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Can Other Electric Cars Use Tesla Charging Stations?
The short answer is: yes, you can charge your non-Tesla EV on a Tesla charging station or the company’s Wall Connector. However, there are some implied limitations when it comes to charging non-Tesla EVs on Tesla’s chargers, which mostly come down to using an adapter. In addition, other hardware and software incompatibilities exist, but considering that they’re marginal, we’ll discuss them later in this article.
However, before we continue, there are a couple of things we have to mention first:
- The first section of this article will relate to the North American market, where charging your non-Tesla using the Tesla Supercharger network isn’t available. There aren’t any adapters as of yet that would allow non-Tesla EV owners to charge their EVs using Tesla Superchargers; the company has announced its plans to make its Superchargers available to non-Tesla EVs as it did in Europe.
- European electric and electronic laws and regulations are much more rigid compared to the US — they’re the reason why Apple made their Thunderbolt ports compatible with USB-C devices and cables. As such, most Tesla vehicles sold in Europe don’t use Tesla’s proprietary connector anymore, allowing the company to offer Supercharging Network to non-Tesla EVs.
- The later section of the article will discuss charging other electric cars using Superchargers in Europe and when this program is becoming available to the US public.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Can Other Electric Cars Use Tesla Charging Stations in the US?
Yes, other electric cars can use Tesla charging stations; though, as stated above, Tesla Superchargers aren’t available — despite the convenience they offer. Still, you can charge your non-Tesla EV using lower-powered Tesla charging equipment, paired with a Tesla-to-J1772 connector, which connects your non-Tesla EV with a Tesla charger.
Suppose you previously had a Tesla Model 3 but have decided to buy a Volkswagen ID.4 instead. Of course, this also implies installing a new charger and financing any additional wiring and re-wiring work associated with a new charging circuit in your garage. How else would you charge your ID.4 from the wall?
Well, just like any other non-Tesla EVs, Volkswagen ID.4 uses a J1772 connector for Level 1 and Level 2 charging, and you can safely charge your non-Tesla by using a Tesla-to-J1772 adapter — the very same adapter that allows you to charge your non-Tesla EV using Tesla Mobile Connector, or any other Tesla-issued charger, except, of course, the Supercharger Network.
With Tesla’s ongoing expansion and market prominence, a Tesla-to-J1772 adapter also provides access to thousands of Tesla Destination Charger charging locations across the US. These chargers are basically Tesla Wall Connectors installed at hotels, parking lots, supermarkets, restaurants, and various other locations.
Admittedly, some locations may have J1772 charging stations alongside Tesla Wall Connectors, eliminating the need for the Tesla-to-J1772 adapter. However, those locations are vastly outnumbered compared to those that have Tesla Wall Connectors alone, so it pays to have it with you anyway.
It’s also worth noting that Tesla Destination Chargers are usually located on private property, so it’s always recommended to ask the management for permission to charge before plugging in your EV — regardless of whether it’s a Tesla or not.
There are plenty of Tesla-to-J1772 adapter choices on the current market, with TeslaTap and Lectron being the most popular brands. Both brands offer dongle-type adapters that connect the Tesla charger to a J1772 connector on your non-Tesla EV, but only TeslaTap offers a more compact version of the adapter — which eliminates excess cable — called MINI.
Additionally, TeslaTap’s adapter comes in 40-Amp (abbreviated 40A), 50A, and 80A versions, priced at approximately $140, $170, and $240, respectively. The recently released MINI version is available in two options, either 40A or 60A, priced at $200 and $260. It’s worth mentioning that, other than removing the excess cable, MINI offers no improvements or advantages in functionality — its value is in its compact size.
Can Other Electric Cars Use Tesla Charging Stations in Europe?
We already mentioned that Europe has its own regulations and standards when it comes to electric vehicles and consumer electronics. However, the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection announced the introduction of law around a common charger that’s meant to take place by 2024, reducing the amount of proprietary charging tech, thus reducing e-waste.
This means that all EV manufacturers will have to use the same charging port if they want to continue selling their products in Europe (the same applies to smartphones and USB-C wired chargers). However, this system offers a crucial advantage over the one used in the US, and that’s the presence of an onboard CCS charger system. But what does that mean?
Well, the single charger allows European residents to charge their EVs at any EV charging station, not just Tesla’s — though it’s by far the most widespread charger available. However, it also allows non-Tesla EVs to charge using the company’s Supercharger network, thanks to the aforementioned onboard CCS charger that’s fitted on virtually all EVs sold in Europe.
Admittedly, the entire project is still in its test phase, and the Tesla Supercharger network is officially still reserved for Tesla owners. However, to conform to EU laws and regulations and increase EV adoption, Tesla launched the test phase in November last year across 13 of 27 EU countries.
The only exception is the Netherlands, where all Tesla Supercharger stations grant access to all EVs, not just Teslas. Supercharging a non-Tesla EV still requires a Tesla account, and the price-per-kWh is slightly higher than for Tesla drivers. For comparison, Tesla owners pay an average of $0.47 (€0.46) while non-Tesla EV drivers pay $0.70 (€0.68).
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 models can’t benefit from 250kW supercharging due to a communication problem between the Supercharger and the vehicle. This is most likely a software issue, and Tesla is working on an update, though it already specified that charging power is likely to be limited on the aforementioned non-Tesla models.
Additionally, Superchargers have short station cables, and they’re only useful for EVs that have the onboard charger located on the left rear or right front of the EV. The cable length will likely be addressed once the non-Tesla Supercharger program becomes live officially.
Supercharging a non-Tesla in the Future?
Tesla’s Supercharger network is the epitome of what an EV charger network should be like: fast, reliable, and plentiful. Unfortunately, it’s still exclusive to Tesla owners at this time — something that’s likely to change by the year’s end.
A fact sheet published by the White House revealed that Tesla is moving into production of Supercharger equipment later this year, which would enable non-Tesla EV drivers in North America to use Tesla Superchargers.
However, it’s more than likely for the company to use the same pricing strategy as they did in Europe and make charging slightly more expensive for non-Tesla drivers.
About The Author
I've spent many years selling cars, working with auto detailers, mechanics, dealership service teams, quoting and researching car insurance, modding my own cars, and much more.Read More About Charles Redding