Increasingly, the answer to both questions in the headline is a qualified “yes.” But this was not always the case. This FAQ will review ongoing developments enabling non-Tesla vehicles to use Tesla Superchargers and look at how Tesla drivers can use non-Tesla chargers.
The possibility of cross-charger connectivity is essential for continued growth in electric vehicle (EV) use. More vehicle charging opportunities are expected to result in less range anxiety for EV owners and speed up the EV adoption rate.
Most non-Tesla EVs in the U.S. and Europe can be fast-charged through a combined charging system (CCS) port. Tesla uses its own proprietary charging port, the National American Charging Standard (NACS), to connect to its Supercharger stations. The company recently announced plans to add a Magic Dock to some of its Superchargers. The Magic Dock is an adapter that allows Tesla chargers to connect to CCS ports.
Opening its chargers to non-Tesla vehicles is expected to increase revenue for the company. Tesla is also working to get other EV and charger makers to use its technology. For example, EV charger makers Blink Charging and EVGo announced they’re developing chargers compatible with Tesla’s NACS standard.
In the U.S., Ford, General Motors (GM), and other EV makers have also announced plans to offer adapters that allow EV owners to use Tesla Superchargers, even ones without a Magic Dock adapter (Figure 1). In 2025, new EVs from Ford and GM will include built-in NACS ports, eliminating the need for an adapter.
It requires more than a hardware adapter to enable cross-charger operation. The control software in the EV must be modified to accommodate the different charging protocols used in CCS chargers and NACS chargers.
Also, not all EVs receive the same benefit from cross-charger use. For example, some Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 models cannot charge to the full 250 kW using Tesla Superchargers. A communication limitation between the vehicle and charger prevents full power delivery to the battery.
A software update is expected to eliminate the problem. However, there can still be limitations even with proper software and the necessary hardware adapters. The Kia website states: “Frequent use of DC fast charging can negatively impact battery performance and durability, and Kia recommends minimizing use of DC fast charging.”
It started in Europe
Tesla started a pilot program in Europe in November 2021, aimed at opening its Supercharger network to all non-Tesla EV drivers. The program quickly spread to 13 European countries.
The Netherlands was the first country where, following a three-month pilot program, the entire network of Tesla Superchargers was opened to non-Tesla EVs. The program is rolling out on a country-by-country basis, but it does not cover a certain group of Superchargers, the Tesla Destination Charging stations, which are still reserved for Tesla EVs.
CCS adapters for Tesla
Before starting the European program, Tesla launched a CCS adapter for Tesla EVs in Korea. In September 2022, it made a CCS adapter available in North America. But it’s not compatible with all models. Some older Tesla vehicles also need a retrofit kit to be installed to enable charging at non-Supercharger locations.
Initially, Tesla’s CCS Combo 1 Adapter Retrofit with the adapter was only available for Model S and Model X vehicles (Figure 2). It has been subsequently released for use on Model 3 and Model Y EVs.
Tesla includes the disclaimer, “Maximum charge rates may vary from those advertised by third-party stations. Most third-party stations cannot charge Tesla vehicles at 250 kW.” The company notes, “Tesla does not regulate the pricing or charging experience at third-party charging stations.”
It’s increasingly possible to charge non-Tesla EVs at Tesla Supercharger stations and to charge Tesla EVs at CCS charging stations. The solutions require hardware adapters and software compatibility and are improving but are not always perfect. In several cases, there are disclaimers related to performance concerns.
CCS Combo 1 Adapter, Tesla
Here’s When Ford EVs Can Start Using Tesla Chargers, Autoweek
In the clash of the EV chargers, it’s Tesla vs. everyone else, MIT Technology Review
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