Tesla opening Supercharger network will enable access to new $7.5 billion EV funding in US

Tesla Supercharger Network

Tesla’s recent move to open its Supercharger network to other automakers will enable the automaker to get access to some of the $7.5 billion in EV charging infrastructure funding as part of the new US infrastructure bill.

For years now, Tesla has been talking about opening up the Supercharger network to electric vehicles from other manufacturers.

Last month, CEO Elon Musk finally confirmed that Tesla plans to open Superchargers to other automakers later this year.

We speculated that part of the reason for Tesla finally moving forward with this plan was due to the new $7.5 billion in EV infrastructure funding that the federal US government announced as part of its broader infrastructure bill.



Now, we have the full text of the bill as it is going through the final stages of the legislative process, and we can confirm that being open to “more than one vehicle manufacturer” is a requirement for charging stations to get funding:

§ 155. Electric vehicle charging stations

“(a) In General.—Any electric vehicle charging infrastructure funded under this title shall be subject to the requirements of this section.

“(b) Interoperability.—An electric vehicle charging station funded under this title shall—

“(1) provide a charging connector type or means to transmit electricity to vehicles that meets applicable industry accepted practices and safety standards; and

“(2) have the ability to serve vehicles produced by more than one vehicle manufacturer.

It means that in the US, Tesla is going to be able to apply for federal funding to deploy new Supercharger stations once the network is open to other electric vehicles.

While opening the stations is going to put pressure on the network by increasing traffic, the funding should enable Tesla to accelerate the deployment of new stations and alleviate some of the concerns for current owners who feared long wait times if Tesla opened the charging network.

Last week, Musk also explained how Tesla plans to open the charging network through the Tesla app and with a new charging adapter.

Here’s the full relevant section about electric vehicle charging stations in the bill:

SEC. 1211. ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS.

(a) Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.—Chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 154 the following new section:

“§ 155. Electric vehicle charging stations

“(a) In General.—Any electric vehicle charging infrastructure funded under this title shall be subject to the requirements of this section.

“(b) Interoperability.—An electric vehicle charging station funded under this title shall—

“(1) provide a charging connector type or means to transmit electricity to vehicles that meets applicable industry accepted practices and safety standards; and

“(2) have the ability to serve vehicles produced by more than one vehicle manufacturer.

“(c) Open Access To Payment.—Electric vehicle charging stations shall provide payment methods available to all members of the public to ensure secure, convenient, and equal access and shall not be limited by membership to a particular payment provider.



“(d) Network Capability.—An electric vehicle charging station funded under this title shall be capable of being remotely monitored.

“(e) Standards And Guidance.—Not less than 180 days after enactment of the INVEST in America Act, the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Secretary of Energy and in consultation with relevant stakeholders, shall, as appropriate, develop standards and guidance applicable to any electric vehicle charging station funded in whole or in part under this title related to—

“(1) the installation, operation, or maintenance by qualified technicians of electric vehicle charging infrastructure;

“(2) the interoperability of electric vehicle charging infrastructure;

“(3) any traffic control device or on-premises sign acquired, installed, or operated related to an electric vehicle charging station funded under this title; and

“(4) network connectivity of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including measures to protect personal privacy and ensure cybersecurity.

“(f) Wage Requirements.—Section 113 shall apply to any project for electric vehicle charging infrastructure funded under this title.”.

(b) Clerical Amendment.—The analysis for chapter 1 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 154 the following new item:
“155. Electric vehicle charging stations.”.

(c) Electric Vehicle Charging Signage.—The Secretary of Transportation shall update the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices to—

(1) ensure uniformity in providing road users direction to electric charging stations that are open to the public; and

(2) allow the use of a comprehensive system of signs for electric vehicle charging providers to help drivers identify the type of charging and connector types available at the location.

(d) Agreements Relating To The Use And Access Of Rights-Of-Way Of The Interstate System.—Section 111 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(f) Interstate System Rights-Of-Way.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—Notwithstanding subsection (a) or (b) and sections 137 and 142, the Secretary shall permit, consistent with section 155, limited commercial activities for the charging of electric vehicles on rights-of-way of the Interstate System, including in—

“(A) a rest area; or

“(B) a fringe or corridor parking facility, including a park and ride facility.



“(2) SAVINGS CLAUSE.—Nothing in this subsection shall permit commercial activities on rights-of-way of the Interstate System, except as necessary for the charging of electric vehicles in accordance with this subsection.”.

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