One of the biggest problems associated with electric vehicles is the unavailability of the charging infrastructure. Many companies are trying to address this problem by expanding their own charging networks. However, Tesla has got the first-mover advantage.
With over 40,000 charging locations, Tesla’s charging network has reached far beyond. So, exactly what is Tesla Supercharger? Who should use it, and how does it work? Let’s find out everything about a Tesla Supercharger in this article!
What is a Tesla Supercharger?
Tesla Supercharger is a network of fast EV charging points owned and operated by Tesla. As opposed to the 3-40 kW power offered by regular sockets at home and other commercial charging stations, Tesla Supercharger can provide up to 250 kW of power to your vehicle. It means that you can charge Tesla Model S up to 200 miles in 15 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger.
Tesla Supercharger is an extremely fast and efficient solution to all EV charging problems. The Tesla Supercharger project was started in 2012 to cater to the fast charging needs of Tesla Model S. Initially, it was designed specifically for Tesla cars, but later the project was expanded to include other electric vehicles as well.
Read: How Long Does it Take to Charge Different Tesla Models?
How Does a Tesla Supercharger Work?
Tesla Supercharger works by delivering high power to the battery pack of your car. The power range is somewhere around the 250 kW mark. A Tesla Supercharger consists of multiple stalls that are equipped with charging cables and connectors. Each charging station uses the AC power from the main grid and converts it into DC (Direct Current) power.
DC power is delivered to the battery pack of your Tesla. The voltage, current, and power rating can vary depending on the location and fast-charging ability of your car. The voltage at a Tesla Supercharger is around 350-400 volts, whereas the current goes up to 700-800 amps. This is why Tesla Supercharger is capable of charging your EV at ridiculously fast rates.
How Can You Find a Tesla Supercharger?
Tesla has planned to find a Supercharger for you. Basically, there are two ways to find a nearby Tesla Supercharger one via the Tesla app and the other one by using the inbuilt navigation of Tesla cars. All you have to do is open the Tesla app, and it will show all the nearby Superchargers.
The inbuilt navigation of Tesla models even makes it easier for you to find Superchargers. As soon as you enter your starting point and end destination into the navigation, it directs you to your destination via a route where Tesla Superchargers are located. While suggesting the route, Tesla also factors in the remaining battery level and level of charging required to reach the destination.
All Tesla Superchargers are connected through an online server. The Tesla navigation has been designed in such a smart way that it uses the data on the online server to find you a Supercharger, which is available for charging at the exact time when you are expected to arrive there. Plus, it also considers the possibility of maintenance shutdowns and random hiccups at the charging point.
How to Use a Tesla Supercharger?
Using a Tesla Supercharger is very straightforward. The process is explained in the Tesla app and on the official website of Tesla. It begins by locating a suitable Supercharger close to your current location. All you have to do is drive your car to that Supercharger and park it.
After parking your car at a vacant charging point, plug the charging cable into the vehicle charge port. Once the charging cable is successfully plugged in, the charge port LED will turn green, indicating that the charging process has started.
You can monitor the charging process in your Tesla app. As soon as the charging reaches the predetermined level set in your app, the process will stop. Now, unplug the charging cable from the charge port. The payment will be processed through the Tesla app. After calculating the per kWh cost and tariffs, the final payment will be deducted from your account.
How Much Does it Cost to Charge at a Tesla Supercharger?
The average cost of charging at a Tesla Supercharger ranges between $0.25 and $0.5 per kWh. However, the final cost is dependent upon the country, exact geographical location, and charging time in some states. kWh cost may be more during peak hours in some states.
For example, superchargers are the cheapest in the California region. At $0.25 per kWh, you can expect to pay between $20 and $25 to regain a range of 250 miles in 20 minutes. This is almost 50% cheaper than other fast charging stations out there.
Charging a Tesla doesn’t have to break the bank. Find out how much it costs to charge a Tesla and how to save money on charging in this comprehensive guide.
Who Should Use Tesla Supercharger?
Tesla Superchargers are specifically designed for Tesla models. Hence, it would be better if only Tesla owners used the Supercharger. Besides, there is another factor. DC fast charging can impact the battery’s health, so it is recommended to avoid charging on a fast charger on a daily basis.
Even the official website of Tesla says that Superchargers are ideal for long-distance travel. They are designed to charge your Tesla vehicle quickly so you can get back on the road. For daily commutes or local driving needs, there are a variety of home charging options. This means that for a regular commute, you should always consider the home charging option.
Can Non-Tesla Cars Use a Tesla Supercharger?
Yes, non-Tesla cars can use a Tesla Supercharger at select locations. Tesla has always tried to create some sort of differentiator between itself and its competitors. Tesla charging inlets use a separate design instead of the universal J1772 plugs used all over Europe.
To make it possible to charge non-Tesla cars at a Supercharger, Tesla has come up with special connectors called magic docks. Using these connectors, users are able to plug non-Tesla cars into a Supercharger. But Superchargers with this facility are very rare. You might have to travel hundreds of miles to charge your non-Tesla car at a Supercharger.
Using a Supercharger for non-Tesla cars is not recommended. There are much cheaper and better fast-charging options. But if you’re stuck somewhere remote, Tesla Supercharger is an option.
Is Supercharging Expensive for Non-Tesla Owners?
Yes, if there is one thing we can all agree on is that Supercharging is much more expensive for non-Tesla owners. Where the average per kWh price to charge a Tesla at a Supercharger ranges from $0.25-$0.35. The per kWh price for non-Tesla cars starts at over $0.45.
We know that there is a lot of variation in the rates and pricing of charging your Tesla at a Supercharger. So, you cannot tell the exact difference between charging a Tesla car and a non-Tesla car at a Supercharger unless you fix the variable parameters such as country, state, and time. But yes, generally speaking, supercharging is expensive for non-Tesla owners.
Does Tesla Give Free Supercharging Miles?
Yes, if you have received the delivery of a new Tesla vehicle from 15th to 31st December 2022, you may have 10,000 miles of free Supercharging. Another way to win free Tesla Supercharging miles is to participate in the Tesla referral program. Tesla awards you free supercharging miles if someone has bought Tesla upon your recommendation.
However, it is important to note that free supercharging miles expire two years after the delivery date or the date when you were awarded these points. Unfortunately, you cannot transfer these miles to any other vehicle or owner. If you want to check if you have free Tesla supercharging miles, simply open the Tesla app, and tap Specs and Warranty. There you can find your free miles.
Can Tesla Supercharging Affect Your Battery Health?
Yes, like all kinds of fast charging solutions, Tesla Supercharging can affect the health of your EV battery. This happens because fast charging occurs at fairly high power. High power generates a considerable amount of heat during the charging process. This heat can cause permanent wear and tear on the battery cells.
That is why it is highly recommended that you should never leave your car idle at a Tesla Supercharger or any fast charger, for that matter. Plus, you should never charge the battery pack over 80%, as that’s when most damage occurs. If you follow these two pieces of advice, using a Tesla Supercharger once in a while should not affect the battery’s health.
Read: Evolution of Tesla’s Battery Technology
I’ve covered everything there was to know about the Tesla superchargers. I began by answering what is Tesla Supercharger and later moved on to the costing and working part. It wasn’t a surprise that Tesla owners get exclusive benefits and discounts at a Tesla Supercharger. In contrast, non-Tesla owners have to pay higher prices and travel long distances to find a Tesla Supercharger.
Nonetheless, Tesla’s fast charging network is growing at a rapid pace. More and more competitors are entering the EV charging space, and it is a good omen for the end users. The prices will come down eventually, and fast-charging stations will be readily available.
I hope you liked the information shared in this article. What are your thoughts on a Tesla Supercharger? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear from you guys!