Ford has struck a deal with Tesla to gain access to rival charging stations from 2024 by Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Tesla logo is seen at the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory in Shanghai, China January 7, 2019. REUTERS/Ali Song


Written by Hyunjoo Jin, David Shepardson, and Abhirup Roy

(Reuters) – Ford Motor Co. said on Thursday it has agreed with Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: N) to allow owners of its electric cars access to more than 12,000 Tesla superchargers in North America in early 2024.

The link between competitors makes Ford the first major automaker to adopt Tesla’s proprietary charging standard, giving the automaker access to the largest network of superchargers in the United States.

Analysts said that access to charging stations is one of the main obstacles so far to wider acceptance of electric vehicles.

Tesla said last November that it would open up its charging design to automakers and other charging network operators.

An adapter developed by Tesla will supply Common Charging System (CCS)-equipped Ford EVs down to the ports of Tesla’s V3 Superchargers. Ford will supply future electric cars with Tesla’s charging standard, eliminating the need for an adapter for direct access to Tesla Superchargers, starting in 2025.

“The idea is we don’t want Tesla’s supercharger network to be like a walled garden. We want it to be something that’s supportive of electrification and sustainable transportation in general,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a conversation via Twitter Spaces online with Ford CEO Jim Farley.

“We like the sites, we like the reliability, your routing software, the ease of use of the connector, the reliability of it,” Farley said.

“Teslas sweep through the train station at 300 kilometers per hour like Shinkansen trains,” Farley said, referring to Japanese bullet trains. “We are learning a lot.”

Tesla had 17,711 superchargers, which is about 60% of all fast chargers in the US, that can add hundreds of miles of driving range in an hour or less.

Farley on Thursday announced the partnership during a Twitter Spaces conversation. Twitter is owned by Musk.

The event comes just a day after Twitter repeatedly crashed during an expected live audio conversation between Musk and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, setting back Musk’s efforts to promote the social media company he bought for $44 billion last year.

The Musk-Farley Twitter Spaces chat lasted about half an hour and came out without technical glitches.

Farley said earlier on Thursday Morgan Stanley (NYSE: 🙂 “On the infrastructure side, I think it’s an area for some collaboration between auto companies, which isn’t quite natural for us.”

Farley added, “I think we need to start — I mean, I think the first step is working together in a way that we haven’t, perhaps with new electric vehicle brands and legacy traditional companies.”

For example, he called it “utterly absurd” that the industry has multiple plugs for its charging networks and “we can’t even agree on which plug to use”.

Musk tweeted earlier this month: “I think Ford’s overall strategy with electric vehicles is smart. Demand for the electric F-150 (Lightning) is high.”

He also defended Ford over its electric car losses. “It’s always strong with profit margins for new car lines, especially when there are big technology changes.”

Farley said Thursday that Ford should take the initiative to get a new company like Tesla, Nio (NYSE:) Inc, or BYD “to work together in some unnatural way as competitors. I think you’ll only see Ford do that because that’s the kind of company that we are.” .”

This year, Tesla has begun to expand beyond its own connectors and integrate the rival CCS standard into some charging stations in the United States, as the Biden administration seeks billions in subsidies to expand charging networks.

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