Electric vehicles made by General Motors will be able to use much of Tesla's extensive charging network beginning early next year under an agreement the two companies announced Thursday.
In addition, GM will adopt Tesla's connector, the plug that links an electric vehicle to a charging station.
GM joins Ford in shifting its electric vehicles to work with about 12,000 of Tesla's roughly 17,000 chargers, and both Detroit automakers are pushing to make Tesla's connector the industry standard. GM CEO Mary Barra and her Tesla counterpart, Elon Musk, made the announcement during a Twitter Spaces conversation.
Their discussion comes two weeks after Ford CEO Jim Farley joined Musk to announce that Ford's electric vehicles would gain access to much of Tesla's EV-charging network, the largest in the nation. Farley also said Ford would switch to Tesla's charging network connector rather than to a different one that is used by the rest of the industry.
At first, GM and Ford EV owners will need an adapter to hook into the Tesla stations, which have their own connector. But both GM and Ford will switch to Tesla's North American Charging Standard connector starting in 2025.
Tesla has about 17,000 Supercharger stations in the U.S. There are about 54,000 public charging stations in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy, but many charge much more slowly than the Tesla stations.
"Like Ford, we see this as an opportunity to expand access to charging," Barra said, adding that GM hopes the rest of the industry will move to the Tesla charging connector, which is different from the standard one used by most other EVs.
Musk said that GM and Tesla vehicles would have an even playing field at the charging stations.
"We will provide support equally to both," he said. "The most important thing is we advance the electric vehicle revolution."
Financial details of the agreement between the two companies were not released Thursday.
Tesla's supercharger network, though, is a huge competitive advantage for the company based in Austin, Texas, which sells more EVs than anyone else in the U.S. Chargers often are located near freeways to enable long trips, where most fast-charging plugs are needed.
But opening access to Ford and GM EVs will make it easier for those owners to charge while traveling. It also could rankle some Tesla owners who already are jockeying for space at some of the busier stations, largely in California.
Barra said joining Tesla's network would almost double the number of chargers available to GM electric vehicle owners.
It's likely that GM EV owners would have to pay a monthly charge to access Tesla's charging network, and they probably will need to buy the adapter. GM spokesman Darryll Harrison said the company is still working out details about cost and the adapters.
"At the end of the day, we're looking at what's best for our customers," Barra said. "We aren't the only company that comes up with good ideas."
for more features.