Why Tesla Motors Inc. Wants to Be the Charging Standard

Elon Musk recently said that Tesla Motors  (NASDAQ: TSLA  )  will open up its charging technology to competitors; but don't think that this is a gift to the industry. Tesla understands that it's still a small player in the auto market and, as the electric-vehicle industry grows, it may be on an island with its proprietary high-voltage chargers. But as American car companies fight to standardize the SAE combo standard (Japanese companies use the CHAdeMO standard), Tesla wants the industry to switch to its standard.  

For that to happen, Telsa needs help because it accounted for only about a quarter of EV sales last year, and it was actually General Motors (NYSE: GM  )  Chevy Volt that was the best-selling EV in 2013. So, the industry standards others are using for high-voltage charging is leaving Tesla out in the cold and making its customers buy extra adapters just to use these other chargers. This is forcing Musk to decide whether Tesla should stay proprietary, or get others to join the cause. Specialist Travis Hoium covers why Tesla is making this move, and why automakers may not follow along, in the video below. 

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  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2014, at 7:46 PM, ffbj wrote:

    Ummm. Only part of the story. Why not take Musk at his word that he wishes to accelerate that adoption of ev's, and therefore releasing their patent portfolio is a step in that direction? How many of those patents are directly related to the charging of the vehicle? For instance why then not only release those patents and no other ones if that is the the only reason they did it?

    The article is light on specifics and makes assumptions which are not supported by evidence, merely conjecture. Not saying you are wrong but incomplete in the analysis of the question as a whole.

  • Report this Comment On June 25, 2014, at 11:12 PM, deeageaux wrote:

    Chevy Volt sold 23,094 units with an Average Selling Price of $33,094 in the USA.

    Tesla Model S sold 18,195 units with a ASP of $103k in the USA.

    GM refuses to reveal profit margins for Volt. Usually, Corporations don't hide good news.

    Tesla has 25% margins on Model S.

    Revenues and profits Model S is clear winner. Not enough to cover Tesla's massive expansion effort but not the ball'n chain the Volt is to GM.

    Volt is a PHEV. Even if you buy GM's marketing mumbo jumbo it is an EREV.

    Tesla is a BEV. No gas stations Ever.

    Why should 50 kWh charging stations become the standard when we have 135 kWh station technology available from Tesla?

  • Report this Comment On June 26, 2014, at 12:52 PM, upsthendowns wrote:

    the angle of this article is a bit lacking of perspective to the functional differences between types of charging standards. the main reason Tesla wants its standard to be adopted because the rest of the market is lagging so far behind. the current standards being pushed from inside the auto industry are bulky and slow in comparison and appear set to discourage adoption, perhaps deliberately. the key to EV adoption is range and charging speed, period. the rest of the industry is coming out with small batteries and slow charging. EV's are already 1/5 the cost per mile to fuel, so to the extent that charging speed and range can be mastered, EV's will swiftly take over the market. Tesla is the only company truly going at this with urgency, finding the best solutions. they already have it down to a 20 minute stop every 2.5 hours, which works nicely to the rhythm of long distance driving. it's gas car like convenience for long distance and home fill station convenience for daily driving. this article is a bit like late homework that was handed in without much research.

  • Report this Comment On June 27, 2014, at 9:54 AM, sgatelab wrote:

    This article lacks substance and the writer did not do his homework.

    What advantage does the Tesla charger have over other systems ?

    Everything today in the USA is bottom line oriented . What is Tesla's cost versus the other systems??

    Can Tesla make a converter so that other systems would work on Tesla's charger?

    Is there a company that exists today that can make a Universal Charger??

    You Fools can do better than this !!!!!

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Travis Hoium

Travis Hoium has been writing for since July 2010 and covers the solar industry, renewable energy, and gaming stocks among other things.

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