- Tesla has opened its vast Supercharger network to General Motors and Ford electric vehicles.
- Tesla owners have previously enjoyed sole access to the company’s charging stations.
- “Nothing is going to irritate a Tesla owner more” than waiting behind lines of other EVs, one analyst said.
Tesla owners probably won’t be very happy that the EV maker is opening up its Supercharger network to outsiders.
In May, Ford and Tesla announced a partnership allowing the Detroit automaker to use Tesla chargers starting in 2024. And last week, it was also announced that GM would gain access next year.
While the partnership among rivals benefits Tesla from a revenue standpoint, it may cause some tension with its car owners.
“So nothing is going to irritate a Tesla owner more than lining up behind a bunch of vehicles from Ford and General Motors,” said Craig Irwin, a senior research analyst at Roth Capital Partners, on Yahoo Finance Friday.
“I mean, imagine a big Hummer. It’s going to take a charger for an hour in front of you while you’ve got to go and do your errands and get your groceries. It’s not going to be something where people are going to say, ‘Oh great, that car has General Motors badge on it. But the charger says Tesla. I paid for that. What’s up with that?'”
Irwin isn’t the only one who is worried about how these charging deals may affect its relationship with Tesla’s customers.
Gene Munster, managing partner at Deepwater Asset Management, said on CNBC Friday that it’s possible Tesla owners will be frustrated by the change, as it could lead to longer wait times.
Tesla’s Supercharger network is comprised of some 7,000 locations in North America, according to the Department of Energy. It has long been considered one of the company’s most notable advantages over the competition. This is because range anxiety is a top concern among consumers shopping for an EV. Tesla knew this, so it started building out its network about a decade ago to address the issue.
Earlier this year after Tesla first said it intended to open up to the public, some owners told Insider they were upset by the move because exclusive access to the Supercharging network was part of the reason they bought a Tesla. But some said that it was a good move that would help accelerate EV adoption, while also putting pressure on other rival charging companies to improve their service.
But allowing other car owners to use the network may also eventually benefit Tesla owners, too.
Tesla could use the revenue generated by new customers to invest in expanding its charging network, meaning more access for everyone, said Cathie Wood, Ark Invest CEO, during a CNBC interview on Friday.
“What’s interesting about this is it does help Tesla underwrite the charging station expense,” Wood, who has a $2,000 price target on Tesla stock by 2027, said. “Because if you look at Tesla sales they are highly concentrated on the coasts. Now, it’s going to make a lot more sense for Tesla to roll out charging stations that much faster throughout the country.”
Do you own a Tesla? How do you feel about Tesla allowing other EV owners to use the Supercharger network? Let us know by emailing CThompson@insider.com.