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Tesla might let other companies use its Supercharger network

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he'd be fine with other companies using the supercharger network if they paid for it.

/ Getty Images

Tesla's Supercharger network allows Tesla owners to cover vast distances in their electric cars without long, overnight waits for recharging and has been instrumental in the success of the brand. One question posed during Wednesday's Tesla quarterly earnings call involved allowing other manufacturers to access Tesla's supercharger network and Elon Musk's response was surprising.

"This is not a walled garden."

Tesla Supercharger

In the future, it may not just be Teslas parked at Supercharger stations, if other companies are willing to pony up.

/Getty Images

By that Musk means that he's open to allowing other EV manufacturers to configure their vehicles to be able to use the Superchargers. He stipulates that these manufacturers would have to pay their fair share of the costs and would have to either adopt Tesla's plug standard or include an adapter in their vehicles.

This is kind of groundbreaking in that some other electric startup, be that Lucid Motors, Faraday Future or EVelozcity, would be able to immediately give themselves a leg up on more established players by licensing the Supercharger network and technology.

It's true that Tesla's Superchargers are no longer the only DC fast-charging game in town, but the brand recognition that comes along with the Supercharger and the infrastructure that it is built on cannot be undervalued.

has made huge inroads with its Electrify America brand and its recent partnership with Walmart and others. Charge Point and EVGo have also begun to build out robust networks of their own, but still, it's fair to say that in most people's minds, the Supercharger remains supreme.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).

Article updated on May 3, 2018 at 2:38 PM PDT

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Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
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