ROME – The marriage of convenience was celebrated on Friday 9 June on Twitter, that is, at his home. Here Elon Musk invited Mary Barra, and together the two CEOs of Tesla and GM explained on the platform owned by the former how and why the electric vehicles of the Detroit giant will use Tesla Superchargers in the United States to recharge the batteries of its vehicles. Two weeks earlier, Ford CEO Jim Farley had anticipated the turnaround of the big names in the North, making the same choice. With consequences that will affect many if not all manufacturers operating in the United States at this point, because Musk’s system should become the new standard.
“Tesla intends to be as useful as possible to other automotive companies. We made all our patents available for free several years ago,” Musk wrote in a tweet launching his purchase campaign. “We are now allowing other companies to use our Supercharger network. And I’m happy to make the Autopilot-FSD license or other Tesla technologies available”, as if to say that the offer doesn’t end there. But if it is true that promoting the diffusion of electric vehicles serves everyone to lower costs and achieve parity with those of endothermics – an appointment that Musk sets for 2030 – the situation regarding autonomous driving systems is different. Where investments and results have so far been very different (and mostly unsatisfactory) between manufacturers and rivals in the tech industry and where maintaining a proprietary chip can make the difference in ensuring future survival.
“Other brands – wrote Alex Potter, an analyst at Piper Sandler, in a note on the Supercharger agreement – will be forced to join this consortium, effectively establishing a ‘Tesla North American Charging Standard’ as the preferred system for recharging electric cars, at least in the United States“. Potter estimates that in this way Musk will earn from non-Tesla customers something like 3 billion dollars by 2030 and 5.4 by 2032. The joke is that this mountain of money will go to finance the first Detroit rival with which it is already in a price war on electrics, pursued in the cut of price lists for now by Ford but not by General Motors.
For Musk it is the umpteenth victory against the auto industry of the deep North, which ignored him for a long time before going to Canossa. If today Tesla has a capitalization of about seven times GM and Ford combined (although selling almost four times less than each of them), last March the YouTuber Brian Lovett anticipated the agreement with General Motors in his own way. Posting a photo of Musk and Barra holding hands, generated by artificial intelligence as he later recounted, to show where “we’ve come with this technology“. Barra was realistic in a black leather jacket, which she often wears, not Musk with a poorly knotted dark tie which she commented on Twitter: “I would never dress like this”.
The breakthrough of electrics, batteries reduced by 70% if the car is recharged while driving
Farley is also very active on Twitter, less Barra who favors Linkedin. But it is on Musk’s platform that compliments and teasing are exchanged between almost friends. “Take this,” writes Farley, inaugurating production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pick-up with which he burned the repeatedly postponed release of the Tesla Cybertruck. Or as happened last year when President Joe Biden praised in a public address the role of traditional Detroit manufacturers in “leading the world” in electric vehicles: Tesla is not even mentioned and Musk tweets a barrage of emoticons that if they laugh at her. Everyone attached to the Supercharger, whoever laughs last laughs best.