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Tesla electric car strategy ‘economic nonsense’, German industry wants standards

Some of Germany’s highest-ranking industry executives have criticized Tesla Motors’ electric car charging strategy, believing it isolates customers and will ultimately hinder adoption.

Members of Hubject, a joint venture aimed at standardizing charging station-to-car connections to facilitate widespread adoption in Europe, believe that the American automaker’s persistence with its Supercharger stations will hurt electric car uptake. This is because Supercharger stations are compatible only with Tesla vehicles.

“For the charging infrastructure Tesla uses a proprietary system instead of an open system, in the computer industry this hasn’t worked so far,” Arndt Neuhaus, CEO of German electric utilities giant RWE, told Automobilwoche.

“Electric mobility needs to rely on open standards to become suitable for the mass market ASAP. I need to be able to use one plug for each charging station in Europe. A separate plug doesn’t help here.”

Many might disagree with Neuhaus, arguing that Apple has enjoyed considerable success with its proprietary charging system for the popular iPhone and its laptop computers, although it is unlikely that Tesla would ever enjoy such a vast share of the electric car market. The pioneering automaker sold around 25,000 cars last year and will have the potential to build 500,000 by 2018.
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