Tesla, as we caught wind of and covered many months ago, is starting to open up its Superchargers to non-Tesla electric vehicles. The first place this is happening publicly is the country where our own Maarten Vinkhuyzen plugged his Renault ZOE into a Supercharger more than a year ago, the Netherlands. It appears that Tesla is focused right now on just seeing how this works, as it is only opening up Supercharging at 10 Supercharger locations. Here are the locations:
Note that, for now, non-Tesla EV drivers need to be based in the Netherlands to use these stations (so don’t try driving up from Spain). “We will be expanding to additional markets shortly. Tesla drivers from any country can charge as they normally would at these sites,” Tesla adds.
To use these stations, EV owners need to download the Tesla app (version 4.2.3 or higher). Here are more details:
Note that you have to select the actual charging stall that you plan to use, unless Tesla drivers who can just plug in at any of them and charging starts automatically.
The Importance of Tesla Superchargers
In surveys we conducted with EV drivers for years, one of the top things (often the #1 thing) they said they required in their next EV was access to the Tesla Supercharger network or some comparable superfast charging network. One has to wonder how many Tesla owners or potential Tesla buyers would buy another EV if given access to the Supercharger network. I’ve had people tell me they would buy a different EV except for the Supercharger network, which seemed critical to them. Personally, there are a number of reasons why I prefer a Tesla over anything else on the market, but I can see why some people are in a different boat and have different preferences.
Without a doubt, Tesla’s foresight on Supercharging was brilliant, and who knows how much that has enabled faster EV adoption? It’s exhilarating to see Tesla start to open up that network. “Access to an extensive, convenient and reliable fast-charging network is critical for large-scale EV adoption,” Tesla said. “That’s why, since opening our first Superchargers in 2012, we have been committed to rapid expansion of the network. Today, we have more than 25,000 Superchargers worldwide.”
Tesla also says this has always been in the plans. “It’s always been our ambition to open the Supercharger network to Non-Tesla EVs, and by doing so, encourage more drivers to go electric. This move directly supports our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Opening Up Superchargers at More Locations
“More customers using the Supercharger network enables faster expansion. Our goal is to learn and iterate quickly, while continuing to aggressively expand the network, so we can eventually welcome both Tesla and Non-Tesla drivers at every Supercharger worldwide.”
As far as opening up Superchargers at more locations, Tesla says that more will be opened up shortly. “We’re starting with a select number of sites so that we can review the experience, monitor congestion and assess feedback before expanding. Future sites will only be opened to Non-Tesla vehicles if there is available capacity,” the company also writes.
Do Tesla Drivers Have Any Special Benefits Anymore?
To those who may be wondering, yes, there are still benefits to Supercharging with a Tesla. As Tesla summarizes, “As a Tesla driver you benefit from the seamless integration of charge post and vehicle, optimized route planning and battery pre-conditioning. With your Tesla, you’ll also have access to the lowest Supercharger pricing.”
The pricing for Tesla drivers doesn’t change, but pricing for non-Tesla EV drivers is a bit higher. “Pricing for Non-Tesla drivers reflects additional costs incurred to support charging a broad range of vehicles and adjustments to our sites to accommodate these vehicles. Rates vary by site, and you can view charging prices in the Tesla app. The per kWh price to charge can be lowered with a charging membership.”
Idle fees apply the same to everyone, Tesla drivers and non-Tesla EV drivers alike.
Let’s see how this goes!