Tesla Supercharger Overview Updated October 6, 2021

Tesla Supercharger

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200 'Tesla Supercharger' stories

December 2013 - August 2021

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla’s Supercharger network

The Tesla Supercharger exists as a combined network of proprietary charging stations developed and implemented by Tesla. As a result, the automaker doesn’t have to rely on third-party charging networks like most automakers producing electric vehicles currently do.

The Supercharger network was introduced in September 2012, beginning with six Supercharger stations. This debut coincided with the launch of Tesla’s Model S sedan, the first to utilize the new network.

Check out Electrek’s footage of one of the original Supercharger stations in Hawthorne, CA:

Since then, the Supercharger network has grown to over 20,000 stalls worldwide within over 2,100 stations or hubs. This includes North America, Europe, Asia, and even the Arctic Circle. Tesla recently passed 1,000 Supercharger stations in North America alone.

The average station usually features about 10 Supercharger stalls, but some stations offer many more. For example, Tesla opened a 72-stall Supercharger station in Shanghai at the end of 2020, making it the world’s largest. Currently, Tesla is working through permitting for a 62-stall station on the west side of Los Angeles that could easily make it the largest in North America.

Rendering for the proposed Supercharger station in Los Angeles

Opening the Tesla Supercharger network to other EV companies

In July of 2021, Tesla CEO ELon Musk revealed that the company was planning to open its Supercharger network to other automakers later this year.

Soon, non-Tesla owners will be able to sign up for an account through the Tesla app, then simply add a credit card and manage their charging sessions.

We later learned some of the reasoning behind this decision. By opening up its charging network to non-Tesla EVs, the automaker will gain access to $7.5 billion in EV funding from new US legislation under the Biden Administration.

Here’s the latest news to keep you in the loop surrounding Tesla’s every-growing Supercharger network:

How it works

Think of it like a gas station… but without the gas and with a much smaller footprint. Tesla Supercharger stalls can be found in parking lots of business parks, grocery stores, or in larger stations off major highways. Unlike most gas stations, Superchargers are usually available 24 hours a day, as long as they are accessible.

You pull in, find a stall, park, and plug in. Once plugged in, the vehicle’s charge port LED will flash green to indicate that charging has started. You can then monitor your charging progress on your instrument panel.

With your Tesla app, you can view stall availability, monitor your charge status, and get notified when you’re ready to go. Furthermore, there is no need to have your credit card out to swipe. Everything is charged through the Tesla app and will utilize any credits you may have. If you don’t have any credits from Tesla, the app will simply charge your designated card on file.

Tesla charging levels

It’s important to understand that Tesla Superchargers function using DC fast charging, which is currently the fastest method available for EVs. With that said, you won’t be able to pull that type of power to your Tesla at home. For those cases, drivers use Level 1 or Level 2 AC charging.

Think of Level 1 as a universal charging option. If there is a standard wall socket nearby, you will be able to charge your EV with that. With that said, 120V is the bare minimum amount of juice you can pull into your EV. So if the battery capacity of your 2021 Tesla Long Range Model 3 is 82kWh, you’re looking at days to charge, not hours.

Level 2 chargers are the most common type found at third-party charging stations. 240V plugs usually offer around 40 amps and are usually more specifically placed in homes. Think of this charger as the equivalent to your dryer or other large appliance.

Tesla suggests owners install a Level 2 charger in their home or garage if they can. This is fairly easy for an electrician or specialist to come and install. With Level 2, you’re looking at 8-12 hours to charge.

From left to right: Tesla Level 1, Level 2, and DC Supercharging

DC Superchargers

These Level 3 chargers abandon the alternating current (AC) methods above to mainline power directly. While they require a lot more power from the grid (480+ volts and 100+ amps), their output is truly “super.”

Most Tesla Superchargers can now recharge up to 200 miles of range in 15 minutes, depending on the charge rate. Superchargers also range from charging speeds of 90 kW to 250 kW, depending on the station.

It’s important to note that due to their massive direct current (DC), Superchargers are not recommended for daily charging on your Tesla. Instead, superchargers are in place to provide a quick charge for drivers on the the go, or for those on longer road trips.

According to Tesla, the peak-charging rate of the battery may decrease slightly after a large number of Supercharger sessions. To ensure maximum driving range and battery safety, the battery charge rate automatically decreases when the battery is too cold and when it is nearly full. It’s best to use a Supercharger with a low battery that has been preconditioned (if necessary).

How much to charge a Tesla?

Due to the fluidity of available electricity in various areas, that is not a simple answer. Factors such as available electricity on the grid, peak hours, and how much electricity you are transferring all play a part in the price of charging your EV on a Tesla Supercharger. All prices already include taxes and fees.

Specific pricing for each Supercharger location can be seen by tapping its pin on the navigation touchscreen. As you Supercharge, your session total is then displayed on the touchscreen.

Tesla owners are usually billed for the amount of energy delivered to their vehicle (kWh). However, some regions cannot track such utilities and prohibit this practice. As a result, Tesla offers a charge-by-the-minute model known as Time of Use (ToU).

Per Tesla’s website, here are some other pricing details to be aware of with the Supercharger program:

  • When billing per minute, there are two tiers to account for changes in charging speeds, called “tier 1” and “tier 2”.Tier 1 applies while cars are charging at or below 60 kW and tier 2 applies while cars are charging above 60 kW. Tier 1 is half the cost of tier 2.
  • Tier 1 also applies anytime your vehicle is sharing Supercharger power with another car.
  • Pricing to use a Supercharger may vary by location, and prices may change from time to time.
  • Certain Supercharger stations offer on-peak and off-peak rates. The rates and peak times are both displayed in the navigation application on the vehicle touchscreen.
  • Standard Supercharger fees apply after free Supercharging credits are used.

Idle fees

The idle fee is a protocol used to ensure as many Tesla drivers can utilize Supercharger stalls quickly and efficiently. It works by charging a fee to any EV occupying a Supercharger with a complete charging session, if the station is at least 50% full. That being said, if the Tesla is moved within five minutes of the charge session completion, the fee is waived.

This is where the Tesla app comes in handy. By monitoring your Supercharging session and alerting you to its completion (necessary range to get your your next destination), you can move your vehicle quicker to avoid idle fees.

Tesla’s proprietary connector

From day one, Tesla has chosen to pave its own way in the EV industry, and that’s no different with its Supercharger connector. This proprietary connector exists on all Tesla models in North America, although it does offer CHAdeMO and CCS adapter for certain markets.

For example, its Model 3 was built with a CCS connector for Europe. Furthermore, older European Teslas were retrofitted with adapters to support the existing connector, plus the standard CCS type 2. This helped Tesla owners utilize the growing charger network overseas.

Even after testing the connector adapter in the Korean market last December, Tesla has yet to bring it to North American drivers. In February, third-party charge network EVgo announced it would be bringing Tesla-compatible connectors to over 600 of its US charging stations.

Tesla Supercharger
The various EV charging connectors including Tesla’s

Charging from home

As previously mentioned, Tesla recommends Level 2 charging from home as the most effective method in maintaining the range and health of your battery.

Tesla currently offers an at-home wall connector unit for $500 that can be installed by any certified electrician. Furthermore, US residents can qualify for federal tax credits up to 30% for charging with an at-home unit. The wall connector can be installed indoors or out, depending on where you keep your Tesla.

Additionally, wall connectors can share their power to maximize existing electrical capacity, and can charge multiple cars simultaneously. Depending on the power available in your area at a given time, Tesla’s current wall connector can charge up to 44 miles of range per hour.

How to find a Tesla Supercharger

So now you know all there is to about Tesla’s Supercharger network, and you’re ready to try it out for yourself. There are multiple resources that are literally at your fingertips to help you find the closest charger.

First, you can use the interactive Tesla Supercharger Map on its website. This is great for mapping out longer trips ahead of time, when you have a moment to actually sit at a computer or tablet.

On the go? No worries, the Tesla app offers the same Supercharger map feature and can easily help you find a place to juice up nearby.

Additionally, your Tesla vehicle itself is the most viable option when you’re already out. Tesla’s built-in trip planner is designed to automatically route you through Superchargers on the way to your destination.

Furthermore, Tesla Supercharger locations pop up in your EV’s navigation, too. What’s even cooler is that the navigation will also display the maximum power output of each Supercharger location. That way you know you’re getting the fastest charge available before you even park.

Tesla Supercharger
Interface of Tesla’s trip planner with Superchargers

Tesla Supercharger network expansion

As you have probably seen by now, Tesla’s Supercharger network has expanded tenfold since it debuted less than a decade ago. The company continues to expand its network presence globally each month.

Furthermore, Tesla continues to both maintain and update its current Supercharger infrastructure to keep up with its advancements in battery capacities and faster charge times.

Elon Musk has recently shared that Tesla plans to open up its Supercharger network to other EV manufacturers later in 2021. How other drivers will pay remains unclear, but will likely involve creating a Tesla account and downloading the app.

Superchargers around North America will also be fitted with adapters for other EVs, as Tesla’s utilize their own unique connector.

Earlier this year, Musk shared plans to upgrade the Supercharger network to offer charging speeds up to 300 kW. In the past, Superchargers have topped out at 250 kW charging speeds, and its EVs have been designed to handle as much.

That being said, an OTA update might be required for any Teslas to even take advantage of these new charging speeds.

Most recently, Tesla deployed two Supercharger stations in Morocco, marking the automaker’s first entry into the African market. This could be a hint at future entry of selling Tesla models in Africa, but that has not been confirmed yet.

With that said, Tesla has a history of implementing Supercharger stations in markets it plans to eventually enter.

Circle back to this guide for updates on the Tesla Supercharger network as it continues to evolve.

Tesla Supercharger Stories August 27

Charging display from Aion's Technology Day

EV manufacturer GAC Aion continues to tout its charging capabilities in China. Following a demonstration last month showing charging speeds of five to eight minutes, the company is reportedly about to introduce an even more powerful fast charger on Monday.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories August 18

Tesla is adding a lot of job listings for design managers of new Supercharger sites as the automaker preps for a massive expansion of the Supercharger network ahead of opening it to other electric cars.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories August 3

Tesla’s recent move to open its Supercharger network to other automakers will enable the automaker to get access to some of the $7.5 billion in EV charging infrastructure funding as part of the new US infrastructure bill.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories July 28

When thinking about a future electric vehicle purchase like a Tesla, your first thought might be, “how much does a Tesla cost?” Well, we’ve already covered that for you. If you’re like many people and are new to the world of electric vehicles, your next question might be, “how much does it cost to charge a Tesla?”

Excellent question, it costs $10. Just kidding, it’s unfortunately not that cut and dry. Below is a detailed breakdown of the factors that contribute to the cost of EV charging and easy ways to estimate how much you may pay to charge your next electric vehicle, regardless of make or model.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories July 26

Elon Musk has released more details about how non-Tesla electric car owners are going to be able to use the Supercharger network once the automaker opens it up later this year.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories July 21

Whether you’re a new or veteran Tesla owner, you’re hopefully aware of how and where to charge your Tesla, especially on its ever-growing Supercharger network. Especially if you’ve had your Tesla for a few years, you have – or still do – qualify for free Supercharging from Tesla. Here are the best ways to determine whether you or your Tesla model still qualify for free charging.

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As more and more consumers make the green decision to forego their combustion engines for electric vehicles, they may not be as in tune with charging standards. kW, voltage, and amps might sound like jargon compared to miles per gallon, but these are essential units to understand to get the most efficiency out of your shiny new EV.

Let the following serve as a guide, offering all you need to know about the various charging options out there and how they differ.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories July 20

Elon Musk has confirmed that Tesla plans to open its Supercharger network to other automakers later this year.

It’s something that has been in the works for a while.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories July 19

Tesla is closing its Supercharger station at its design studio in Los Angeles, its very first Supercharger, reportedly over security concerns.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories July 15

Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla is upgrading the Supercharger network from 250 kW to 300 kW max capacity in order to enable faster charging.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories July 6

You may be new to EV ownership or Tesla in particular, or you may be doing a little research before you take that welcomed leap into zero-emission transportation. No matter the reason for your visit, here you are wondering, “how long does it take to charge a Tesla?” The answer is not as simple as you may like to hear, but we have taken the privilege of breaking down everything you need to know below.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories July 1

Tesla is being sued by an owner over a quite dubious claim that the automaker walked back its claim of “free Supercharging for life.”

The claim is based on the fact that the automaker started charging Supercharger idle fees, which the Tesla community thought to be extremely reasonable.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories June 25

A Tesla Supercharger station is now getting direct service from a nearby McDonald’s that offers direct delivery to Tesla owners charging their electric vehicles.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories June 24

Tesla has confirmed to Norwegian officials that it plans to open the Supercharger network to other automakers by September 2022.

The news comes amid several rumors of Tesla opening up its extremely valuable electric vehicle fast-charging network.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories June 16

Tesla is in talks to open up its Supercharger network to other automakers in Germany, according to the country’s minister of transport.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories May 7

Tesla’s Supercharger network has now reached a total of 25,000 chargers – a big milestone for the fast-charging network.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories April 27

Tesla apparently made an Earth Day announcement that flew under the radar: The automaker intends to power all Supercharger stations with renewable energy this year.

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German electric utility company EnBW has announced it is implementing a flagship charging station at the Kamener Kreuz autobahn interchange. When complete, the 52 charging points will make it the largest public fast charging station in Europe, according to EnBW.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories April 7

Tesla is expanding its current Supercharger station at Harris Ranch in California, and the expansion is big enough that it is likely going to make it the world’s largest Supercharger station.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories April 5

Tesla is introducing a new 50% discount for Supercharging during the night at Supercharger stations in metro areas in California.

It’s the automaker’s latest move to help with network capacity.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories April 2

Tesla is apparently still planning to build a 1950s-style diner at a new Santa Monica Supercharger station.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories March 2

Tesla appears to be giving up on its idea for a drive-in restaurant in Los Angeles, but the location is set to become one of the biggest Supercharger V3 stations in the world.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories February 12

Tesla is expanding its test of limited-time discounts on Supercharging in order to reduce wait time during peak travel times.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories February 3

Tesla has started production at its brand new Supercharger factory in Shanghai, and it is expected to greatly accelerate the growth of the Supercharger network.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories January 24

While electric vehicles like Tesla have continued to grow in sales exponentially in recent years, they are still a fairly new concept for many people. A majority of consumers purchasing EVs have never previously owned one and may not be aware of the ways traditional ICE vehicles differ. Since these vehicles are electric, the battery is essentially your gas tank, and its health is vital to the longevity of the vessel. Below are some tips to help you get the most range out of your Tesla.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories January 5

Tesla has released a new map of its upcoming Supercharger stations, adding many new planned stations to the network, removing others, and updating timelines in the process.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories December 31, 2020

Tesla has now opened a new world’s largest Supercharger station with a whopping 72 charging stalls just a month after beating its own record number of stalls at a charging station.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories December 22, 2020

Lanai Island, a former pineapple plantation that was almost entirely (98%) purchased by Oracle founder and Tesla board member Larry Ellison for $300 million in 2012, is the first in Hawaii to see a Supercharger permit filed by Tesla.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories December 21, 2020

Elon Musk confirmed that other automakers are now “low-key” using Tesla’s Supercharger network for their own electric vehicles.

The CEO didn’t confirm which automakers or the extent of the “low-key” agreement.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories November 25, 2020

Tesla is planning to build a new factory to produce Supercharger V3 stations in China as it rapidly expands its charging network.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories November 19, 2020

Tesla is currently on a mission to expand its infrastructure to support its rapidly growing fleet, and in Canada, it’s now taking the form of a new push to expand the Supercharger network.

The automaker launched a new effort to search for new site hosts.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories November 14, 2020

Tesla has been quickly expanding its Supercharger network lately and it just reached another milestone by opening the world’s new largest Supercharger station.

It is located between two of Tesla’s biggest markets.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories October 9, 2020

Tesla and Fastned worked together to open Germany’s largest fast-charging hub and it even has a little coffee shop.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories September 22, 2020

Tesla has announced a significant expansion of its Supercharger network in the Los Angeles area with over 200 Supercharger V3 stalls coming to the important market.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories September 15, 2020

Tesla is building a new massive Supercharger station that will likely become the new biggest station on Tesla’s network worldwide.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories September 12, 2020

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.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories September 10, 2020

Tesla deployed a new urban Supercharger V3 in Berlin and promises to deploy more urban Supercharger stations to support growth in Europe.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories July 8, 2020

Tesla has hired the product manager behind Apple Pay to lead the Supercharger experience. What improvements would you like to see? expand full story

Tesla Supercharger Stories May 29, 2020

Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla’s slower deployment of Supercharger V3 was due to production, but it is now ramping up. expand full story

Tesla Supercharger Stories May 14, 2020

Elon Musk released an impressive chart of the impact of the pandemic on Tesla Supercharger use over the last few months. expand full story

Tesla Supercharger Stories February 26, 2020

Tesla has signed a deal with the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to massively expand its Tesla Supercharger presence at Turnpike Service Areas, as well as build utility infrastructure for non-Tesla charging stations.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories January 13, 2020

Tesla has updated its Supercharger billing policy to add the cost of electricity use for things other than charging, like HVAC, battery thermal management, etc, while charging at a Supercharger station. expand full story

Tesla Supercharger Stories January 1, 2020

Tesla has updated its Supercharger map for 2020 with a bunch of new locations and routes to be covered by the fast-charging network. expand full story

Tesla will open eight superchargers in the northernmost regions of Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

This area of the Arctic Circle was previously a bit short of superchargers, so this expansion will be a welcome addition for Tesla drivers in the northern regions of the Nordic countries. The new superchargers are located at crossroads.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories December 24, 2019

On December 16, 2019, California’s Office of Administrative Law approved amendments to its Electric Vehicle Fueling Systems Specifications. These rules ban operators of electric vehicle charging stations from billing by the minute at new 240Vac stations in 2021 onwards, and new DCFC stations 2023 onwards.

This is a huge blow to Electrify America and EVgo. Both firms bill by the minute for EV charging, leaving drivers with sticker shock and feeling ripped off by the end of the session. Chargepoint will also be negatively affected, as many of their site-host partners choose to bill per minute. And while Tesla already bills by the kilowatt-hour, California will also be requiring charging stations to physically display “on their face” important information about electricity cost and delivery, a move that will put the most burden on Tesla’s Supercharger stations.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories December 20, 2019

Tesla has been working on a Trans-Canada Supercharger route for more than a year now, and today it finally went live, all at the same time.

Even better, most of the locations have Tesla’s new 250 kW V3 Supercharger. These allow a Model 3 to add about 100 miles in seven minutes.

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Tesla Supercharger Stories December 19, 2019

Tesla’s Supercharger network has reached 15,000 chargers — a new milestone for what is still one of the automaker’s best assets. expand full story

Tesla officially completed its 300th Supercharger Station in China and confirmed the first V3 Station in China is under construction. Last month we reported that Tesla is planning a massive charging infrastructure expansion in China ahead of the expected increase in vehicle sales due to volume production at Gigafactory 3… expand full story

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