Daimler and auto parts supplier Robert Bosch are questioning Tesla Motors’ decision to build a network of Supercharger stations in Germany that can only be used by the U.S. carmaker’s vehicles. According to the two German companies, charging stations for electric vehicles should be standard for all manufacturers.
“The future lies in standardization. As with gas stations, we need a charging system for all manufacturers, not least because it reduces the cost of the infrastructure, but it is also more convenient for customers,” Thomas Weber, Daimler's R&D chief, told Germany’s Automobilwoche.
Bosch CEO Volkmar Denner also told the publication that it wouldn’t make economic sense if every carmaker pursued its own charging system, adding that “the technology exists for a Europewide charging network, we just need to want to implement it.”
In January, Tesla and German train operator Deutsche Bahn opened four charging stations between Munich in southern Germany and Cologne in the west of the country, allowing Tesla drivers to fast charge their batteries in about 30 minutes. The company aims to expand its charging network in Germany this year to allow drivers to reach destinations of half of Germany. The stations are part of a network of 14 Tesla charging points across Europe.
Daimler has so far focused on offering small electric vehicles, the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive and Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, both aimed at city commuters rather than vehicles intended for longer trips. Interestingly, both cars use batteries provided by Tesla, in which Daimler holds a 4.3 percent stake.
By Dan Mihalascu