GM’s new partnership with Tesla could supercharge the EV landscape

Two weeks ago, Ford took a major step forward within the EV market via a new partnership with Tesla. The new plan will soon open up the latter’s charging stations to Mustang Mach-E, F-150 Lightning and E-Transit owners. Following in their tire tracks, General Motors announced a similar alliance on Thursday—beginning early next year, GM owners will also be able to access over 12,000 Tesla Supercharger stations through a special adapter. And starting in 2025, all new electric GM models will come equipped to charge without the need for any external attachments.

“This collaboration is a key part of our strategy and an important next step in quickly expanding access to fast chargers for our customers,” GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. “Not only will it help make the transition to electric vehicles more seamless for our customers, but it could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard.”

[Related: Ford EVs can soon be charged at Tesla stations.]

The move towards a single standard is a tacit concession to Tesla’s overall industry footprint, says CNBC. Although most EVs in America have long utilized what’s known as Combined Charging System (CCS) ports for fast recharging, Tesla vehicles rely on a proprietary setup known as the North American Charging Standard (NACS), alongside adapters owners could use at third-party stations. Beginning in late 2021, Tesla opened up some of its superchargers to other EVs thanks to a “Magic Dock” adapter, although anyone wishing to use it still needed to download Tesla’s app for access.

Like Ford, GM’s partnership will both simplify charging options for consumers as well as pave the way for more standardized infrastructure that supports the growing EV industry. Beginning in early 2024, owners of vehicles such as the Cadillac Lyriq and Chevy Bolt will be able to recharge at Tesla outlets using a specialized adapter, with new GM EVs featuring a NACS inlet sans adapter aiming to debut in 2025. Additionally, GM aims to integrate the Tesla Supercharger Network into its brands’ mobile apps to streamline location, payment, and charging sessions. GM also eventually intends to make CCS adapters for owners of NACS-enabled vehicles, although has not specified a timeframe for the rollout.

GM isn’t only looking to Tesla to help expand charging access for EVs—last year, the company partnered with Pilot Company and EVgo to add over 5,000 new DC chargers to the almost 13,000 stations already available across North America. An estimated one-fourth of all vehicle sales are estimated to be EVs by the end of 2030, with that number skyrocketing to over 70 percent by 2040.