General Motors on Thursday said it will adopt Tesla technology to charge its electric vehicles, including selling models that use plugs pioneered by Tesla.
The announcement comes two weeks after Ford reached a comparable deal that would make Tesla’s plugs the industry standard and put pressure on companies racing to build similar networks as sales of electric vehicles grow. The agreements say owners of Ford and GM vehicles can use Tesla chargers, which are often only available in a few locations and have a reputation for reliability.
“It literally almost doubles access to chargers” for GM customers, said the automaker’s chief executive, Mary T. Parra said during the stream. Twitter conversation With Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and owner of Twitter.
Mr. Musk said the deal would be “fundamentally a big thing for the advancement of EV adoption.”
But it could raise concerns that Tesla, which already dominates electric vehicle sales, could overwhelm rivals in the fast-growing charging business.
While GM will have access to more chargers, Tesla will make money by selling power to owners of models made by other automakers. Tesla is charging more to owners of those other cars than to owners of its own cars. The electric car company needs to open up its network to get some of the $7.5 billion the federal government is spending to speed up the construction of charging stations.
By adopting Tesla’s charging standard, Ford and GM risk becoming dependent on their most formidable competitor. No Michigan-based automaker sells as many electric cars and operates a charging network as Tesla.
The deal also carries risks for Tesla. The popularity of its cars has created congestion at the company’s charging stations in some cities and on some highways. Tesla owners may be annoyed that they now have to queue with cars made by Ford and GM.
“I don’t think Tesla owners will be happy to see a Ford Mustang Mach-E charging while they wait in line,” said Ben Rose, president of Battle Road Research, which follows the auto industry.
A battle between Tesla’s charging plugs and the plugs currently used by Ford, GM and others Other automakers recalled the rivalry between Betamax and VHS videocassettes in the 1980s. VHS eventually won the battle.
On one level, the competition between standards is a messy technical issue, with each side claiming its plug is the best choice. But it could have long-term implications for the millions of people who are expected to switch to electric vehicles in the coming years.
Tesla sells cars with a plug called the North American Charging Standard. Ford, GM and other automakers have sold plug-in cars using an integrated charging system plug. The two do not match.
Fast chargers from companies like EVGo or Electrify America typically have both plugs, and can charge Teslas and cars from manufacturers like Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Volvo that use CCS. During its roughly 10-year history, Tesla’s network was closed to cars from other manufacturers, but the company recently began allowing other cars to use some of its chargers.
Reaction from rivals on Thursday was subdued. “We support all measures to increase EV adoption,” Brendan Jones, Blink Charging’s chief executive, said in an email. “We are monitoring the market closely and will adjust if necessary,” he said.
Investors welcomed the deal. Tesla and GM stock prices rose about 3 percent in extended trading Thursday.
This year is shaping up to be critical for GM’s electric vehicle ambitions. The company is just weeks away from offering a battery-powered version of its Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck. It also plans to introduce electric iterations of the Blazer and Equinox sport utility vehicles.
Ford is working to accelerate electric production of the F-150 Lightning at a factory in Dearborn, Mich.
Mr. Musk said during his conversation with Ms. Barra. But if Tesla’s standard dominates, other operators will rely on the competitor for the information they need to build and install charging networks.
Jonathan Levy, EVgo’s chief commercial officer, said the company hopes the North American standard will be released “so that suppliers across the industry have access to offer EV drivers more charging options.”
By early 2024, owners of Ford and GM electric vehicles will be able to purchase adapters to connect to Tesla fast chargers. By 2025, both companies plan to sell vehicles designed to use Tesla’s North American plug. Owners will need an adapter to connect to CCS chargers.
Along with an archive, Ford and GM agreed they needed Tesla’s network to sell electric vehicles.
When the company announced the deal with Tesla last month, Ford Chief Executive Jim Farley said in an email that “reliable, widespread public charging is a key driver of EV adoption.” Tesla’s Supercharger network has proven reliable and has already installed charging corridors across the United States and Canada.