Ford to Use Tesla EV Charging Network in Move That Rocks the Industry

By Paul Riegler on 25 May 2023
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A Tesla at a Supercharger charging station

In what could only be described as a complete and utter surprise, Ford Motor Company announced late on Thursday a deal with rival Tesla that allows it to offer current and future owners of Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles access to over 12,000 stations in the Tesla Supercharger network.

In a joint announcement, the two automakers said that future Ford and Lincoln electric vehicles will incorporate the Tesla connector, known as the North American Charging Standard or NACS,  starting with model year 2025. In addition, current Ford and Lincoln EV owners will have access to Superchargers starting in the spring of 2024 via a CCS-to-Tesla connector.  CCS, which stands for Combined Charging System, is a type of rapid-charging connector for electric vehicles, and is favored across Europe and North America.

The move makes Ford the only automotive manufacturer other than Tesla that can tell its customers they can use any charging site in the United States to charge their vehicle.

Access to charging stations has long been considered one of the main hurdles in broadening broader acceptance of EVs.

“The idea is that we don’t want the Tesla supercharger network to be like a walled garden,” said Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, during an online Twitter Spaces conversation with Ford CEO Jim Farley.  “We want it to be something that is supportive of electrification and sustainable transport in general,” he added.

“We love the locations, we love the reliability, your routing software, the ease of use of the connector, the reliability of it,” Farley said during the announcement, adding that “Tesla storms through the train station like 300 kilometers per hour Shinkansen.”

Tesla’s 17,711 Superchargers account for roughly 60% of total fast chargers in the United States.  The fast chargers can add hundreds of miles of driving range in an hour or less.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)