Tesla officially opened its Supercharging network in the United States for non-Tesla electric vehicles, compatible with the CCS1 (aka SAE J1772 Combo 1) charging connector. Initially, only about ten stations were included in the Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot Program (eight in New York and two in California), but the number is expected to gradually increase over time.
The Tesla Supercharging network in North America (launched in 2012) was previously only compatible with the company’s in-house developed, proprietary charging connector – the “North American Charging Standard (NACS)”, so only Tesla electric vehicles were able to use it.
To enable non-Tesla EVs to use the chargers, Tesla developed a new solution – one called the Magic Dock, which includes a CCS1 adapter. The adapter is attached on top of the NACS plug when charging non-Tesla EVs. To undock the CCS1 adapter, non-Tesla EV drivers must use Tesla’s app (with an account, select a site and particular stall, accept the price, and confirm). The charging of Tesla cars remains even simpler, as there is no need to use the app: just plug in the NACS plug without any adapter.
To illustrate how non-Tesla Supercharging and the Magic Dock works, Tesla released a video:
Prices vary depending on the station and time, but they seem to be around $0.50/kWh. For users willing to select a $12.99/month subscription, the price per kWh might be lowered by up to about one-fifth.
The opening of the Tesla Supercharging network for non-Tesla electric vehicles is expected to be a major change in the EV charging infrastructure landscape – at least once Tesla retrofits more stations with Magic Docks.
According to initial tests of non-Tesla Supercharging, initiating a charging session is very smooth. The only issue is related to cable length, which in many cases might be insufficient due to the varying locations of charging inlets in different electric vehicles. A longer cable or adjusted charging station layouts may be required to solve the problem in the long term.
Here is an example of the Ford F-150 Lightning Supercharging:
The Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot Program was first introduced in Europe (where it currently accounts for more than 50 percent of Supercharging stalls in 15 countries) and, more recently, in Australia. However, the situation was already simpler in those markets because both Tesla and non-Tesla EVs (almost all new ones) are natively compatible with the CCS2 charging connector.
Going forward, we expect that Tesla will increase the number of CCS1-compatible stations in the US and add the first ones in Canada, Mexico, and South Korea. Japan and China remain special cases – respectively using CHAdeMO or GB/T standards, while most of the rest of the world followed Europe in using the CCS2 connector.
Globally, Tesla has more than 4,600 Supercharger stations and more than 42,000 individual charging stalls.
More details about non-Tesla Supercharging can be found on the manufacturer’s website: FAQ.
This past weekend (March 17-18), I used the Superchargers in Scotts Valley, CA (near Santa Cruz) to charge my Model 3 SR+. There are 16 stalls, 250kW – all equipped with the Magic Dock. It took me a moment to realize that, the first clue that getting the connector disengaged from the charger took a moment to figure out. Then after I did that, the second clue was that there was a big piece left behind. “What the…? Oh! This is one of those Magic Dock places!”
There were maybe a half dozen other EVs charging, all of them Teslas. No CCS1 vehicles. But with at least ten open stalls, both Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, there was plenty of room for them.
I felt kinda special being there, on the cutting edge of this change.