(Pocket-lint) - Elon Musk has, without any fanfare, confirmed that the Tesla Supercharger network could be available to other EVs later in 2021.
Responding to a comment about charging connectors on Twitter, Musk said: "…we're making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year."
We created our own connector, as there was no standard back then & Tesla was only maker of long range electric cars.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2021
It’s one fairly slim connector for both low & high power charging.
That said, we’re making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year.
In a follow-up question Musk went on to clarify that the aim was to enable this in all countries, although we suspect that the US is likely to be the first location where this happens.
Over time, all countries— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 20, 2021
It's long been the case that Tesla was open to having others use the Supercharger network, but it hasn't happened so far. While Tesla set about installing Superchargers not just across the US, but much of Europe and the rest of the world too, it's long been recognised that the Supercharger network is one of Tesla's biggest assets.
We've written about this before: in a Tesla, the charging process is so much more seamless than over electric cars. You get precise navigation to Superchargers, the car can precondition the battery for optimal charging as you drive to the Supercharger, the charging rates are typically higher than other legacy chargers and the authentication and payment is automatically handled by the car.
Using a Supercharger is like being part of the best private members' club, compared to otherb charging networks.
Some of that won't be accessible to third parties: that seamless payment experience likely won't happen if you pull up in a VW ID.4 for example, instead it's likely that you'll have to have an account with Tesla and use an app.
But with Tesla offering banks of chargers, often at 150kW or higher, it could suddenly mean a lot more options for EV drivers.
Compatibility might be an issue in some cases. In the US Tesla uses a proprietary charger, so it might be that other EV users would want to use an adapter; in the UK and across Europe it's likely to be easier where Tesla Superchargers offer a mix of Type 2 and CCS.
Most European electric cars now support CCS (as does the Tesla Model 3), so we suspect that will remove compatibility problems for many users.
Exactly how Tesla drivers will feel when they find a plug-in hybrid sitting in a Supercharger bay, notionally charging while the driver is off shopping, remains to be seen.