This month, Tesla began to adapt a small percentage of its Superchargers for non-Tesla vehicle usage. Superchargers are DC fast chargers designed by Tesla to rapidly add charge and range to Teslas. With a small modification to the charging handle, Tesla was able to enable charging by any vehicle with a CCS port.
This is a great thing for owners of affordable EVs like the Chevy Bolt. It will expand access to high-quality public charging. It is ideal for those far from home who need to charge in order to complete their journey. Don't be afraid to try the Magic Dock-enabled Superchargers. Using the equipment is very easy.
Here are some of the common questions being asked by owners of EVs other than Tesla models. Note that the answer to question one is almost always being answered incorrectly on social media.
Question 1 - Can All EVs Use Tesla’s Superchargers?
No, not all EVs are able to charge using the new Tesla Magic Dock. To do so, your vehicle needs to be equipped with the Combined Charging System, CCS. Not all existing EVs have DC fast charging capability, and not all are equipped with a CCS port. Some older EV models used a different DC charging port called CHAdeMO, and most plug-in hybrid models don’t have DC fast charger capability at all. The only two 2023 models in the U.S. market still using CHAdeMO today are the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Currently, Tesla does not offer the ability to charge an EV that uses CHAdeMO. Check your owner’s manual to see if you own a vehicle with a CCS port and DC fast charging capability.
Question 2 - How Much Does It Cost To Charge At a Tesla Supercharger?
Based on our research, charging a non-Tesla EV at a Tesla Supercharger is the most expensive way to add charge and range to an EV in America. Tesla has only recently opened up its Superchargers to non-Tesla owners, and the pricing being reported ranges from $0.49/kWh to $0.52 kWh. This is higher in cost than other DC fast charging options, such as Electrify America.
Tesla offers a membership program to reduce the cost of the charging, but you must pay $12.99 per month whether you use the charging service or not. So, it is not helpful to all users.
Question 3 - Do I Need a Special App to Use a Tesla Supercharger?
Like nearly every public charger in America, regardless of brand, you do need an app to use a Tesla Supercharger. You can find a link to it on the Tesla website, or you can find it at the Google Play Store or where you get Apple Apps.
Question 4 - Can I Charge While Towing a Trailer At a Tesla Supercharger?
For an unknown reason, Tesla opted to use a very short cord for its non-Tesla charging posts. The cord is so short, many EV owners are finding it hard to park properly just to charge the car itself. If you have a trailer attached, you may need to park and disconnect the trailer prior to charging.
Question 5 - How Do I locate the Newly-Opened Tesla Superchargers Available to Non-Tesla EV Owners?
You use the app to locate the available chargers. Presently, there are only a handful open in California and New York. That will change over time as more are enabled.
Bonus Question - Why is the Magic Dock Cord So Short at Tesla Superchargers?
Tesla's cord length is a mystery. Many theories are circulating as to why it is too short for normal parking. Our image above shows a considerate user who purposely went to the end of the row to avoid blocking another charging spot. Watch for the cord length to increase on future installations.
If you have used the new Tesla Magic Dock to charge a non-Tesla please offer any tips in our comments section below.
Torque News would like to thank Facebook Chevy Bolt EV and EUV Owners Group member C.S. for generously offering her cool photo for our use in this and future stories. It is much appreciated.
Looking for more information on Tesla Superchargers? Why not check out Tesla's own Q&A page right here?
John Goreham is an experienced New England Motor Press Association member and expert vehicle tester. John completed an engineering program with a focus on electric vehicles, followed by two decades of work in high-tech, biopharma, and the automotive supply chain before becoming a news contributor. In addition to his ten years of work at Torque News, John has published thousands of articles and reviews at American news outlets. He is known for offering unfiltered opinions on vehicle topics. You can follow John on Twitter, and TikTok @ToknCars, and view his credentials at Linkedin