Tesla Supercharger Tips, Facts, & Conversations. Tesla supercharger power

V3 Supercharger power systems architecture

I believe each v3 cabinet can draw up to 430A. So about ~300A of buffer between max continuous draw and breaker trip.

Big Earl

I believe each v3 cabinet can draw up to 430A. So about ~300A of buffer between max continuous draw and breaker trip.

Each V3 cabinet is typically connected to a 600 amp breaker (430 amp max load, as you said). This site has 3 cabinets, so max draw will be around 1,290 amps, which is just a tick over 80% of 1,600.

pdx_m3s

Active Member

Each V3 cabinet is typically connected to a 600 amp breaker (430 amp max load, as you said). This site has 3 cabinets, so max draw will be around 1,290 amps, which is just a tick over 80% of 1,600.

Nice. There a lot confusion out there about how much power a v3 station can output simultaneously. Many non-engineering types claim that it can output 250kW to all stalls simultaneously, when in reality it’s more like 90kW ( [430A 480V 1.732] / 4 )

Mrbrock

Active Member

Nice. There a lot confusion out there about how much power a v3 station can output simultaneously. Many non-engineering types claim that it can output 250kW to all stalls simultaneously, when in reality it’s more like 90kW ( [430A 480V 1.732] / 4 )

Yes, but the likelihood of 4 similarly charge depleted cars plugging in at the same time with similarly warmed batteries is about 0%.

pb2000

Yes, but the likelihood of 4 similarly charge depleted cars plugging in at the same time with similarly warmed batteries is about 0%.

pdx_m3s

Active Member

Yes, but the likelihood of 4 similarly charge depleted cars plugging in at the same time with similarly warmed batteries is about 0%.

Mrbrock

Active Member

All on one cabinet? 4 stalls immediately adjacent? All at the same time? Really? That is extremely likely? Hmm, I guess I have been extremely unlucky to have never ever seen this if it is so common.

If the bus is shared as you suggest means every single component in the cabinet on the incoming side has to be capable of 1mw of power. That’s 1200A at 480V. Derate 80% for charging and you need 1500A input capability per cabinet (and what are they doing with a 1600A breaker for 12 stalls? Shouldn’t it be 4500A?). Which size cable is that?

2000 kcmil cable is 1.4-1.6 INCHES in diameter. 3 phase power requires 4 wires. 6 inch conduit can only hold 3 2000 kcmil cables. Maybe the ground is small enough to also pass through.

500 kcmil is 30/ft, 1000 kcmil is 90/ft, couldn’t find pricing on 2000 kcmil but at least 180/ft, maybe as much as 270/ft x 3 wires so 800/ft x # cabinets. At 100k valuation for 8 stalls, that’s 125 ft of wire max and that leaves no money to pay workers or for anything else needed on the electrical side. WAIT! 2000 kcmil is only 750A so you’d need 2 runs for every cabinet. 1600/ft and only 62ft max cable per 8 stall site.

All of the full power sharing sounds great until you factor reality. Just like 4680. Just because someone said the DC bus is shared doesn’t mean it works that each cabinet can output 250kw x 4 stalls. Just because Tesla says it’s a 1mw cabinet, doesn’t mean it actually outputs that. The cabinet is limited by code and design based on internal wiring as to how much it can accept and output. And the on site transformer. As stated above, that is 430A or 360kw (which lines up nicely with the 430 max ampacity at 90C for 500 kcmil cable). This is more than the combined output of 300kw of 2 V2 cabinets but not much more. The sharing is better, you aren’t immediately cut to 75kw when someone plugs in next to you but it is still not capable of delivering 4x 250kw from the same cabinet.

If you would like to prove this wrong, please document (with video) 4 cars plugging in to 4 stalls from the same cabinet on an entirely empty V3 site (it’ll allow for full power sharing as you suggest) and getting over 360kw combined output at any time. You need 1290A of 480V 3 phase power to output 1mw. So your chosen V3 site better be at least 12 stalls or there won’t be enough power.

From Wikipedia: “A 1 MW charge box supplies 4 stalls at up to 250 kW each,[38][39] and can have a 575 kW battery storage. However the grid input is limited to around 350 kW.”

350kw in and 1000kw out? Now THAT would be amazing synergy right there.

@pdx_m3s I wasn’t implying it was. Just pointing out what people like pb thinks is likely isn’t possible whether it happens or not and if it was so likely, why wouldn’t Tesla have designed the system to handle that? Right, because it doesn’t happen. 360kw across 4 stalls is plenty since 4 cars never arrive to the same cabinet at once.

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member

From Wikipedia: “A 1 MW charge box supplies 4 stalls at up to 250 kW each,[38][39] and can have a 575 kW battery storage. However the grid input is limited to around 350 kW.”

350kw in and 1000kw out? Now THAT would be amazing synergy right there.

The 575 kW isn’t just battery storage, it is the shared DC bus. So the input is 350kW from AC and 575kW from the shared DC bus. (Which can be other V3 cabinets and/or battery storage.)

So the maximum a cabinet can put out to all 4 stalls at the same time is ~230kW. (Assuming sufficient utility/transformer capacity and that other V3 cabinets aren’t in use.)

No, it isn’t enough. As that would mean you can’t even have 2 cars plug in to the same cabinet at once and get close to the 250kW.

If you would like to prove this wrong, please document (with video) 4 cars plugging in to 4 stalls from the same cabinet on an entirely empty V3 site

Maybe you should go back and watch some of the videos from the V3 launch where Tesla timed to have everyone plug in at the same time with precondition vehicles.

pb2000

I don’t care to read all that, but here is an example of a 2 cabinet site for you to examine and correct any misunderstandings you may have about how superchargers work.

pdx_m3s

Active Member

All on one cabinet? 4 stalls immediately adjacent? All at the same time? Really? That is extremely likely? Hmm, I guess I have been extremely unlucky to have never ever seen this if it is so common.

If the bus is shared as you suggest means every single component in the cabinet on the incoming side has to be capable of 1mw of power. That’s 1200A at 480V. Derate 80% for charging and you need 1500A input capability per cabinet (and what are they doing with a 1600A breaker for 12 stalls? Shouldn’t it be 4500A?). Which size cable is that?

2000 kcmil cable is 1.4-1.6 INCHES in diameter. 3 phase power requires 4 wires. 6 inch conduit can only hold 3 2000 kcmil cables. Maybe the ground is small enough to also pass through.

500 kcmil is 30/ft, 1000 kcmil is 90/ft, couldn’t find pricing on 2000 kcmil but at least 180/ft, maybe as much as 270/ft x 3 wires so 800/ft x # cabinets. At 100k valuation for 8 stalls, that’s 125 ft of wire max and that leaves no money to pay workers or for anything else needed on the electrical side. WAIT! 2000 kcmil is only 750A so you’d need 2 runs for every cabinet. 1600/ft and only 62ft max cable per 8 stall site.

All of the full power sharing sounds great until you factor reality. Just like 4680. Just because someone said the DC bus is shared doesn’t mean it works that each cabinet can output 250kw x 4 stalls. Just because Tesla says it’s a 1mw cabinet, doesn’t mean it actually outputs that. The cabinet is limited by code and design based on internal wiring as to how much it can accept and output. And the on site transformer. As stated above, that is 430A or 360kw (which lines up nicely with the 430 max ampacity at 90C for 500 kcmil cable). This is more than the combined output of 300kw of 2 V2 cabinets but not much more. The sharing is better, you aren’t immediately cut to 75kw when someone plugs in next to you but it is still not capable of delivering 4x 250kw from the same cabinet.

If you would like to prove this wrong, please document (with video) 4 cars plugging in to 4 stalls from the same cabinet on an entirely empty V3 site (it’ll allow for full power sharing as you suggest) and getting over 360kw combined output at any time. You need 1290A of 480V 3 phase power to output 1mw. So your chosen V3 site better be at least 12 stalls or there won’t be enough power.

From Wikipedia: “A 1 MW charge box supplies 4 stalls at up to 250 kW each,[38][39] and can have a 575 kW battery storage. However the grid input is limited to around 350 kW.”

350kw in and 1000kw out? Now THAT would be amazing synergy right there.

@pdx_m3s I wasn’t implying it was. Just pointing out what people like pb thinks is likely isn’t possible whether it happens or not and if it was so likely, why wouldn’t Tesla have designed the system to handle that? Right, because it doesn’t happen. 360kw across 4 stalls is plenty since 4 cars never arrive to the same cabinet at once.

The DC bus is very high voltage (~900V), so reduces the need for bulky wiring. (As shown in one of the subsequent posts here).

Tesla Supercharger Tips, Facts, Conversations

When you first learn about (and perhaps contemplate buying) a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y, you find out that they have almost no knobs or dials and everything is controlled by the center computer screen. If you are driving an older car, you don’t have any driver automation. You don’t have Smart cruise control or steering assist, to say nothing of Full Self Driving. It is with some trepidation that you consider driving a Tesla (unless you are of a rather young generation). You start talking to Tesla owners and start watching YouTube videos. You don’t want to be overwhelmed when you first drive off with your car.

When you take delivery of your new Tesla, you get a short rundown from the delivery staff and start reading about the car in earnest. Once you have been driving your Tesla for a few weeks or months, you take your first long trip and stop at your first Supercharger. While you are waiting for your car to charge, you start up a conversation with another Tesla driver also waiting for his or her car to charge. Most Tesla owners are excited about their cars and can’t wait to share their experiences with others. If you find out you are talking to a brand new owner, you can’t wait to share tips with him or her. It’s also a big chance for the new owner to ask that question that’s been bugging him or her for the last few weeks.

An important tip for new Tesla owners at their first Supercharger: 150kW or slower Superchargers do power sharing with adjacent cars. This means if your car is at stall 3a, then you will be sharing with 3b if it is occupied — and that means you will be charging at half speed during the beginning of your charge. As you get above 70% or 80%, your charge tapers anyway to not damage your battery. Bottom line: If there is a choice of empty stalls don’t pick one with the same number as one that is already charging. Obviously, if the Supercharger is nearly full, you don’t have a choice and almost everyone is charging at half speed.

The tip I like to share most at a Supercharger is how to best figure out how long to charge. Lately, I have been traveling with two big electric bikes on a tray-type carrier on the back that cuts down my range significantly. What I suggest is to push on the sometimes invisible button on the lower right part of the screen, which brings up all the nearby Superchargers on the map. Since my range is pretty short, I touch the next charger on my route. It brings up a control at the bottom of the popup box. Push it and it puts that charger into your navigation. Pushing your destination in the navigation once or twice brings up the various waypoints on your route. At the bottom you see a display that estimates how much charge you will have when you reach your destination. At first, the display is blank or may even give a negative number. However, as you continue to charge, the number turns positive and starts to increase. In my case, I charge until the estimated destination charge number reaches 35% or even 40%, because I know the number is going to decrease as I proceed along my route because of the extra drag from carrying bikes.

If it is a busy Supercharger, it may have automatically set your charge limit to 80% and you may need to increase it to 90% if reaching the next charger is a stretch. I rarely go above 80% and almost never go beyond 90% because the charging tapers so dramatically and it takes such a long time. Also, I plan to own my Tesla for 10 or 20 years, so I treat my battery with kid gloves. I never charge above 80% at home for local driving and almost never go above 90% when I am going on a trip or am en route. In any case, when the calculated destination charge reaches 35%, I stop the charging, unplug, and get on the road. With that state-of-charge, I can drive at a speed of 75 miles per hour or faster if I am on an Interstate highway. If you have a Model S with 400 miles of range or a Model 3 or Y Long Range with 300 miles of range and no bikes on the back, you can easily skip a Supercharger and leave when the estimated destination charge reaches 15% or 20%.

Remember to google the wind speed and direction at your current and next locations. If you know you will be driving into a strong wind, you probably need to charge to the max and may have to reduce your speed dramatically to reach the next Supercharger. If you must drive more than 10 mph below the posted speed limit, use your flashers. If you are driving west and the wind speed and direction are 25 mph WSW, that means you will be driving into a headwind of almost 25 mph.

You can probably guess that I can’t communicate all of this in a short conversation at the Supercharger, but I can reveal some of the concepts and let the new owner figure out the rest.

I love to talk to other Tesla owners at Superchargers, so I walk up, ask the driver to roll down the window, and say, “my, what a beautiful car you have!” Usually, that’s all it takes, and we launch into a conversation about how we love our cars. Yesterday, for the first time, the lady rolled her window back up right after my opener. I guess Teslas are getting to be old hat.

The conversations usually come to how far the traveler has driven. Amazing, you just traveled straight through from California to Wisconsin! We also discuss various mods to our cars. Your car wasn’t chrome deleted, so you put black wrap on all the chrome, including the Tesla logo on the hood. You actually like the look of the aero hubcaps on the Model 3? Yes, I had receiver on my Model 3 installed by a third party like U-Haul.

Various Superchargers, Why They’re So Great, Supercharger Evolution

I was picking my brother up at the Las Vegas airport, but had to see it! The 24-stall, V3, 250kW Las Vegas Supercharger — the largest Supercharger I had heard of at the time. However, no conversations here, as it was nearly empty.

Five white Tesla Model 3s at the Beaver, Utah, Supercharger — 32 stalls. Photo by Fritz Hasler/CleanTechnica.

Above is the Beaver Supercharger, the key Supercharger for Tesla drivers going from Salt Lake City to St. George in southern Utah. Thanksgiving 2020 we grabbed the last of the eight 150kW stalls and started a slow charge because we were sharing with an adjacent car. The next Tesla that pulled in had to wait at least a few minutes. By the Spring of 2021, Tesla had added 24 new 250 kW V3 stalls with no sharing. Beaver now has 32 Supercharger stalls. It is very reassuring to see Tesla responding so quickly to a crowed Supercharger. We have had many conversations with other Tesla owners at Beaver.

Model 3s at a crowded 150 kW V2 Supercharger in Eau Claire, WI. Photo by Fritz Hasler.

This is another crowded V2 Supercharger handling all the “slow” shared charging for cars going from Chicago, Madison, and Green Bay/Wausau to Minneapolis/Saint Paul on US 29 and I-94. Tesla is on the ball here again, as the company has a new 8 stall 250 kW V3 Supercharger going in at Menomonie, WI, only 28 miles away. This Supercharger will also eliminate the 15 mile detour for cars coming from Green Bay/Wausau on US 29 on their way to Minneapolis.

250kW Superchargers are at this station in Kettleman City, California.

If 32 stalls in Beaver seems like very many, consider the planned 56 new V3 Supercharger stalls for a total of 96 stalls in the Kettleman City, California, area. This may even top the massive 40 to 60 stall Supercharger that is under construction in Shanghai, China.

At the other end of the spectrum is the 4 stall V2 120 kW Supercharger in Lusk, Wyoming. The Lusk Supercharger allows Teslas traveling on I-90 through South Dakota to drop down through the Black Hills to I-25 and I-80. This has been our standard route traveling from Northern Wisconsin to Salt Lake City for many years. We arrive after dark after a 500 mile segment and stay at a motel across the street. No conversations here. I drop my wife off at the motel and then I spend 45 minutes in the dark watching Back to The Future II or Octopus Teacher while charging for the next leg to Casper, Wyoming. We start off the next morning with a full charge.

Do not wait until the next morning to charge! Definitely don’t do this if you are expecting a cold night. I did this once at the V2 Supercharger in Moab, Utah. I think I was only charging at 15–20 kW until the battery warmed up.

We drove our Tesla Model 3 east from Northern Wisconsin to North Carolina in October 2020 to visit our daughter and her family there. We charged with a long extension cord at 110V at her home for our local driving there. However, when it came time to begin the long cross-country trip back to Utah, we stopped to top off our charge at the Charlotte Supercharger.

Our Tesla Model 3 with two big e-bikes on back at Supercharger Wall, SD. Photo by Fritz Hasler.

On the second day of our 1500 mile journey from Northern Wisconsin to Utah this past fall, we stopped near the famous Wall Drugstore to charge at the Tesla V2 Supercharger there. With two big e-bikes on the back, it is hard to back up to the stall perfectly. Therefore, when no other cars are charging, we park parallel to the stalls and plug in.

Charging Tesla Supercharger Apps

When I want to find out what options I have for charging, I use the PlugShare app. It has wonderful filters that you can set for the type of car you have. It can be set for just Superchargers, Tesla destination chargers, all J1772 L2 chargers, home chargers, CHAdeMO, CCS chargers, or any combination of those.

tesla, supercharger, tips, facts, conversations, power

I use PlugShare when I am planning my trips, especially in places like Northern Wisconsin and the Michigan Upper Peninsula where chargers are rare. The last time we traveled from Three Lakes, WI, to the wonderful tourist town of Bayfield on Lake Superior, we had to charge for about 5 hours using the Chamber of Commerce’s NEMA 14-50 outlet. However, from PlugShare I found out that there is a CCS fast charger in Washburn just a few miles south of Bayfield. At the time, the only CCS-to-Tesla adapter I knew about was very bulky and cost over 1,000, so that was not an option for me. However, a new and much more compact 250 adapter has already been released by Tesla in South Korea and will soon be available in the US. I will probably buy one before my next trip to Bayfield.

I also just found out from PlugShare that there is a non-Tesla, EVgo, 50 kW fast charger option for Teslas at Thanksgiving Point just south of Salt Lake City. I had read about other companies adding Tesla plugs to their chargers, but this is the first time I’ve seen one that I might have occasion to use.

I mentioned earlier that there is a new Tesla Supercharger going in in Menomonie, WI, to relieve the pressure on the Eau Clair, WI, Supercharger. How do I know that? The Supercharger.info app tells me that there is a Supercharger there that has been under construction there for 67 days. The Find Us | Tes la app tells me that the Menomonie, WI, Supercharger has a target opening of Q4 2021. It should be open before we head back to Wisconsin from Utah in the spring.

tesla, supercharger, tips, facts, conversations, power

Supercharger Charging Costs

I was clued in to this from a conversation from another Tesla owner at a Supercharger in Wisconsin. He was telling me that he is always trying to charge for the lowest cost. I had no idea that you could do this.

tesla, supercharger, tips, facts, conversations, power

Ideally, you would be charged based on the amount (kilowatt-hours) of electricity you use. However, antiquated laws in many states prevent Tesla from selling electricity like this. Therefore, in many states, Tesla has to charge you by the minute. Regarding my recent trip, Utah and Minnesota charge by the kWh; Wyoming, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have two-tier charging by the minute.

The cost at the Supercharger here in Saint George, Utah, is 0.35 per kWh. The charge at the Beaver charger is 0.30 per kWh. Tesla is charging based on the cost of electricity in each location. You get this information from the charging display in your Tesla. Chargers in many other states have two tiers for per minute charging. For example, Wyoming has a higher rate of 0.23 per minute for charging above 60 kW and a lower rate of 0.12 for charging below 60 kW. So, you can throttle your charge rate via the touchscreen to keep the charge rate below 60 kW and pay the lower amount.

Also, it will cost you 1.00/min if you leave your car plugged in after you are finished charging at a busy Supercharger (a Supercharger station that is more than half occupied).

Tell us in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев if you have other useful tricks and info about Supercharging.

Former Tesla Battery Expert Leading Lyten Into New Lithium-Sulfur Battery Era — Podcast:

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Tesla Supercharger Update: V3 performance bump to 324kW, Non-Tesla Supercharger pilot expansion, and more

Tesla has some big plans in store for their Supercharger network in 2022 and beyond, including a large increase in charging speeds, increasing 3rd party access to the network, and more.

V3 Supercharger Speeds

The V3 Superchargers are currently capable of charging cars at up to 250kW. Elon Musk said in July last year they plan to unlock additional power in these Superchargers, bringing the top charging speed up to 300kW.

It appears as though the engineers were able to squeeze out a little more power than Musk was hoping for.

According to information received by Tesla enthusiast Sawyer Merritt, the automaker plans to increase V3 Supercharging speeds to 324kW in the third quarter of this year.

Merritt added that these new charging speeds will be achieved with V3 Superchargers, and the next generation V4 Superchargers will be released soon after.

324 kW for V3 only (not V2).

Then V4 will come soon after.

— Sawyer Merritt (@SawyerMerritt) January 24, 2022

However, based on information received by Supercharger aficionado and Drive Tesla contributor Marco, V3 Superchargers are actually capable of up to 370kW.

It could be the case that Tesla wants to obtain real-world data on how these increased charging speeds impact owners before unleashing the full potential at a later date.

I was told they could upgrade the V3s to reach 370kW max

— MarcoRP (@MarcoRPTesla) January 24, 2022

We were able to confirm the planned increase in speeds with one of our sources, who provided us with a lot more information on projects the Tesla Charging team is currently working on.

Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot Expansion

After years of rumours, Tesla finally opened up their Supercharger network to all electric vehicles (EVs) last year with a pilot program limited to 10 stations in the Netherlands.

The pilot appears to have been a success. Tesla is planning to expand the program to additional markets before the end of the first quarter of this year. Unfortunately our source does not which markets those will be, but they will likely be other countries in Europe that use the CCS charging standard.

Supercharger “Magic Dock” Pilot

Also in the third quarter of this year, Tesla plans to launch a new pilot program called “Magic Dock.”

The information we have on this program is limited, but what we do know is that the Magic Dock will be a built-in adapter that will allow third party access at select Supercharger locations.

With the adapter, the stall will feature just one cable but be able to plug in to both Teslas and other EVs.

CCS Adapter Launch in North America

The latest information we have on the highly anticipated CCS adapter is that Tesla is currently working on optimizing the software and plans to launch it in North America early in the second quarter of the year.

It is currently only available in South Korea, although some owners have been able to bring it to Canada.

Tesla unlocked the ability to use it in the 2021.40.6 software update, and early tests at a Petro-Canada station showed promising charging speeds compared to the bulky CHAdeMO adapter.

If anyone has any more information on the Magic Dock pilot program, or anything else Tesla and Supercharger related, please reach out to us at tips@driveteslacanada.ca.

Are you buying a Tesla? If we helped click here to email us for a referral code earn referral credits to redeem for Supercharger credits, merchandise, accessories, and even software upgrades.

Founder and Editor-in-chief of Drive Tesla Canada | Darryn@DriveTeslaCanada.ca Have a Tesla tip? Email tips@driveteslacanada.ca, or DM us on @DriveTeslaca

Tesla opens new Superchargers in Morocco, adds location in Mallorca

Tesla is aggressively expanding their Supercharger portfolio. Today, a new installation was found in Mallorca (Spain), the first Supercharger in the Balearic Islands. Additionally, Tesla has doubled the number of Superchargers in Africa with the […]

Tesla Supercharger now online in Niagara Falls

Just days after the 100th Tesla Supercharger in Canada opened in Kitchener Ontario, Tesla has already flipped the switch on the 101st location. This morning the new Supercharger in Niagara Falls came online, 3 months […]

Chehalis, WA to get first Tesla Supercharger station

The Chehalis City Council voted to enter into an agreement with Tesla to build an eight-station Supercharger in the city. The new eight-stall Supercharger will pop up near the Chehalis Home Depot on 700 NW […]

We Plugged a Ford, a Hyundai, and a VW into Tesla’s Magic Dock Superchargers. Only Two Vehicles Charged.

We recently promised to bring you more information once we were able to test the Magic Dock that allows non-Tesla EVs to charge at Tesla Superchargers. Here’s the follow-through. We just gathered up three of our long-term electric vehicles, a Ford F-150 Lightning. a Volkswagen ID4. and a Hyundai Ioniq 5 and embarked on an eight-hour journey (including two hours of charging and a lunch stop) to get our hands on the nearest Magic Dock Supercharger in Santa Cruz, California.

Solving a Parking Puzzle

As this is written, there are only a handful of Superchargers stations in the U.S. with the Magic Dock installed. These Superchargers are all existing locations that have been retrofitted with the new adapter that makes it possible for non-Tesla EVs with a CCS DC fast-charging port to plug in. As soon as we pulled up, we spotted a problem: The design of the cable and the orientation of the chargers are optimized for Tesla vehicles, which have a charging port located at the driver-side rear corner. Most non-Tesla EVs with a charging port located on the driver-side rear or passenger-side front corner will have no problem parking and plugging in. For EVs that don’t have charging ports located in these optimal positions, though, there may be some challenges. You might have to get creative while pulling into a spot for the cable to reach, or use a pull-through spot when available.

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For example, despite having its charging port on the driver’s front fender, the F-150 Lightning has such a long nose the Supercharger’s short cable didn’t reach when we pulled into the spot normally. Consequently, we parked the truck at a 45-degree angle, occupying an adjacent empty space. Although a significant portion of the truck extended into the adjacent space, we weren’t obstructing another Supercharger.

The ID4 and Ioniq 5 have their charging ports located closer to the passenger-side rear corner, making it easier to get the port within reach of the cord. However, these ports are not situated on the same side as Tesla vehicles. To avoid blocking access to other chargers, we reversed these vehicles into two spots adjacent to the F-150, positioning them at an angle. We also attempted to back them in normally, which only worked when we parked in the spot for an adjacent charger. This means one vehicle effectively blocks the use of two Superchargers. When a station is crowded, these parking gymnastics and the resulting blocked chargers are sure to be source of friction between Tesla drivers and anyone driving a competitor’s EV.

We also experimented with approaching from the opposite side of the charger to enable the cable to reach the ID4 and Ioniq 5 by parking normally. Unfortunately, the presence of a concrete wheel block on the ground prevented us from getting the cars close enough for the cord to reach. Nevertheless, parking behind a charger could be a viable solution if a wheel block or similar obstruction isn’t there.

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The Tesla Charging Experience, Now Available For Your Ford and VW

Besides the parking problem, we encountered no issues with the actual fast-charging process for our F-150 Lightning and VW ID4. Using the mobile app, we selected the Charge Here icon and identified the post number located at the bottom of the Supercharger stall. We then selected the Unlock Adapter option, allowing us access to the Magic Dock. Grab the regular Tesla NACS charger’s handle, push it up into the adapter, and then pull the whole shebang out. Voilà—Tesla’s proprietary fast-chargers can now charge almost every EV on sale today.

Tesla’s V3 Supercharger has the capacity to deliver up to a 250-kW charging rate for Tesla vehicles, but the actual power delivered is dependent on the electric vehicle’s ability. A sticker on the stalls in Santa Cruz indicated that V3 Superchargers are rated for 500 volts and 350 amps. With our F-150 and ID4, we experienced fast-charging performance comparable to other 150-kW and higher DC fast chargers. For instance, an EVgo station reported a charging rate of 132 kW (374 volts and 355 amps) at 56 percent state of charge for the F-150. The Tesla Supercharger was able to provide the same charging power.

Breaking the Magic

Unfortunately, charging the Hyundai Ioniq 5 wasn’t so easy. Despite making seven attempts at three Supercharger stalls, we were unable to initiate a charging session with the Hyundai. The Tesla mobile app repeatedly displayed the message, We ran into an issue charging your vehicle. Please unplug, select another stall, and try again. We’re unsure of the exact problem, but we’ve heard of other Ioniq 5 owners having similar issues and are looking into an explanation. Given the Ioniq 5 had only 8 percent charge remaining, we used the F-150 Lightning’s 240-volt outlet to provide the vehicle with some extra juice to ensure it could reach the next non-Tesla charging spot. ( You can learn how to set up F-150 charging here. )

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Cool Magic Trick But Hindered by Logistic Problems

Our hands-on experience with the Supercharger with Magic Dock was a mixed bag. When it worked, it certainly lived up to its primary function of delivering fast charging with reliable power and an intuitive interface. During our two successful charging sessions with the F-150 Lightning and VW ID4, we experienced no challenges initiating the charging process. The Tesla mobile app was responsive, providing clear instructions and images on how to use the charger effectively. Additionally, the charger provided the F-150 Lightning and VW ID4 with as much power as they requested, indicating that the Magic Dock was indeed a clever way to enable a simple one-cable solution for adding CCS charging capability to existing Superchargers.

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However, we’re not used to Supercharger sessions failing, as they did for the Hyundai Ioniq 5. The network’s reliable and consistently fast charging is what sets it apart from every other fast-charging provider. Regardless of whether the problem lives with Hyundai or Tesla, both parties need to recognize their reputations are affected by these headaches.

And while the Magic Dock is a slick feature, logistical problems with parking orientation remain a significant issue. The majority of Supercharger sites are designed specifically for Tesla vehicles, and when pull-through spots exist, there are typically only a few. As illustrated above, parking orientation can present a major headache when an EV’s charging ports are not optimally located, sometimes leading to drivers taking up two spots or blocking a stall. Furthermore, the Tesla app’s understandable inability to differentiate between available stalls and those that are inaccessible due to suboptimal parking orientations may lead to frustration among users.

Although we’re glad Tesla is opening up the existing Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs, we believe only a small number of drivers would enjoy solving a logistical parking puzzle before being able to fast charge their EVs. We hope Tesla will prioritize building more new sites and redesigning layouts that are compatible with all brands of EVs.

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