Tesla will bring its Supercharger network to Ford, a competitor in the EV market, to help bring the car company to 'equal footing,' Elon Musk says
Ford has been trying to bite into the electric vehicle market currently dominated by Tesla.
The two competitors announced a surprise partnership on Thursday.
Ford EV customers will have access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers by Spring 2024.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in an interview with Ford CEO Jim Farley that his company will be giving Ford access to its Supercharger network by next year.
Musk and Farley made the announcement during a live audio-only interview on Twitter, discussing how to usher in the next phase of electric vehicle adoption.
The move is to ensure that Ford, a formidable competitor to Tesla in the EV market, will be on "equal footing," Musk said in the discussion.
Under the terms of their surprise partnership, Ford electric vehicles would be able to start charging next year at some 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in North America, according to a statement by Ford on Thursday. That's on top of the chargers available on what Ford calls a "BlueOval Charge Network" of stations that include fast-charging options, according to the company.
Tesla has more than 20,700 Supercharger plugs in North America, according to the Department of Energy.
"We're really pumped up about working with you to make our customers' lives better," Jim Farley, the CEO of Ford, told Tesla co-founder Elon Musk during a Twitter Spaces session they hosted on Thursday evening. "And we're really thankful for your partnership."
Musk said that the charging speed for Ford vehicles would depend on "whatever the physical limit is of the wiring," and "not the adapters."
"It is certainly the Tesla intent to make this a seamless and positive experience for Ford owners," Musk said.
Tesla has so far dominated the EV market in the US, but competitors from legacy car brands have been catching on. According to a 2022 report from Experian, Tesla held 65.4% of the EV market share — down from 68.2% in 2021 and 79.4% in 2020 — as other carmakers such as Hyundai and BMW further dig their teeth into the race.
Tesla's charging network is a big reason people buy the company's cars. It's historically been exclusive, extensive, simple to use, and known for its reliability. In contrast, owners of other EVs rely on a patchwork of charging providers when they're out and about.
But that's changing. Before Thursday's announcement, Tesla opened a significant number of chargers to owners of other brands' EVs in Europe and recently started a similar pilot program in the US.
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