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Tesla bug allows other electric cars to charge for free at new Superchargers

Non-Tesla electric car owners were surprised to find out that they can charge, technically for free, at new V3 Superchargers in Europe, where Tesla now uses the common CCS standard.

It appears to be a bug and not a feature, though.

With the launch of the Model 3 and its Supercharger V3 in Europe, Tesla switched its main charging standard to CCS.

While most other electric cars on the road use the same standard and connector, it didn’t mean that other EVs were able to use Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network.

Tesla vehicles still have to do a software “handshake” with the Supercharger before it can start charging.

This handshake also handles the cost of charging to be linked to the driver’s Tesla account.

However, several reports are currently coming out showing that virtually any other electric vehicle with CCS can charge on Tesla’s new CCS V3 Supercharger in Europe.

Electric vehicle rental company Nextmove tested it out with several other EVs:

They managed to test it with a long list of electric vehicles, including with the ID.3, and it seems to work with all of them:

  • VW e-Golf
  • VW ID.3
  • BMW i3
  • Opel Ampera-e (Chevy Bolt EV)
  • Hyundai Kona Electric
  • Hyundai IONIQ Electric
  • Renault Zoe
  • Porsche Taycan 

This is most likely a bug and not a feature since without a link to a Tesla account, Tesla is delivering those charges for free right now.

At this point, the leading theory is that there’s a bug in Tesla’s V3 handshake that releases the charge even if it doesn’t detect the vehicle as a Tesla car.

In the past, Tesla has often indicated that they are open to the idea of sharing the Supercharger network with other automakers, but it would be dependent on coming to an agreement on sharing the cost.

The automaker has been rumored to be in discussions with other automakers to come to such a deal, but it has never resulted in anything.

Electrek’s Take

While this isn’t likely to last long, it does show that it wouldn’t be too difficult to enable other automakers to use the network.

Maybe it would even inspire people to get back to the negotiation table and explore new potential partnerships.

At this point, I think a big partnership is becoming less likely with big manufacturers all having announced deals with other networks like Ionity and Electrify America, but for a new startup bringing a new EV to market, I think it would make sense to reach out to Tesla about it.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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