Tesla has one big advantage over other electric vehicle (EV) automakers, its own charging network. Since the first Supercharger station opened in 2012, it has grown to more than 20,000 worldwide.
Despite Tesla’s massive success, it has stuck true to its mission statement by offering up the Supercharger network to other automakers, if they’re interested. Until now it was thought that no one had taken Musk up on the offer, but he confirmed early this morning that’s not the case.
When responding to a question posed by popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD), Musk said there are actually other automakers taking him up on the offer, “although it’s kind low-key.”
They are, although it’s kind low-key. Tesla Superchargers are being made accessible to other electric cars.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 21, 2020
Musk’s comments are a bit of a surprise since it would be pretty easy to spot a non-Tesla vehicle using a Supercharger. This means they are likely still in the process of joining the network and haven’t rolled out any EVs compatible with Superchargers just yet.
When it happened earlier this year in Germany with Volkswagen, Hyundai, and other EVs being able to use the new V3 Superchargers due to a software bug, the news quickly made headlines. That bug was quickly closed within less than a week.
If it were to happen anywhere though, it would likely be in Europe or China. Both markets use standard CCS connectors that are available on all EVs in those regions, so there would be no additional hardware cost for manufacturers to add the ability to use the Supercharger network.
In Canada and the US Tesla still uses their proprietary connector. As a result, any automaker would need to install the necessary hardware, or develop an adapter to use the network.
What automakers do you think Musk is referring to? Let us know in the comments below.
Editor’s note: The article has been updated to make it clearer that other automakers are not currently using the network, but in the process of doing so.