Tesla and Ford may be retail competitors, but now they are charging partners — with a new Supercharger deal and Ford’s move to adopt Tesla’s charging port in all new EVs starting in 2025
Editor’s Note: this story has been updated to reflect the Government of Canada and Tesla’s announcement that portions of the automaker’s Supercharger network are to be opened up to all EV drivers later this year.
Tesla is opening its Supercharger network to Ford EV drivers in Canada and the U.S. in spring 2024; while Ford will phase out Combined Charging System (CCS) ports on its vehicles in favour of Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) port, starting in 2025.
These announcements — unveiled jointly in a Twitter Live discussion yesterday by Telsa CEO Elon Musk and Ford CEO Jim Farley — are a strong signal from the two American automakers that charging access is a critical component of selling EVs.
Initially, Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning and E-Transit owners will have access to Tesla’s over 12,000-strong Supercharger network. Future Ford drivers with the NACS ports on their vehicles will follow.
“Tesla has led the industry in creating a large, reliable and efficient charging system and we are pleased to be able to join forces in a way that benefits customers and overall EV adoption,” said Marin Gjaja, chief customer officer for the Ford Model e in a press release.
“The Tesla Supercharger network has excellent reliability and the NACS plug is smaller and lighter. Overall, this provides a superior experience for customers.”
The announcement was the first indication from Tesla that it would open up its Supercharger network to non-Tesla vehicles in Canada. The day after the Ford-Tesla announcement, the Government of Canada revealed Tesla Superchargers between Sudbury and Ottawa would be open as part of a pilot this year.
“Then, by the end of 2025, 750 charging connectors in public locations will be made available to non-Tesla EV drivers, through a combination of retrofits and new construction, of which at least 350 will be 250kW Superchargers,” reads the government release. By 2025 the open Supercharger network will span Ottawa to Calgary.
Already non-Tesla drivers in the U.S. are able to access some Tesla Superchargers using an adapter at the station.
“We don’t want the Tesla Supercharger network to be a walled garden,” said Musk.
“It is our intent to do everything possible to support Ford and have Ford be on an equal footing at Tesla Superchargers.”
BlueOval charging network
Currently. Ford EV drivers have access to the automaker’s BlueOval charging network.
The BlueOval charging network is “the largest public charging network in North America offered by automotive manufacturers,” claims Ford.
It’s a pay-as-you-go network spanning North America. BlueOval has over 84,000 chargers and partners including ChargePoint, FLO, Shell ReCharge, SemaCharge Network and Electric Circuit.
Adding Tesla’s Supercharger network boosts that number to nearly 100,000 chargers (22,000 fast chargers). And Ford dealerships are also putting a combined 1,800 public fast-chargers online by 2024.
“Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning and E-Transit customers will be able to access the Superchargers via an adapter and software integration along with activation and payment via FordPass or Ford Pro Intelligence,” reads Ford’s explanation of how the integration will work.
Ford is calling all of its EVs made in or after 2025 its “next generation” EVs. Tesla, in its recent Investor Day presentation pegs Supercharger reliability at 99.95 per cent.
“This is great news for our customers who will have unprecedented access to the largest network of fast-chargers in the U.S. and Canada with 12,000+ Tesla Superchargers plus 10,000+ fast-chargers already in the BlueOval Charge Network,” said Farley.
“Widespread access to fast-charging is absolutely vital to our growth as an EV brand.”