Electric vehicle (EV) owners seeking charging access will soon benefit from a new partnership between Tesla and Ford. Tesla’s proprietary plug technology has prevented other automakers from accessing its Supercharger network, but that is about to change.
In a rare collaboration, Ford announced that EV owners, specifically the Mustang Mach-E crossover and F-150 Lightning pickup, can now use Tesla Superchargers in the United States and Canada. The announcement was made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ford CEO Jim Farley during a Twitter Spaces discussion.
Adoption of Tesla’s Preferred Charging Network
One of the biggest hurdles for EV adoption is charging access, which is why this partnership could prove vital. Tesla’s Supercharger network is the largest in the world, and by opening it to Ford owners, it could encourage other automakers to adopt Tesla’s technology as the new industry standard. Musk confirmed that the cost of an adapter that Ford owners need to access Tesla’s Supercharger network ranges in the hundreds of dollars.
Tesla had previously announced plans to make part of its charging network available to drivers of other brands. Under the White House’s initiative, Tesla agreed to make at least 7,500 chargers nationwide available by the end of 2022. With this new partnership, Ford EV owners will have access to Tesla’s 12,000+ Supercharger network and BlueOval Charge Network. Also, starting from 2025, Ford will offer vehicles with North American Charging Standard (NACS) connectors that will work with Tesla Superchargers, making the need for an adapter redundant.
Collaboration for Future Growth
During the Twitter Spaces discussion, both Musk and Farley praised each other’s accomplishments and hinted at further collaboration. Ford’s spokesperson confirmed that the next-generation EVs with Tesla-style connectors would require an adapter to use non-Tesla chargers. Adopting Tesla’s standard could help make charging more convenient for EV owners, who would no longer need to carry multiple chargers for different networks. To make Tesla’s charging easier, Ford has also added payment for Tesla charging through FordPass and Ford Pro Intelligence apps.
With the shift towards EVs accelerating, the importance of charging infrastructure cannot be understated. A common charging standard is necessary for the seamless adoption of EVs, avoiding the format wars similar to VHS versus Betamax. The Tesla-Ford partnership could be a major step towards standardization and ease of charging for all EV owners.