A Chevy Bolt and a Ford Lightning Drive Up to a Tesla Supercharger …
No joke: Tesla owners soon will be sharing their charging stations.
- The Biden administration plans to have 500,000 EV recharging stations built across the nation by 2030 as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill.
- The legislation requires an infrastructure that makes charging a reliable experience, with 97% uptime.
- The Federal Highway Administration requires a minimum of four ports at a charging station to receive funding, whether DC fast charger, AC Level 2, or a combo of the two.
Beaches from the Silver Strand in Oxnard, California, to El Quemao in the Canary Islands have long been the site of “surf wars” where locals do not like to share their waves with others.
A National Geographic blog published April 26, 2016, describes how “A ‘gang’ of local surfers, dubbed the Bay Boys, have been driving interlopers—fellow surfers, the general public, even the media—from their beach on Lunada Bay (Palos Verdes Estates, California) since the 1970s.”
This sort of surfing culture came to mind last week (Feb. 15) when the White House released its fact sheet announcing “new standards and major progress for a Made-in-America National Network of Electric Vehicle Chargers.”
Of myriad private initiatives supporting the Biden administration’s plan to have 500,000 EV recharging stations built across the nation by 2030 as part of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, the one that media emphasized was Tesla’s deal to make “at least 7500 chargers available for all EVs by the end of 2024. … The open chargers will be distributed across the United States. They will include at least 3500 new and existing 250-kW Superchargers along highway corridors to expand freedom of travel for all EVs, and Level 2 Destination Charging at locations like hotels and restaurants in urban and rural locations.”
By the weekend The Wall Street Journal reported that some loyal Tesla owners were “unnerved” by the plan. One Seattle Tesla owner told the newspaper that Superchargers in his city are already overrun with demand and opening the network to others will compound the problem.
Tesla, which does not have a PR department save possibly for CEO Elon Musk’s. has long promised to open its Superchargers to other brands (which use a different connector standard), so there’s no reason to believe Tesla drivers “balking” at the plan will get as militant as, say, the Bay Boys.
In fact, we reached our Tesla-owner friend “Pat” in the middle of recharging. Pat doesn’t share the concerns of the Tesla owners the WSJ interviewed.
“I think it’s a good thing: The interoperability of all chargers is probably going to be more helpful longer term than any short-term congestion.” Pat welcomes the potential reinvestment of Tesla’s share of the 7.5-billion infrastructure money back into the network. “As long as they mind the wait times, the more the merrier,” Pat says.
Since White House release of the details, @TeslaCharging tweeted, “Our US network will more than double by the end of 2024 to support our growing Tesla fleet and new EV customers.” It received 625 retweets, 5674 likes, and 135 retweets, including one owner who replied; “Just curious, is there any priority given for Tesla owners?”
He suggested a solution modeled after airlines for “frequent travelers with priority boarding” to offer Tesla owners priority in the recharging line.
Other private initiatives boosted by the bipartisan infrastructure bill include General Motors’ partnership with FLO—which is constructing its first US charger factory in Auburn Hills, Michigan—to install “up to” 40,000 public Level 2 chargers in local communities by 2026.
Mercedes-Benz has a deal with ChargePoint and MN8 Energy to deploy more than 2500 DC fast-charging ports across the US and Canada, while Ford Motor Company plans to install “at least one public-facing DC fast charger with two ports” at 1920 of its dealerships by January 2024. ChargerHelp! has a partnership with SAE International to develop “next-generation” electric-vehicle service equipment maintenance technicians (EVSE).
Bipartisan infrastructure requirements:
Charging is a predictable and reliable experience
Chargers are working when drivers need them to (the 97% uptime reliability requirement)
Drivers can easily find a charger when they need to
Drivers do not have to use multiple apps and accounts to charge
Chargers will support drivers’ needs well into the future
Meanwhile, the Federal Highway Administration has detailed its 2.5-billion Charging and Fueling Infrastructure program funding up to 700 million “available to states, localities, Tribes, territories, and public authorities—to deploy publicly accessible charging and alternative fueling infrastructure” at local schools, grocery stores, parks, libraries, and apartment complexes.
The FHWA requires a minimum of four ports at a charging station to receive funding, whether DC fast charger, AC Level 2, or a combo of the two.
Each DC fast charger installed alongside AC fast chargers must deliver up to 150 kilowatt hours, with each AC port able to provide at least 6 kWh simultaneously across all AC ports, with the option of allowing a customer to accept a lower power level for power-sharing or “Smart charge” management options.
Will Washington’s plan to expand the charging network ease concerns about range anxiety and help the EV market develop? Please comment below.
As a kid growing up in Metro Milwaukee, Todd Lassa impressed childhood friends with his ability to identify cars on the street by year, make, and model. But when American automakers put an end to yearly sheetmetal changes, Lassa turned his attention toward underpowered British sports cars with built-in oil leaks. After a varied early journalism career, he joined Autoweek, then worked in Motor Trend’s and Automobile’s Detroit bureaus, before escaping for Mountain Maryland with his wife, three dogs, three sports cars (only one of them British), and three bicycles. Lassa is founding editor of thehustings.news, which has nothing to do with cars.
How to Charge Your Non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger Today
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:
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.
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.”
How to Charge Your Non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger Today FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can I charge my non-Tesla car at a Tesla Supercharger?
Currently, no. Tesla Superchargers are specifically designed to charge Tesla vehicles. Non-Tesla electric vehicles have different charging ports and charging protocols that are not compatible with Tesla Superchargers. However, Tesla recently announced plans to open its network to other EVs.
Can I modify my non-Tesla electric vehicle to use a Tesla Supercharger?
No, modifying a non-Tesla electric vehicle to use a Tesla Supercharger is impossible. This is because the charging ports and charging protocols are different. However, Tesla plans to incorporate the so-called Magic Docks into select Superchargers and make them compatible with other EVs.
What charging options are currently available for non-Tesla EVs?
There are many charging options available for non-Tesla electric vehicles, including Level 1 charging (using a standard 120V household outlet), Level 2 charging (using a 240V charging station), and DC fast charging (using a CCS or CHAdeMO charging station).
Can I use a Tesla Destination Charger to charge my non-Tesla electric vehicle?
It depends on the specific Destination Charger. Some Destination Chargers have a J1772 charging adapter that can be used with non-Tesla electric vehicles. However, not all Destination Chargers have this adapter, so checking or asking before using one is essential.
When will Tesla open their Supercharger network to other EVs?
Tesla plans to allow other EVs to use its Superchargers by the end of 2024. To make this a reality, select Superchargers are getting fitted with Magic Docks to make them compatible with the charging systems on other EVs.
Tesla to non-Tesla Adapters that tested and approved
by Mike Becker | Reviewed by David Perez | Updated: Jun 8, 2023
If you own an electric car but it is not a Tesla, at some point, you may need to charge from a Tesla charging station. In that case, you will need a special cable adapter for your electric car.
The Tesla to J1772 adapter is designed to plug in Tesla-compatible chargers to other electric vehicles.
With this adapter, users of electric cars with a J1772 plug can use Tesla charging stations anywhere (except Supercharger), including home chargers.
Compatible with the Tesla Destination Charger, High Power Wall Connector and Mobile Connector. Withstands high power up to 48 Amps. Does not take up space in the trunk, compact, durable.
We’ll look at adapters designed to charge non-Tesla cars from a Tesla wall charger (or other than the Supercharger).
This can come in handy in case of emergencies when there are no other chargers around other than Tesla. It’s no secret that Tesla has an extensive network of charging stations across the country. So it will be very useful to have one of these Tesla j1772 adapters in the trunk of your electric car.
Example usage. Mike has a Tesla Model S and a charger in the garage for that car. Mike’s wife can use the adapter to charge her Chevy Bolt from the Tesla charger.
How do I choose the right Tesla to J1772 Adapter?
There are some important points to help you buy the best adapter. Check out the following points
- The adapter has exactly the direction of Tesla to J1772 (not the other way around J1772 to Tesla).
- The connector for Tesla is US standard (Tesla has a different connector in Europe).
- Supports current and voltage: 40 amps/250 volts.
- Has a warranty of at least 1 year.
- Manufacturer certified. A product is tested.
We also took into account the user experience among buyers on the Internet and EV Adept customers. Namely, we excluded products that heated up above 105 °F and that had difficulty fitting.
Following these basic points will help you choose the best and most compatible Tesla wall plug adapter. You will get high power throughput to the target connector J1772 of your electric car.
After purchasing the adapter, plug it into your Tesla charger and then plug it into an electric car supporting J1772 plugs.
|Protection against theft
|Lock on both sides
|17.2 x 8.9 x 2.7 inches
|10.2 x 7.24 x 3.62 inches
|9.37 x 3.31 x 3.31 inches
|6.06 x 4.13 x 3.27 inches
|9.25 x 3.23 x 3.11 inches
|8.27 x 2.75 x 2.75 inches
Product #1. Lectron – a device for the garage
Reminiscent of the older version of the TeslaTap in its larger size, which makes the device more visible when plugged in, especially in public places. However, the Tesla to J1772 Adapter from Lectron is great for use in private places like your garage.
Consists of a Tesla adapter and charging head connected by a 4″ cable. Available in two colors. Charging head fits well in your hand, like all brand products, thanks to the ribbed surface. The other side is more difficult to disconnect with the Tesla connector, however, this is provided for safety reasons so that users do not disconnect the adapter and charger while charging.
The fit is snug and secure. There is no difficulty with the mechanisms when connecting and disconnecting. If your vehicle locks the connected plug while charging, not being able to hang up the lock will not be a problem.
When tested for heat in operation, it was the coolest among the other models under review, indicating a tight and reliable contact.
Tested and works with Tesla High Power Wall Connector, Destination charger and Mobile Connector. For the Lectron Tesla to J1772 adapter, users report high compatibility with electric cars, including less popular models.
High compatibility with electric cars
Сase material does not scratch a car
Clever handle design
There’s no way to hang a lock
30 days warranty
Product #2. Authentic TeslaTap – 50 AMP
The adapter on the Tesla connector side has additional seals that protects against moisture and allows use in different weather conditions. It is possible to use a padlock.
Models are available in several 40, 50, and 80-amp versions. Most electric cars do not take AC current over 48 amps, so it is advisable to choose an option with 40 or 50 amps. The one-year warranty is an advantage among similar products.
The adapter has good compatibility with Gen II and Gen III Wall (HPWC) and Destination chargers. It has also been tested and works stably with Mobile Connectors connected to 120 volts or 240 volts.
All of the connections required by both the UMC and J1772 charging systems are included with this adapter. Compatible with 99% of J1772 electric vehicles sold in North America.
1 year warranty
But some of Musk’s EV rivals have doubts about adopting Tesla (TSLA)’s charging standards.
A growing cohort of electric carmakers are embracing Tesla’s EV charging standards. After Ford and General Motors struck partnerships with Tesla last month to allow their customers to use Tesla’s superchargers in the U.S. and Canada, Rivian announced a similar deal yesterday (June 20), and Korean auto giant Hyundai also expressed interest. Established automakers joining Tesla’s charging network could open a lucrative revenue stream for the Elon Musk-led company at a time when its electric vehicle sales slows, but some of Musk’s rivals are reluctant to let Tesla win the EV charging game.
Tesla’s Superchargers use a special plug known as the North American Charging Standard (NACS). It’s incompatible with the current industry-standard Combined Charging System (CCS). Under the Ford, GM and Rivian partnerships, owners of electric cars made by these three companies will be able to access 12,000 Tesla Superchargers in the U.S. and Canada with an adapter starting next year. Starting 2025, these companies will also begin installing NACS charging ports, instead of CCS ones, in new EVs.
Tesla is one of the few EV makers that have built their own charging networks. Most of its competitors have chosen to rely on third-party chargers due to the high cost of building their own. Currently, Tesla’s Superchargers account for about 60 percent of the total fast chargers available in the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Rivian, a luxury EV startup founded in 2009, has also built a small network of several hundred fast chargers. The company has plans to build more than 3,500 and said the project will continue despite the newly announced Tesla partnership.
“The adoption of the NACS will enable our existing and future customers to leverage Tesla’s expansive Supercharger network while we continue to build out our Rivian Adventure Network,” Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement yesterday. Rivian has two flagship EVs, the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV.
Some automakers still have doubts about switching to Tesla standards
Also yesterday, Hyundai president Jaehoon Chang said he will consider adopting Tesla’s NACS standard but would have to determine that was in the interest of Hyundai’s customers.
One issue, Chang said, is Tesla Superchargers don’t allow for the faster charging Hyundai’s EVs can achieve on other chargers. Tesla Superchargers provide 480-volt direct-current fast charging. Hyundai’s new electric cars, including the Ioniq 5, can achieve up to 800 volts on some chargers.
“That’s what we will look into from the customer’s perspective,” Chang told analysts at the automaker’s investor day.
Peter Rawlinson, CEO of Lucid, another Tesla rival, believes future EV customers need as high as 1,000-volt fast charging.
“1,000 volts. That’s the future for EVs,” Rawlinson said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on June 15. “And it doesn’t matter whether it’s a CCS plug or a NACS plug. That’s almost beside the point.”
Supercharger deals could be Tesla’s “AWS moment”
Still, analysts are bullish about the trajectory Tesla is on. Dan Ives, a well-known Tesla analyst with Wedbush Securities, called Tesla’s supercharger deals an “AWS moment,” referring to Amazon’s success with its Cloud business, Amazon Web Services.
“The Rivian supercharger news [is] another sign it’s Game, Set, Match for Tesla owning charging domestically in the U.S. with more monetization the key looking ahead,” Ives tweeted yesterday.
Tesla charges a fee for using its Superchargers. Currently, charging accounts for a small portion of its total revenue, meaning ample room for growth. In the company’s latest quarterly earnings report, “services and other revenue,” which includes Supercharger fees, made up less than 10 percent of total revenue.
Where can you charge a Tesla or other electric car for free?
As the electric car transition starts a gradual and belated ramp up in Australia, conversations around the dinner table abound and questions are many. One example came from a family member this week who was under the (only partly true) impression that Tesla electric cars can charge for free.
It’s a simple assumption, but the reality is a little complex: Yes, once upon a time, Tesla EVs did get free charging – and still do, sometimes, and in some places. And yes, at some EV chargers, other electric cars can also charge for free – but you have to know which ones.
If that sounds vague and confusing to you, you’re not alone! Therefore the topic is deserving of a more detailed explanation; if we’ve missed anything please shout out and let us know.
Once upon a time, all Tesla cars got free lifetime charging
In a bid to attract early adopters to buy cars from the fledgling company, Tesla gave customers lifetime free charging at its network of Superchargers. It even introduced a short-lived scheme to encourage viral purchasing by allowing Tesla owners to grant free Supercharging to friend in 2018.
Until 2017, the perk was tied to the Tesla owner’s account rather than the car so it could be transferred. When the Model 3 was introduced customers received non-transferrable free Supercharging, however as the company grew and worked towards maintaining profitable quarters, the company cut the perk in May 2020.
Tesla owners once received 1,500km free Supercharging for every referral
Along with the above mentioned free lifetime Supercharging perk, it also once offered free 1,500km Supercharging for every purchase that was made via another owner’s referral link. It’s a strategy that many would argue has been highly successful, given the EV maker is the top-ranking seller in many countries including Australia.
However, this scheme was also ditched in September 2021, with the EV maker stating that “we are not offering Referral awards until further notice.”
Tesla owners can charge for free at some hotels and other destinations
Tesla owners can also charge for free at certain destinations, such as hotels and motels that have installed a Tesla destination charger and have indicated it is for free.
Usually this service is free as long as you are a patron of the establishment, but some locations will be happy to allow you to use the charger if you are not a customer but offer to pay for the electricity. Note, it’s extremely bad form to not check and offer to pay if you aren’t a customer.
Both the Plugshare smartphone app and website are good resources for finding these locations and checking on their status. Some are also unlocked for other electric vehicles; again, just check with site management.
Teslas and other EVs can charge for free at some public charging networks
There are also a number of free-to-use public charging networks such as those installed by road motorist associations such as the NRMA in NSW and RACV in Victoria, or by city and shire councils. The large, DC fast chargers that can top you EV up in less than an hour (sometime as quickly as 15 minutes!) have both CCS2 and CHAdeMo plugs, so all EVs can charge there.
Smaller AC “slow” chargers (that take a few hours) generally have only CCS2 plugs so might require an adaptor for Nissan Leafs and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs, but they will work for all other EVs.
Some operators of these free networks may implement fees for use in the future, so again it’s always good to check with Plugshare. And check in! It helps other EVs know when you’ll be done and reduces range anxiety stress.
Other EVs with free fast-charging for the first few years of ownership
Some other makers of electric cars have cut deals with certain charging networks to give new owners free charging for up to the first six years of ownership. For example, the Jaguar I-Pace gets five years free at Chargefox DC fast-chargers, and the Audi e=tron gets six years free charging at the same network.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.