If you drive an electric car, you may wonder if you can plug it into a Tesla Supercharger. Can non-Teslas use Superchargers and if so, what are the steps to do so? The good news is that you can now plug in your EV car at a Supercharger station.
In this guide, Electrly covers how to use a Tesla Supercharger with another car and explain what limitations might exist. We also touch on the cost of the Supercharger and answer a few of your top questions.
Can Other Electric Cars Use Low-Powered Tesla Chargers?
Yes, it is possible for a non-Tesla electric vehicle to use a low power Tesla charger, but it requires a J1772 adapter to connect the non-Tesla vehicle to the Tesla charger.
The Tesla-J1772 adapter enables electric vehicles to be charged using the Tesla Mobile Connector and the Tesla Wall Connector, and it is the same adapter used for Teslas at non-Tesla charging stations. This means that if you visit a friend with a Tesla, you can use their home charger to charge your EV as long as you have the J1772 adapter.
Can Non-Teslas Use Superchargers?
Until 2022, Tesla Superchargers were exclusive to Tesla vehicles because their charging protocols were not compatible with other electric vehicles.
However, beginning February 28, 2023, Tesla has opened some Supercharger stations to non-Tesla EVs through the use of a Tesla-CCS adapter called Magic Dock.
Magic Dock is a dual latch adapter that determines which latch to open depending on the brand of EV being charged. For Tesla vehicles, the lower latch opens to allow extraction of the small Tesla plug, while for non-Tesla vehicles, the upper latch opens and the adapter remains attached to the cable while providing the appropriate CCS plug.
In this way, non-Tesla owners can experience Tesla's Supercharger without hassle.
Can Any Non-Tesla Use Tesla Supercharger?
No. Tesla Superchargers are only compatible with non-Tesla EVs that have a CCS plug, as the Magic Dock technology is specifically designed for CCS compatibility. Electric vehicles with a CHAdeMO plug cannot use Tesla Superchargers.
It also appears that the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 models have been incompatible with the 250 kW Superchargers. There appears to be a communication issue between the EVs and the charging station.
As time goes on, we expect to see more compatibility and an increase in non-Tesla use of the Superchargers.
If you are looking to gain a deeper understanding of CCS and CHAdeMO plugs, this complete guide to EV plugs can help.
How to Use a Tesla Supercharger to Charge a Non-Tesla EV?
If your vehicle is compatible, here are a few steps to follow when charging your non-Tesla with Supercharger.
- Download the Tesla app and create an account. Add a credit card for payment.
- Find a Supercharger station that uses Magic Dock technology, which is currently available in some locations in the United States.
- Open the Tesla app and select the station and stall where you want to park your electric vehicle.
- Connect the Magic Dock to your EV's CCS port. Then tap "Start Charging" on the app.
- Wait for charging to begin. Tesla warns that charging may take up to two minutes longer than when using a Tesla vehicle due to the need to communicate through the app.
- Once your EV is fully charged, unplug the Magic Dock from your EV's CCS port and return it to the Supercharger for the next user.
How to Pay for Tesla Supercharger?
The payment steps for non-Tesla cars using Tesla Supercharger are similar to those for Tesla owners - you will pay for the charger through the app.
You will be charged slightly more than Tesla users because of “additional costs incurred to support charging a broad range of vehicles and adjustments to our sites to accommodate these vehicles,” according to Tesla.
You can pay as you go or sign up for the $13 monthly membership. With the subscription, you get a discounted rate. However, if you are not near a compatible Supercharger, the monthly membership fee would be wasted. Therefore, it is recommended to evaluate your charging needs before deciding to subscribe to the monthly membership.
How Much Does it Cost for a Non-Tesla to Charge at a Supercharger?
Tesla has only recently opened select sites in the United States, so pricing could change. As of now, rates vary based on the site, but you can view them ahead of time on the Tesla app. If you have the charging membership (referenced above), you can get discounted charging prices.
The price is higher for non-Tesla drivers because of the additional technology needed to make the stations compatible. Tesla owners will continue to pay a lower price.
Because of the additional price, EV owners may choose not to charge at a Supercharger after all. It may not grow in popularity and there could be no reason for Tesla to open up the other stations. Only time will tell.
How to Find a Tesla Supercharger Station That is Open to Non-Tesla Drivers
To find a station that’s participating in the pilot program, you will need the latest Tesla app. You can download it for iOS or Android.
Once you open the app, create an account. Select the “Charge Your Non-Tesla” option and you can find a nearby Supercharger site through the app.
Tips for Non-Tesla Owners Charging at Tesla Superchargers
Can you charge other electric cars at a Tesla station? Yes, but here are a few tips to remember.
- Don’t charge your EV more than needed. Remember that other EV owners want to charge up to. Pull out of the charging station as soon as you can.
- If you need to charge the vehicle desperately, but there’s a long line, try to explain your situation to those in front of you. Also, remember to be courteous to others who may be in that situation.
- Charge your vehicle during off-peak hours when possible.
- Remember your EV’s power rating. The Supercharger network pushes out 150 to 250 kW DC. If your EV can only handle 30 to 50 kW, you would be fine visiting another charging station with less power. There’s no reason to pay more at a Supercharger.
As you continue to practice charging at the Supercharger, you will gain some new tips we may not have posted.
Do I need to bring an extra adapter to charge a non-Tesla car at a Supercharger station?
No. If your non-Tesla vehicle is CCS-compatible, you don't have to bring any extra adapter to charge it at a selected Supercharger stations.
Can a non-Tesla use a Tesla wall charger?
Yes. If you have the J1772 adapter, you can plug your non-Tesla vehicle into the low-powered Tesla charger. Without the adapter, the two are not compatible.
When does the Tesla Supercharger open?
Nearly all Supercharger stations remain open 24 hours a day. However, some nearby amenities will be closed based on what business hours are. If the Supercharger does have limited hours, you can find them on the app when you choose the site.