Cars

Published on September 27th, 2015 | by Nicholas Brown

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Some Non-Tesla EVs To Finally Get Tesla Supercharger Access

September 27th, 2015 by  

Via Gas2:

Electric cars would be more attractive to prospective buyers if charging stations were more ubiquitous, and Tesla understands that, hence its construction of the Supercharger network. The Superchargers, which charge way faster than other chargers, are for Tesla cars. However, Tesla has said it is open to the idea of sharing the Superchargers with cars of other brands.

Now, Tesla is in talks with several car manufacturers about sharing the Superchargers. Elon Musk said:

“We are actually in talks with some manufacturers doing just that and it will be exciting to share that news.”

He also mentioned that it was a European company, but not a German one.

The idea of sharing Superchargers raises some questions. For example: Are there enough Superchargers to share with third-party EVs without making Tesla users have to wait much longer? Will there be once a partnership is launched?

This is partly dependent on how fast the EVs that use the Superchargers will charge. If they’re like the Tesla Model S line and recharge in well under an hour, that is one thing. If they have smaller batteries and charge much faster, great! If they take hours to charge, they may significantly impede the ability of Tesla users to recharge when needed, which could annoy the living daylights out of Tesla drivers. After all, a major reason for buying Tesla cars is the widely-available Supercharger network.

Another issue that could affect the viability of sharing is the driving range of the cars that may be allowed to use the Superchargers. Tesla Model S vehicles don’t need to recharge often due to their 200+ mile range. Many other electric cars achieve half that, and sometimes less. That means they need to recharge more often (if they are being used for trips longer than their driving range, which is uncommon, so that helps).

The number of Superchargers installed will determine how big an issue this will be. As of last April, there were 100 of them around the world. That isn’t a huge number compared to the thousands of other electric cars on the road, but they are now already up to 520 — Tesla has been installing about one a day!

Here’s more from Elon’s recent trip to Germany:





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About the Author

writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is: Kompulsa.com.



  • apsley

    IMHO Tesla should spin off the Superchargers into a separate business. It’s going to have to happen eventually anyway if we want EVs to become ubiquitous.

  • Hans

    Lets’s face it. The Supercharger Network is the only functioning high speed network in the world. Besides that they are elegant and easy to use thanks to the system of prepaid electricity they grow like mushrooms. The only cars that are able to accept the power (135 Kw and rising) at this moment are Tesla’s. Elon Musk has been very clear that the network can be shared with other manufacturers IF their cars meet the charging standard of the Superchargers. So we are talking about new generation EV’s with batteries, range and charging speeds that meet up with Tesla’s. So we are not speaking about current EV’s like GM, Leaf, I3 and others but their successors in a year or so. We will never see them at a Supercharger. And the manufacturer has to participate in the costs of the network, which is of course reasonable. It’s optional. If a manufacturer doesn’t want to serve his customer in offering the plug he needs to use the Supercharger it is his choice. May not be wise unless they want to lose customers.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Well said.

    • Jared Banyard

      This

  • Richard Poore

    This has been an open field, there was no standard but now at least we can hope that a standard will grow.

    Its also been a chicken/ egg sort of problem as well. EV sales are held down because of the lack of charging stations, the low numbers of EV autos means that there is limited interest in building charging stations.

    Any growth in charging locations is a great thing, it helps build momentum for the very idea of EV autos being a going concern.

  • Ultimately, the only thing I want, and I suspect all consumers is to have a seamless, integrated charging experience whether I have a GM, BMW, Tesla, or LEAF. I want to be able to plug in wherever and not have to be held ransom to CHAdeMO only plugs, SCC only plug, or Tesla only. These groups need to understand the urgency of interoperability and get out of our ways.

    • Bob Fearn

      Not sure if this will be possible considering the greed that is such a large part of crapitalism. Look at all the difficulties associated with cameras and the hundreds of different lens mounts that were incompatible.

      • Bob_Wallace

        I don’t see chargers becoming large profit centers for car manufacturers. They don’t own the non-Tesla chargers available now.

        There’s likely more money to be made by selling more EVs than the next guy. And if you can offer access to the Tesla system then you’ve got an advantage over other companies that don’t have well developed charging systems.

        Of course your customers are going to be looking at that Tesla sign every time they charge. Might cause them to see what models Tesla is offering….

        • Hans

          You have a point. But maybe the scenario could be different. What if a big manufacturer would say: Ok, we have been building excellent cars for a hundred years (or so). We know how to make them very comfortable and our customers have always been very happy. We know how to build a state of the art gasoline-engine but now we notice that electric is the future. (Like once the cd overtook the compact-cassette) What didn’t change is our will to give our customers the best. For us electric drivetrains are new, we don’t have much expertise. But Tesla does and we will contact them and try to get their advice, help, cooperation in building batteries and drivetrains (factories) so our cars will be as good as Tesla’s cars, actually better because we add our own specialty to it. And we share that magnificent Supercharger network.

          Wow, if a company would announce this, they would have a waiting list for their first EV that could be compared to Tesla.

          Anyway much more then announcing again a Tesla killer in a vaporware way.

          Time they let the customers wishes have all priority and change their mindset. They would have the (my) respect right-away.

          • Bob_Wallace

            My strong impression is that Tesla would welcome them with open arms.

            Tesla would likely be willing to start a second, third, fourth Gigafactory right away if ‘large manufacturer’ contracted for the output.

            Tesla would probably be willing to give up or minimize its advertising on the Supercharger system. Perhaps build/help build SCs with other companies’ names on them as long as they were usable by Tesla cars.

            (Anyone at VW listening? You need an exit strategy to get you out of the hole you’ve dug.)

  • Shane 2

    What is the metering/payment system for Superchargers?

    • Bob_Wallace

      It’s pre-paid. ‘Free use’ with the purchase of the 85/90 kWh Teslas.

      IIRC it was a $2k option with the 60 kWh models if you signed up at time of purchase. $2.5k if you signed up later.

      It’s unlimited use for the life of the car. Use goes with the car from owner to owner.

      Recently Tesla sent out a letter to a few owners asking them to not use the SC as much. I don’t think we’ve ever figured out how often those people were using them. Could have been, for example, 24 hour taxis charging multiple times per day.

      There have been complaints of some SC sites being tied up by taxis. This as at the Singapore airport?

      And there have been complaints of people plugging in their ModSs and leaving them parked overnight.

  • Pobrecito hablador

    It could be Volvo or Renault

  • JamesWimberley

    “He also mentioned that it was a European company, but not a German one.” Since Fiat and Peugeot-Citroen are not serious about evs, that leaves Renault.

    • Philip W

      I would prefer Renault, but I don’t know it that is likely.
      There is also Rimac Automobili which is much more likely to use them in my opinion.

    • Jouni Valkonen

      Saab has been in development of mid ranged electric sedan. Cannot see any other European car companies who would be interested on the development of electric car.

      Rimac will naturally have Supercharger access but it is not that high volume car.

      • No way

        Why would Rimac naturally have supercharger access?

    • Oollyoumn

      My first thought was Renault. Since Renault had controlling interest in Nissan, the deal might apply to Nissan if the deal involves the US. Nissan needs to act on building a charging network, and not those slow level 2 charges found at Nissan dealers in my state, or get access to the Supercharger network. If every Nissan Dealer had a Nissan fast DC charger, the Leaf would be a far more usable vehicle. If the Leaf could fast charge at dealers and the Supercharger network, it would be possible to travel much of the country in a Leaf.

    • No way

      It’s most likely not one of the big manufacturers. It’s much more likely that it’s a nische manufacturer like Rimac or maybe even Koeningsegg.
      If it’s a larger company it will still most likely be one of the smaller ones like Jaguar or Volvo.

      • Larmion

        Jaguar and Volvo are Indian and Chinese respectively, although they are still colloquially called European.

        • No way

          Nope. They have Indian and Chinese owners, which is a different thing. The companies are registered in Sweden/UK which makes them come from those countries de jure. And de facto too considering the location of the companies head quarters, main research and development and main production facilities.
          Just like Tesla is a US company even though it has owners from all over the world or that Nissan is still a japanese company.

    • James Cooke

      Nope I’m fairly sure it is Jaguar. Headed by Andy Palmer and quietly working on a long range ev that would sit above the Model S/X in terms of price.

      • Tommolog

        Andy Palmer left Nissan for Aston Martin, not JLR.

    • PaddyB

      I’m hoping it’s Jaguar Land Rover. Like Tesla, it is fast growing globally and on a mission to beat up the Germans. Unlike Tesla it is currently making nearly 500,000 vehicles annually, and generating a lot of cashflow. It would be a great customer for Tesla’s batteries. In fact, by 2020 Tesla would hopefully be getting ready for European fully-localized production, and sharing a European Gigafactory with Jaguar Land Rover would make a lot of sense. JLR using Tesla batteries would de-risk electrification for them, and they can potentially also offer Tesla help with mass production of lower priced aluminium cars. And JLR is Indian-owned, which ties in with Mr Modi’s visit and his interest in Powerwall.

  • Larmion

    This would make sense. After all, other carmakers and third party businesses are now beginning to invest in their own networks. While these are marginally slower than the Supercharger, obtaining reciprocal access for Tesla owners would nevertheless hugely expand their charging options – especially in Europe and Asia, where governments and businesses alike have been building lots of charge points that adhere to open standards rather than Tesla’s proprietary solution.

    Conversely, obtaining Supercharger access would be a huge boost to other carmakers in NA, where Tesla’s network is unparallelled.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Generic chargers simply make huge sense.

      Imagine if you pulled off the highway to fuel up and you had to look for a Subaru pump but at first what you find is pumps that serve only other brands.

      Then you find the Subaru pump but there’s a line waiting to fill. Some of the GM and Toyota pumps you drove past were available….

      • Larmion

        Couldn’t agree more, which is why I find it so sad Tesla chose to use a proprietary technology for its supercharger network.

        The IEC 62196 that underlies the Mennekes, Chademo and Yazaki chargers (which are all the same bar for a different plug design) allows for chargers up to 400A at 600V (mode 4 charging), which equals 240kW.

        Tesla’s superchargers operate at 135kW, so they could have easily designed a charger that complies with international chargers without sacrificing charge speed.

        • Bob_Wallace

          My understanding is that the connectors in use at at the time were inadequate to charge at Tesla speeds.

          Right/wrong?

          I believe that Tesla has been open to other brands using their rapid chargers from the start.

        • Steven F

          The 400A 600V mode 4 charging spec didn’t exist in IEC63296 at the time the tesla model S was in developement. Mode 4 charging was only added to the IC63296 after 2011 according to Wikipedia:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEC_62196

          So it wasn’t possible for Tesla to use an international charger because there simply wasn’t any high speed standard. The mode 4 spec was only added when the auto industry realized there was a need for a high speed auto charging.

          • Bob_Wallace

            Thanks. That’s what I was vaguely remembering.

        • Too bad we don’t have two level mag lev networks either. Whatever could have brought on this malaise? D

        • Foersom

          I agree, we need chargers that general are not specific to a car brand.

          However at least in Europe Tesla use the Euro EV plug (Mennekes), but use a proprietary plug in US. An US Tesla car can not be connected to an European Tesla charger, but that is probably also rarely needed, unless someone moves continent.

      • windbourne

        for tesla, it is all generic. They can charge at any of them, but it makes little sense to do so. The reason is that they are VERY slow compared to SC. The best out there today, is about 1/2 of the SC. Pretty darn slow.

    • windbourne

      First, Tesla’s is an open solution. They have given the patents on it to the world. So, it is as open, if not more, than the other 2.

      Secondly, SC is not just marginally faster. SC are TWICE the speed of the current junk out there. And SCs are about to bump theirs up 50%.

      The others will be doing great just to hit 100 KW, while SC will be at 160 KW.

      Third, Tesla has access to everything. It is just the car owners do not want to use slow and expensive charge systems.

  • Shane 2

    @11:00 in the 1st video “did nobody tell you?”

    Well grandson, Ted Cruz and many other Republicans told me that AGW was a hoax foisted on us by greedy scientists who wanted to line their pockets with tax dollars stolen from the wonderful job creators.

    • Scott

      But granddad, don’t we finally get to see the effects of trickle down economics next year? I mean, I know the modern Republican party has been wrong on virtually every issue, but why would they misrepresent the facts on this one?

      • Shiggity

        Those are the kind of men that would literally want to see their wealth completely destroyed so no one could have it rather than share it.

        Sociopathic levels of greed now control our system. This happened before in the 1920s. That did not work out well for us.

        If wealth becomes more unequal than it already is, there will be violent redistribution. That is a key socioeconomic principal throughout human history. Every great empire has fallen in history because a few assholes got too rich / greedy. Share the wealth or we all will fall.

  • Mikgigs

    One small mistake, in last Q letter it is said that super chargers are installed with rate one per day from one per 1.5 previously. Not one per week.

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    • Omega Centauri

      That squares with there being 520 of um. At one per week that woulda taken ten years. At one per day, the number will double in a year!

      • Let me show *you real ways to get paid some money on weekly basis by completing basic tasks on-line from comfort of your home for 3-4 hrs a day ~ Check >MY!___@+__ID| to see more information

    • Whoops, thanks.

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