Tesla has taken another step towards opening up its Supercharger network to other automakers’ EVs. Last October, Tesla launched a “Non-Tesla Supercharger pilot” at 10 locations in the Netherlands. Now the company has applied for grants from the state of Texas to install Supercharger stations with CCS connectors, which would be a first in the US.
The Texas Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Program, funded by the state’s settlement from the Dieselgate scandal, offers grants for the installation of public charging stations.
According to a document from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (via Electrek and Reddit user Mockingbird), Tesla has applied for grants ranging from $375,000 to $500,000 on four different new Supercharging stations. (In a sign of how eagerly oil companies are moving into the charging space, other companies on the list of applicants include gas station chain RaceTrac, several other gas station/convenience stores, a subsidiary of Shell Oil, and a firm called Texas Petroleum Group.)
To be eligible for the grants, an installation must include “at least one CHAdeMO and one CCS connector.” The agency also says, “If alternative connectors will be included in an application, there must be at least one CHAdeMO and/or SAE CCS charging protocol connector for each alternative connector.” This would seem to mean that Tesla will have to include at least as many CHAdeMO or CCS connectors as it does proprietary Supercharger connectors (and we wouldn’t expect to see many CHAdeMO plugs among that number).
How will Tesla integrate CCS connectors with its Superchargers? In the past, the company has implied that it would add CCS adapters to existing Superchargers, and this would seem to be the most efficient option. Will other modifications be necessary—for example, making the charging cables longer to accommodate other EVs’ charging ports? We shall see.