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Enigmatic Tesla leader Elon Musk is at it again on Twitter, this time explaining to his fanbase that Tesla’s currently software-locked Supercharger network will be made available to owners of other vehicles “later this year”.
While Mr Musk’s tweet appeared aimed at users in the brand’s home market of America, further replies in the same thread explained access to chargers for non-Tesla vehicles would be “over time, all countries”.
The Supercharger network is currently pitched as one of the major benefits of Tesla ownership, with the brand’s infrastructure head start giving owners an unrivalled spread of fast charging availability across most markets in which it operates. The brand currently operates over 25,000 locations globally.
Outside of North America, Tesla vehicles predominantly use a version of the European-standard Type 2 Mennekes connector, the official standard in Europe, and the most popular connector type in Australia.
Tesla vehicles are able to charge at all Type 2 locations, while the brand’s own network locks users out on a software basis.
‘Supercharger’ locations are capable of providing up to 250kW of DC power using the Type 2 CCS connector, but generally in Australia run at 120kW. While this isn’t as fast as some ChargeFox ultra-rapid DC locations, the Tesla chargers still rate as some of the fastest and most available in the country.
The even more common but slower AC charging, dubbed ‘Destination Chargers’ by the brand were not specifically mentioned in Mr Musk’s tweets. These locations follow Type 2 capabilities of charging at rates between 7.2kW and 22kW and are found at many shopping centres and smaller parking lot and street parking locations.
Access to Tesla’s charging network would be a huge boon for Australian EV buyers as it would massively expand the amount of charging locations available, particularly on the east coast.
It would also help to spread the load across available chargers, as many Tesla users currently opt for the cheapest available solution, which is not necessarily the Tesla units since the brand begun setting charging rates on its network.
It is unclear whether Tesla drivers will be offered favourable rates on the brand’s network, or whether other vehicle users will be charged a penalty. It is also unclear how long it will take for the brand to unlock its network to other users in Australia.
In other Tesla news, the entry-level Standard Range Model 3 recently became significantly cheaper as part of pricing updates across the range, while the incoming Model Y SUV has had its notably affordable pricing structure locked in internationally as the brand attempts to arrest a sales slide in the important Chinese market.
Mr Musk also recently commented the brand is working on an entry-level "european-style hatchback" with a starting price the equivalent of $AU33,000.