- Tesla Supercharger stations work to provide high-speed DC (or direct-current) charges directly to a Tesla’s battery.
- Yes, other EVs can be charged at Tesla Superchargers, however, it’s complicated so keep reading!
- GM EVs cannot charge at Tesla Superchargers.
Teslas continue to grow more and more popular by the day. As such, Tesla Superchargers keep popping up all over the place to accommodate this increased demand for charging stations. However, the ever-increasing number of Tesla Superchargers raises one fundamental question: Can other EVs charge at Tesla Superchargers?
It’s not an outlandish question. After all, Teslas aren’t the only electric vehicles on the road. Not to mention, you don’t often see other EVs with their own branded chargers sprinkled around town as you do with Tesla Superchargers. So, can just anybody pull up and charge at Tesla Superchargers?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Let’s review the Tesla Supercharger’s history and examine its specs below. Then, we’ll go over each major EV manufacturer below and see whether or not they can charge at Tesla Superchargers.
Tesla Supercharger Specs
|Network First Introduced||September 24th, 2012|
|Number of Superchargers Nationwide||36,165 (June 2022)|
|Number of Supercharger Locations Globally||3,971 (June 2022)|
|Number of Supercharger Locations in North America||1,621 (August 2022)|
|Average Number of Chargers Per Station||9|
|Max Charging Rate||72kW, 150kW or 250kW|
|Number of Volts||480V|
|Charging Speed||200 miles in 15 minutes|
History of the Tesla Supercharger
Tesla Supercharger stations work to provide high-speed DC (or direct-current) charges directly to a Tesla’s battery. They bypass the vehicle’s internal charging power supply, allowing the Tesla to charge up to 200 miles in as little as 15 minutes. When introduced in 2012, Tesla supercharging stations could only charge two cars simultaneously, delivering a maximum of 150 kW per car. They were also exclusive only to the Model S.
Five years later, in 2017, Tesla introduced a new line of urban Superchargers that were more compact. While this move dropped the Supercharger’s maximum power delivery from 150kW to 72kW, it was still a win for Tesla drivers who regularly commuted to and from cities. By 2020, the Model 3, the Model X, and the Model Y could also use the Superchargers.
A couple of years later, in 2019, the third generation of Superchargers was introduced. Dubbed the V3, these Superchargers upped the maximum power delivery from 72kW to 250kW. This surge in power results in as much as 15 miles of charge a minute. Unlike the V1 and V2, these third-generation chargers deliver peak charging of 250kW whether multiple Teslas are charging or not.
|Tesla Supercharger V1||Tesla Supercharger V2||Tesla Supercharger V3|
|First Introduced||September 24th, 2012||N/A||March 6th, 2019|
|Charge Time||20 minutes to charge to 50%||30 minutes to charge 80%||15 minutes to charge 80%|
Sharing the Supercharger Network
The question still remains: are Tesla Superchargers exclusive to Tesla EVs or not? It’s something that, for quite some time, even Tesla itself was not too keen on discussing openly.
Ever since the introduction and expansion of the urban Superchargers in 2017, Tesla has reportedly been in talks with rival manufacturers regarding the sharing of the Supercharger network. Not to mention, there have been several occasions — namely during natural disasters — where Tesla has allowed EVs of all kinds to charge at Tesla Superchargers.
Tesla has done this as recently as February of 2022, opening up Superchargers to EVs of all shapes and sizes to those fleeing Ukraine. However, it’s never been made standard. It’s only ever been temporary. That is, until recently.
In November of 2021, Tesla began a small pilot project outside of the U.S. that allowed non-Tesla EV drivers to access the Superchargers via the Tesla app. Some months later, in July of 2022, Tesla announced that they’d be opening up Superchargers to non-Tesla EV drivers across the board by the end of 2022. But who benefits from this move by brand?
Can GM EVs Charge at Tesla Superchargers?
For the time being, GM EVs cannot charge at Tesla Superchargers. The plan is to change once Tesla officially opens up their Superchargers to non-Tesla EV drivers, but if you were to park your GM EV at a Tesla Supercharger today, you’d be out of luck.
However, GM is one of the latest EV manufacturers to join the Plug and Charge movement. In short, Plug and Charge is akin to the Tesla Supercharger but for non-Tesla EV drivers. Drivers can pull up to the charging station, plug in their car, and the charger will conveniently and efficiently recognize the vehicle and charge you accordingly. GM just announced Plug and Charge compatibility in June of 2022.
Can Ford EVs Charge at Tesla Superchargers?
While Tesla Superchargers are not open to Ford’s line of EVs today, Ford has said that they are looking forward to Tesla unlocking their chargers to non-Tesla EVs by the end of the year. In the meantime, Ford EV drivers can charge up at any of the more than 75,000 BlueOval chargers. While the specs don’t even compare to the Supercharger, BlueOval provides a 150kW charge that gives a little over 50 miles in 10 minutes — it’ll just have to suffice for Ford EV drivers now.
Can Hyundai EVs Charge at Tesla Superchargers?
Hyundai EVs have actually been capable of charging at Tesla’s destination chargers even before the recent announcement about the Superchargers. That’s because Hyundai EVs have been compatible with adapters for years now. Even though the Superchargers are Tesla exclusives, Hyundai EV drivers can purchase charging adapters for use at Tesla destination chargers outside popular attractions and locations worldwide. With this in mind, there’s no doubt that Hyundai EVs will be one of the first in line for the Tesla Superchargers later in 2022.
Can Nissan EVs Charge at Tesla Superchargers?
As of this writing, Nissan EVs are not compatible with Tesla Superchargers (though this answer will likely change once the Superchargers are unlocked for non-Tesla EVs). However, Nissan EVs do have a Supercharger of their own called the CHAdeMO. In direct competition with the industry-standard CCS (or Combined Charging System) used by most EV brands, the CHAdeMO fast charger is not very common here in the United States. Still, it’s not impossible to track one down. (With that being said, Nissan has begun to phase out the CHAdeMO in North America, likely in anticipation of access to Tesla Superchargers.)
Can Volkswagen EVs Charge at Tesla Superchargers?
While Volkswagens are not compatible with Tesla Superchargers just yet, there’s no reason for VW EV drivers to worry about missing out on a fast charge. As it just so happens, Volkswagen was the EV manufacturer that created Electrify America: a network of more than 730 fast-charging locations across the country. At these Electrify America fast charging stations, Volkswagen EV drivers can charge up to 80% battery in under 40 minutes.
Non-Tesla EVs and Their Compatible Charging Stations
|Tesla Supercharger Station||No||No||No||No||No|
|SAE J1772 Charging Station||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|CHAdeMO Charging Station||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|CCS Charging Station||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
What About the Tesla Supercharger’s Max Charge Rate?
One final thing to consider is how the Tesla Supercharger’s maximum output might impact certain EVs. After all, what good would a Tesla Supercharger be to your specific brand of EV if your car isn’t built to handle the Supercharger’s output to begin with? Let’s close with a quick overview of each manufacturer’s maximum charge rate and how that compares to the Supercharger’s.
As discussed above, V3 Superchargers deliver a maximum charge rate of 250kW. Across the board at GM, one of their EVs can handle is 350kW. At Ford, the max is 150kW. For Hyundai, it’s only 75kW. Over at Nissan? It’s 100kW. As far as Volkswagen is concerned, its maximum charge rate is 125kW. As you can see, these numbers vary drastically, and none is an exact match with the V3’s max charge rate.
Those with rates above the Supercharger’s max rate can expect a slower charge than they might be used to. Those with rates below the max rate might not be able to handle the Tesla Supercharger, depending on how the manufacturers plan to proceed once the Superchargers are opened up to all. Time will tell how future adapters will adjust for this difference in kW. For now, we can only speculate.