Tesla Winning Charging Network Wars

Cody Good
Elon cyborg
Images courtesy of drgermophile.com and Pinterest, rendered by ENERGYminute.

While Tesla’s real public relations are likely more nuanced, we like to imagine Elon’s internal monologue directed towards the EV industry sounds more like Borg from Star Trek: “Resistance is futile.”

What happened: Following the news that GM is following Ford in joining assimilating with Tesla’s charging network, several other charging hardware suppliers have done the same.

  • As of this writing, General Motors, Ford, ChargePoint, EVCgo, Blink Charging, and Tritium have all announced plans to adopt or expand their offering to include Tesla’s chargers in their products.

Tesla is now set to dominate 60 percent of the US EV market through partnerships, according to Reuters. A decade from now, analysts expect the company’s charging network will bring in $9.65 billion in revenue annually, half of which will be generated by other companies using Tesla’s network.

Why the sudden adoption? It began with Ford. And baby when it rains, it pours.

The Ford deal kicked off a flood of interest for its charging network that forced many companies into a sink-or-swim situation. Many only offered the rival Combined Charging System (CCS) standard which put them in danger of losing customers.

Going forward: The real work will now be in making the two competing systems work with one another. There have been concerns about how well Tesla’s charging system can be integrated into the ever-changing shapes and voltages of EV vehicles and how non-Tesla users will be able to pay.

  • Tesla users can seamlessly pay for charging via the Tesla app, but the same cannot yet be said for Ford or GM users.

Big picture: We’ll all have to stay tuned to find out whether the EV market will continue to lean towards the simplicity of a one-charger system or move back towards market competition with alternatives like CCS.