can you charge any EV at a Tesla charging station?

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Can You Charge Any Electric Car at a Tesla Station?

As one of the original electrical car brands, Tesla is a premium EV model and currently has around 810 Superchargers and 1,081 Tesla Destination charging docks – but you can plug any EV into these stations, depending on your location.

Some Tesla Destination chargers are accessible to any vehicle. However, the Supercharger stations were originally available for use with Tesla cars and were incompatible with other EVs (although some drivers use an adaptor to get around the problem).

From 2022, the Supercharger network is gradually being changed to allow access by other vehicles in the future, although this only applies to a small number of charging docks.

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Charging an EV at a Tesla Charging Station 

There are two Tesla charging networks, with Destination chargers mostly installed at hotels or outlets where drivers are expected to be for longer. They are free to use, although parking charges apply depending on the location.

Fast chargers are normally 22kW and top-up a Tesla or any other EV over several hours, so they are only suitable for extended stays.

Anybody who owns a Tesla can use either of the networks, although car owners who purchased their vehicle after January 2017 need to pay to use a Supercharger connection.

Tesla models come with Supercharge credits worth 400 kWh per year, which would cover roughly 1,000 miles, so anything above that comes at a cost. These stations are either 120kW or 150kW capacity chargers, so they can top up a battery significantly quicker.

Costs for a Supercharger station are normally about £0.67 per kWh, but if you are a non-Tesla driver, you pay a higher rate of £0.77.

Until 2022, anybody in a different brand of EV could not use a Supercharger at all, but a small proportion is accessible by other car models at the higher rate above.

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Using a Tesla Charger in a Different EV Model

Drivers cannot pay the Tesla Supercharger rate if they have a different model car – the charging dock automatically communicates with the vehicle to verify whether it is part of the Tesla network. The charging costs are billed to the account linked to the car.

If you wish to use a Supercharger or Destination dock, you will need to:

  • Download the Tesla app onto your mobile.
  • Create a Tesla account and link a payment method.
  • Select the option to Charge Your Non-Tesla.
  • Specify which charging station you intend to use.
  • Tap Start Charging when your car is connected.
  • Click Stop Charging when your battery is sufficiently charged.

Every charger has an identifying code at the base, so you can type this in if you aren't sure of the exact name of the location, for example, if you are charging your car on a journey away from home.

You need to plug your car into the charger within two minutes of selecting the right charging station. Otherwise, the session ends, and you need to begin again.

The Tesla Supercharger Pilot

The pilot project to allow wider use of Tesla Superchargers was announced in November 2021 and is available in 14 countries, including the UK.

Tesla drivers can continue using charging stations as they have, without any changes to the way they use the docks or the rates they pay.

In the future, the brand may roll the scheme out to more charging sites – it says it wants to assess congestion and performance feedback, as well as demand to see whether the cost of installing adaptors and other compatibility equipment will be worthwhile.

There are only 15 stations and 158 charging units available in the UK, although the speed of the Supercharger makes it the biggest ultra-rapid charging network nationwide.

Tesla Superchargers Open to Non-Tesla EVs

The list below shows all the current Supercharger sites available in 2022:

  • Southeast: Wokingham, Uxbridge, Thurrock, and Folkestone Eurotunnel.
  • Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire: Thetford, Trumpington, Wyboston and Banbury.
  • Wales: Aberystwyth and Flint Mountain.
  • North England: Manchester Trafford and Belford.
  • Scotland: Dundee and Aviemore.

Charging a Non-Tesla at a Destination Charger Dock

Destination chargers are much slower than Superchargers, although they are free and available to any model – some locations, such as hotels, will only allow access to paying guests.

You do not need to have the Tesla app or link a card to the account to use the station – just plug your car in with the connector and begin charging.

All Tesla Destination chargers use Type 2 Tethered Cables, so you do not need an adaptor or any separate cable, regardless of your car brand.

However, you need to look out for the red or white sign that indicates whether the charger is available for use by non-Tesla drivers. Red signs mean the dock is reserved for Tesla owners, whereas those with a white sign are open to anybody.

Most EV charging centres have a mixture of both, with one open-access charger to every two Tesla-only chargers, but you can plug into either if you drive a Tesla.

Frequently Asked Questions

Need help with using a Tesla EV charger in any other vehicle? We have answered some commonly asked questions below.

Can I Use a Supercharger on Any Size EV?

If you have access to one of the small number of Superchargers available to use with any car model, you need to ensure your EV physically reaches the cable.

The site layouts are designed for Tesla vehicles, and some drivers find that they can only reach the cable if they park over lines and cause an obstruction for other drivers (which is highly inadvisable!).

Do I Need a Connector or Adaptor to Use a Tesla Supercharger?

No, the pilot project has meant that some Superchargers are already compatible, but you need to have a CSS-enabled car to use the dock – some stations have two cables, so you need to pick the CSS connector if you drive anything other than a Tesla.

How Long Does It Take to Charge an EV With a Tesla Destination Charger?

It depends on your EV, but it can take around eight to twelve hours for a standard-sized vehicle. Superchargers can charge a battery up to 200 miles in 15 minutes.

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