Tesla’s rivals have already made massive investments in making EVs, and now, they are planning to challenge Tesla by building a network of next-gen charging stations. Ford, Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen are planning to build about 400 next-generation charging stations in Europe that can reload an EV in minutes rather than hours, according to Reuters.
Tesla can’t be outdone
One of the main demerits of electric vehicles in comparison to traditional cars is that the former takes a long time to charge batteries, while the latter can be filled up in just seconds. To make a journey between cities, drivers of EVs have to leave their cars plugged in for hours at a charging station even now. This makes many long-range journeys impractical.
People familiar with the matter told Reuters that European automakers are hiring experts from the European power and engineering industry, including E.ON, Siemens, Portugal’s Efacec and Germany’s Innogy, which are all working on the technology. The new 350 kW (kilowatt) chargers will be about three times as powerful as Tesla’s.
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However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has suggested that they cannot be outdone, hinting at a charger that will make 350 kW chargers a “children’s toy.” So far, Tesla has installed more than 1,800 fast chargers in Europe. The chargers, even at 120 kW, still need half an hour to give a vehicle enough power to drive 270 km.
Traditional automakers rich in resources
Installing faster chargers would spur the market and assist conventional car manufacturers in closing the gap with Tesla. Currently, Tesla maintains its own network of charging stations, and its chargers are the fastest in the car industry, although they are incompatible with electric vehicles made by competitors. IHS Markit automotive analyst Graham Evans said conventional automakers will find it simpler to catch up with Tesla as the market for electric cars grows.
“(But) I think that further out the big (automakers) are in a better position to capitalize because of their more extensive resources,” the analyst said.
Developing fast charger stations worldwide will require massive investment, and offer big opportunities to manufacturers. Fast chargers for the car consortium will cost about 200,000 euros ($210,000) each, notes Reuters.
On Tuesday, Tesla shares closed down 0.61% at $229.87. Year to date, the stock is up almost 8%, while in the last year, it is up almost 9%. The stock has a 52-week high of $269.34 and a 52-week low of $141.05.