- Tesla plans to open part of its charging network to rival EVs, allowing non-Tesla electric vehicles to charge at Superchargers.
- Tesla’s Supercharger network has over 2,500 hubs worldwide, with 1,000 in North America and over 23,000 individual supercharging points.
- Tesla will open 7,500 Supercharger stations for non-Tesla EVs by December 2024, unlocking billions of dollars in federal funding.
- Non-Tesla EV owners can use the Tesla app to find compatible Supercharger hubs and pay for charging sessions.
- Tesla’s Magic Docks adapters make Superchargers compatible with non-Tesla CCS charging ports, allowing vehicles like the Polestar 2 and Porsche Taycan to charge.
Electric cars have grown popular recently, with Tesla being at the forefront of this revolution. It’s no surprise that the automaker has the most extensive network of EV Superchargers. Other EV manufacturers have been slow in rolling out Supercharger stations, so they lag behind Tesla.
If you own a non-Tesla EV whose manufacturer doesn’t provide a charging network as extensive as Tesla’s, one question will run through your mind — can I charge my non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger? The answer is not yet, but soon!
Tesla plans to open part of its charging network to rival EVs. Nonetheless, charging your non-Tesla EV will involve more than merely plugging in your vehicle. For this reason, we prepared this ultimate guide on how to charge your non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger.
What is a Tesla Supercharger?
Tesla designed its Supercharger as an electric car rapid charger. It guarantees you a super-fast charging speed and can recharge your EV’s battery in less than an hour. The Tesla Supercharger network is the collective name for the brand’s Superchargers across the globe. The network is Tesla-owned and operated, unlike other charging networks, which are typically run by third parties.
The Tesla Supercharger network is extensive and has over 2,500 hubs worldwide, with 1,000 in North America. Each hub has multiple charging points that let several EVs plug in at the same time. As of May 2023, Tesla owns over 23,000 individual supercharging points across the globe.
Types of Tesla Superchargers
Tesla offers three different types of Supercharger stations across its network:
- V1 Superchargers
- V2 Superchargers
- V3 Superchargers.
V3 Superchargers are the most recent and advanced, with charging speeds of up to 250kW. V1 and V2 Superchargers are limited to 150kW. Besides the charging speed, there’s hardly any difference between the different Tesla Superchargers. Emerging reports indicate that V3 Superchargers will soon undergo a firmware upgrade, increasing their charging speed to an incredible 324kW. V4 Superchargers are also set for launch in the near future.
Why is Tesla Allowing Rival EVs on its Supercharger Network?
Given the company’s stature in the EV market, Tesla’s move to open its Supercharger network to rival brands caught many by surprise. The company was asked to allow rival EVs on its Supercharger network to unlock billions of dollars in federal funding. To this end, Elon Musk’s company will open 7,500 Supercharger stations for non-Tesla EVs by December 2024.
The newly-open Superchargers will include at least 3,500 new and current 250kW Superchargers on highway corridors and an unspecified number of Destination Charging hubs at restaurants and hotels in rural and urban locations. For some time, Tesla has allowed EVs to use its Supercharger hubs in several European countries. Nonetheless, its U.S. charging hubs were unavailable to non-Tesla EV owners.
Charging Your Non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger
Tesla plans to open its Superchargers to rival EVs, prompting many people to wonder if non-Tesla EVs can charge at Tesla Superchargers. The brief answer is no, mainly because the company designs, builds, owns, and maintains Tesla Superchargers. Nevertheless, that won’t be the case moving forward.
You can use the Tesla app to find compatible Supercharger hubs near you as a non-Tesla driver. The Tesla Supercharger network will be similar to other third-party charging networks. However, it’s best to remember that charging your non-Tesla EV may cost you more. Furthermore, charging costs will vary from location to location.
The pilot scheme is currently available to EVs featuring the standard CCS plug, which Tesla uses on its European models. However, plans are in place to make adapters available where needed so non-Tesla owners can access and use the automaker’s supercharging stations.
How to Charge Your Non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger
For Tesla owners, finding a Supercharger is a pretty straightforward process. They only need to log into their mobile app or check their vehicle’s navigation system to locate a Supercharger within their area. Once there, they must plug the Supercharger’s connector into their vehicle’s charging port. An LED indicator light on the charging port flashes green to indicate your vehicle is charging correctly. You can also monitor the charging session via the phone app.
The situation is different for non-Tesla owners. For starters, they can’t recharge their EVs at just any Tesla Supercharger. Instead, they first need to identify compatible Supercharger stations. To this end, Tesla has installed Magic Docks adapters at select Supercharger hubs to make them compatible with non-Tesla EVs.
The Magic Docks adapters make Tesla Superchargers compatible with non-Tesla CCS charging ports. The universal charging feature is on the Polestar 2, Rivian R1T, Porsche Taycan, and other electric cars.
How to Charge a Non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger: Step-by-Step Guide
Here are the steps to follow to charge your non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger.
- Download the Tesla app: You can find the Tesla app on your respective app store (Apple App Store for iOS devices and Google Play Store for Android devices). Search “Tesla” in the search bar and download the app.
- Sign up for an account: After downloading and opening the app, you will find a Sign up option. Follow the on-screen instructions to create your account.
- Access the “Charge Your Non-Tesla” option: This step depends on the Tesla app’s UI updates, which may have changed since the last update in September 2021. Assuming it’s there, you would find this option in the app’s main menu or on the homepage.
- Location permission: A prompt usually appears asking for location permission when you attempt to use the required features. If it doesn’t, you can manually allow it in your phone settings.
- Identify a compatible Supercharger: The app should display available Superchargers on a map based on your location or the address you entered. You can select one to see more details, including its compatibility with non-Tesla EVs.
- Drive to the Supercharger location: The app should be able to guide you to the Supercharger station, similar to how GPS navigation works.
- Follow the instructions to plug in: Once at the location, the app should display instructions on how to plug your EV into the Supercharger. If it doesn’t, check the How to Charge section in the app.
- Charge your EV: Park your car in the designated spot, and connect your EV to the Supercharger following the instructions given.
- Monitor and end the charging session: The app allows you to check the charging progress. Once you’re done charging, there should be an option in the app to end the charging session.
Starting a Charging Session
Recharging their cars is a plug-and-play process for Tesla owners, but the same cannot be said of non-Tesla owners. Nevertheless, charging your non-Tesla EV shouldn’t present a significant problem. Tesla chargers are built for use on EVs with charging ports at the rear on the passenger side. If your non-Tesla EV’s charging port is in a different location, be creative with parking. Remember, connecting without straddling the adjacent charging pay might be difficult.
Once the vehicle is plugged in, choose the charger number on the app, then select Get Started. The app will automatically take you to the payment page, where you provide your credit card details. Charging will start soon after, but it’s best to monitor the app in case there’s a problem with the charging session.
How to Pay at a Tesla Supercharger
After learning how to charge your non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger, you’ll undoubtedly want to know how to pay for the charging session. Generally, payments are made via the Tesla app. Every supercharging station features a label with a unique identifier. So, if you’re taking the charging cable from station 3A, you’ll need to select station 3A on the Tesla app to start charging your EV.
After plugging in your EV, the app will ask you to add a payment option. This prompt will appear on the app reading, “A temporary payment hold will be placed on your payment method when you start charging. We will release the authorization once the charging session is complete and successfully paid.”
As a non-Tesla EV owner, you can pay directly every time you charge your vehicle or subscribe to a monthly membership for $13. The subscription allows you to charge your EV at a significantly discounted rate. Even so, the subscription is still higher than a Tesla owner pays to charge their car at a Supercharger.
To make the charging stations compatible, Tesla incurs an additional cost, which non-Tesla owners cover by paying a higher price to charge their vehicles at Tesla Superchargers. According to Tesla, the additional cost supports the infrastructural adjustments made at Tesla Superchargers to accommodate other vehicles in its charging network. Charging rates also vary by location.
If you’re a non-Tesla owner, you must also pay idle fees. Typically, you incur a charge whenever you leave your vehicle plugged in at a Supercharger station too long. The inactive fees ensure the charging stalls remain open to everyone.
The following brief video demonstrates just how easy charging a non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger is:
Which Non-Tesla EVs Can Use Tesla Superchargers?
You can’t charge just any EV at a Tesla Supercharger. Once Tesla’s Supercharger network becomes open to other EVs, only those equipped with CCS connectors can use the Superchargers. In Europe, there are reports that the Kia EV6 and Hyundai IONIQ 5 models have charging issues when connected to Tesla’s V3 Superchargers, although charging on V2 units is trouble-free.
Most recent Tesla models and CCS-enabled EVs, representing the majority of electric vehicles sold in Europe and the U.S., possess compatibility to charge at Tesla Superchargers. On the other hand, Tesla Superchargers cannot charge EVs that use CHAdeMO exclusively (typically Mitsubishi and Nissan vehicles) or those that use Type 1 and Type 2 chargers.
It’s equally important to remember that the Tesla app won’t tell you which Superchargers are V1, V2, or V3. Finding a Supercharger with faster charging speeds is akin to groping in the dark, but that shouldn’t present any issues because there’s hardly any difference between a V1 and V3 Supercharger. Both offer incredible charging speeds and can charge your battery faster than your regular non-Tesla charging stations.
The unprecedented move by Tesla to open its Supercharger network to rival EVs is music to the ears of non-Tesla EV owners. Tesla’s desire to benefit from government incentives informs their action, but you can charge your EV at any retrofitted Tesla Supercharger.
Nonetheless, it would help if you learned how to charge your non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger to make the process smooth and straightforward. Thankfully, the Tesla app provides detailed instructions to get you going.
Breaking EV News
June 8, 2023 — General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra and Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk announced today that GM EVs will be able to access 12,000 Tesla Superchargers using an adaptor beginning at the start of 2024. On May 25, 2023, Ford made a similar announcement. Both GM and Ford will feature Tesla’s North American Charging Standard connector starting in 2025.
Barra indicated that this collaboration “could help move the industry toward a single North American charging standard.”
The image featured at the top of this post is ©canadianPhotographer56/Shutterstock.com.