Ford strikes deal with Tesla to gain access to rival charging stations in 2024

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(Reuters) -Ford Motor Co said on Thursday it has agreed with Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) to allow its electric vehicle owners to gain access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in North America in early 2024.

A Tesla-developed adapter will provide Ford EVs fitted with the Combined Charging System (CCS) port access to Tesla’s V3 Superchargers. Ford will equip future EVs with a charge port, removing the need for an adapter for direct access to Tesla Superchargers, starting in 2025.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Ford CEO Jim Farley on Thursday will discuss efforts on “accelerating EV adoption in North America” during an online Twitter Spaces conversation, Ford said. Twitter is owned by Musk.

The event comes just a day after Twitter crashed repeatedly during a highly anticipated live audio chat between Musk and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, setting back Musk’s efforts to promote the social media firm he bought for $44 billion last year.

Farley said earlier on Thursday at a Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) forum that “on the infrastructure side, I think it’s room for some collaboration between the auto companies, which is totally unnatural for us.”

Farley added, “I think we need to start – I mean, I think the first step is to work together in a way we haven’t, probably with the new EV brands and the traditional old companies.”

For example, he called it “totally ridiculous” that the industry has multiple plugs for its charging networks and “we can’t even agree on what plug to use.”

This year, Tesla has opened some of its U.S. Supercharger networks to non-Tesla EVs, which use a competing charging standard, CCS or “Combined Charging System” as the Biden administration seeks to provide billions of subsidies to expand charging networks.

Musk earlier this month tweeted: “I think Ford’s overall strategy with EVs is smart. The electric F-150 (Lightning) has high demand.”

He also defended Ford over its losses on its electric vehicle business. “Always tough with margins for new vehicle lines, especially when there are major technology shifts.”

Farley said on Thursday that Ford should take the lead to reach out to a new company like a Tesla or a Nio (NYSE:NIO) Inc or BYD “to kind of work together in a non-natural way as competitors. I think you’ll see Ford do that just because that’s what kind of company we are.”