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Supercharger for all

Tesla wants to open its charging stations to all vehicles. The charging stations of the American e-car pioneer are far superior to other models in terms of both number of units and technology. Thanks to Tesla, the network of charging stations would take an enormous leap forward. It is not yet clear what the company will get out of this and how it will be technically possible to implement it.

Tesla currently has 6039 Superchargers at 601 locations in Europe. Compared to this, the charging station provider Ionity has just 358 charging stations. Tesla CEO Elon Musk's statement that he wants to open his charging stations to all vehicles this year made e-car owners all over the world sit up and take notice. However, it is not yet clear whether he wants to implement the plan immediately at the 25,000 Tesla charging stations worldwide, or whether he is only referring to the USA for the time being.

In any case, the EU's goal of having 30 million e-cars on the roads by 2030 requires a significantly higher density and number of charging stations. A nationwide network of charging stations, at each of which enough individual charging points are available, so that driving an e-car throughout Europe is no longer a problem. Tesla could contribute immensely to this goal.

However, it is not yet clear how the charging stations can also be opened for vehicles of other brands. While the charging stations of Ionity and other providers usually work via an app with prior registration, the Tesla car and the station connect automatically. The driver is registered with a credit card, and billing after the charging process takes place automatically. So it is also conceivable that Elon Musk is targeting customer data with his advance. Nevertheless, for e-car drivers, not only the improved infrastructure would be a plus, but also the price at Tesla charging stations is usually lower and less subject to fluctuations. At some Ionity charging stations, for example, the kilowatt hour is 79 cents. 100 kilometres (kWh) then cost about 20 euros and are significantly more expensive than with a combustion engine. At Tesla, the kWh is currently 37 cents.

Tesla's advance is also pleasing, as German bureaucracy is currently standing in its own way to some extent when it comes to the expansion of charging stations. Researchers at the University of Koblenz have developed fast-charging columns that can be easily installed in lampposts and could thus significantly advance the charging network quickly and easily. But the plans are currently on hold because the municipalities are not making any progress with the permits.

What is clear is that the charging network must be expanded significantly and quickly if the planned e-car offensive is to be a success. Tesla's charging stations could help enormously to improve the network for all vehicles. We can only hope that Musk will follow up his announcement with action and make his charging stations available to all e-cars.