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In brief: Tesla owners will soon have more competition for Supercharger stations across the US and Canada. Starting in the spring of 2024, Ford electric vehicle owners will gain access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers. The newly reached agreement effectively doubles the number of fast-chargers that'll be available to Ford EV drivers.
Ford President and CEO Jim Farley said widespread access to fast-charging is vital to their growth as an EV brand, adding that the announcement comes as they are ramping up production of their Ford F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E. Ford is also working to prep a series of next-gen EVs starting in 2025.
Existing Ford EVs will connect to Tesla Superchargers using a Tesla-developed adapter, but future models will come with the North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector built in. Billing will be handled through the FordPass mobile app.
Tesla leads the EV industry in terms of sales in the US, but Ford came in second place last year with sales of 61,575 EVs. Access to Tesla's charging network will no doubt help the Blue Oval sell even more EVs as the deal significantly reduces charge anxiety for prospective buyers still on the fence about abandoning gas-powered vehicles.
Tesla's Supercharger network is among the best in the business and a key selling point for Tesla. From a pure competition perspective, it's a little surprising that Tesla is willing to open it up to other EV makers. On the other hand, the move pushes the entire EV industry forward (Tesla included) and must no doubt be lucrative for Tesla in terms of access fees.
I would also be interested in hearing what existing Tesla owners have to say on the matter. I have no idea what charging at a Supercharger looks like today in terms of crowding or having to wait in line, but a sudden influx of Ford vehicles will no doubt have some sort of impact. What will that look like, and what will Tesla owners think about it?
Financial terms of the partnership were not shared, nor do we know how much Ford customers will pay at the e-pump. A Ford spokesperson told CNBC that pricing will be market competitive and that more information will be shared closer to the launch date in early 2024.