Tesla opening its Supercharger network to rivals could be a brilliant marketing move from a company that famously doesn't advertise — with one big risk

Teslas charging
For the first time, Tesla is opening up its Superchargers in the US to drivers of non-Tesla cars.Robert Knopes/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
  • Tesla plans to open 3,500 of its fast-charging plugs to all electric-car owners by the end of 2024.

  • Until now, Tesla's Supercharger network was only for Tesla owners in the US.

  • Some experts say the plan could boost Tesla's brand and ultimately help it sell more cars.

If you own any electric car that isn't a Tesla, you've probably gazed longingly at the brand's sleek Supercharger stations, which are common and famously easy to use, but historically off-limits to outsiders.

But that's all changing. Tesla has decided to open up thousands of its roadside fast-charging plugs to all electric-vehicle owners by the end of 2024. The move brings Elon Musk's firm a new revenue stream and allows it to access public funding for charging infrastructure. Some industry experts also think welcoming outsiders into Tesla's walled garden could be a smart marketing move, particularly for a company that rejects traditional advertising.


According to Loren McDonald, CEO of EV industry consultancy EVAdoption, the Supercharger network serves as Tesla's single biggest marketing tactic. Light-years ahead of other charging providers in terms of reliability, convenience, and number of locations, the sprawling network helps relieve the anxieties of ditching gasoline and attracts buyers.

Inviting owners of electric Fords and Porsches to plug in at some locations may be Musk's crafty way of building the Tesla brand and showcasing its technology to potential customers, McDonald told Insider.

"That additional brand exposure is probably a big part of the reasoning behind this," he said.

Sam Abuelsamid, an auto industry analyst at Guidehouse Insights, agrees that expanding Supercharger access could help Tesla sell more cars. Charging takes a while and is generally a more social activity than quickly grabbing gas, presenting an opportunity for Supercharger patrons to get familiar with Tesla's vehicles, he told Insider.