Ford’s electric-vehicle customers will be able to use Tesla’s charging network starting next year, the companies announced, in a rare partnership between rival automakers.
In February, the White House announced that Tesla would open part of its U.S. charging network to non-Tesla EVs by the end of 2024, a move necessary for Tesla to become eligible to tap some of the $7.5 billion in federal subsidies that Congress is plowing into charging infrastructure.
Tesla and Twitter head Elon Musk and Ford chief executive Jim Farley announced the deal Thursday in a discussion on Twitter Spaces.
The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal and did not immediately respond to questions about that.
“We don’t want the Tesla Supercharger network to be like a walled garden,” Musk said. “We want it to be something that is supportive of electrification and sustainable transport in general.”
Ford’s EV customers initially will be able to use a plug adapter to tap into the Tesla chargers, Farley said. Starting in 2025, Ford vehicles, including the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning, will come with the correct charging port — known as the NACS, for North American Charging Standard — removing the need for an adapter. Ford customers will be able to pay to use Tesla chargers through their usual Ford app, the companies said.
Farley said a family vacation to Lake Tahoe last year helped convince him of the need to tap Tesla’s network.
“My kids kept looking at me and going: ‘Hey, Dad, there’s another Supercharger. Can we stop there? How about there?’” Farley told Musk. “I was like, ‘No, we have to go over here behind this other building.’ So it kind of became obvious to me the job your team had done and what it means for customers.”
Tesla still has the lion’s share of the U.S. EV market, but Ford and others have started to make inroads. Early this year Ford was in second place, with about 7 percent of new EV registrations in the United States.