Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that the US firm will soon allow owners of other brands of electric cars to use its Supercharger network.
Since launching the Supercharger network in 2012 the electric car company has built almost 25,000 superfast charging units at more than 2,500 stations worldwide, all which have been exclusively for use by Tesla owners.
However, on Tuesday, Musk tweeted that from “later this year” owners of other makes of EVs will be given access to Tesla sites.
Replying to a tweet about Tesla’s proprietary charging system, Musk said: “We created our own connector, as there was no standard back then & Tesla was only maker of long range electric cars. 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.”
Tesla initially used a unique connector to limit which vehicles could use its Superchargers but has switched to the more standard Type 2 and CCS sockets recently, managing access to its chargers with software.
Since 2018 all its UK Superchargers have been Type 2 and CCS compatible, meaning a software update should open the units up to owners of most modern EVs.
Musk did not specify which countries would be first to benefit from the changes but did say that “over time, all countries” will get universal access to Superchargers.
The latest versions of Tesla’s Superchargers can charge at up to 300kW, putting them among the fastest units available. Until this year very few EVs could take advantage of such rapid charging but a growing number of models, including the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 and Porsche Taycan feature 800V technology that lets them charge at up to 350kW.
Older versions of the Supercharger can also charge at 100kW or more, twice the standard rapid charge speed.
Tesla is yet to make any further comment on Musk’s announcement and questions remain around payment. Tesla owners are currently billed directly via an account with the company with no pay-at-charger option.
Exclusive access to the Supercharger network has long been seen as one of the advantages of a Tesla over other EVs. Following Musk’s announcement some Tesla owners expressed their displeasure at the idea, branding it a mistake that will cost it sales. They warned that it was bad news for Tesla owners and would create queues and delays at chargers while removing one of the brand's biggest appeals.