Last week, Tesla announced yet another $1 billion charging initiative, reaffirming its lead in the electric vehicle charging game. Even with numerous other companies and the government making large investments in charging infrastructure, Tesla continues to dominate the industry. This raises some questions: How can Tesla outpace all other networks combined?
After another $1B+ charging announcement last week, the Stable Auto team took another look at Q2 numbers and Tesla continues to install more EV Chargers than all other networks combined. How can that be when so many other groups, including the government, are making such big investments in charging? The answer is time. It takes on average 1.5 years to get a DCFC online and we’re not even a year out from the Inflation Reduction Act being passed.
What is the reason behind Tesla’s success, and what does this mean for the future of EV charging?
One of the most important differentiators in Tesla’s charging station network game is the company’s business model. Site host acquisition is the most important, and difficult, step in installing EV charging stations. Tesla has several important advantages with site host acquisition:
- Paying site hosts a lease for their parking spots. Tesla pays most locations hundreds of dollars per month per spot to lease their spaces.
- Fastest installations.It is incredibly hard and time consuming to bring the power needed for a Supercharger site and Tesla is famous within industry circles for working with (and getting the attention) of Utility Partners. When the site is ready for construction/installation, Tesla drops the machines faster that anyone.
- Traffic from the largest EV driver network. Once the stations are ready to go, this happens…
Tesla Supercharger site off the 5 and Tejon Parkway. The company really knows what they are doing. pic.twitter.com/7ijMVB76fy
— Clean Energy Revolution (@StraightCER) August 2, 2023
Another factor that has contributed to Tesla’s success is its focus on vertical integration. Tesla manufactures its own electric vehicles and charger hardware, which allows it to closely control the entire charging process.
With an extensive network in over 40 countries, Tesla can ensure that their charging stations are consistently updated to support their EV models. This has meant that charging is more convenient and reliable for Tesla customers, who can utilize Tesla’s mobile app to locate and reserve charging stations.
Tesla’s extensive and expanding network of Superchargers is unique from other networks in that, until recently, it was exclusively available to Tesla owners. This is in stark contrast to other charging networks that are often shared between multiple EV brands.
That exclusivity meant that Tesla had to cater to the needs of their customers, whereas other charging networks were catering to the diverse needs of multiple EV brands. The company’s quick and easy-to-use Superchargers have been a major reason why Tesla EVs are so popular.
Tesla has maintained its lead in the EV charging industry due to a combination of factors. Tesla had a head start, has employed a vertically integrated approach, and has an expanding network of Superchargers. Moreover, Tesla continues to innovate and improve the charging process, which only solidifies its position in the industry. One thing is clear- Tesla remains a major player in the electric charging infrastructure game and will continue to help unlock the potential of electric vehicles.
Photo credit: Stable Auto