- Ford’s electric vehicles will first be able to charge at Tesla stations with an adapter, and then will get their own Tesla-style plug.
- The partnership gives Ford owners access to an additional 12,000 chargers across Canada and the US
- Tesla said it will work with other automakers willing to adapt their plugs to its chargers.
Well, we sure didn’t see this coming… After slinging barbs at each other for so long over whose electric vehicles (EVs) are better, Ford and Tesla now have an unexpected and surprising partnership. Ford has announced that its EV will be able to fast-charge their vehicle owners at Tesla Superchargers in Canada and the US starting in the spring of 2024.
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Tesla already started allowing a few other brands to access a limited number of its chargers as of last February, but the partnership will allow Ford owners to access the entire network via a Tesla-developed adapter and a software update, which will let them plug into Tesla’s V3 Superchargers and interfaces with their systems.
Beyond that, Ford plans to put a Tesla-style charging port into its upcoming vehicles, so owners will just be able to plug in without requiring an adapter.
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There’s no question that Tesla’s proprietary network is the gold standard for DC fast-charging, while complaints about other networks fill social media sites with EV owners reporting chargers that won’t connect to their vehicles, often with broken plugs or screens out of service. Many of these stations only have a few chargers and fill up quickly, while Tesla stations typically average nine or more.
Ford said the partnership will give its customers access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across Canada and the US The automaker said that’s in addition to more than 10,000 DC chargers in its BlueOval Charge Network – although that isn’t quite as it may sound. Rather than a network of Ford-owned-and-operated chargers, it’s only a Ford app that leads drivers to third-party chargers within networks such as FLO, ChargePoint and Electrify America, and then allows either plug-and-charge or activate payment through the app.
Initially, drivers who want to charge a Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lighting, or E-Transit on a Tesla unit will have to use an adapter, and will activate and pay for the charge on their Ford app. Starting in 2025, Ford plans to launch a series of “next-generation” EVs; these will come with Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector already built in, allowing them to be plugged directly into the Tesla unit. Ford vehicles — and almost all other non-Tesla brands — use CCS (Combined Charging System) plugs for fast-charging. It’s not entirely clear if these next-gen Fords will still be able to use CCS chargers as-is, or if they’ll need an adapter to go back to the charging system they’ve always used up until this.
In a statement, Rebecca Tinucci, Tesla’s senior director of charging infrastructure, said that the company is “welcoming Ford owners, and other electric vehicles who adopt NACS, to our thousands of Superchargers across North America.” Tesla also noted that the NACS plug is smaller and lighter than the CCS connector; might this be the signal that Tesla plans to overthrow the CCS network in favor of its NACS plug-in system by getting other automakers on board?
Earlier in May, Ford announced that it joined the US Department of Energy in launching the National Charging Experience Consortium. Known as ChargeX, the consortium has a mandate to collaborate with partners to “accelerate an electrified transportation system that is affordable, convenient, equitable, reliable, and safe,” and to work towards building a national charging network. In addition to Ford, other automaker partners include BMW, General Motors, Rivian, Stellantis, and Tesla.