Ford has announced it will provide complimentary charging adapters to all North American Ford EV owners to grant access to Tesla’s vast Supercharger fast charging network. The move aims to alleviate range anxiety and eliminate a key competitive advantage for Tesla as legacy automakers push further into the EV space.
Ford Strikes Deal With Tesla to Share Charging Network
After months of negotiations, Ford and Tesla have reached an agreement to allow Ford EV owners in North America to tap into Tesla’s Supercharger stations using an adapter provided free of charge by Ford. The adapter, known as the Ford Charge Station Pro (FCSP), will be made available in spring 2023 to owners of the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning.
Ford CEO Jim Farley confirmed the agreement on Twitter, stating: “Starting this spring, North American Ford Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning customers can use Tesla Destination Chargers and Superchargers through our Ford Charge Station Pro and FordPass Pro charging network — at no additional cost.”
Widespread Fast Charging Access Seen as Key Advantage for Tesla
Tesla’s proprietary Supercharger network, with over 40,000 chargers globally and growing rapidly, has been viewed as a key competitive strength compared to other automakers. Superchargers enable long-distance EV travel with charging speeds up to 250 kW, significantly faster than most third-party chargers.
The lack of a robust fast charging infrastructure on par with Tesla’s has been cited as a top reason buyers choose a Tesla over other EVs. By granting Ford EV owners access to Superchargers, drivers no longer need to worry about finding compatible high-speed chargers when traveling.
Adapter Rollout Starts Spring 2023 for Mach-E, F-150 Lightning
The Ford-branded Charge Station Pro adapter will be made available next spring through Ford dealerships and Ford’s charging network partners. The adapter works by plugging into a Tesla Supercharger, providing a J1772 charge port that is compatible with Ford’s EV models.
Ford says current North American owners of the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning will receive the adapter free of charge when available. The adapter is also compatible with upcoming Ford EVs, though further details are not yet known.
|Free to eligible owners
|Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning
|Up to 250 kW
Tesla Yet to Confirm Details of Ford Agreement
While Ford has announced the adapter and partnership with Tesla, Tesla has not yet publicly provided specifics on the agreement. It’s unclear if Ford EV drivers will have unlimited free access to Superchargers or if there will be restrictions. Tesla also has not stated whether Ford drivers will contribute to crowding on the network.
In the past, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has suggested the automaker may begin charging brands outside of Tesla to access the Supercharger network. But no such details were included in Ford’s announcement.
Charging Access Seen as Game-Changer in EV Market
Industry experts view this agreement as a potential game-changer in the rapidly evolving EV marketplace. With abundant fast charging availability now on par with Tesla, Ford’s upcoming lineup of electric trucks, SUVs and performance cars have instantly become more appealing and practical.
This news also pressures other automakers to strike similar charging deals with Tesla, provide their own proprietary charging networks, or commit to expanding next-generation fast charging through partnerships.
General Motors, Hyundai-Kia, VinFast, Polestar and other EV makers are likely reevaluating their charging infrastructure strategies in light of Ford’s progress. Access to reliable fast charging is becoming the biggest competitive advantage aside from EV technology itself.
Deal Underscores Transition of Automakers to Electrification
Ford branding the Tesla Supercharger adapter as the “Charge Station Pro” illustrates the company treating homegrown charging solutions equally next to internal combustion offerings. As consumer demand and government regulation necessitates more electric vehicles, automakers like Ford must deliver comprehensive charging ecosystems to match range capabilities.
This Ford-Tesla agreement exemplifies legacy car manufacturers navigating the disruption sparked by EV pioneer Tesla. What once seemed improbable – two fierce rivals enabling cross-use of fueling infrastructure – now makes perfect sense in the EV age where charging availability makes or breaks buying decisions.
The deal also further positions Ford as a leader in the EV transition within the traditional auto industry. Ford has invested billions in electrifying its most popular vehicles like the Mustang and F-150 lineup while pursuing partnerships that erase competitive barriers helping enable widespread EV adoption.
What Happens Next? Details Still Unclear
While Ford has shared details of the adapter and agreement with Tesla, many questions remain unanswered. It’s unclear if there will be fees involved down the road, restrictions to access during peak hours for Tesla drivers, or potential congestion issues at Supercharger stations now serving more EVs.
Tesla’s network is expected to keep rapidly growing, but will that be enough to satisfy Ford’s upcoming lineup including the electric Explorer SUV? And will other automakers now rush to copy Ford’s blueprint and strike deals with Tesla too?
For now Ford EV drivers can enjoy the peace of mind of having abundant DC fast charging access to confidently embark on road trips alongside Teslas. But as more non-Tesla EVs tap into the network, the idea of “filling up” at a Supercharger station may take on a new meaning.
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