Tesla is opening ten Supercharger locations in the Netherlands for electric vehicle (EV) drivers from other brands, a move intended as a test scenario to gauge demand. To begin with, the ten locations are only accessible to drivers of battery-electric vehicles registered in the Netherlands.
While rumours of Tesla’s Supercharger network opening up have circulated for quite some time, Tesla is now officially starting a “non-Tesla Supercharger pilot project”. The Superchargers at the ten locations are now accessible to Dutch non-Tesla drivers via the Tesla app (version 4.2.3 or higher). Drivers of Tesla vehicles can use the stations as usual. The locations are Sassenheim, Apeldoorn Oost, Meerkerk, Hengelo, Tilburg, Duiven, Breukelen, Naarden, Eemnes and Zwolle.
“It has always been our ambition to open up the Supercharger network to non-Tesla electric cars, encouraging more drivers to go electric. This move directly supports our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. More customers using the Supercharger network will enable faster expansion,” according to Tesla’s website.
“Our goal is to learn and improve quickly while aggressively expanding the network so that we can eventually welcome both Tesla and non-Tesla drivers at every Supercharger worldwide.”
Tesla, which started its own charging network in 2012, now has more than 25,000 Superchargers in its network worldwide. The electric carmaker wants to gauge demand at the ten Dutch sites, check if there will be any congestion, and take on board any feedback before it considers opening up access to third-party brands at other locations. “Future locations will only be opened to vehicles from other brands if capacity allows,” according to Tesla.
The project should not come as a surprise. In July, during a conference call on Q2 quarterly figures, Tesla provided the first official information on how the planned opening of the Supercharger network for cars from other manufacturers might work. At the time, Tesla said its own app would play a central role in this, with electric vehicles from manufacturers not able to communicate with Superchargers as Tesla models do.
Prices are also likely to differ, in favour of Tesla drivers, as the following statement from Tesla makes clear: “The prices for non-Tesla drivers reflect the additional costs of supporting charging for a wide range of vehicles and adapting our locations to accommodate them.” The process of charging, which works for Tesla drivers via Plug&Charge, also involves more effort for non-Tesla brands. For example, a payment method has to be stored via the app and the charger activated at the location, and charging then started and stopped manually.
Tesla also pointed out that “certain Supercharger locations may not be suitable for all vehicles”.