The Tesla Model 3 might be getting faster charging rates on Tesla’s Supercharging network, but a technical limitation is preventing owners from charging on other public DC fast charging networks like EVgo, ChargePoint, and Blink in the United States.
We reached out to Tesla about the issue and the company shared that U.S. Model 3 owners will have access to a similar CHAdeMO adapter “soon” to allow customers to have access to “all compelling networks” in the US. Tesla also reiterated that, while the number of non-Tesla DC fast charging stations in the US is growing, most DC fast chargers today are Tesla Supercharging locations.
As of today, the Tesla Model 3 is capable of charging at any of the public level 2 stations using the included J1772 adapter, but the inability to charge up at non-Tesla DC fast charging stations limits the options to use “universal” public DC fast charging stations. This has new owners confused, since the company makes and sells a CHAdeMO adapter for the Model S and X. Even though the adapter is physically able to connect a CHAdeMO charger to the Model 3, the vehicle is unable to use it to charge.
Model 3s are not currently compatible for charging on third-party networks in the U.S. https://t.co/sNLoja5e7Q
— EVgo Fast Charging Network (@evgonetwork) May 3, 2019
In response to questions from CleanTechnica reader @EfficiencyLast on Twitter, charging network operator EVgo confirmed that Tesla continues to block US owners of its Model 3 from using its DC fast charging network. More accurately, Tesla has yet to provide a hardware or software solution that allows its Model 3s to utilize non-Tesla fast charging networks with a functional Tesla–CCS and/or Tesla–CHAdeMO charging adapter. The result is that the Tesla Model 3 cannot use any public DC fast charging networks other than the Supercharging network in the United States.
In reality, this is not a huge issue in either market, as the Supercharging network has more than enough locations and stalls for most owners, but it is does further reinforce Tesla’s “walled garden” approach to building vertically integrated solutions that don’t play well with others, at least in its home market in the United States. Longer term, it is still unclear how the battle of the fast charging standards will play out in the United States, with automotive OEMs and charging network operators continuing to push the three dominant standards — Tesla, CCS, and CHAdeMO — in parallel.
Tesla’s approach is not one of creating a moat around its business, but rather, to build out the best ecosystem to support its owners. The Supercharging network does that today and, by the looks of things, will continue to offer the highest charging speeds for Tesla drivers on any network. The 150kW output at V2 Supercharging sites dwarfs the 50kW charging speeds offered at most CCS and CHAdeMO stations, and its 250kW V3 Supercharging sites that will start rolling out en masse later this year set a new high bar for the entire market in terms of real, high-volume, wide-deployment fast charging sites.
Looking out at the longer tail of plug-in vehicle adoption in the United States, Tesla owners will continue to enjoy the most robust DC fast charging network for quite some time, but as more electric vehicles from other manufacturers make it out into the world, the demand mix should evolve away from Tesla’s standard in the US. Charging network operators will continue to build out their “universal” fast charging stations with CCS and CHAdeMO adapters to support non-Tesla vehicles. We’ll see how much longer Tesla Model 3 owners in the US will have to wait to get a CHAdeMO adapter that they can use to venture beyond the Tesla Supercharging network.