DETROIT – Ford Motor will partner with Tesla on charging initiatives for its current and future electric vehicles in an unusual tie-up between the two rivals, CEOs of the automakers announced Thursday.
Under the agreement current Ford owners will be granted access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers across the U.S. and Canada starting early next year. And, Ford’s next-generation of EVs — expected by mid-decade — will include Tesla’s charging plug, allowing owners of Ford vehicles to charge at Tesla Superchargers without an adapter, making Ford among the first automakers to explicitly tie into the network.
The initiatives were announced by Ford CEO Jim Farley and Tesla CEO Elon Musk during a live, audio discussion on Twitter Spaces. They come as Ford attempts to ramp up production of its fully electric vehicles in an attempt to catch up to — or someday surpass — Tesla’s sales in the segment.
Farley said the company is “totally committed” to a single U.S. charging protocol that includes the Tesla plug port, known as NACS.
While Tesla still dominates the EV sector by far, Ford came in second in fully electric vehicle sales in the U.S. last year, notching sales of 61,575 electric vehicles.
Tesla previously discussed opening its private network to other EVs. White House officials announced in February that Tesla committed to open up 7,500 of its charging stations by the end of 2024 to non-Tesla EV drivers. Previously the company’s chargers in the U.S. were mostly used by and made to be compatible with Tesla’s EVs.
In Tesla’s first-quarter shareholder deck, the company disclosed that it has roughly 45,000 Supercharger connectors worldwide at 4,947 Supercharger Stations. The company does not disclose chargers by country or revenue from the devices. It includes revenue from its Supercharging stations under a “services and other” segment.
The Twitter Spaces event between Farley and Musk marks the latest interaction between the two executives, who have a unique rivalry. They have each expressed admiration for the other, despite their companies competing directly.
Musk, who leads Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, has repeatedly praised Ford as a historic American company, lauding its ability to avoid bankruptcy, unlike its crosstown rivals General Motors and Chrysler during the Great Recession.
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