Ford Motor Co. shares jumped by more than 7% on Friday after the No. 2 U.S. automaker announced a deal allowing its owners to gain access to rival Tesla Inc. charging stations
in North America.
Ford CEO Jim Farley told CNBC on Friday that Tesla's Superchargers could become the standard for EV charging in the United States but added: "With adapters and software we really don't have to make a choice right now what the standard is, but I think it's going play out in the free market."
Ford shares were up 7.2% at $12.20 on Friday afternoon, while Tesla shares were up 5.4% at $194.68.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg praised the Ford-Tesla deal on Friday but told CNBC that the Biden administration would not dictate an EV charging standard. "We're not going to put winners and losers in terms of what standard prevails," Buttigieg said. "Tesla has built an extraordinary network ... For them to be part of this effort I think is terrific news."
Access to charging stations is considered one of the main hurdles so far to broader acceptance of electric vehicles, analysts have said.
Farley added General Motors Co. and other automakers are going to "have a big choice to make" in selecting between Tesla's EV chargers and the Combined Charging System (CCS).
CCS is a competing charging plug standard for DC fast charging.
GM said on Friday it "believes that open charging networks and standards are the best way forward to enable EV adoption across the industry" and said it has worked with other automakers to develop an open connector standard in the CCS, "which we believe is a truly universal solution available today for fast charging."
Since 2012, Tesla has developed and deployed its own high-speed vehicle charger, called Supercharger, which can add up to 322 miles (518 km) of range in just 15 minutes.
It had 17,711 Superchargers, accounting for about 60% of total U.S. fast chargers, which can add hundreds of miles of driving range in an hour or less.
Farley said Ford had about 10,000 fast chargers and that the agreement with Tesla will "double that."
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