Surprising turns in the automotive world! Ford and Tesla, known for their competitive jabs in the electric vehicle (EV) arena, have forged an unexpected partnership. Ford recently revealed that its EV owners will enjoy fast-charging privileges at Tesla Superchargers in both Canada and the U.S., starting from the spring of 2024.
While Tesla had already granted limited access to a few other brands last February, this collaboration enables Ford owners to utilize the entire Tesla Supercharger network. A Tesla-developed adapter and a software update will facilitate seamless plugging into Tesla’s V3 Superchargers and interaction with their systems.
Ford has more in store – the company intends to incorporate a Tesla-style charging port into its upcoming vehicles. This feature means that Ford owners can effortlessly plug in without requiring an adapter, enhancing the charging experience.
Tesla's proprietary charging network is widely acknowledged as the gold standard for DC fast-charging. Concerns about other networks often circulate on social media, with EV owners reporting connectivity issues, broken plugs, or out-of-service screens. In contrast, Tesla stations typically boast nine or more chargers.
According to Ford, this partnership will provide its customers access to over 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across Canada and the U.S. In addition to this, Ford mentions its BlueOval Charge Network, featuring over 10,000 DC chargers. However, it's essential to clarify that this isn't a network of Ford-owned chargers; rather, it's an app directing drivers to third-party chargers within networks such as FLO, ChargePoint, and Electrify America. The app enables either plug-and-charge or payment activation.
Initially, users wishing to charge a Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning, or E-Transit on a Tesla unit will require an adapter. The charging process will be activated and paid for through the Ford app. Looking ahead to 2025, Ford plans to introduce a series of "next-generation" EVs equipped with Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector. This development will allow direct plugging into Tesla units without the need for an adapter.
Notably, Ford vehicles, like most non-Tesla brands, currently use CCS (Combined Charging System) plugs for fast-charging. The compatibility of these next-gen Fords with CCS chargers remains uncertain – whether they can use them as-is or if an adapter will be necessary.
In a statement, Rebecca Tinucci, Tesla’s senior director of charging infrastructure, expressed a warm welcome to Ford owners and other EV users adopting NACS, inviting them to access Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network across North America. Tesla also highlighted the NACS plug's smaller and lighter design compared to the CCS connector, hinting at a potential shift towards broader adoption by other automakers.
Earlier in May, Ford had announced its collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy in launching the National Charging Experience Consortium, known as ChargeX. This consortium, including automakers like BMW, General Motors, Rivian, Stellantis, and Tesla, aims to accelerate the development of an affordable, convenient, and extensive national charging network for electrified transportation.
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