Tesla has confirmed that its acclaimed Supercharger network will open up in the UK from today. The move means that UK drivers of non-Tesla models will have access to selected sites across the country for the first time. Four other countries: Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Austria are also opening up for non-Tesla use.
A total of 15 stations and 158 individual Superchargers are part of the pilot in the UK, making it the biggest fast-charging network of the country. Tesla operates two high power chargers in the UK, V2 units with 150kW and V3 units with a power output of 250kW. Thanks to the pilot expansion the Supercharger network has also become the biggest fast charging network (with units of 150 kW+) in Europe. The newly open chargers represent 25% of the brand’s 650 charger capacity in the UK. The inclusion of the UK in the pilot scheme means that non-Tesla drivers will also have access to opened-up chargers across Europe. Until now, access to these were limited to drivers based in any of the participating countries.
The sites participating in the pilot are:
According to Tesla UK, Tesla drivers can continue to use these stations as they always have, with the brand closely monitoring each site for congestion and listening to customers about their experiences.
The UK pilot also introduces a new charging membership model. Customers can elect to pay a monthly membership fee (£10.99 in the UK) in the app to access lower kWh pricing (around 50p per kWh). Non-members will have access but at a higher kWh price (£0.60 on average). Rates vary by site, with owners able to view charging prices in the Tesla app.
Tesla has more than 650 Superchargers in the UK and enjoys a good reputation for reliability, cost and ease of use. Chargers don’t use screens or payment terminals and instead rely on the car communicating directly with the charger to trigger payment and charge. The Supercharger network is considered to be a jewel in the crown for the American brand and is the main reason why many choose Teslas over other brands.
Although it is not clear if Tesla’s move to open up parts of the UK network is in direct response to Government requests, boss Elon Musk has always maintained that de-restricting the network has always been part of his company’s long term plan.
The announcement comes following successful trials in The Netherlands, France, Germany and Norway where non-Tesla drivers have been able to access the brand’s coveted network.