Drivers from three more countries get open-access to Tesla Superchargers. Will the UK be next?
By Ginny Buckley - Motoring Correspondent
23rd Feb 2022 | Reviews
Tesla has opened its Supercharger network to non-Tesla drivers living in four more countries as the brand expands its trial. Selected sites in France, Germany and Norway have been opened up all to electric car owners following a successful trial in The Netherlands last year. Although Belgian electric car owners can access the new sites, no Supercharger sites in Belgium have been opened up.
The move, which has been welcomed by non-Tesla drivers in the countries where the network has opened, marks the start of a new phase of the trial.
In the UK, the timeline for an opening up of the network is less clear cut. Tesla maintains that sites will only be opened to non-Tesla cars if there is available capacity. UK sites are among the busiest in Europe thanks to the remarkable sales success of the Model 3, which was the second-biggest selling car here in 2021.
The brand has recently added a new filter to its charger search facility. Users can filter for 'Superchargers Open to Non-Tesla', which suggests that the UK may well be in the next group of countries to be included in the roll-out.
Tesla has over 650 Superchargers in the UK and enjoys a good reputation for reliability, cost and ease of use. Chargers don't use screens or payment terminals and instead rely on the car communicating directly with the charger to trigger payment and charge. It is considered to be a jewel in the crown for the American brand and is the main reason why many choose Teslas over other brands.
However, Tesla may be forced to free up its motorway network if the Government chooses to exercise its power to open what it considers to be a 'closed' charging network. In a Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) review of the UK's charging infrastructure published last September, the Government said: "We're considering requiring existing providers of chargepoint services at motorway service areas to make their charge points open access rather than only open to an exclusive network or group of networks or manufacturers."
This has already led to Gridserve agreeing to shorten its exclusive deal with motorway service area providers. At the time of publication, the CMA welcomed Tesla's commitment to opening up its network, but delays in the UK's roll-out could see the Government intervene.
You can read more motoring advice from Ginny Buckley on the website: electrifying.com