Ford CEO Jim Farley and Elon Musk just announced that in early 2024 all 12,000 Tesla Superchargers will be operational with Ford vehicles. Farley also announced next-generation Ford vehicles would come equipped with the NACS port, Tesla’s standardized version of its proprietary charging system.
Elon Musk said, “We don’t want Tesla superchargers to be a walled garden,” on the Twitter Space call. According to Musk, Tesla wants Ford to have an equal footing when it comes to a charging network.
The Twitter Space stage was stable this time around, following the disaster that was Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential announcement speech yesterday.
The conversation between the two automaker CEOs comes as EV competition continues to rise. Tesla has enjoyed its dominance at the top of the growing electric vehicle industry, but other manufacturers are finally bringing on more variety and alternatives to Tesla’s top-selling Model Y. Tesla has dropped prices multiple times this year to spur sales, bringing the Model 3 sedan under $40,000.
Price cuts aren’t only happening at Tesla. Ford had dropped prices as well, and other manufacturers are inching closer to an industry-wide EV price war.
Ford has some of the best-selling EVs (number two, to be exact), but it’s been hamstrung by manufacturing problems that included faulty batteries that could catch fire (that issue was addressed, but it stalled Lightning production for a while). Mustang Mach-E production was also stalled for weeks as the company improved processes at the plant.
Ford restructured the company a year ago to operate separate businesses for its highly profitable gas vehicles, now called Ford Blue, and its electric efforts under Ford Model E — which, by the way, was the originally intended name for Tesla’s Model 3 (they even had to change the Model 3 logo to not infringe on Ford’s trademark).
Farley has praised Musk before, but he’s also dished out some punches. One time last year, Farley touted how the Ford F-150 Lightning was already being manufactured and put on the road while Tesla’s Cybertruck wasn’t anywhere in sight (and it still isn’t). “Take that, Elon Musk,” Farley said at the time.
Both Tesla and Ford have also joined the National Charging Experience Consortium, a collaborative effort that brings together National Laboratories, EV equipment OEMs, and automakers to improve charging infrastructure reliability.