Tesla is being sued for stealing intellectual property related to EV charging infrastructure.
According to the complaint filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, Graphite Charging Co. is accusing Tesla of infringing on their innovative technology for EV charging stations and autonomous control software. The lawsuit specifically targets Tesla’s extensive network of “Superchargers,” which consists of approximately 20,000 charging stations.
If found guilty, Tesla may be liable for royalties to cover its vast charging network.
The first patent in question involves real-time detection of charging process interruptions. The second patent covers technology that adjusts the power consumption of computational devices based on environmental conditions like weather or energy prices.
Tesla’s charging stations and autonomous control software reportedly use similar technology, as claimed by Graphite Charging. Tesla has not yet responded to the allegations.
The lawsuit is being handled by Folio Law Group PLLC. The case number is Graphite Charging Co. LLC v. Tesla, Inc., W.D. Tex., No. 1:23-cv-00925. Lawyers filed the case on August 4, 2023.
The Texas case is highly significant in light of the growth of Tesla’s NACS charging technology. Between late May and late July, Ford, GM, Rivian, Polestar, Volvo, and Nissan all announced that they would be making their EVs compatible with NACS chargers. This will enable non-Tesla owners to charge their EVs at Supercharger stations.
The growth of Tesla’s NACS technology has caused experts to conclude that NACS will become the North American standard for EV charging. As a result, Tesla is likely to get a disproportionately large share of the public funding devoted to EV charging infrastructure.
If Graphite Charging wins its Texas lawsuit, Tesla could see these financial gains wiped away.