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Supercharger Walled Garden

Discussion in 'Electric Vehicles' started by Patrick0101, May 3, 2017.


Would Tesla allow other OEMs to use the Supercharger network?

Poll closed May 13, 2017.
  1. Yes

    12 vote(s)
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
  3. Maybe

    4 vote(s)
  1. Patrick0101

    Patrick0101 Member

    Jun 11, 2009
    In 2015, Elon Musk said, “Our Supercharger network is not intended to be a walled garden. It’s intended to be available to other manufacturers if they’d like to use it." Do you think this offer is still open to other OEMs? What if Lucid Motors, for example, wanted to make Supercharger compatible cars; do you think Tesla would allow it? Or did the overwhelming demand for Model 3 change things?

    Why Tesla's Charging Network Should Become Everybody's
  2. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    Visalia, CA
    Tesla has not changed its offer that its patent are open for others to copy and if they don't want to spend money on reading the patent and recreate Supercharger, they can share the cost of Supercharger network for their customers to use it.

    It's a pretty simple concept. You got 1 charger in the old Model S rated with 10 kw. You just stack 9 of them up and you got 90 kW Supercharger. You stack 12 of them up and you got 120 kW Supercharger.

    Others just don't want to copy Tesla but instead they make a fast DC charger that is very much more expensive.

    Others have been saying that their batteries will be just so good, charge so fast, run so long that leave Tesla charging network far behind.

    It's all talk but they don't want to spend money to make fast DC charging practical but they make it harder and slower than current Supercharger.
    • Like x 1
  3. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

    Dec 8, 2007
    I should make a correction. Tesla says their patents are open, but that only applies to their patents. The patents do not give you enough information to implement your own supercharger. There are also trade secrets, which most of the supercharger's implementation falls into.

    So it's not about reading the patents, but rather reverse engineering superchargers. The car side is easy, they just buy a Tesla. But the supercharger is not for sale by Tesla (other than a few rare exceptions like for taxis).

    Rather than wasting their time on that kind of effort, why would automakers not just use some other existing standard (like CHAdeMO or CCS) where everything is written out?

    The situation would be very much different if Tesla had the entire supercharger protocol and specs written out like those standards. Even when CHAdeMO was still proprietary, there were only patent licensing fees and a nominal fee. This is a lot less onerous/expensive that what Tesla is requesting: investment into the supercharger network.

    Automaker hubris also plays a part too.
    • Like x 1
  4. RobStark

    RobStark Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Peter Rawlinson, Chief Engineer/Acting CEO at Lucid Motors did not leave Tesla on good terms. Well, he left on very bad terms. In Silicon Valley the Lucid Air is referred to as the "Revenge Car."

    I don't think Peter would ask nor would Elon say Yes.

    Some potential EV startups have said they asked to be part of the Supercharger Network and were denied.

    I think Elon Musk is not really interested in helping startup BEV companies but partnering with established automakers. Now that VW is paying for a CCS/CHAdeMO network in the USA, governments in partnership with private companies are building a fast charging network in Europe and the Chinese government is building a national network based on their standard the chances of an established OEM reaching out to Tesla is approaching zero.
    • Like x 2
  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    San Mateo, CA
    I agree. The time and energy that would be required to work with an inexperienced BEV startup that is just trying to manufacture a brand new vehicle and get it on the road is not an effective way to advance Tesla's mission. What matters is to convince the major car companies to build long range BEVs that will need a useful high speed DC charging network to be truly successful. I'm sure that Elon is open to those companies using the Supercharger network if they are willing to support it economically at a level commensurate with their level of usage. The problem is not with Tesla, the problem is the major car companies are too proud to acknowledge the fact that Tesla has built a great charging network and certainly too proud to have one of their cars plugged into anything that says TESLA on it.

    So those major car companies that are laboring to produce a long range BEV are also expecting governments to build the charging for them, or at least subsidize it, meaning they will continue to lag far behind Tesla in BEV sales. This undoubtedly frustrates Elon to no end but there isn't much he can do about it besides forge ahead with the Model 3 and future models and drag the car industry along with him. The only way to force the major car companies to build long range BEVs is to take market share from them and hit them where it hurts: their revenue. So far Tesla has done just that in the expensive sedan and SUV market segments, and soon Tesla will be doing the same in the mid-priced sedan segment, and then the mid-priced CUV/SUV segment, and then the pickup truck segment, and then...
    • Like x 1

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