charging sites at hotels, restaurants and other public spaces in urban and rural locations, the White House said. All EV drivers will be able to access these stations using the Tesla app or website, officials said. Tesla plans to triple its nationwide network of superchargers over the next few years, the White House said.

The developments come after Landrieu and another top White House aide, John Podesta, met with Tesla CEO Elon Musk in Washington last month. Biden did not attend the meeting, which centred on the EV industry and the broader goal of electrification of the United States economy, the White House said.

A week later, the US Treasury Department said it is making more electric vehicles – including SUVs made by Tesla, Ford and General Motors – eligible for tax credits of up to US$7,500 under new vehicle classification definitions. The revised standards follow lobbying by Tesla and other automakers to change vehicle definitions to allow higher-priced EVs to qualify for a maximum tax credit.

Tesla raised prices on its Model Y SUV within hours of the Treasury announcement.

Sam Abuelsamid, principal analyst for Guidehouse Insight, said the agreement to open up Tesla chargers to non-Tesla EVs “is potentially a very big deal”.

The plan “should be a big help to non-Tesla EV drivers if they can use the Tesla network and if the network remains as reliable as it is today”, he said. A lack of high-quality public chargers on US roads has slowed the growth of EV sales and is often cited by potential buyers as a leading obstacle to purchase of an EV.

While the White House said the Tesla network should be available through use of a company app or website, an adaptor – or even a new charger design – will likely be required for non-Tesla EVs, Abuelsamid said.

Mike Ramsey, an analyst at Gartner, said the agreement with Tesla was important on its own, but also as a sign of relative peace between Musk and the Biden administration. Musk has repeatedly clashed with Biden and other Democrats, and as the new owner of Twitter, Musk has released a slew of company information showing internal debates among Twitter employees over a decision to block a story about Hunter Biden, the president’s son.

“It’s not good for the US government to alienate the top seller of EVs,” Ramsey said in an interview.

The Biden administration “needs Musk’s help to grow EV use” in the United States, he added, and the new agreement “is a sign the government is working with the world’s most important EV maker”.


Read More


  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment