Ford and Tesla shares jumped more than 7% in the Superchargers deal

(Reuters) – Shares of Ford Motor Co (FN) jumped more than 7% on Friday after the second American automaker announced a deal allowing electric vehicle owners access to rival Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) charging stations in North America.

Ford CEO Jim Farley told CNBC that Tesla superchargers could become the standard for charging electric vehicles in the US, but added, “With adapters and software, we don’t really have to choose right now what’s the standard, but I think It will happen in the free market.”

Ford shares rose 7.6% to $12.25 in afternoon trading, while Tesla shares rose 7.5% to $197.95.

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg praised the Ford-Tesla deal, but told CNBC that the Biden administration would not dictate the charging standard for electric vehicles. “Tesla has built an extraordinary network… For them to be part of this effort I think is great news.”

Analysts said that access to charging stations is one of the main obstacles so far to wider acceptance of electric vehicles.

Farley added that General Motors (GM.N) and other automakers will have “a lot of choice” in choosing between Tesla EV and Combined Charging System (CCS) chargers.

CCS is a competing charging standard for DC fast charging.

GM has said open charging networks and standards are the best way forward to enable the adoption of electric vehicles across the industry, and it has worked with other automakers to develop an open conductor standard in CCS, a “truly global solution” that is now available for fast charging.

“We believe the move will ultimately increase BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) penetration in North America and, in all boats, boost Tesla sales,” RBC Capital Markets analysts said in a note.

Since 2012, Tesla has developed and deployed its own high-speed car charger, called the Supercharger, which can add up to 322 miles (518 km) of range in just 15 minutes.

Farley said Ford has about 10,000 fast chargers and the agreement with Tesla will double that.

Additional reporting by Shivaansh Tiwari in Bengaluru and David Shepardson in Washington. Additional reporting by Reshma George. Editing by Shonak Dasgupta, Matthew Lewis, and Devika Syamnath

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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