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GM will join Tesla’s EV charging network in step closer to US industry standard

GM will join Tesla’s EV charging network in step closer to US industry standard
A worker unwraps a charging connector for a new Swarco AG electric vehicle rapid charger unit in Canterbury, U.K., on Thursday, 8 April 2021. (Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

General Motors will adapt its electric vehicles to Tesla’s Superchargers, following Ford Motor Co’s lead and all but ensuring it will become an industry standard in the US.

GM CEO Mary Barra broke her seven-month silence on Twitter to announce the news with Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Twitter Spaces on Thursday, saying GM EVs will gain access to 12,000 Superchargers. GM shares rose 3.8% in extended trading in New York. Tesla climbed 4.8% on the news.

The move by GM effectively ends any indecision among automakers and their charging network partners over which standard to use. With the three largest US-based companies joining forces, it will put pressure on other companies to ditch the industry’s previous standard, called CCS, and build out their networks using Tesla’s system.

Collaborating also knocks down a possible barrier to car buyers, some of whom worry about adequate charging on America’s roadways, Barra said.

“This collaboration is a key part of our strategy and an important next step in quickly expanding access to fast chargers for our customers,” the GM CEO said in a statement. “Not only will it help make the transition to electric vehicles more seamless for our customers, but it could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard.”

It will also add millions of drivers to Tesla’s existing charging network. GM plans to have production to build 1 million EVs in the US in 2025. Ford has similar ambitions for 2026.

The agreement is “another win for Tesla”, analyst Mark Chadwick wrote in a note on Smartkarma. “Positive all round and will help further cement Telsa’s BEV dominance.”

Barra said GM will talk to its partners about working with Tesla’s charging network. It had recently announced a joint venture with Pilot and EVgo Inc to add 2,000 chargers nationwide. The Detroit automaker works with other charge networks in addition to EVgo.

For Tesla, the deal will improve use of its charging network and add charging revenue from motorists, a GM spokesman said.

Tesla’s network will be open to GM EV drivers starting in 2024 and require an adapter, the companies said. Starting in 2025, GM will build its electric vehicles with a port for direct access to Tesla Superchargers.

Last month, Ford CEO Jim Farley went on Twitter Spaces alongside Musk and made a similar announcement, moving the auto industry toward a single charging standard.

Shares of charging network operators that compete with Tesla’s dropped sharply on the news, with ChargePoint Holdings Inc. down 0.4% and EVgo sliding 3%. DM


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