Tesla to open its EV charging network to other brands

Tesla to open its EV charging network to other brands
Tesla chargers. Image by Urs Widmer from Pixabay

Tesla joined other companies in highlighting plans to build out a cross-country EV charging network.

The Biden-Harris Administration announced in a White House Fact Sheet on February 15 movement on actions aimed at creating an Electric Vehicle (EV) charging network across the United States.

The steps are expected to help build a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle chargers along America’s highways and in communities where EVs will make up at least 50% of new car sales by 2030. The efforts are part of an industrial strategy to continue to build-out the domestic EV and EV charging industry, the White House said.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021 earmarked $7.5 billion for EV charging, $10 billion for clean transportation and more than $7 billion in EV battery components, critical minerals and materials.

EV charging partnerships

The administration said its actions on EVs have spurred network operators to accelerate the buildout of coast-to-coast EV charging networks. Public dollars will supplement private investment by filling gaps, serving rural and hard to reach locations, and building capacity in communities.

Spotlighted here are announcements that could add more than 100,000 public chargers available for all EVs:

Tesla, for the first time, will open a portion of its US Supercharger and Destination Charger network to non-Tesla EVs, making at least 7,500 chargers available for all EVs by the end of 2024. The open chargers will be distributed across the United States. They will include at least 3,500 new and existing 250kW Superchargers along highway corridors to expand freedom of travel for all EVs, and Level 2 Destination Charging at locations like hotels and restaurants in urban and rural locations. All EV drivers will be able to access these stations using the Tesla app or website. Additionally, Tesla will more than double its full nationwide network of Superchargers, manufactured in Buffalo, New York.

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Hertz and bp are announcing their intention to build out a national network of EV fast charging infrastructure to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. Hertz and bp intend to bring charging infrastructure to Hertz locations across America, including major cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Miami, New York City, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. The charging hubs will serve rideshare and taxi drivers, car rental customers and the general public at high-demand locations, such as airports. A number of installations are expected to include large-scale charging hubs, known as “gigahubs.” bp said it aims to invest $1 billion in EV charging in the US alone by 2030. Hertz said its objective is to make one-quarter of its fleet electric by the end of 2024.

Pilot Company, General Motors, and EVgo have partnered to build a coast-to-coast network of 2,000 high power 350kW fast chargers at Pilot and Flying J travel centers along American highways. The nationwide network of up to 500 travel centers will enable long distance EV travel by connecting urban and rural communities. Today, the companies are announcing that the first 200+ chargers in this network are expected to be available for use by drivers in 2023.

TravelCenters of America and Electrify America announced that they will offer electric vehicle charging at select Travel Centers of America and Petro locations, with a goal of installing approximately 1,000 EV chargers at 200 locations along major highways over the next five years. In related news, TravelCenters of America Inc. agreed to be acquired by BP Plc for $86 a share in cash, or about $1.3 billion. The price is equal to an 84% premium over the average trading price of the stock in the 30 days ended February 15.

Electrify America recently held the official groundbreaking of Electrify America Solar Glow 1, a 75MW solar PV project in San Bernardino County, California, to help back all energy delivered to EV drivers with renewable energy across more than 800 DC fast charging stations nationwide.

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Mercedes-Benz, ChargePoint, and MN8 Energy announced a partnership to deploy over 400 charging hubs with more than 2,500 publicly accessible DC fast charging ports across the US and Canada.

ChargePoint, Volvo Cars, and Starbucks announced a partnership to deploy 60 DC fast chargers at up to 15 locations along the 1,350-mile pilot route between Seattle and Denver to be completed by summer 2023.

General Motors, in partnership with FLO, announced a collaborative effort with dealers to install up to 40,000 public Level 2 EV chargers in local communities by 2026 through GM’s Dealer Community Charging Program. The new charging stations will join the GM’s Ultium Charge 360 network, and will be available to all EV drivers.

Francis Energy, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based EV charge point operator, is expanding into 40 states in 2023, with plans to install 50,000 EV charging ports by 2030 in partnership with municipalities, auto dealers, Tribal Nations and private businesses. Currently 75% of Francis Energy’s network is in Justice40 communities.

Forum Mobility, a zero-emission trucking solutions provider, recently announced a $400 million commitment to deploy over 1,000 DC fast-chargers. The charging infrastructure will serve the thousands of heavy-duty electric trucks projected to begin operating at the San Pedro and Oakland ports in California over the next decade. The community charging depots will create over 600 new union jobs in disadvantaged communities while reducing harmful emissions at the ports and along freight corridors.

Ford Motor also committed to installing at least one public-facing DC Fast charger with two ports at 1,920 Ford dealerships by January 2024.

The White House said due to its actions, EV sales have tripled, and the number of publicly available charging ports has grown by at least 40% since Biden took office. There are now more than three million EVs on the road and over 130,000 public chargers across the country, the White House said.

This was originally published on Power Grid International.