Can Other Cars Use Tesla Chargers?
Part of the perks of owning a Tesla is exclusive access to its market-leading charging infrastructure. But this advantage will soon become a thing of the past.
In 2021, Tesla took a significant step by opening up its Supercharger Network to non-Tesla electric vehicles in select European countries as part of a limited pilot project. Tesla CEO Elon Musk later announced the company's plans to allow EVs from select carmakers access to 7,500 Tesla Superchargers and Destination Chargers deployed across the county by the end of 2024. This move positions Tesla to tap into a portion of the $7.5 billion federal funds allocated for EV charging network expansion.
If you can't wait until the end of next year to utilize the North American Charging Standard (NACS) for your non-Tesla EV, there are ways you can do so right here, right now.
Can Non-Tesla EV Cars Charge at Tesla Charging Stations?
Until recently, the Tesla Supercharger Network was exclusively reserved for Tesla vehicles, providing Tesla owners with a distinct advantage in terms of access to fast and convenient charging stations. But even before carmakers began retrofitting their new releases with the NACS port, charger adapters have been the longtime heroes championing inclusivity.
All EVs sold in North America - except for Teslas of course - use the J1772 connector for charging. Think of Teslas as the iPhones of the EV world with the proprietary Lightning charger (at least, before the 2023 models), while all non-Tesla vehicles are the Androids using the generic USB-C charger. A Tesla to J1772 adapter allows J1772 vehicles access to Tesla chargers, including the Mobile Connector, Wall Connector, and Tesla Destination Chargers. So, a Chevy Bolt, for example, can pull up at a Destination Charger and use an adapter for up to 48 amps of charging.
Can You Use Tesla Superchargers for Other Cars?
Tesla Superchargers are the equivalent of DC Fast Chargers used by non-Tesla cars. Tesla was the first to build a rapid charging network, which remains as the biggest in the country. Superchargers can produce up to 250kW of charging output, which promises up to 200 miles of range in 15 minutes.
Until last year, this powerful charging network was exclusive to Tesla EVs. But early in 2023, Tesla began introducing "Magic Dock" adapters at select Superchargers across the country. These docks enable certain Superchargers to work seamlessly with any EV equipped with a CCS (Combined Charging System) plug, which is a standard feature in modern EVs.
Charging through CCS can vary in speed, but it's known for its rapid capabilities, often delivering fast charging rates comparable to Tesla Superchargers, ensuring a swift and efficient charging experience for a wide range of electric vehicles.
This now gives owners of EVs made by Volvo, Mercedes, Ford, BMW, and scores of others access to many Supercharger stations, making long-distance travel easier than ever.
The Types of Adapters You Could Use
For non-Tesla owners looking to enjoy fast charging using Tesla's proprietary connector, several Tesla-to-J1772 adapters are available on the market. Lectron offers convenient dongle-like adapters that simplify the process of connecting your J1772 plug to Tesla charging infrastructure.
The Lectron Tesla to J1772 EV Adapter | 250V | 48 Amp is unique in the market as it supports a maximum current of 48 Amps and a maximum voltage of 250V. Its high specifications make it an excellent choice for rapid charging.
These Tesla-to-J1772 adapters are compatible with various Tesla charging solutions, including the Tesla Wall Connector, Mobile Connector, and Destination Charger. This compatibility opens up access to more than 15,000 charging stations, extending the convenience of fast charging to non-Tesla EV owners.
What's the Best Adapter for Your Car?
Choosing the best adapter for your car depends on several factors, including your specific electric vehicle model and your charging needs. Here are some considerations to help you determine the ideal adapter for your car:
Connector Compatibility: Ensure that the adapter you select is compatible with the charging port of your non-Tesla electric vehicle. Most modern EVs use the J1772 connector, making a Tesla-to-J1772 adapter a widely suitable choice.
Charging Speed: Look for an adapter that supports your desired charging speed. If you prefer faster charging, consider an adapter with higher amperage and voltage ratings.
Build Quality: Opt for adapters from reputable manufacturers known for their quality and durability. A well-made adapter ensures a safe and reliable charging experience.
User Reviews: Read reviews from other non-Tesla EV owners who have used the adapter with their vehicles. Real-world experiences can provide valuable insights into an adapter's performance and compatibility.
Price: Consider your budget when choosing an adapter. While quality is essential, there are various adapter options available at different price points to suit your needs.
Charging Station Compatibility: Ensure that the adapter you choose is compatible with the Tesla charging stations you plan to use, such as Tesla Wall Connectors, Mobile Connectors, or Destination Chargers.
Ultimately, the best adapter for your car is one that meets your specific requirements, fits your budget, and is compatible with both your electric vehicle and the Tesla charging infrastructure you intend to use. Conduct thorough research and, if necessary, consult with other EV owners or professionals to make an informed decision.
Why Haven't Superchargers Been Compatible with Non-Tesla EVs?
Proprietary Technology: Tesla's Supercharger network uses proprietary technology and connectors that are different from the industry standard connectors used by most other EV manufacturers. Tesla has chosen to use a unique charging connector design for its vehicles, which means that non-Tesla EVs cannot physically plug into Tesla Superchargers without an adapter.
Business Strategy: Tesla has invested heavily in building out its Supercharger network as a competitive advantage for its own EVs. Allowing non-Tesla EVs to use Superchargers could potentially lead to congestion and longer wait times for Tesla owners, which might discourage Tesla customers from choosing their brand.
Charging Speed: Tesla Superchargers are designed to deliver high charging speeds to Tesla vehicles. If non-Tesla EVs were allowed to use Superchargers, it could slow down charging for Tesla owners since the charging infrastructure might not be able to handle the increased demand without significant upgrades.
Profit Model: Tesla has, in some regions, charged a fee for using Superchargers. Allowing non-Tesla EVs to use the Supercharger network could potentially dilute this revenue stream, making it less financially attractive for Tesla.
Safety and Compatibility: There are safety and compatibility concerns associated with allowing non-Tesla vehicles to use Tesla Superchargers. Ensuring that non-Tesla EVs are electrically compatible and safe to charge on Tesla's network would require extensive testing and certification processes.
The Mobile Connector, Wall Connector, and Destination Charger can be used by other electric cars with the proper adapter. Tesla to J1772 adapters that support charging at 40 amps/250 volts are your best bet.
While there currently aren't any Supercharger adapters available in the market, these fast charging stations are set to open to non-Tesla EV drivers in North America by the end of 2024 following a successful pilot project in select European cities.
Non-Tesla drivers must use at least version 4.18.0 of the Tesla app. Press the Charge Your Non Tesla option and a prompt will ask you to add a payment method to begin charging. Other electric cars can use CCS common connections with Superchargers. There isn't an official per kWh price for non-Tesla EVs using Superchargers yet, but rates will vary depending on the location.
Yes, you can use Tesla chargers for other electric cars with the help of adapters. Tesla chargers, including the Mobile Connector, Wall Connector, and Destination Charger can accommodate J1772 EVs with the use of Tesla to J1772 charger adapters. More recently, Tesla has rolled out the Magic Dock to select Supercharging locations to allow EVs that use CCS connectors access to fast charging.
Yes, just as non-Tesla EVs can use Tesla chargers, Teslas can access J1772 and CCS fast charging stations using J1772 to Tesla and CCS adapters.