Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has reportedly started to apply for government grants to secure funding to adapt its Supercharger stations to support electric vehicles from other manufacturers. The automaker had previously announced plans to open its charging stations to other EV brands, although it has been moving slowly with the rollout, which is currently restricted to Europe.
Tesla Seeks Grant Monies To Adapt Superchargers
Citing “recent regulatory filings and other documents,” The Wall Street Journal reported that Tesla has begun applying for the billions of dollars in grant money offered by the federal government to expand the nation’s EV charging infrastructure. In order for those charging stations to be eligible for the grant money, they must be compatible with electric vehicles from multiple manufacturers.
The Journal reported on only two funding applications from Tesla, the first of which has been previously reported on. Tesla applied for funding from the Volkswagen "Dieselgate" settlement to expand its Supercharger network in Texas. However, it did not secure any funding via that application.
Tesla also applied to build some new Superchargers in California, which would also be state grant money. According to The Wall Street Journal, Tesla is expected to receive funding from the State of California for 17 different sites, including Barstow, Baker, Coalinga and Willows.
Those funds would support construction on public charging stations. If approved, the funding would come from the California Energy Commission. The agency expects to approve the funding at the October meeting of its five commissioners.
What About The Federal Program?
While Tesla has started moving on securing government grant money from states, there's been nothing about the automaker applying for federal grant money. U.S. lawmakers approved a $7.5 billion infrastructure bill, which includes money for EV charging stations. However, the funding from that bill is not expected to be handed out until the end of the year.
Tesla has long restricted its Supercharger stations to drivers of its own vehicles, but it recently adopted Europe's CCS standards for EV chargers. Additionally, Electrek noted that Tesla's Superchargers in Europe were already equipped with CCS connectors, so it makes sense that Tesla would expand its charging network to include electric vehicles from other manufacturers.
After equipping its Superchargers in Europe with CCS connectors, the only thing Tesla had to do was update the software to support non-Tesla vehicles. As a result, it was much easier for the automaker to adapt its Supercharging stations in Europe to support other vehicles.
However, in North America, Tesla uses a proprietary connector for both its Superchargers and its vehicles. This keeps non-Tesla drivers from being able to use its charging network while also preventing Tesla drivers from using other networks for fast charging without buying a CHAdeMO or CCS adapter.
It's unclear how Tesla will adapt its Supercharger stations in the U.S. to support other vehicles, but CEO Elon Musk had previously suggested that they would have an adapter at the stations for non-Tesla drivers to use. Earlier this year, he suggested they would add CCS connectors to their stations.