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Ford Plugs into Tesla

05/29/2023
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    A Tesla EV charges in Westlake, California, on May 10, 2023. (AP/Mark J. Terrill)

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Vroom, vroom—or perhaps whirr, whirr. All of Ford Motor Company’s current and future electric vehicles will soon have better charging access. Starting next spring, Ford e-car drivers can pull into Tesla Supercharger stations in the United States and Canada and juice up.

Ford CEO Jim Farley and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the agreement during a “Twitter Spaces” audio chat.

“We think this is a huge move for our industry and for all electric customers,” Farley says.

Musk reportedly doesn’t want Tesla’s network to be a “walled garden.” He says he wants to use his charging stations to support more sustainable transportation. And that means learning to share.

While the Ford-Tesla partnership may not be a case of “do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return,” it is refreshing to hear of industry competitors working together. (Luke 6:35)

“It is our intent to do everything possible to support Ford and have Ford be on an equal footing at Tesla Superchargers,” Musk says.

According to the Tesla website, “Superchargers can add up to 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes.” Most “regular” chargers can take hours for fewer miles of charge.

Farley says there will be a cost to Ford owners. The price tag may come in the form of a monthly subscription. Specific details aren’t yet available.

At first, Ford’s current electric vehicles (EVs) will need an adapter to hook into Tesla stations. That’s because Tesla has its own connector. According to Ford officials, Tesla’s connector is smaller and lighter than those in use by other automakers. Journalist Fred Lambert calls the Tesla version “a much superior design.”

Ford will make the switch to Tesla’s North American Charging Standard connector starting in 2025.

Farley finds Tesla’s chargers well-placed. “We love the locations. We love the reliability,” the Ford CEO says. The Tesla stations will join Ford’s own Blue Oval charging network. That system has 10,000 fast-charging stations.

Tesla owns 17,000 Supercharger stations in the United States. There are about 54,000 public charging stations in the country, according to the Department of Energy. But many of those charge much more slowly than Tesla’s stations.

The Ford-Tesla deal is separate from a plan to open part of Tesla’s charging network to all EVs. Currently, non-Tesla EV owners can access Tesla chargers at some Tesla charging stations. But they must download the Tesla app and create an account before they can plug and go.

In February, the White House announced that at least 7,500 chargers from Tesla’s Supercharger and Destination Charger network would be available to non-Tesla electric vehicles by the end of 2024.

(A Tesla EV charges in Westlake, California, on May 10, 2023. AP/Mark J. Terrill)