Tesla announced the use of its supercharger public charging stations with ultra-fast EV charging will be open to non Teslas in Italy. This is significant because Tesla is the only company so far to invest in charging infrastructure to make EV travel practical across entire countries or continents. Tesla’s supercharger network now covers most of Europe, meaning anyone with an EV that can use a Tesla supercharger can now travel long distances without delays from slow charging across the European countries popular for car travel.
Who owns EV charging infrastructure?
Fast charging EVs is convenient for consumers and is a good move from a company that promotes EV use. But it’s not entirely altruistic. Tesla has invested in owning charging infrastructure across Europe, and by allowing other non-Tesla EVs to use its supercharging stations, the company is encouraging other automakers to build charging stations compatible with Tesla charging systems. Until they do that, Tesla now owns massive public infrastructure for EV charging across most of Europe, which is about more than the cars the company sells — it’s about owning clean energy profits.
According to Electrek, recently as November 2021, Tesla was still piloting supercharger stations in the Netherlands. Tesla has moved quickly to build out EV charging stations across roadways throughout Europe. With these stations in place, the company has the high ground of selling the EVs compatible with most chargers across European public roads. The company emulates in designing EV charging ports compatible with most public stations in Europe. Think universal USB usage versus individual company charging cables for laptops, but on a much higher stakes scale. And the company now can make money off of selling EVs as well as charging them.
Tesla is creating a complete EV life cycle system
Considering that Tesla also has invested in developing solar roof tiles, tiny homes and home charging ports, it’s easy to guess that the company is attempting to create a circular system. They will then own and control all aspects of the EV life cycle and home-generated solar power.
In January 2022, Tesla announced they were expanding the supercharger station plan to Norway and France. Over the next few months, the program grew across the Netherlands, the U.K., Spain, Sweden, Belgium and Austria. By May and June, the company added more stations across the U.K., Spain, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland. In September, Iceland was added to the list, with EV charging stations open to all non-Tesla EVs. Now, 18 stations in Italy are being added to that pilot program.
Next up: North America’s EV charging network
Tesla is planning a similar program to roll out across North America, which would cover a significant portion of roads driven by travelers who drive long distances. The car company that was once considered ridiculous for stating that all cars would soon be electric is now likely headed for a fight over having a monopoly on fast-charging stations in the U.S. and Europe.
What’s great about this news is that EVs are currently being hampered both by supply chain issues and charging infrastructure. Any company that can build out charging infrastructure will help push the world toward sustainable transportation and lowering emissions to zero. Particularly when it’s fast-charging stations that takes 20 minutes similar to a gas station instead of delaying travelers for hours.
It won’t be long now before we see slow chargers as ridiculous and part of the EV dinosaur age. If you’ve been thinking about buying an electric vehicle, the choices are multiplying daily. Just be sure to research EV tax credits for any vehicles you’re considering, and make sure you have a charging option at home that meets your needs. Next up, zero emissions road trips.
Images via Tesla