FREDONIA, N.Y. — Tesla opened up a little part of its Supercharger network to non-Tesla automobiles a few of months ago, and as quickly as the information strike, we downloaded the Tesla application and experimented with to uncover a suitable charger near our editors in Detroit and Los Angeles. Initial slip-up! There have been no Superchargers open to non-Teslas in the larger Los Angeles location nor the whole point out of Michigan at the time of this article’s publishing. The closest appropriate charger was in … Fredonia, N.Y.
That’s approximately a five-hour travel from residence, so we put in movement plans to get there and attempt it out. The steed? Our extensive-expression 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line. It is already tested to be a magnificent electric powered highway trip companion, giving up fast demand speeds and a respectable range among fees.
The prep get the job done to cost a non-Tesla at a Supercharger is equivalent to that of quite a few electric charging applications like Electrify America or EVGo. Obtain the app, make an account and enter in a credit card. Tesla tends to make having going uncomplicated with very clear prompts in the application, and it’s a very seriously slick and rapidly application at that.
Arriving at a suitable Tesla Supercharger spot is when items are probable to go sideways. The first trouble is simple parking logistics. Tesla designed its chargers to perform with the cost port area of Tesla cars, which is on the driver-facet rear quarter panel adjacent to the taillights. The cords were being only ever produced long adequate for a Tesla to back into a place and securely get to this spot. By our estimation, you’re likely to wrestle until your non-Tesla EV shares the Tesla’s charge issue site (Polestar 2 and Hummer EV), is found at the extremely front of the vehicle (Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Kona EV) or perhaps the entrance passenger side (Porsche Taycan and Audi E-Tron GT). That’s not quite a few cars and trucks most other EVs have a distinctive area.
For illustration, the Ford F-150 Lightning and Mustang Mach-E, Cadillac Lyriq, Rivian R1S and R1T, and Lucid Air all have theirs on the driver side, but at the entrance – the wire unquestionably will not achieve if you back again them in, and there is a superior prospect you’ll bump into the charger’s concrete bollards should you try out to inch close sufficient likely ahead.
Our EV6 has the other widespread spot, on the passenger-facet rear, which offers a somewhat various difficulty. Parked facet-by-facet with an additional Tesla, the two of you will finish up preventing for the exact same plug. Pretty much speaking, us becoming plugged in on the “wrong side” with our EV6 tends to make a person of the charging areas useless for a Tesla proprietor who might arrive along. Unless of course there are lots of open places, this positive seems inconsiderate, and we really don’t inspire it. Queue the indignant social media posts in 3, 2, 1 …
The moment you get the logistics of the condition sorted, beginning a charge session is very simple and done 100% as a result of the app. Just pull up the Supercharger station you’re at within just the Tesla app, tap on the precise charger you are heading to plug into (they are obviously labeled by variety and letter), and then faucet the significant blue button that claims “unlock adapter.” This unlocks the “Magic Dock” that Tesla has put in at these charger stations. The Magic Dock is necessary mainly because it incorporates the adapter from Tesla’s J1772 connector to the CCS (Blended Charging Method) connector utilized by the EV6 and most other EVs — this is why only certain destinations are readily available now, because Tesla requirements to set up Magic Docks just about everywhere it intends to allow non-Teslas to cost. It only takes a next soon after hitting this button for the adapter to unlock, and once it is completed so, you go grab the connector, thrust in, and the charger with the CCS adapter falls out. Immediately after that, it is as easy as plugging in your car. Tesla states that it could take as a great deal as two minutes for charging to start, but it only took about 5-10 seconds in our experience.
When you are finished charging, you go back again into the Tesla app and faucet “stop charging.” You can then unplug and place the Magic Dock back again where you uncovered it. We billed our EV6 at this distinct locale on two different instances, and the starting off/ending system was utterly seamless without a solitary hiccup.
Top proper: charging general performance at Supercharger Base appropriate: charging effectiveness at Electrify America charger
On the other hand! There’s just one (really big) difficulty with charging some non-Tesla EVs on Tesla Superchargers: charge velocity. The maximum charge pace we saw on both events charging our EV6 was 42 kW, which is a much cry from the 235 kW speeds our EV6 is capable of. Why is the EV6 so slow on the Tesla Supercharger? It comes down to the electrical architecture of the automobile. The EV6 (and every single other E-GMP system auto from Hyundai) employs an 800-volt electrical architecture that is made to be quick-billed with 800-volt chargers. The Porsche Taycan, Rivian R1T/R1S and a handful of other individuals can do the exact. Meanwhile, Teslas all use a 400-volt electrical architecture and Tesla Superchargers are 400-volt chargers. In the best possible circumstances, the same charger that our EV6 could only pull 42 kW from could demand a Tesla at up to 250 kW.
One more 800-volt EV that is built to accept 400-volt chargers is the GMC Hummer EV, which GM says is designed to help 400-volt charging infrastructure with out a converter box or extras. We have however to exam a Hummer on a Supercharger, however, so its final cost efficiency continues to be to be witnessed.
We requested Kia about this charging conundrum and obtained the pursuing in return. “Kia is conscious of some troubles with the EV6 charging on Tesla Superchargers and is performing to solve the situation.”
The best summary we can occur to here is that Tesla opening up its Supercharger network is a boon for only some EV house owners. Rather of waiting around all around an hour-moreover for the Supercharger to cost our EV6, we popped above to the Electrify The us across the street and instantaneously pulled 230 kW demand speeds. It went from 10-80% in just 20 minutes. That is infinitely extra captivating than squandering a pair of hours waiting on sluggish charging. Now that we know the fact of charging our EV6 — a truth that virtually certainly applies to platform mates like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Genesis GV60, far too — on a Tesla Supercharger, there is a superior chance we will not be heading back again.
For these with EVs that are better equipped to demand on Superchargers, the rollout of further open up stations will be a big furthermore to the ownership knowledge. Outside of cars that utilize Plug-and-Charge technologies, the Tesla Supercharger knowledge with non-Teslas is both of those quicker and less difficult than plugging in everywhere else. As well as, Superchargers have proven to be considerably much more trustworthy than the usually-broken Electrify The united states or EVGo community sprawled across the country. Specified a suitable car or truck and the selection among a Supercharger or other charger, signal us up for the Supercharger just about every time.
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