Electric cars are on the rise in the United States. Nearly half of all car-buying adults are open to the idea of bringing a battery-powered vehicle into their home, and automakers like Ford are reporting triple-digit sales increases of battery-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. But finding a charger on the road, which can be challenging, may soon become easier thanks to electric automaker Tesla: The company recently pledged to open its proprietary charging network to other electric vehicles in late 2021.
While most electric car charging is done in the home, commuters and travelers often need to charge on the go, and will then have to find public EV chargers along their route. There’s just one catch: the charging infrastructure in the United States is still very young, and coming across a place to plug in isn’t as easy as finding a gas station—at least not yet.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk first announced that Tesla was planning to open its network to non-Tesla vehicles via a tweet on July 20, and later expanded upon the idea during the manufacturer’s quarterly earnings call on July 26.
“We’re currently thinking it’s a real simple thing where you just download the Tesla app and you go to Supercharger,” said Musk, referring to the company’s line of fast chargers. “And you just indicate which stall you’re in. So you plug in your car, even if it’s not Tesla.”
Currently, all Tesla Superchargers in the US use a proprietary inlet connector with a form factor that can only be...
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