Tesla Supercharger Network Draws Wishful Challenger in Automakers, Yet No Clear Plan

Tesla Supercharger Network Draws Wishful Challenger in Automakers, Yet No Clear Plan

Image: Tesla

Automakers led by BMW and Mercedes-Benz have teamed up against the Tesla Supercharger Network and Volkswagen's Electrify America. The coalition wants to become the country's leading provider of fast charging, however there is no clear development plan and budget yet.

Coalition against Tesla and Volkswagen

A group of automakers led by BMW and Mercedes-Benz are entering into an alliance to set up fast charging stations in the US. Also joining the coalition are American General Motors, Italian-French parent company Opel Stellantis, Japanese automaker Honda, and South Korean manufacturers Hyundai and Kia. They want to take on local market leader Tesla as well as Volkswagen subsidiary Electrify America. The goal is to become the country's leading provider of fast charging options.

Goals set but no plan yet

The coalition aims to go to market and offer about 30,000 charger stations in the US. The plan is for the first stations to start operating sometime next year, BMW said on Wednesday. However, the company did not say how much money they want to invest in the new joint venture and how fast it will develop. It seems the plan is still very crude and the automakers have not yet come to an agreement on the cost and speed of the rollout. It is to be hoped that their efforts in building a vast charging network in the US will be more active than their efforts to create better and more affordable electric vehicles.

Tesla has the largest charging network in the US

Tesla currently operates the largest network of charging stations in the US. It has about 18,000 chargers. In addition to giving this advantage to its customers, the company has opened its network to other manufacturers' EVs. Since May, major manufacturers including but not limited to Ford, GM, Rivian, Volvo, and even Mercedes-Benz have joined the Tesla NACS charging standard. This means that drivers of their cars will have access to the Supercharger network as early as 2024. In addition, vehicles from these manufacturers will be equipped with a NACS charging port starting in 2025.

Volkswagen has its own network of charging stations

Volkswagen is not part of the new Tesla NACS alliance and has not joined the coalition against it. In the US, the company has been building its own charging network with its subsidiary Electrify America since 2018. Currently, the network offers about 900 charging stations. This project was part of a condition put forward after the diesel scandal.

Coalition charging network likely to support CCS and NACS

Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares stressed that an efficient charging network must be available to everyone on the same terms and built together with a win-win position. This indicates that the two most important charging standards, CCS and NACS, must be supported on the new charging network. New charging stations should be designed in the same way as current charging stations. Initially, they are planned to be built in large cities and on the most important tourist routes in the United States.

© 2023, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.


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About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

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