'It's massive.' BMW, Ford among automakers announcing plans to adopt Tesla's EV charging tech
by: Elisa Raffa
Posted: Aug 1, 2023 / 04:17 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 2, 2023 / 08:36 AM EDT
(QUEEN CITY NEWS) – This month, several big automakers, including BMW, Ford, and GM, announced they will use Tesla’s charging technology in new electric vehicles.
That means one simple click is getting louder.
“Well, with the Tesla chargers, it’s pretty easy because of supercharging,” one EV driver said.
As more manufacturers like Ford and GM hop on to the ease of Tesla charging, an EV driver added, “I do have more options because we have an adapter, so I can pretty much go to all of the charging stations.”
Soon even non-Tesla EV drivers can reap the benefits of that click as easy as clicking an adapter onto your phone charger on a trip to a foreign country.
“You’ve got different cables, you’ve got different cable sizes because it’s thermodynamics, how much juice is actually flowing through the cable,” said Ray Addison, an EV guru.
As VP of marketing and sales of Go-Station, a company deploying public and private chargers nationwide, he’s seen the growing pains of EV infrastructure firsthand.
“When you think about a gas car, the port is either on the back left or back right, and it’s one nozzle,” Addison said. “For electric vehicles, you’ve got three different types of connectors, and it can be in the back left, back right, in the front left or right, or somewhere in the middle. So, there’s no uniformity just yet, which makes things complicated for EV charging companies.”
Addison mentions deployment of chargers could take anywhere from six to 18 months. That’s why more and more automakers want to cut that time by hopping onto one already robust bandwagon.
“This way, we kind of reduce the barriers of entry,” he explained. “So now you got access to more EV chargers in the marketplace, which reduces that feeling of range or charge anxiety and gives more people comfort in saying, ‘Hey, if I own an EV, there are more charging locations for me to charge my vehicle.'”
With over 45,000 Tesla chargers globally, the EV company is the car leader and laid the foundation for chargers. More competition can improve technology and performance.
According to the Department of Energy, public EV charging ports grew by 4% in just the first quarter of 2023, adding more than 5,000 ports to the network.
“The focus and intentionality that the government has to invest dollars into the infrastructure, but also focusing on underserved communities,” Addison reflected. “It’s incredible. It’s massive.”
While the bipartisan infrastructure bill and Inflation Reduction Act have plans to add to the EV charging network, one goal is to ensure no one gets left behind.
“We need to be mindful of not overlooking certain communities, especially those that have been impacted by climate change over generations,” Addison added. “Those that are surrounded by highways and feel the implications of poor air quality.”
These historically redlined communities often lack amenities and necessities other communities might have.
“While they may not have the vehicles now, keep in mind only 6% of the vehicles on the road are electrified,” Addison said. “So, as we go five years down the road, there will be more options, more affordable options, more style options and different variety where you’re going to see more people buying these vehicles.”
Businesses can profit by adding diversity to EVs and their charging technology. Addison says this is a two-fold bonus.
“Those passing in and through will need to charge,” Addison said. “What a tremendous way to attract them into this community, get them out of their car, and into a local business and buy a cup of coffee or a vegan muffin and actually circulate more dollars through the community.”
So, while new actions by significant automakers to help expand the EV charging network may seem like a small step in the right direction, “with more EVs on the road, we all win, and the climate wins.”
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Addison says winning now will help put our problems and their gas in the past and is exctied to watch their growth.
“Reduce the friction, gain the uniformity, get customer confidence,” he said. “Before you know it, these challenges that we’re having now will be memories of the past.”
One EV driver says she’s ready for the ride.
“I have enjoyed it. I have fully enjoyed my car,” she said. “I’m actually planning on getting a work truck, and I think I’m going to get a Rivian. So, I’m going to stay electric; I don’t think I’m going to get a gas car.”
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