Watch CBS News

Tesla's charging network will welcome electric vehicles by GM

Electric vehicles made by General Motors will be able to use much of Tesla's extensive charging network beginning early next year.

GM CEO Mary Barra and her Tesla counterpart, Elon Musk, made the announcement Thursday during a Twitter Spaces conversation. Their discussion comes two weeks after Ford CEO Jim Farley said its electric vehicles would gain access to much of Tesla's EV-charging network. 

"Like Ford, we see this as an opportunity to expand access to charging," Barra said.

For now, GM and Ford EV owners will need an adapter to hook into the Tesla stations, which have their own connector — the plug that links an electric vehicle to a charging station. But both GM and Ford said they will switch to Tesla's North American Charging Standard connector starting with new EVs produced in 2025.

Tesla has about 17,000 Supercharger stations in the U.S. GM joins Ford in shifting its electric vehicles to work with about 12,000 of those chargers. There are about 54,000 public charging stations in the U.S., according to the Department of Energy, but many charge slower than Tesla stations. 

Infrastructure must come first

EVs are drawing more attention within the automotive industry, as shoppers grow curious about their capabilities and as automakers race to assert dominance in the market. A survey released earlier this year from Deloitte found that "the availability of charging infrastructures" is a top concern among potential EV buyers, after cost. 

The proliferation of charging stations nationwide will play a large role in encouraging consumers to buy electric, experts have said. 

New etiquette developing for charging electric vehicles 08:03

Details on a payment structure allowing Ford and GM customers to charge their vehicles at the stations are still being worked out. GM EV owners may have to pay a monthly fee to access Tesla's charging network, or they could pay for each use. Current GM owners probably will need to purchase the adapter, GM spokesman Darryll Harrison said.

Tesla's Supercharger network is a huge competitive advantage for the company 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, and generally they're more reliable than other networks. 

Double the number of chargers

Barra said joining Tesla's network would almost double the number of chargers available to GM electric vehicle owners.

"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."

Mike Austin, an electric vehicles analyst for Guidehouse Insights, said GM joining the Tesla network is a huge step toward making Tesla's connector the industrywide standard.

"It seems like there's a lot of momentum going the way of the North American Charging Standard, for sure," he said.

If other large EV makers such as Hyundai, Kia, Volkswagen and Nissan, also switch connectors, Tesla would get a large amount of revenue from its chargers, Austin said.

Earlier this year, the White House announced that at least 7,500 chargers from Tesla's Supercharger and Destination Charger network would be available to non-Tesla electric vehicles by the end of 2024. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.