Tesla’s Supercharger network has transformed the electric vehicle industry, but its exclusivity to Tesla drivers has left non-tesla EVs in the cold. The introduction of the Magic Dock adapter has changed everything, and soon it will be a case of “No Tesla, No Problem!”. In this article, we’ll explore the Tesla Open Charging Network and the Magic Dock adapter, as well as provide helpful tips on how to start charging at a Supercharger.
You can figure that gas stations have always been the way they are. Sure, gimmicks like stopover shops, diners, and ATMs were added along the way, but the premise of a fuel terminal has stayed one and the same—you pull up in your car, pay, fill the gas tank, then move on.
The story of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, on the other hand, is a bit different. Tesla, the early adopter of the EV-only product line as a car maker, used to have charging stations that catered only to Tesla EVs. But things are changing fast. And what lies ahead seems to be a future where EV drivers are asking, “Hey, remember when you had to own a Tesla to charge your car?”
Now, Tesla is opening its charging network, which is a significant step toward achieving an all-electric driving future. Until now, Tesla's vast and reliable Tesla Open Charging Network has been only available to Tesla drivers, making it difficult for other electric vehicle drivers to take long-distance trips.
With Tesla’s Magic Dock, drivers using other car brands can come in and use a Tesla Supercharger, all thanks to the Tesla-to-CCS adapter. With Tesla’s expanding network of magic docks across the U.S., it seems EV drivers of all car brands are beyond excited by the idea of interstate driving they once thought they could only do with gas guzzlers.
What began in November 2021 as a pilot to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy” is now in full swing. With more than 40,000 global Superchargers (which includes their Tesla S network), plus roughly the same number of Tesla destination chargers, you can bet that this increase in supply (by opening its supercharger networks) will only increase demand.
But while you might think that 40,000 is a lot— it’s not. In the U.S. alone, there are roughly 145,000 fueling stations for internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, so there’s still so much ground to cover for EV charging stations. Literally.
As early as June of 2022, the Biden administration through the Department of Transportation and the Department of Energy proposed for all EV chargers to be interoperable. This was a few months after the Fed gave Tesla an ultimatum, a take it or leave it of the $7.5 billion subsidy, which it offered to carmakers who would commit to opening their charging network.
Naturally, Tesla promised to make 3,500 Supercharger stations available to non-Tesla electric vehicles by the end of 2024. To connect to the Supercharger network, non-Tesla cars require an adapter called the Tesla Magic Dock. This adapter enables non-Tesla cars to use Tesla Superchargers by utilizing the CCS plug. But how does it work, exactly? How can drivers of non-Tesla cars use any of the fast chargers?
The Tesla Magic Dock adapter attaches the Tesla CCS1 plug on top of Tesla’s NACS (North American Charging System) plug, and this enables non-Tesla vehicles to get charged to as fast as 250 kW, which can supply up to 200 miles in just 15 minutes. That’s on the higher end of the DC fast charging spectrum.
If you are a non-Tesla driver charging your EV at a Supercharger station, do the following:
On your mobile device, go to the App Store or Google Play.
Download then run the Tesla app.
Select Create Account, then enter the required information.
Read and accept Tesla’s Privacy Notice, then select Next.
Specify your email address and password, then select Create Account. If necessary, confirm your email address and follow any additional instructions.
In the home screen of the Tesla app, select Sign in. If necessary, enter your user credentials.
In Explore, select Charge Your Non-Tesla.
Note: Make sure to enable location services.
In the charging network map, browse for your preferred Supercharger site, or the charging station you are at.
Review the information on that station, which may include:
Number of available stalls
Maximum charging rate in kW
Select Charge Here.
Follow the instructions on your screen, then select Get Started.
Review the additional instructions and notices, then select Add Payment Method > Add Credit Card.
Enter your card information, then select Save.
Note: Make sure to use a valid credit card. If your card is declined, try using a different card.
Payments at a Tesla Supercharger are automatically processed from the payment method in the Tesla app. The Tesla website provides an updated list of supported payment methods. You can also change or remove your payment method and check any unpaid balance.
While charging your EV, the Tesla app will show you how much you need to pay and the progress of your charge. You can choose to stop charging as needed, pull the plug, and then head out.
(It also helps to keep track of any idle fees you might get charged with if the EV is not charging or charging is completed. Since EV charging stations are in short supply, as mentioned above, you can incur penalties for occupying a charging spot when your vehicle is not actually charging.)
By default, non-Tesla users are in the pay-per-use plan, and it's worth noting that Tesla charges a slightly higher fee for non-Tesla drivers. But hey, nobody said convenience comes for free. For Tesla owners, there's a $12.99 per month members
hip that unlocks a lower charging rate, with a sweet $0.10 cents per kWh difference.
Chevy Bolt and other non-Tesla EVs can now utilize Tesla Superchargers, thanks to the recently developed Magic Dock adapter. You can think of the Magic Dock as a universal translator for EV charging ports, bridging the gap between Tesla's charging ports and other electric vehicles. This innovation has been showcased by notable tech influencer, Marques Brownlee, who demonstrated its functionality with a Rivian EV pickup truck.
While this feature is certainly exciting, it's important to note that currently there are only 10 Superchargers in the U.S. equipped with Magic Dock adapters. However, Tesla plans to grow this number to 3,500 by 2024. With Tesla’s expansion plan in motion, there’s no need to worry about getting stranded—finding a non-Tesla Supercharger near you will be easy peasy.
Placerville, CA|3966 Missouri Flat Road, Placerville, CA 95667
Scotts Valley, CA| 230 Mount Hermon Road, Scott's Valley, CA 95066
Fredonia, NY| 10390 Bennett Road, Fredonia, NY 14063
Batavia, NY| 4192 Veterans Memorial Dr, Batavia, NY 14020
Parish, NY|3039 County Route 26, Parish, NY 13131
Verona, NY|5218 Patrick Road, Verona, NY 13478
Malta, NY| 2951 U.S. 9, Ballston Spa, NY 12020
Hancock, NY|661 West Main Street, Hancock , NY 13783
Red Hook, NY| 35 Hannaford Drive, Red Hook, NY 12571
Brewster, NY| 1 Starr Ridge Rd, Brewster, NY 10509
Shirley, NY|999 Montauk Highway, Shirley, NY 11967
Tesla drivers, whether they come from San Francisco or Austin, have in the past few years enjoyed the unique privilege of Tesla’s massive network of Superchargers. With the open network system, they might think that their privilege would begin to erode—but the opposite is true. Democratized access to Superchargers improves their experience by making policymakers around the globe adopt open-network charging, stretching their privilege even further, while also letting others in.
There was a boom of the automotive industry in the 1920s—but this could not have been possible without widespread gas stations. Tesla saw the vision for the EV supercharging network in 2012, but we are only realizing the dream today.
We might be seeing a new car revolution, and this time, without the noise and smoke of gas guzzlers. Tesla or non-Tesla, find the Magic Dock nearest you.
Ready to drive electric? See Zevvy’s available EVs here.