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Tesla will open its charging network to all EV brands

Tesla Charger

The EV network consists of around 2,500 stations.

Business Green

Tesla plans to open up its global charging network to allow rival brands of electric vehicles to power up their batteries in future, company CEO Elon Musk has confirmed.

From later this year, Tesla plans to begin opening up its U.S. network to allow all brands of battery cars to use its charging points, with the rest of the EV giant's global charging network set to follow suit thereafter, Musk revealed on Twitter last week.

Tesla's charging network consists of around 2,500 stations housing 25,000 charging points worldwide. That includes more than 600 "Supercharger" points across the U.K. and Ireland, which are at present only accessible to Tesla drivers.

Opening up Tesla's network to all EV models and brands would therefore increase the number of charging locations available for non-Tesla EV drivers, and would provide a particular boost for battery cars capable of higher charging speeds — EV charging app Zap-Map estimates only 1,137 of the near-25,000 charging devices in the U.K. are capable of the "ultra-rapid" rates of 100kW or more which Tesla's chargers offer. 

Expanding the number of publicly accessible charging points is seen as critical to encouraging more drivers to switch from petrol and diesel to EVs, in order to combat "range anxiety" among drivers that they may run out of battery power on longer journeys.

Musk claimed on Twitter that the reason his firm's charging network had to date only been accessible to Tesla drivers was because "there was no standard back then and Tesla was only maker of long-range electric cars."

Expanding the number of publicly accessible charging points is seen as critical to encouraging more drivers to switch from petrol and diesel to EVs, in order to combat 'range anxiety' among drivers.

"It's one fairly slim connector for both low and high-power charging," he wrote on Twitter. "That said, we're making our Supercharger network open to other EVs later this year."

In related news, meanwhile, global EV charging network giant ChargePoint has agreed to acquire European charging network platform HasToBe in a deal worth $297 million, it announced last week.

HasToBe manages around 40,000 charging ports and 250,000 networked ports through open roaming agreements, largely in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The software developed by the firm "effectively addresses the complexity and fragmentation of today's European charging landscape" and is compatible with widely deployed charging stations and e-mobility services across Europe, according to U.S.-based ChargePoint.

Pasquale Romano, president and CEO of ChargePoint, said the two firms' combined assets "should position us to accelerate our leadership as electrification continues to take hold across continents."

"As an established leader in North America, our continued investment in Europe is critical to our stated growth strategy," he said. "We're excited to announce our agreement to acquire HasToBe, a leader in its own right with a talented team, an impressive base of customers committed to e-mobility and robust technology."

HasToBe's sale to ChargePoint is expected to close in 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

Martin Klässner, co-founder and CEO of HasToBe — in which German auto giant Volkswagen is a major investor — added: "Over the past eight years, our talented team has helped lead e-mobility in Europe and attracted a large base of leading brands as customers who rely on our charging software platform every day to meet their technical requirements. Together with the resources of ChargePoint, we will continue in this spirit and achieve even greater scale as the market continues to expand."

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