When can other EVs start using Tesla’s network?

To date, Ford has partnered with Tesla to offer approved CCS to NACS (“SAE J3400 to CCS”) adapters so Mach-E and F-150 Lightning drivers can charge at any V3 or V4 Tesla Supercharger in the US. As of late February 2024, Ford is taking reservations for such adapters and will provide them for free to all 2021-2024 Ford EV owners. After June 30, 2024, the adapters will cost $230. Adapters can be requested through the FordPass app.

Once an EV driver has one of these adapters, drivers should create an account on Ford’s BlueOval network and activate “Plug & Charge.” This will give them access to Tesla’s V3 and V4 locations with the ability to plug in and start the session, just like a Tesla driver. The accessible stations will be included in Ford’s navigation systems and are also listed in the Tesla app.

General Motors has also partnered with Tesla to provide a similar adapter and charging arrangement, but as of March 1, 2024, we do not have any details about timing.

What about Tesla’s Magic Dock chargers? Can I charge my EV at those?

A small number of Tesla Supercharger locations in the US and Canada have CCS adapters built into the charging stations that make them compatible with most EVs. For Tesla drivers, these Superchargers function like any other. However, if you have an EV with CCS - like most other EVs - you can unlock the CCS adapter on the Supercharger. You will need the Tesla App with an active payment method set up. 

See this list by PlugShare to find out where you can locate a Magic Dock Supercharger: https://www.plugshare.com/map/tesla-ccs-locations

Screenshot of Tesla CCS locations as of March 1, 2024: https://www.plugshare.com/map/tesla-ccs-locations

History of The North American Charging Standard (NACS)

In November of 2022, Tesla announced they would open their previously-closed, proprietary plug as a new public standard called NACS, or North American Charging Standard. (The plug also has a standardized name of SAE J3400, likely to be seen in technical contexts only).

Read more about NACS.

Over the course of 2023 and into 2024, automakers announced that their new vehicles would switch from the previous CCS Type 1 receptacle to the NACS receptacle. Most automakers don’t plan on launching vehicles with NACS built in until late 2024 or 2025, but some may offer adapters to use the Tesla network earlier. 

As of March 2024, these companies include:

  • Audi
  • BMW
  • Chrysler
  • Dodge
  • Fisker
  • Ford
  • Genesis
  • GM
  • Honda
  • Hyundai
  • Jaguar
  • Jeep
  • Kia
  • Lexus
  • Lucid
  • Mazda
  • Mercedes
  • Mini 
  • Nissan
  • Ram
  • Polestar 
  • Porsche
  • Rivian
  • Toyota
  • Volkswagen

Quite a list! It seems like everyone wanted in on Tesla’s reliable and geographically broad charging network.

CCS charge port on an Ioniq 5

Other things to consider

With the proliferation of accessibility to Tesla stations, there are still some small wrinkles to iron out. 

All Teslas, for example, have charging ports located on the rear-left corner of the vehicles; all Tesla Supercharger stations are set up to accommodate this location with a rather minimal cord length. While reversing a Tesla into a Supercharger stall, it’s important to align the vehicle as closely as possible to the charger – or the cord won’t reach! Here’s the catch: not all EV charging ports are placed alike. Some EVs have ports on the front-left and a smaller number have ports on the front of the vehicle. In order for a Tesla Supercharger cord to reach, you might need to park your EV in a way that could block an adjacent Tesla from being able to reach the charger meant for that parking space. Tesla plans on mitigating part of this issue with longer cables on their V4 Supercharger locations, but in the meantime, expect to occasionally see spaces or chargers blocked off due to placement conflicts. 

Charging times may also be different for non-Tesla EVs on Tesla Superchargers – but in a good way! The speed and reliability of Superchargers has always been a strong suit. While your EV will never charge faster than its onboard Battery Management System (BMS) is rated for, Tesla chargers may be able to maximize charging wattage when others fall short. Tesla V3 Superchargers are capable of 250kW peak charging speeds and V4 Superchargers will eventually support 350kW speeds. It’s a good idea to get familiar with the charging curve for your vehicle, whether that’s a Ford Mach-E or something else.

CCS vs. Tesla Protocol

A few times, we have mentioned that these charging options will only apply to V3 and V4 Superchargers – but why? It comes down to charging protocols, which is like the operating system that chargers use to talk to the vehicles. It can be confusing, because CCS refers to the plug type (like below), and the communication protocol.

V1 and V2 Superchargers (increasingly uncommon as Tesla rapidly upgrades their network) won’t be compatible since they do not use the CCS communication protocol used by most non-Tesla EVs. CCS is a tried-and-true, internationally used communication protocol between vehicles and charging stations, and the great thing about the transition to NACS is that it actually uses CCS. All new Teslas also use the CCS protocol, which is the reason you can charge newer Teslas at non-Tesla stations, like EVGo or Electrify America, using an adapter. 

It benefits everyone when software and hardware share commonalities across vehicles and chargers. While it sounds a little complicated at first glance, in just a few months, the number of charging stations available to non-Tesla EVs might easily double, providing more choice and flexibility in charging. Range anxiety? What’s that?