Open up its charging network to rivals or be locked out of Biden’s electric vehicle subsidies, the report said

A diptych of President Joe Biden and Elon Musk

President Joe Biden and Elon MuskSamuel Corum/Getty Images, Taylor Hill/Getty Images

  • The new US requirements will put pressure on Tesla to open up its EV charging network to rivals, according to Reuters.

  • If not, he could miss an opportunity to secure Biden’s planned $7.5 billion in charger subsidies.

  • Tesla’s more than 40,000 electric vehicle chargers can only be used by its cars, but officials told Reuters that could change.

Tesla could find itself locked into $7.5 billion in subsidies from the Biden administration if it fails to open up its electric vehicle charging network to competitors, according to a Reuters report.

The automaker’s SuperCharger network has more stations in the United States than any other charging company, but they can only connect to outlets used by Tesla cars.

But next week, the Department of Transportation will finish drafting a requirement that will put pressure on Tesla to add the charger used by rival electric vehicle makers, Reuters reported on Friday, citing administration officials.

If not, that could blow his chances of benefiting from the $7.5 billion in funding the Biden administration plans to provide to boost the number of charging stations across the United States.

“We understand that Tesla is looking to change their system to make it more open. So if they reach that point and meet the eligibility requirements, they will definitely be eligible for funding,” Stuart Anderson, chief of Iowa’s Transportation Development Division . he told Reuters.

Tesla already received a boost from the Biden administration’s EV push in February, when the DOT streamlined its $7,500 tax credit consumer incentive plan to include more eligible models by broadening the definition of an SUV. This has increased the potential demand for some of Tesla’s models.

Last month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with two White House officials to discuss ramping up EV production and the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which includes charging equipment legislation.

Musk has spoken in the past about opening up the Supercharger network, but hasn’t moved publicly to let others in. Tesla is dominant in chargers in the US and has a huge private network of more than 40,000 electric vehicle chargers globally.

Opening that network to competitors like Ford, GM, and Rivian could strip some of the luster from the Tesla brand, removing the exclusive use of its customers. On the other hand, it could ultimately be a new revenue stream for Tesla on top of any unexpected subsidies.

Shares of Tesla rose 1.1% in premarket trading on Monday, after closing 5% down Friday in a broader equity decline. Shares of the EV maker are up about 60% in the year to date.

The DOT and Tesla did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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