General Motors Company (GM) recently announced its decision to embrace Tesla’s North American charging plug standard. GM’s move follows in the footsteps of Ford Motor Company (F). It solidifies a standardized approach to charging hardware among the top EV sellers in the North American market.
Under the agreement unveiled by GM CEO Mary Barra and Tesla chief Elon Musk, GM electric vehicle buyers will now have access to the extensive Tesla Supercharger network.
This move has garnered widespread applause from investors who see the potential of a unified charging hardware standard for the North American market. Consequently, General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) shares rose over 4% after the announcement, while Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares also experienced a 4% increase.
The combined market share of Tesla, GM, and Ford accounts for approximately 70% of current EV sales in the United States. The adoption of Tesla’s charging connectors by these automotive giants could potentially influence other manufacturers and EV charging companies to follow suit. This shift has the potential to eliminate confusion surrounding public charging access, which industry executives perceive as a significant hindrance to wider consumer adoption of electric vehicles.
Elon Musk expressed his optimism about this development during a Twitter Spaces conversation with Mary Barra, stating, “I think this is just going to be a fundamentally great thing for the advancement of electric vehicles.”
Similarly, Barra acknowledged the positive impact of the agreement, affirming, “I think it all just got a little better.”
Notably, GM’s decision marks a reversal from its previous endorsement of the rival “combined charging system” (CCS) standard. By aligning with Tesla’s charging plug standard, GM, Ford, and Tesla collectively exert pressure on other automakers and independent charging network operators that had previously adopted the CCS standard.
According to GM’s announcement, their EVs will be equipped with connectors based on Tesla’s North American Charging Standard design starting in 2025. In addition, by next year, current owners of GM EVs will gain access to over 12,000 Tesla fast chargers across North America, facilitated by the availability of adapters.
Elon Musk reassured the public that Tesla will treat all vehicles equally, stating, “It will be an even playing field… The most important thing is we advance the electric vehicle revolution.” This commitment comes in response to concerns about preferential treatment towards Tesla vehicles accessing the Supercharger network.
In a similar vein, Ford CEO Jim Farley engaged in a Twitter discussion with Musk last month, announcing an agreement allowing Ford electric vehicle owners to access over 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in North America, starting in early 2024. These developments indicate a growing trend toward collaboration and standardization within the EV industry, signaling a positive outlook for its future.