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Musk: Tesla Supercharger network plans $500M expansion despite layoffs

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Despite recent layoffs, the Tesla Supercharger network is due for an expansion, CEO Elon Musk claims.

Tesla will spend “well over” $500 million on the Supercharger network this year, Musk said Friday on X (formerly Twitter), the social media network he owns, adding that this investment will fund “thousands” of new chargers and is separate from any operating costs needed to simply keep the current network going. For perspective, there are currently 25,507 Tesla Supercharger ports in the U.S. and 2,264 station locations, according to the Energy Department’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Musk earlier this month fired nearly the entire Tesla Supercharger team, including Rebecca Tinucci, the executive who has accelerated growth of the network in recent years and helped convince nearly the entire U.S. EV market to switch to Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector. 

Ford led the way in adopting the Tesla charge port, in May 2023, at a time of great expansion for the Supercharger network—and nearly every other U.S. EV brand soon stepped up to confirm they’d also make the switch.

In the year since Ford’s announcement, NACS has also become an official standard—SAE J3400. That’s paving the way for more charging networks to add the NACS connector, including BP, which just this week said it is looking to purchase stranded Supercharger sites should Tesla contract the network.

EV advocates may be hoping for increased reliability from switching to NACS, given the Supercharger network’s solid reputation in that area. But reliability gains across the industry will take more than a Tesla connector. With about 100 charging station manufacturers and 500 combinations of cars and chargers, it’s a lot that needs to be cross-compatible. 

Ford EVs at Tesla Supercharger

Ford EVs at Tesla Supercharger

Musk has also suggested in the past that the Supercharger network might charge extra for slow-charging non-Tesla EVs. We’ll see if that’s something the automaker introduces at some point soon. 

There’s been little backstory about why the Supercharger division was nearly shuttered. Musk had recently actually praised the team as the key to its future. And he’s given no indication how the Supercharger network will continue to operate at its current level—let alone expand—after so many key personnel were dismissed.

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