Tesla surprised a lot of people last month when it announced that it would open its network of Superchargers to electric vehicles from other brands later this year.
At the time, Elon Musk explained that the opening would be gradual, starting with some undisclosed initial markets before expanding globally. As it turns out, the United States will be the first market where the Supercharger network will open to non-Tesla EVs, and there are 7.5 billion reasons for that.
We’re obviously referring to the $7.5 billion the federal government announced as funding for EV charging infrastructure, as part of a broader $1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. That seems one of the reasons (if not the main reason) why Tesla decided to grant EVs from other automakers access to its Supercharger network.
According to the full text of the recently finalized bill, being able “to serve vehicles produced by more than one vehicle manufacturer” and providing “a charging connector type or means to transmit electricity to vehicles that meets applicable industry accepted practices and safety standards” are the main requirements for charging stations to get funding.
As a result, Tesla can apply for a portion of the $7.5 billion after its network of fast chargers becomes accessible to other carmakers. According to the bill published by the Senate on August 3, a private entity must meet several requirements to qualify for the funding.
"(1) STANDARDS.—Electric vehicle charging infrastructure installed using funds provided under this title shall provide, at a minimum—
(A) non-proprietary charging connectors that meet applicable industry safety standards;
(B) open access to payment methods that are available to all members of the public to ensure secure, convenient, and equal access to the electric vehicle charging infrastructure that shall not be limited by membership to a particular payment provider."
The carmaker will begin opening its vast Supercharger network in the US before the end of the year, giving owners of non-Tesla EVs access to more charging points, which in turn should boost EV adoption in the country. Mind you, owners of Tesla EVs will still get preferential treatment compared to owners of non-Tesla EVs, as the latter will be limited when it comes to time and output.
You can check the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill in full below, but be aware that it has more than 2,702 pages, so using the "Find in Page" feature comes in really handy.