Tesla must open up its Supercharger network to access federal funds

The Department of Transportation will finalize a requirement next week that will compel Tesla to open up its public charging network to other EV brands or risk being ineligible to the $7.5 billion in federal EV subsidies that has been set aside to expand the public EV charging network across the US, reports Reuters.

Public chargers must use the combined charging system (CCS) for the operators to join the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program.

President Joe Biden’s administration has announced it is spending $7.5 billion in subsidies on expanding the number of chargers from 100,000 to 500,000 in the coming years. The president hopes to see half of all new vehicle sales being electric by 2030.

Tesla has been opening up its charging network in Europe and Australia, albeit slowly. It is yet to start this in the US, where it will be more complicated as Tesla uses its the formerly proprietary charging connector in North America now known as the North American Charging Standard. Tesla owners, however, can connect to other chargers using adapters.

Company CEO Elon Musk, however, has said Tesla was not hoping to create a walled garden for chargers. However, he is yet to publicly commit to a plan to welcome other cars. But there have been leaks of an upcoming CCS adapter named Magic Dock.

Musk met with White House officials in January, with EV charging on the agenda.

Tesla dominates the public charging space with more than 40,000 chargers worldwide. It added more than 1,200 charging stations in 2022.

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