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GM embraces Tesla’s charging system, Wall Street cheers

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By David Shepardson

(Reuters) – General Motors will join Ford in adopting Tesla’s North American charging plug standard and give GM electric vehicle buyers access to the Tesla Supercharger network under an agreement announced on Thursday.

GM’s move, which follows a similar decision by Ford to embrace Tesla’s charging plug standard, means three of the top EV sellers in the North American market have now agreed on a standard for charging hardware. The agreement was announced by GM CEO Mary Barra and Tesla chief Elon Musk.

Investors applauded the deal, and the prospect of one charging hardware standard for the North American market. GM shares rose more than 4% after the bell and Tesla shares rose 4%.

Tesla, GM and Ford together account for about 70% of current U.S. EV sales. Their decisions to adopt Tesla’s charging connectors could drive other automakers and EV charging companies to adopt the same standard, and end confusion over public charging access that industry executives see as a barrier to wider consumer adoption of electric vehicles.

“I think this is just going to be a fundamentally great thing for the advancement of electric vehicles,” Musk said during a Twitter Spaces conversation with Barra.

“I think it all just got a little better,” Barra said.

The agreement is a reversal for GM, which had previously endorsed the rival “combined charging system,” or CCS standard.

The alliance among Tesla, GM and Ford puts pressure on other automakers and independent charging network operators that had adopted the CCS standard.

GM said it will equip EVs with connectors based on the Tesla North American Charging Standard design starting in 2025. Next year, current owners of GM EVs will be able to use 12,000 Tesla fast chargers in North America, and adapters will be made available.

Musk said Tesla “is not going to do anything to prefer Teslas” as more rival brands access the Supercharger network. “It will be an even playing field … The most important thing is we advance the electric vehicle revolution.”

Ford CEO Jim Farley held a similar discussion with Musk on Twitter last month announcing the No. 2 U.S. automaker had reached agreement with Tesla to allow its electric vehicle owners to gain access to more than 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in North America in early 2024.

(Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington and Joseph White in Detroit; Additional reporting by Hyun Joo Jin in San Francisco and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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