When the Model S was first released a few years ago, one of the biggest hurdles Tesla had to contend with centered on ‘range anxiety’, the fear or belief that a Tesla out on the open road was liable to run out of juice before reaching its destination or a charging station. To help assure prospective buyers that they didn’t have to be afraid of becoming stranded, Tesla had the foresight to start rolling out a Supercharger network that allowed Tesla owners to charge up their cars free of charge on long drives. What’s more, Tesla’s Supercharger stations have the ability to charge a Model S or Model X relatively quickly, with a station being able to provide a car with 170 miles worth of juice in approximately 30 minutes.
Over the last few years, Tesla has dramatically increased the reach of its Supercharger network, both in the United States and all across the globe. Today, Tesla has more than 2,630 Supercharger stations at approximately 373 locations worldwide. And with the Model 3 release looming, not to mention ongoing sales of the Model S and the Model X still going strong, Tesla earlier this year signaled its intention to rapidly expand its Supercharger network, noting this past February that it will be doubling the “number of North American Supercharger locations in 2017.”
Interestingly enough, Tesla may eventually open up one of its core strategic assets to competitors. During a recent presentation at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s Energy Fair in Wisconsin (via Jalopnik), Tesla CTO JB Straubel said that the company is “actively talking” with other auto manufacturers about opening up its Supercharger network to other cars.
When asked about the potential for Tesla to share its intellectual property with other companies, Straubel’s answer was rather straight forward.
“For things like Supercharger,” Straubel said, “we are actively talking to other car makers and we are trying to figure out a structure to work with them.”
With the final Model 3 unveiling set to take place next month, we imagine Elon Musk may have more to say on the matter in just a few weeks.