This week Tesla launched its first-ever Non-Tesla Supercharger pilot. The lucky country chosen for the experiment is the Netherlands, where the company is opening 10 EV charging stations to local non-Tesla EV drivers.
Trial program for opening Tesla Superchargers to other EVs has begun https://t.co/g4HpgRGl7d
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 1, 2021
According to the company its always been its ambition to open up the network to non-Tesla EVs. It will encourage drivers to go electric and thereby helping to achieve Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
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.
Sounds like a great and honorable goal, but why is Tesla going all the way to Europe to test it out, rather than kick it off in sunny California?
A Supercharger trial would not be so easy in the US
Tesla vehicles in Europe use the Combined Charging System (CSS) along with other OEMs. In the US Tesla cars use a proprietary connector. There, a similar US trial would require non-Tesla EV drivers to hire or buy an adapter to use the Superchargers. This makes the Netherlands a smart beginning for opening the Superchargers.
However, it’s not all great, for trial participants. Non-Tesla EV drivers can expect to incur additional costs “associated with charging a large number of different cars and made to make the locations suitable for cars from other brands.”
Get ready for some Tesla folks who don’t want to line up
Since its 2012 launch, Teslahas opened over 25,000 Superchargers worldwide across 2700 stations. But will Tesla users want to lose access to an exclusive club?
Perhaps fearing the ire of Tesla drivers waiting in line, the company plans “to 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 Tesla app already allows owners to monitor their vehicles remotely. It alerts them when their charge is nearly complete and again once fully charged.
Every additional minute a car remains connected to the Supercharger incurs an idle fee of 50c or $1 if the station is at 100% capacity. The company claims, “This is purely about increasing customer happiness, and we hope to never make any money from it.”
Personally, I’m waiting for some YouTube videos about breaches of EV etiquette or Twitter rants from Tesla users unaccustomed to waiting in line…