Just How Will Non-Tesla Electric Vehicles Be Able to Use Superchargers?

Elon Musk is famous for making grand promises – usually via  Twitter – but not offering many details about just how those promises will come to fruition. This was the case with non-Tesla using Superchargers, but now we finally have some details of his plans. While Musk had previously said that non-Tesla electric vehicles would be able to use Tesla Superchargers, electric vehicle owners weren’t sure exactly how it would work. Let’s see what Musk is thinking.

A Tesla Supercharger against the sky.
Tesla Supercharger | Tesla

Non-Tesla electric vehicles will need an adapter

It sounds so simple – non-Tesla owners will need an adapter to connect their electric vehicles to Tesla Superchargers. This isn’t as simple as just plugging in a lamp to an outlet. When a Tesla connects to a Supercharger, there is an exchange of information between the Supercharger and the Tesla. In order for this information exchange to work on non-Tesla electric vehicles, the software running the Superchargers would have to be modified to allow this to happen. 

According to Electrek, users will add a Supercharger app to assist with charging. The user’s credit card would be linked to the account, and charged for the electricity used. 

However, it isn’t quite as basic as that. Tesla doesn’t make adapters, so it may be up to car manufacturers to make an adapter for their electric vehicles. However, Musk did mention the possibility of having adapters available. 

Tesla opening up the Supercharger network will benefit everybody 

Still, if car manufacturers have to make their own adapters, would this be easy to do? Would car manufacturers want to? These are all questions that need to be answered before the viability of non-electric vehicles using the Supercharger network is truly assessed. It will likely vary depending on which car company makes your electric vehicle. 

On a positive note, Elon Musk has discussed sharing the costs of these adapters with other electric vehicle companies. Of course if you use a Tesla Supercharger, you’d have to agree to their terms, which may be more expensive than a different electric vehicle charger, but the freedom and availability of Tesla Superchargers may make that worth it. 

If Tesla did open up their Supercharger network to other car manufacturers, it wouldn’t benefit just non-Tesla owners. As more and more car manufacturers are producing electric vehicles, the competition will be fierce in coming years. If non-electric vehicles are using Tesla Superchargers, it will expose them more to Tesla in general, like free advertising. 

If you live in Europe or China, you’re already all set

Europe and China have universal connectors for electric vehicles, meaning that a non-Tesla vehicle could already connect to a Supercharger network. To use a Tesla Supercharger in China or Europe, all you’ll need is the app. It would be nice if there was something like that in the United States, which would allow more electric vehicle owners the freedom to travel while making it easier for them to charge their electric vehicles. Unfortunately, right now, it’s a little bit like trying to charge an iPhone with an Android charger.

This move will allow non-Tesla electric vehicles to be able to use the Tesla Superchargers, which will be great for everyone. Hopefully it happens quickly. It will be a bonus if it is easy to use.

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