Tesla Inc. is trying to tap into public funding to build electric-vehicle chargers, as it moves to open some of its U.S. Supercharger network to EVs made by other manufacturers.
The EV-market leader is bidding for a portion of billions in federal and state dollars that are up for grabs in coming years as the Biden administration, auto makers and many states try to accelerate a fast-charger build-out along highways to reassure drivers that they can travel without fear of losing power.
already has a national network of fast chargers for its own drivers, but they aren’t available to other types of vehicles in the U.S. For a year, the company has said it plans to open its U.S. network to others, though details about timing and whether it would open existing stations or new ones have been sparse. Recent regulatory filings and other documents indicate that the company is applying for public funding that, if granted, would require access by other makers of EVs to the network.
In June, California’s energy-agency staff proposed awarding Tesla $6.4 million toward building chargers in rural areas, according to grant documents. The company also applied for charging grants in Texas last November, though it didn’t win funding there, which was given to the first companies that applied, other documents show.
According to a White House fact sheet in late June, Tesla will by year-end “begin production of new Supercharger equipment that will enable non-Tesla EV drivers in North America to use Tesla Superchargers.”
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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