Can Non-Tesla EV Cars Charge at Tesla Charging Stations?
Until late 2021, electric vehicles that weren’t Teslas were best advised to charge at other charging stations before embarking on road trips. In 2021, however, the company announced that Tesla would open its Supercharger network to non-Tesla EV cars. Unfortunately, for now, this list is limited to a select few countries in Europe. The drivers of comparable electric vehicles can soon use Tesla’s Superchargers to energize their vehicles whenever necessary. Tesla owns and runs over 25,000 Superchargers worldwide, the largest Supercharger network anywhere by some distance.
How can Non-Tesla EV cars charge up at Tesla charging stations these days? And what ways are being created to make this more accessible in the foreseeable future? Here’s a breakdown of what you should know.
Can You Use Tesla Superchargers for Other Cars?
So, you’re a brand new EV owner and you want to know if you can use a Tesla Supercharger for other cars? Before Tesla’s Supercharger network became universally available, the answer was that you could, but with restrictions.
Without the convenience of Tesla Superchargers, non-Tesla drivers had to get special adapters or lower-powered, Tesla-made charging equipment to make it work.
One way non-Tesla drivers could charge their electric vehicles was by using a Tesla-to-J1772 connector. By getting a Tesla-to-J1772 adapter, non-Tesla drivers could charge from the wall connector. The special connector allows non-Teslas to do Level 1 and 2 charging at any time.
Additionally, with the Tesla-to-J1772 adapter, non-Tesla owners got widespread access to thousands of Tesla Destination Charger outlets. The Destination Chargers are Wall Connectors made by Tesla that are installed at supermarkets, hotels, parks, and other destinations. A few locations also had J1772 charging stations alongside Tesla’s Wall Connectors, meaning that drivers wouldn’t need the adapter.
The Types of Adapters You Could Use
Various Tesla-to-J1772 adapter choices are available on the marketplace for non-Tesla drivers who can’t get to a Tesla Supercharger location, including brands such as TeslaTap and Lectron. Each brand offers dongle-like adapters that use a thick cable, connecting the J1772 and Tesla sides effortlessly. TeslaTap also offers a cable-less adapter that’s much more compact.
The Supercharger Announcement
In July 2021, Elon Musk announced the opening of Tesla’s Supercharger network to non-Teslas. During the announcement, Musk stressed why Tesla created their proprietary charging connector because when electric vehicles first came into prominence, there was no standard or requisite, especially as Tesla was once the only producer of long-range electric vehicles.
Details of the Supercharger Announcement
The opening of the network to non-Tesla EVs is a small pilot project but has plans to expand over time. North American markets will have to wait to capitalize as the pilot project is still limited to a select number of European nations, though this is believed to expand to the United States at some point.
Drivers of non-Tesla cars must use the Tesla smartphone app, with the version of the app being 4.2.3 or higher. After opening the app, non-Tesla drivers can press the Charge Your Non-Tesla option on it before drivers are prompted to add a payment method to begin charging.
Compatible Superchargers with non-Tesla electric vehicles can use CCS common connections on EVs.
Tesla has not specified the cost of Supercharger use for non-Tesla EV drivers, with the rates varying between different site locations.
Why Haven’t Superchargers Been Compatible With Non-Tesla EVs?
Can non-Tesla cars use Tesla Superchargers? Yes, but they previously have never been compatible with Superchargers due to how they are composed.
Since Superchargers are very different electric vehicle charging stations compared to their regular counterparts, Supercharger networks cannot accommodate adapters. As a result, people interested in buying electric vehicles had to purchase a Tesla to utilize the Supercharger benefits.
Tesla’s pilot project has been centered around improving accessibility. The Tesla Supercharger network access is expected to improve as the North American automotive industry continuously prospers, thanks to electric vehicle sales. However, owners of non-Teslas must be prepared to pay additional costs when using the Superchargers. Costs can be reduced, however, by paying for a charging membership.
With the Supercharger network opening up, non-Tesla drivers have to go beyond simply pulling up to a station. A compatible charging connector is required along with the standard connector for most electric vehicles; the CCS Combo1. This connector supports Direct Current (DC) and Alternate Current (AC) through the same port using the aforementioned J1772 charging inlets.
Can Non-Tesla Cars Use Tesla Chargers?
Some Tesla chargers, otherwise known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSEs), successfully charge non-Tesla cars.
However, the tricky aspect for non-Tesla drivers is finding out which EVSEs are best compatible with their non-Tesla EVs. Additionally, there are various changes and updates which may limit the extent of the compatibility. The hope with the opening up of the Supercharger network is that other automotive manufacturers will adapt and that more non-Tesla owners will have a wide range of charging options, including more compatible chargers.
There’s also the matter of knowing which Tesla stations make the most sense for non-Tesla drivers to charge their electric vehicles.
Should You Buy a Home Charging Station?
Instead of waiting to use a Supercharger when the network opens up in North America or using the above-mentioned adapter to facilitate charging, non-Tesla drivers can invest in a home charging station to ease the burden.
The prices of acquiring a home charging station vary depending on how the home is built, the age of the residence being used for charging, and the status of the wires lying beneath the walls. If the residence is aging, then a major update is needed to accommodate charging. When the residence is newer and can handle the additions that accompany a charger, then a non-Tesla driver can get Level 1 charging using a standard plug that uses 12 amps of electricity. Thanks to an eight-hour-long charge, non-Tesla drivers will have enough to drive around until the end of the next day after using a Tesla charger.
For non-Tesla drivers, the best option for charging an EV is using a Level 2 charger. However, to accommodate higher charging levels, electrician upgrades may be necessary. Electrician costs often end up being more expensive than the chargers themselves, with the costs of labor and parts topping the $2,000 mark. Considering how much it costs to charge a Tesla and the various cost variables involved, non-Tesla drivers must weigh various factors before determining if investing in a home charger is worth the hassle and expense.
How much you save on charging also depends on when you charge. Depending on your energy package, certain peak usage times are more expensive than others. To reduce your costs even further, you can use apps like Optiwatt to help you maximize your battery life and minimize your electricity bill.
What’s the Answer?
The answer to the question, ‘Can you use Tesla Superchargers for other cars?’, is that it depends. Until the updated Supercharger network covers all of North America, non-Tesla drivers have to leverage the above-mentioned charging options while also weighing whether installing a home charging station can be a suitable option.