Electronics and Semiconductors

Ford to use Tesla Motors’ Supercharge EV stations

01 June 2023
A Ford Mustang Mach-E charges at a Tesla Supercharging station. Ford owners will have access to 12,000 Superchargers beginning in early 2024 under a new agreement. Source: Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is collaborating with Tesla Motors to allow Ford electric vehicles (EVs) to access more than 12,000 Tesla Supercharger stations across the U.S. and Canada.

The deal will double the number of fast-chargers available to Ford EV users starting early in 2024.

Ford called adding access to EV infrastructure in North America vital to the growth of EVs. With the agreement with Tesla, Ford users will have access to 10,000 fast chargers in its BlueOval Charge Network and 12,000 Tesla Superchargers. Ford’s BlueOval network has 84,000 chargers total in its network, which it claims is the largest public EV charging network in North America.

Additionally, Ford is adding 1,800 public fast-chargers and locations to its network by early 2024.

How it will work

A Tesla-developed adapter will provide Ford F-150 Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit vehicles fitted with the combined charging system (CCS) port access to Telsa’s V3 Superchargers. Future vehicles will be equipped with the North America charging standard (NACS) charge port to remove the need for any adapter at all for direct access to the Superchargers.

The company is investing at least $40 billion in electrification through 2030 and to transition to electric models as the primary business. Ford said it will only sell EVs in Europe by 2030, completely phasing out its gas-powered vehicles in the region.

Short-term plans include ramping production in 2025 of its Mustang Mach-E and F-150 Lightning vehicles as well as launching a series of new EVs over the next two years to meet demand.

Why it matters

Ford is rapidly accelerating its transition to electrification with new models coming quickly on the market and plans to convert much of its fleet to EVs in the next decade to 15 years.

The issue then becomes not if the company can produce enough vehicles to meet demand, which is increasing, but can it support the EVs that will be on the road with the proper infrastructure to encourage EV adoption to a wider audience through more reliable charging.

EV charging stations are rapidly under construction globally with new infrastructure coming to hotels, grocery stores, malls, businesses, coffee shops and much more. However, the U.S. alone will need 1.7 million EV charging stations by 2030 due to consumer sentiment rising for these vehicles and government mandates, according to Fuels Institute.

Before these charging stations can be built to meet demand, Ford looks to be harnessing existing infrastructure to help widen the adoption of EVs in the U.S. and lessen the so-called “range anxiety” of consumers that fear they may run out of charge before reaching a station.

The transition to include the NACS connector on all standard models also means Ford vehicles will be able to use the Tesla network presumably forever after the company made it open to everyone recently.

Investing in infrastructure

Not only is the American automotive OEM changing the models of its cars and investing in charging infrastructure, but it is also investing heavily into raw materials to secure enough supply of rare Earth elements to meet the demands of batteries that will be put into these vehicles.

Last month, Ford entered into a series of new agreements with raw material manufacturers to secure automotive grade lithium for batteries inside EVs. The deals with Albermarle, Compass Minerals, Nemaska Lithium, Energysource Minerals and SQM will help the company continue to receive raw materials even as prices increase as demand grows and potential shortages emerge.

These investments will be to secure enough lithium to build batteries for its EVs today and in the future as it is also scaling its battery factories with the company opening a battery lab in Ion Park, specifically for all-EVs and then split its business into electric and gasoline divisions, called Ford Blue and Ford Model e. It is also building a new full-line passenger EV factory in Canada to supply vehicles to the North American market.

Ford is building multiple new EV battery factories including the BlueOval SK Battery Park in Kentucky in a joint venture with SK to the tune of $5.8 billion.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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