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GM & Tesla shares rise on new EV charging deal

General Motors is following Ford's lead and partnering with Tesla to gives its EV owners access to 12,000 of Tesla's chargers. The company will also be adopting Tesla’s connector, the plug that links an electric vehicle to a charging station. Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita joins the Live show to share what this means for EV owners.

Video transcript

- Tesla dominating in EV infrastructure. Another win as General Motors follows in the footsteps of rival Ford Motor in partnering with Tesla to use that automaker's charging network, gaining access to 12,000 chargers. Like Ford, General Motors will also begin installing a charging port used by Tesla, set to start in 2025. In the meantime, adapters are available for folks who have Ford or GM vehicles.

Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita has-- is joining us. And you closely track this sort of charging technology. I feel like you and I have been talking about this all morning, and there's still kind of more questions than answers about this. But why is it a win for Tesla? Is it a win for Tesla?

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AKIKO FUJITA: Well, I mean, bottom line, yesterday's announcement with GM essentially amounts to this declaration that NACS, which is what Tesla uses, is now the standard in North America. And for those who don't drive an EV and aren't familiar, there's two standards. There's NACS which was set out by Tesla. And Tesla is the only one that uses it. And there's something called CCS which is the industry standard. So we're talking about Volkswagen, Rivian, Polestar, they all use that.

Well, like Tesla yesterday, by making that announcement, we're talking about GM and Ford, the two largest North American car makers, that essentially says that Tesla gets to lead the way. Why is that? Well, bottom line, Tesla has the best infrastructure in place. And in order for drivers to get on board with EVs, you need to feel comfortable that you've got a charger ready to go wherever you are.

- But do-- but do GM and Ford have to pay Tesla for that technology or the patent or whatever to make their ports compatible?

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, so so that's a big question mark, I think. And I'm not sure I have the answer to that specifically. But what's interesting to me is to look at the stock move today of the other chargers, right. You're looking at ChargePoint, you're looking at EVgo, they're down.

Now if you don't drive an EV, you're not as familiar, but the reality is I have a Tesla, I charge at ChargePoint all the time. Tesla cars come with an adapter that allows you to charge anywhere. Equally, ChargePoint and EVgo have been trying to adapt as well to whichever the standard becomes.

And it's interesting because I was looking back to these comments we got from ChargePoint CEO Pasquale Romano, who was on the afternoon show earlier this week. We asked him about the initial for Tesla partnership. And he said specifically we don't want our customers to have to assign a particular port.

So he had already kind of hinted that they're looking at being able to be more accessible for Tesla Chargers so you don't have to use the adapter every time. I will tell you, it's not a big deal. You just pop on the adapter when you go to a ChargePoint if you are a Tesla driver. Similarly, that'll happen with the other Chargers too.

So, yes, Tesla has the infrastructure in place, and that is a big win. But these other companies EVgo, ChargePoint, other chargers, have already been adapting to the potential of NACS becoming the standard, at least in North America.

- For the other automakers that we're looking at on the screen here, General Motors and Ford, I think some of these announcements, too, are an admission swaddled in cost savings, if you will. To say if you're GM that yeah, we're going to save $400 million by this type of partnership.

It's also the admission, at the same time, that you need Tesla. You need that network that they've been able to build out before there is a much more concerted type of infrastructural investment towards that network that has been starting to come forward but hasn't hit critical mass at this point.

AKIKO FUJITA: But equally, Tesla needs them, too, right. Because Tesla is opening up that technology. The reality is if you want to get to some of these key goals that we've been talking about, 50% of new cars being all EVs by 2030.

I mean, we've got these very lofty goals in place. If you're a driver, if you don't see the infrastructure in place, you're not going to go in that direction. Bottom line to your point, Tesla is the one that has the infrastructure. If you are GM, if you are Ford, you're trying to really accelerate the process of adoption, you've got to go with what's in place.

- I guess if you're a user, you don't really care which technology it is. You just want to have a place to charge your car. This whole story is making me realize how little I know about charging. So if you have a Tesla or if you have a Ford Lightning, say.

Does it cost the same to char-- are you paying for the electricity-- just like if I put gas in my car, I'm paying the same for gas no matter what kind of car I have unless I'm getting premium, et cetera. But leaving that aside for a moment, are you just paying for the electricity?

AKIKO FUJITA: So you're talking about as a driver?

- Yeah.

AKIKO FUJITA: Well, it depends, right. So ChargePoint chargers, it's important to note that the way they work is they don't actually sort of pay for the charging themselves. Essentially if you are a target, you purchase the ChargePoint charger, and then ChargePoint offers the service to be able to charge.

And it depends on where you are. For example, I charge up at our office in California. It doesn't cost me anything. I just put it in because whoever is owning that allows for that service to be had. The Tesla a supercharger, a full charge anywhere from what $18 to maybe 25. I mean, it's not--

- That's what it will cost you, not as a Tesla owner. If you're a Tesla--

AKIKO FUJITA: As a Tesla owner.

- As a Tesla-- OK.

AKIKO FUJITA: As a Tesla owner. Because the supercharger can be-- you can get a full charge in about 30 minutes or so. So it's much quicker.

- And if I'm a GM or Ford owner and I go to a Tesla charger now with my adapter, is it going to cost me more because I have a Tesla or For-- I mean a GM or a Ford than it would have--

AKIKO FUJITA: No it's the same cost.

- OK.

AKIKO FUJITA: It's the same cost. But you can get free chargers.

- We're going to make it work.

AKIKO FUJITA: You can charge for free at a ChargePoint location depending on where it is, of course, because it's up to that business how they want to structure it. But it's going to take a lot longer. A full charge is what, six hours versus 30 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger.

- Oh wow.

AKIKO FUJITA: Which one are you going to choose?

- 30. Easy. Michelle.

AKIKO FUJITA: It's pretty quick. By the way, I should point out if you go to a Tesla Supercharger, there are long lines right now. And that's just with Tesla owners. So what is that going to look like now that GM and Ford can also get on board. I am curious about that.

- Yeah.

- Yeah. That's a good question.

- Huge story here on the day. I mean we see you watch--

- I mean, and I'll be curious to see what--

- Oh, yeah.

- I was going to say I'll be curious to have the other automakers who aren't a Ford or a GM are reacting to this now that the gauntlet has been dropped here. So interesting stuff there, Akiko. I'm a little bit more open to it. If I knew I had more access to a supercharger closer to me, depending on whether I got a Ford and I didn't feel that I was locked into necessarily getting a Tesla, I'd be-- I'd be definitely more open to getting one.