Can non-Tesla Electric Vehicles Charge at Tesla Charging Stations?

You might think that you need to have a Tesla to charge your electric vehicle at a Tesla station, but that is not the case. Tesla does allow for charging with most other brands, but you need an adaptor. And you can’t just plug your new Ford Mustang Mach-E into a supercharger, either.

Can any electric vehicle use Tesla chargers?

A Tesla plugs in to a Tesla branded electric vehicle charger
A Tesla plugs into a Tesla-branded electric vehicle charger at a shopping center | Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

First things first, this is strictly about the North American electric car charging stations. There are different standards for vehicles elsewhere, so the following information might not apply.

According to Inside EVs, you can use a Tesla charging station, but you can’t just plug your electric vehicle in. First off, you need an adapter. The Tesla to J1772 connector allows you to do just that.

With the Tesla to J1772 connector, you can plug in your EV to any Tesla charger (except the supercharger). Since Tesla has a few different kinds of chargers, this is helpful. The destination charger is likely one you would see at a hotel, park, shopping center, or similar destination.

The Tesla high-powered connector, destination charger, and mobile connector will all work with the J1772 adapter. You can find the Lectron adapters on Amazon or even at Home Depot.

The price for both retailers was just under $160. The J1772 offers a Level 2 charge with 250 volts and 40 amps of current.

Another option is the TeslaTap brand. This brand offers 40 amp ($140), 50 amp ($170), and 80 amp ($240) versions. It also comes in a MINI version for easy travel. This option comes in 40 amp ($200) and 60 amp version ($260).

You can’t use a Tesla high-speed supercharger. Yet.

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The Tesla superchargers are a different kind of charger and will not accept such an adapter. This is likely to entice people to buy an actual Tesla to benefit from the superchargers’ super-fast charging.

This little feature also means that Tesla’s can generally take longer trips due to the supercharger network’s placement. Most early purchased Tesla’s have free access to the supercharger network to facilitate this benefit.

This is likely to change as we progress with electric car sales. Elon Musk noted that he wanted other brands to use Tesla superchargers, but that would probably cost a lot.

How much does it cost to install an electric car charger in your home?

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The prices of installation vary pretty widely depending on what kind of situation you have at home. If your home has an older electric situation, a home charger might require a hefty update.

Forbes notes that if you ask a local electrician to install a Level 2 charger with a 50 amp circuit, it could be costly. An electrician can upgrade your service and power panel, plus add a charging plug or hardwired charger.

If your house is newer and can handle a charger’s additions, you can generally get Level 1 charging with just a standard plug (12 amps). With an eight-hour charge, you can generally get enough to drive your car around the next day.

However, this might not work if you have a longer trip planned. That’s where your electric vehicle charging station comes into play.