Automakers Form Company to Rival Tesla’s Charging Dominance
After a number of automakers and charging companies announced plans to adopt Tesla’s charging standard in recent months, one group of companies is now looking to challenge the Supercharger network. A new company formed by seven different automakers is slated to rival Tesla’s Supercharging network, and to gain access to charging subsidies from the Biden administration.
Above: Tesla vehicles at a Supercharger (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).
BMW, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis announced plans on Wednesday to start a new electric vehicle charging company in the U.S., as reported by Reuters. The news comes after a number of companies, including participants in the new company GM and Mercedes, have shared plans to adopt the Tesla charging standard and its charging port in the coming years.
While the seven brands account for around half of U.S. vehicle sales, the companies only represent a tiny portion of the emerging EV market. Overall EV sales comprised over 60 percent Teslas, and the company already has nearly 18,000 Supercharger stalls across the U.S. alone. The move to open its Superchargers to other automakers is expected to give Tesla access to part of the $7.5 billion in charging station subsidies offered by the federal government.
The group of automakers starting their own company didn’t disclose how much each brand would contribute financially, nor were there any details shared about the collective amount the companies would invest. Additionally, the companies have yet to share a name for the new business, though they did say they would be open to outside investments, even beyond the auto industry.
Kia is owned by fellow automaker Hyundai, while Stellantis owns popular U.S. brands such as Jeep, Dodge and Chrysler, along with European brands Fiat, Peugeot and more.
By 2025, GM, Mercedes and other automakers will build their EVs with Tesla’s charging hardware, giving owners access to the vast Supercharger network. The other companies in the new group, including Stellantis, Hyundai, Honda, Kia and BMW, did not commit to Tesla’s charging standard, which the company has opened up to others. Instead, these companies still plan to use the Combined Charging System (CCS) hardware that rivals
The new company made up by the seven automakers will reportedly support both CCS and the Tesla charging standard. It will directly compete with Tesla, along with other charging companies like Electrify America, ChargePoint and EVgo, which have also said they will add support for Tesla’s charging standard.
“A strong charging network should be available for all – under the same conditions – and be built together with a win-win spirit,” Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said.
Executives from the automakers also said the new stations would include amenities found at gas stations, like restrooms, food services and other retail options. The Biden administration is targeting 500,000 public chargers in the U.S. by 2030, which represents an increase of about four times from current levels.