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Tesla, Ford rattle EV charging landscape

Tesla and Ford have formed a new EV charging partnership. It took many by surprise, including other EV charging companies. Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian reports on how some of the top players in the EV space are reacting.

Video Transcript


SEANA SMITH: Well, shifting gears now to the world of electric vehicles. In late May, Ford jolted the EV charging space after its game-changing agreement with its rival, Tesla. Ford's EV customers will be able to use thousands of Tesla superchargers starting next spring.

Now, the recent deal putting two of the biggest US auto companies on Tesla's charging network, and Pras, this really raises the question just about the future of EV charging and what could potentially maybe be the standard, if it's going to be Tesla superchargers.


PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: mean, this deal was announced ahead of the holiday weekend. So really, it was surprising timing. People were surprised by the actual move itself. Ford joining forces with, essentially, is its rival, Tesla there. Starting next year, they'll be able to use Ford EVs using the Tesla supercharger network, which is 12,000 superchargers in the US.

And then in 2025, even bigger news. All new Ford EVs will have the Tesla NACS or North American Charging Standard plug natively built into that car, meaning that car will be able to go to any supercharger without an adapter and start using those natively right away.

So a big deal in the sense that these two rivals joined forces together. GM, sorry, Ford CEO Jim Farley said this is a good move, because they think their customers are complaining about reliability and ease of use, and the Tesla network has those kind of situations solved. They're very reliable. They're always working, and they have plenty of actually chargers. So I see why they did it.

For Tesla itself, also a good move. It unlocks some incremental revenue for them. That's what Goldman analysts said. Maybe $1 to $3 billion in revenue down the line when this is kind of up and coming up and going and other manufactures may hop in on there. So it makes sense from both sides. But the big question is, what happens to the universal CCS standard that you see right there that GM and other people use.

SEANA SMITH: Well, what do you think happens to that? Because I think that's a big question that everyone's asking right now. Because there has been this massive push, obviously, for a universal charging experience, yet you still have two big players. There's two very different ways to charge EVs, which you would think could potentially limit adoption at some point.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, I mean, this is sort of-- a Bloomberg writer said, this is like a Betamax versus VHS situation, where there's two competing standards. Before this Ford deal, I would have said the CCS universal standard will probably be the main one. Tesla will live on its own like it's always been doing that for over the past 10 years.

But now with Ford joining forces with them, it makes you really kind of think it's possible maybe a Hyundai or a Kia, someone like that, says, you know what? We want to actually hop on that service, too, and not rely upon our own cobbled together networks of like ChargePoint, EVgo, Electrify America, all these different players that sort of don't work together very well.

Why not use that NACS standard that seems to work well. Tesla is offering that. They're saying, we want to open it up. So there is a possibility for that to be the next standard.

SEANA SMITH: We will see how this all plays out. All right, well coming up next--