Tesla Inc. is trying to dip into public funds to build electric vehicle chargers, as it prepares to open up part of its U.S. supercharger network to electric vehicles made by other manufacturers.
The electric vehicle market leader is bidding for a portion of the billions of federal and state dollars that are up for grabs in the coming years as the Biden administration, automakers and many states try to accelerate construction of fast chargers along highways to reassure drivers that they can travel without fear of losing power.
already has a national network of fast chargers for its own drivers, but they are not available for other types of vehicles in the United States. For the past year, the company has said it plans to open its US network to others, although details on the timing and whether that will open existing stations or new ones have been scarce. Recent regulatory filings and other documents indicate that the company is seeking public funding that, if granted, would require other electric vehicle makers to access the grid.
In June, California energy agency staff offered to award Tesla $6.4 million to build chargers in rural areas, according to grant documents. The company also applied for billing grants in Texas last November, though it did not win funding there, which was awarded to the first companies that applied, according to other filings.
According to a White House fact sheet in late June, Tesla will begin by the end of the year “production of new supercharger equipment that will enable non-Tesla electric vehicle drivers in North America to use Tesla superchargers”.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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