Tesla has again expanded access to its Magic Dock Superchargers for non-Tesla drivers in the United States. The Texas-based electric maker owns the largest network of superchargers on the globe and only allowed Tesla drivers to use the network for the majority of its history.
While level 1 and level 2 chargers can charge an EV from 0 to 80% in around 40 to 50-plus hours and 4 to 10 hours respectively, a Tesla Supercharger can add up to 200 miles of range in only 15 minutes. Access to the Supercharger network allowed Tesla drivers to charge their cars at blindingly fast speeds and enjoy a “refueling” experience that’s relatively similar to drivers of conventional fossil fuel-powered vehicles. Tesla has been slowly opening its Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs over the past two years.
The pioneering EV maker has already extended access to hundreds of Supercharger stations in Europe and has been adding more stations on the continent to support the growing number of non-Tesla EVs drawing from Superchargers. Integrating non-Tesla EVs in Europe into the Supercharger network was relatively easy because every electric car brand on the continent uses the same charging connectors. However, the situation in North America is more nuanced.
Instead of using the standard CCS connector in the U.S., Tesla developed a proprietary connector for its EVs that wasn’t used by other brands in the country. Tesla now allows other electric vehicle brands to use its proprietary connectors. However, it will likely take several years before other carmakers can integrate the appropriate connectors into their vehicles.
In the meantime, Tesla has developed a technology called “Magic Docks” that enables non-Tesla EVs to connect to its superchargers without the proprietary connector. The company began by deploying the technology in select supercharging stations in California and New York before launching Supercharger stations with the Magic Dock technology in February.
After months of relative inactivity in terms of building Magic Dock Superchargers, Tesla announced in August that it was expanding the network to Texas. Nearly a month later, Tesla is extending the Magic Dock Supercharging stations to Washington State, Colorado, Utah and Michigan. Although the deployment of these chargers has been limited, it seems to be Tesla’s main strategy for expanding access to non-Tesla drivers in the meantime.
Tesla may be the most dominant electric vehicle maker on the market, but it is contending with increased competition from other automakers. Even if companies such as Ford and General Motors become Tesla’s largest competitors in the country, Tesla can still earn from their customers by granting them access to its Supercharger network.
With this supercharging network opening up to more non-Tesla EVs, buyers are likely to warm up more to models from other manufacturers such as QuantumScape Corp. (NYSE: QS), since concerns around charging infrastructure will reduce.
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