Tesla has an unexpected partner

Tesla has an unexpected partner

The electric-vehicle company faces one major issue when it comes to replacing gas-powered vehicles.

Elon Musk’s Tesla has moved electric vehicles from theoretical to inevitable.

It’s no longer a question of whether EVs will replace internal-combustion-engine vehicles but when.

That may have happened eventually anyway, but Tesla (TSLA) – Get Free Report has managed to create cars that people want. People may drive a Tesla because it’s green, but that’s not why most customers pick the upstart automaker.

EVs could easily have been solar power — something that some people get that never becomes truly mainstream. There’s no reason every American with a roof should not cover that roof with solar panels. It’s cost-efficient (albeit with a large up-front investment) and good for the planet.

It’s not, however, something that has caught on because practical and good for the planet is not the same as sexy. Tesla has solved that problem with EVs. It has created cars that are both good for the planet and super-desirable,

The company’s key problem is that while the U.S. has more than 145,000 gas stations, only a relative handful of EV charging stations operate globally. Musk discussed the matter during his company’s second-quarter-earnings call.

“Our global supercharging network now stands at over 50,000 — roughly 50,000 connectors and over 5,000 locations,” he said.

That’s impressive but woefully inadequate to make the company’s EVs practical for many people.

Tesla, however, has just made a deal that will quickly grow its charging locations by 40%.

Tesla adds a major EV charging partner

Last year Starbucks (SBUX) – Get Free Report partnered with Volvo to add EV chargers to a handful of its stores.

“Beginning this summer, Volvo electric vehicle chargers, powered by ChargePoint, will be available at up to 15 Starbucks stores along a 1,350-mile route from the Colorado Rockies to the Starbucks Support Center (headquarters) in Seattle,” the company said in a news release.

That was a big step for the potential of EV charging because Starbucks has more than 16,000 locations in the U.S. Most of those cafes have parking lots and it’s easy to see how having charging stations could lead to increased coffee sales, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.

That partnership, however, remains in the test phase. Starbucks could be a big part of solving Tesla’s charging problem, but it has not committed to rolling out chargers nationwide.

Now, the EV company has a new partner that has committed to bringing EV chargers to 2,000 new locations.

Hilton commits to adding EV chargers

While Hertz  (HTZ) – Get Free Report and other rental car companies have purchased tens of thousands of EVs, people hesitate to rent them because travelers don’t have easy access to places to charge.

Hilton will give them a major new option as the chain has committed to adding up to 20,000 Tesla Universal charging stations at 2,000 hotels in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.

“With at least six chargers at each of the selected hotels, Hilton will become the first choice for the dramatically increasing number of travelers who drive electric vehicles,” the hotel chain shared.

This deal won’t just be good for Tesla as its chargers work in all EVs offered in North America.

“To ensure electric vehicle adoption at scale, our joint industry goal must be to vastly improve upon the traditional gasoline vehicle ownership experience, not just meet it,” Tesla’s senior director of charging infrastructure, Rebecca Tinucci, said.

“Installing infrastructure at popular destinations, like Hilton hotels, enables EV owners to charge where they park, meaning no unnecessary refueling stops along their journey.”

Hilton will add these chargers in early 2024, creating the largest one-time jump in the availability of EV chargers.

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