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Articles on Electric Vehicles

December 9, 2019
Paul Gipe

Are Tesla Charging Stations Only for Tesla?


The simple answer is yes, they are only for Tesla.

Tesla operates a continent-wide network of DC fast chargers they call Superchargers. Only Tesla vehicles can charge on the Supercharger network.

Tesla vehicles use a proprietary charging standard with their own specialized connector. The Supercharger network only provides this type of connector.

Moreover, Tesla uses a plug & charge protocol that communicates with the vehicle and bills the vehicle owner directly without the use of credit cards, RFID cards, or apps. Even if you were able to connect to the Supercharger network with a non-Tesla vehicle, Tesla would not recognize your vehicle and would not commence charging.

 

However, Tesla also provides many hotels and resorts free Level 2 "Destination Chargers." These EVSEs are the same ones Tesla owners use to charge their vehicles at home. They deliver 240 volts AC to the vehicle. They do not deliver DC to the car. They are not DC fast chargers--or Superchargers. Tesla Destination Chargers or EVSEs can be used by non-Telsa vehicles with a special plug adapter. One such adapter is QC Charge's Jdapter.

Often when Tesla provides its EVSEs to hotels and resorts, it also provides Level 2 EVSEs with the J1772 standard that all non-Tesla vehicles in North America use. Thus, non-Tesla vehicles can often charge without an adapter at sites where Tesla has provided Destination Chargers. They simply plug into the EVSE with the standard connector they are familiar with.

It's often wise to check PlugShare first before assuming that a location with a Tesla Destination Chargers also has a J1772 EVSE. Not all locations do. The hotel we use when visiting Santa Cruz has two Tesla Destination EVSEs but no J1772 EVSE. To charge there we must use our Jdapter or use the one provided by the hotel.

 

 

 

 

 


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