SAIC Motor’s joint venture with General Motors, SAIC-GM, has announced that it will begin connecting to Tesla’s charging network in China by the end of this year, making it the first automotive brand to do so in the country.
SAIC-GM and Tesla China have partnered on the charging network, and the Cadillac and Buick brands’ all-electric models built on the Ultium platform are expected to have access to Tesla’s charging facilities that are open to other brands starting at the end of 2023, the company announced.
Owners of these all-electric vehicles from Cadillac and Buick will be able to look up and use Tesla’s Supercharger stations, destination charging stations that are open to non-Tesla vehicles, in their mobile apps, according to a statement from SAIC-GM.
To date, Tesla’s charging stations open to non-Tesla vehicles in the Chinese mainland include 10 Supercharger stations and more than 200 destination charging stations, according to the statement.
As Tesla opens more of its charging stations in the Chinese mainland in the future, more SAIC-GM models will be able to use them, the statement said.
The partnership marks SAIC-GM as the first company in China to enter into a charging network partnership with Tesla China, the statement noted.
Notably, SAIC-GM is also building its own charging network. As of now, it has 52 charging stations providing 246 charging piles.
In addition to working with Tesla, SAIC-GM has partnered with six other charging operators to access more than 500,000 charging piles in more than 320 cities in China, according to its statement.
Tesla’s charging network was previously exclusive to Tesla owners, and on April 24, the EV maker announced it was opening up its supercharging network to other brands of EVs in the Chinese mainland on a pilot basis, following its move in more than 10 other markets.
The EV maker initially opened up 10 Supercharger stations for 37 non-Tesla models, according to an announcement it posted on WeChat in April.
In addition to the Superchargers, Tesla also opened 120 destination charging stations on a pilot basis, covering 25 provinces and cities in the Chinese mainland, according to the April statement.
SAIC-GM’s statement indicates that Tesla has not increased the number of Supercharger stations it has opened to other brands of EVs in China since April, only making more destination charging stations available to other brands.
As of now, Tesla has more than 1,800 Supercharger stations in the Chinese mainland, offering more than 11,000 Superchargers, according to information it released on November 8.
Tesla also currently has over 700 destination charging stations in the Chinese mainland, offering over 2,000 chargers.
SAIC-GM’s approach follows GM’s strategy in the United States.
In June, GM announced a collaboration with Tesla to integrate the North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector design into its EVs beginning in 2025.
Additionally, the partnership will expand GM EV drivers’ access to charging at 12,000 Tesla Superchargers throughout North America.