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Some Aussie Superchargers open to non-Teslas

Tesla rolling out Supercharger network access to drivers of rival EV brands in Aus

2 Feb 2023

TESLA has started democratising its Supercharger network in Australia opening five outlets in New South Wales (out of about 50 in Australia) to other brands of electric vehicles as part a ‘Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot’ it is undertaking at select locations in certain countries.


Previous recharging arrangements for Tesla owners provided them exclusive access to fast chargers, minimising inconvenience.


Similar pilot programs are underway overseas as Tesla tests the waters for yet another potential profit centre. If proven popular, Tesla says it will open more Supercharger outlets to non-Tesla vehicles in Australia – and elsewhere.


Five pilot Tesla Supercharger arrays Down Under are exclusively in low-usage NSW regional locations away from where the majority of EV owners live.


They are in Bathurst in the NSW Central West with six outlets, Dubbo also in the Central West (four outlets), Hollydene at Jerry’s Plains in the Hunter Valley (six outlets), Narooma on the South Coast (four outlets) and Tamworth in the NSW New England area (four outlets).


Tesla is charging a premium of 79 cents per kWh for non-Teslas to recharge at their 130kW Supercharger outlets. The pilot is not available through the faster 250kW ‘V3’ Superchargers.


However, if non-Tesla owners are prepared to pay a monthly subscription of $9.99, that rate drops to 66 cents/kWh, which compares more favourably with the average of 63 cents/kWh that Tesla owners pay an using the Supercharger system (location dependent).


It is still free for Tesla owners to access a 22kW AC ‘Destination’ Tesla charger, though recharging is much slower using this system.


By comparison, NRMA members in NSW can replenish their EV at reasonably fast 50kW DC recharging facilities for free at the moment.


Commercial recharge provider Chargefox’s rates are 40 cents/kWh for the same service then 60 cents/kWh on a rapid recharger up to 350kW. 


Tesla’s 79 cents/kWh for competitor vehicles appears to be the most expensive recharge rate in NSW at the moment.

Electric vehicle recharge rates will likely increase markedly due to spiralling electricity costs in Australia tipped to increase by up to 50 per cent by the middle of the year.


Tesla kicked off its non-Tesla Supercharger pilot in Europe back in November 2021, expanding soon after into the UK and since then it has received a warm response from EV owners starved of adequate recharge facilities.


Accessing the Supercharger network requires a CCS fast-charging socket common to most EVs and PHEVs, although Nissan and Mitsubishi use the CHAdeMO standard.


Tesla says it intends to continue expanding the non-Tesla Supercharger pilot to new sites and new countries “in support of our mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”.


“Access to an extensive, convenient and reliable fast-charging network is critical for large-scale EV adoption,” says Tesla.


“That’s why, since opening our first Superchargers in 2012, we have been committed to rapid expansion of the network. Today, we have more than 40,000 Superchargers worldwide.”


Access to the pilot for non-Tesla EV users is via a Tesla smartphone app, which enables Tesla to monitor the site for congestion and glean market research from customers other than Tesla owners.


Though here in Australia it has been a long time coming, Tesla says “It’s always been our ambition to open the Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs, and by doing so, encourage more drivers to go electric”.


“More customers using the Supercharger network enables faster expansion. Our goal is to learn and iterate quickly, while continuing to aggressively expand the network, so we can eventually welcome both Tesla and non-Tesla drivers at every Supercharger worldwide.”

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