6 months ago • 2 mins
What’s going on here?
Tesla decided that sharing is caring, and opened its network of EV charging stations to Ford drivers.
What does this mean?
The US is a vast country, and the distances that some Americans travel to work would carry you across half a dozen national borders somewhere like central Europe. But that free-wheeling spirit poses a problem for the EV industry: after all, charging stations are still few and far between, and drivers risk running out of power on longer journeys.
Now, though, Ford’s making life on the road a little easier for its EV owners: they’ll be given access to Tesla’s 12,000 fast-charging stations – more than doubling the number of fast-charging stations in Ford’s North American network. And while current owners will need an adapter to plug in, Ford’s next generation of EVs will be designed to connect seamlessly with Tesla’s stations.
Why should I care?
The bigger picture: An offer Tesla couldn’t refuse.
Let’s face it: Tesla didn’t have much of a choice here. The US government’s long had a problem with how jealously the firm guards its charging stations – and its latest tack essentially involved saying, “Nice government subsidies you’ve got there. It would be a shame if something happened to them.” That meant Tesla was planning to open up its charging network to all EVs by 2024 anyway. But whether that turns out to be a boon – or whether it just robs Tesla’s cars of a key competitive advantage – is still up in the air.
For markets: Early but expected.
Given that Tesla was already planning to open its charging network, analysts will already have factored this move’s cash-generating prospects into their predictions for the firm’s stock. So even though this announcement didn’t really change anything long-term, it has brought forward aspects of that plan – along with some of the profit. And that little fast-forward might explain why Tesla's stock rose on Friday.
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