On November 1, 2021, Tesla officially launched the Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot at 10 Supercharging stations in the Netherlands.
It's just the early beginning of the previously announced opening of the Supercharging infrastructure. In the future, Superchargers will be available to other, non-Tesla EVs (through an app).
As of the end of Q3, Tesla had over 3,250 stations and over 29,280 individual Supercharging stalls, which makes it one of the largest fast-charging networks.
The company says that the opening of the network for all has always been its ambition:
"Access to an extensive, convenient and reliable fast-charging network is critical for large-scale EV adoption. That’s why, since opening our first Superchargers in 2012, we have been committed to rapid expansion of the network. Today, we have more than 25,000 Superchargers worldwide."
"It’s always been our ambition to open the Supercharger network to Non-Tesla EVs, and by doing so, encourage more drivers to go electric. This move directly supports our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy."
"More customers using the Supercharger network enables faster expansion. Our goal is to learn and iterate quickly, while continuing to aggressively expand the network, so we can eventually welcome both Tesla and Non-Tesla drivers at every Supercharger worldwide."
Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot Details
The initial Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot is limited to 10 stations in the Netherlands (Sassenheim, Apeldoorn Oost, Meerkerk, Hengelo, Tilburg, Duiven, Breukelen, Naarden, Eemnes, Zwolle) and requires Tesla app (version 4.2.3 or higher).
According to the FAQ, the pilot is limited to non-Tesla EV drivers who live in the country.
"The Non-Tesla Supercharger pilot is currently limited to EV drivers who live in the Netherlands. We will be expanding to additional markets shortly."
Only non-Tesla EVs compatible with the CCS Combo 2 charging standard can use Superchargers in the pilot.
" This pilot is only accessible for CCS-enabled vehicles. If a Supercharger post has two cables, Non-Tesla cars can only charge with the CCS connector. If the connector does not fit your car, please report it to Tesla Customer Support. "
There are two options to use the Superchargers (according to reports from the field):
- single use at €0.57/kWh
- subscription: €13/month + €0.24/kWh (a similar to Tesla drivers)
a minimum period is just one month
the breakeven is at around 39.4 kWh/month (compared to single use)
An important thing is that the prices might change depending on the site, and probably will also with time. For now, the prices appear to be competitive.
The prices are higher for non-Tesla vehicles because it's more complex to handle those customers, according to the company:
"Pricing for Non-Tesla drivers reflects additional costs incurred to support charging a broad range of vehicles and adjustments to our sites to accommodate these vehicles. Rates vary by site, and you can view charging prices in the Tesla app. The per kWh price to charge can be lowered with a charging membership."
The idle fees are the same. In the Netherlands it's €0.50/min or €1.00/min when the station is 100% occupied.
Layout and too short cable
Finally, Tesla notes that not all site layouts will be suitable for all cars. This is a very important thing, because due to the specific position of the charging station and its short cable, some other EVs will not be able to recharge while parking in a normal way (single parking spot).
"Does the Supercharger cable reach all EVs?
Certain Supercharger site layouts may not be suitable for some cars. Please do not obstruct other cars by parking over the lines if the cable cannot comfortably reach your car."
Tesla said that opening of more sites to non-Tesla vehicles depends on the outcome and infrastructure capacity.
If there are too many problems - we guess - they might even fall back and close down the netowrk to non-Tesla cars.
"We’re starting with a select number of sites so that we can review the experience, monitor congestion and assess feedback before expanding. Future sites will only be opened to Non-Tesla vehicles if there is available capacity."
What changes for Tesla customers
Well, in theory, nothing changes for Tesla customers as they can use the Tesla Supercharging infrastructure just like before.
In fact, Tesla customers can use their existing account to charge their other, non-Tesla EVs, so this would actually be a small plus for some of them.
"Will Tesla drivers see Supercharging for Non-Tesla vehicles in the app so they can charge other EVs and access their Tesla products from one account?
Yes. All Tesla products and services can be accessed via the Tesla app. Tesla owners can use their existing account to charge Non-Tesla vehicles."
Tesla lists the benefits of Supercharging a Tesla, including:
- seamless integration of charge post and vehicle (plug and charge)
- optimized route planning and battery pre-conditioning
- lowest Supercharger pricing
"I am a Tesla driver, what additional benefits do I get compared to other electric vehicles?
As a Tesla driver you benefit from the seamless integration of charge post and vehicle, optimized route planning and battery pre-conditioning. With your Tesla, you’ll also have access to the lowest Supercharger pricing."
However, there are several drawbacks associated with the opening of the network to non-Tesla EVs, about which the company is silent.
First of all, many Tesla drivers were tempted to buy Tesla cars due to the best fast-charging network, which was an important differentiating factor. There were many stations with sufficient capacity and that most likely led to increased Tesla sales.
If the network is opened on a big scale, then overnight the number of cars would increase dramatically, while the infrastructure would still be the same. This means that that the sites would be heavily occupied. Not good news for Tesla customers.
This is also accompanied with the "geometry" problem - the specific charging port location on Teslas and the Supercharger layout, along with short charging cables. It's perfect for the Tesla-to-Tesla system, but is not that good (or even impossible without blocking two stalls) with many non-Tesla EVs that have DC charging inlets in various places (more on that in a separate post).
We assume that Tesla will have to quickly learn from this pilot and decide whether it is going all in with the expansion of the network to handle other non-Tesla EVs and whether or not it will change the Supercharger layout. We are talking about thousands of new drive-thru Supercharging stations.
See more at Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot support page.