Tesla has opened 10 of its Supercharger charging stations in the Netherlands to electric vehicles from other brands as part of a pilot program, the automaker said on Monday.
It follows a tweet in July from CEO Elon Musk that Tesla would start making its stations open to owners of vehicles from other brands later this year.
Tesla will use the pilot program to monitor traffic levels and review feedback before opening up more stations. Tesla said stations will be added to the program if there is available capacity. The automaker hasn't said whether the program will be expanded to more markets.
Owners of non-Tesla EVs will require the CCS (Combined Charging Standard) connector to use the stations, as well as Tesla's app. Tesla cars use a proprietary connector but the company had always planned to open up its charging stations to other brands, which is why it started installing CCS connectors at some of its stations about three years ago.
Tesla Supercharger for city centers
Tesla said the program's pricing “reflects additional costs incurred to support charging a broad range of vehicles and adjustments to our sites to accommodate these vehicles,” suggesting that owners of non-Tesla vehicles will pay higher rates than Tesla owners at the sites. The price is shown in the app and can be lowered with a charging membership, Tesla said. Owners of non-Tesla vehicles will also be subject to the same idle fees as Tesla owners.
Tesla currently has about 25,000 stations globally and many of these will still need to be fitted with CCS connectors since they currently only support Tesla's unique connector. The Supercharger network is one of Tesla's main advantages, and opening it up could potentially provide Tesla with a healthy revenue stream.
Tesla in the past has hinted that it plans to build more stations, and there's now public support. The Biden administration's infrastructure deal has earmarked $7.5 billion for EV infrastructure, including charging stations.
Established automakers have been slow to install charging stations, choosing to rely instead on alliances such as Europe's Ionity to establish networks. One exception has been Volkswagen Group which established Electrify America as part of a settlement stemming from the diesel scandal mid last decade.