Posted on January 01, 2018 by Matt Pressman
One popular point of confusion among electric vehicle newbies (and the mainstream press) is that non-Tesla charging networks are incompatible with Tesla vehicles. Oftentimes, all it takes is a simple charging adapter, and a Tesla can use virtually any charging point — even if it's been funded by other automakers. The same can't be said of other EVs on the market (i.e. Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, etc.). Those EV competitors can't use Tesla's massive proprietary Supercharger network.
Above: A Tesla Model S charges at one of its proprietary Superchargers (Instagram: bryanho23)
And Tesla has been swiftly growing its Supercharger network, albeit not as fast as promised. USA Today reports, "Tesla hasn't reached its commitment of doubling its global Supercharger fast-charging network this year. The electric carmaker earlier this year claimed it would go from about 5,000 Superchargers up to 10,000. It did bring an impressive number to the network, with more than 3,150 more Superchargers added this year."
That said, Tesla-friendly charging points from other charging networks (both public and private) picked up some of the the slack. In this sense, Tesla can have the best of both worlds — enjoying new Supercharger locations while also taking advantage of other charging networks as they rapidly grow. In fact, "University of Michigan researchers earlier this [past] year reported 16,000 public charging stations in the U.S., with nearly 43,000 individual charging connectors or plugs, based on federal government data."
Note: Of all automakers, Tesla currently has the fastest-charging capabilities via its proprietary Supercharger network (Video: USA Today)
And more charging points are scheduled to be installed in 2018. Imagine... German automakers are funding (out of their own pocket) more charging points compatible with Tesla's cars. It's happening: "German automaker Volkswagen has agreed to add a substantial number of charging stations to U.S. cities — as part of restitution for its ‘Dieselgate’ deceptive practices on vehicle emissions reporting in its diesel cars... Volkswagen will be installing 2,800 charging stations in 17 of the largest U.S. cities by June 2019, the company announced in December."
Where will these VW-backed (yet Tesla-friendly) U.S. charging stations reside? "About 75% of the stations will be at workplaces and the rest at multifamily dwellings, such as apartment buildings and condos. The remaining charging stations will be placed in high-traffic areas with more frequent charging activity."
Above: Tesla-to-CHAdeMO charging adapter being utilized at one of the Fastned stations in the Netherlands (Image: InsideEVs)
European charging points are planned too: "An alliance of automakers will be deploying about 400 fast charging stations across Europe by 2020. BMW, Daimler, Ford, and Volkswagen with its Audi and Porsche subsidiaries in November formed a joint venture called IONITY to carry it out. The High-Power-Charging (HPC) network will install chargers that will have the capacity to go up to 350 kW and will use the brand-agnostic [read: Tesla-friendly] Combined Charging System as the standard."
And it's not just the Europe and U.S. with plans to expand charging infrastructure. It turns out that, "China had 190,000 chargers installed by September 2017, with big plans in place to expand the network to 800,000 charging points." And yes, the Chinese charging standard is fully compatible with Tesla's cars. In the end, although it's rarely mentioned in the media, all these different charging options should prove a significant competitive advantage for Tesla's Model 3.
Source: USA Today