More and more drivers are switching from traditional gasoline-powered transportation to eco-friendly and energy-efficient electric vehicles. While Tesla has been the biggest name in all-electric vehicles, other companies are manufacturing their own electric models to compete. But not all-electric vehicles use the same type of charge connectors.
You can use Tesla AC wall chargers for other electric cars, provided you have the proper adapter. All US electric vehicles other than Tesla require a Type 1 J1772 connection. Charging a non-Tesla electric vehicle with a Tesla AC wall charger simply requires a Type 1 J1772 connection adapter.
Tesla chargers are not the same size and shape as those of other electric vehicles. Because of this, charging other types of electric cars with Tesla brand wall chargers is not as simple as plugging the charging cable into another car’s socket. Read on to learn exactly how Tesla-branded wall chargers can still charge other types of electric cars.
Charging Electric Vehicles with a J1772 Adapter
Tesla is the only electric vehicle company on the US market at this time that does not use a J1772 charging connection. This is not Tesla’s way of being frustratingly unique. It is a side effect of the pushback against electric vehicles Tesla saw when the company first started rolling them out. Luckily, 3rd party J1772 adapters are available to bridge this gap.
The following J1772 adapters are available for purchase on Amazon. Lectron and TeslaTap are the two most popular and reputable brands that manufacture Tesla to J1772 adapters. The Lectron adapter is probably the most popular 40-amp adapter on the market, while the TeslaTap adapters come in multiple amperages.
|Lectron Tesla to J1772 Adapter||≤ 40 amps||≤ 250 volts||$160.00|
|TeslaTap 40 Amp Tesla to J1772 Adapter||≤ 40 amps||≤ 250 volts||$160.00|
|TeslaTap 50 Amp Tesla to J1772 Adapter||≤ 50 amps||≤ 250 volts||$200.00|
|TeslaTap 80 Amp Tesla to J1772 Adapter||≤ 80 amps||≤ 250 volts||$260.00|
Which Car Needs Which Adapter?
Most electric vehicles on the road now use Level 2 chargers, which put out 32 amps and 240 volts of charging power. Older models that still use Level 1 chargers can accept only 16 amps and 140 volts. A 40-amp, 240-volt charger would offer your car 9.6 kilowatts. Most electric cars on the market cannot even accept more than 7.2 kilowatts.
While the 40-amp, 250-volt J1772 adapters are typically more than sufficient for most consumers, there are some non-Tesla electric cars that would benefit from the adapters with higher amperage. If a vehicle can accept a higher charging power, it will charge faster with the more powerful adapters. A few of these vehicles are below.
- Audi E-Tron
- Mercedes B Class B250e
- Toyota Rav4
These three vehicles can all accept kilowattage greater than 7.2. They will charge faster when plugged into a more powerful adapter. Check your vehicle’s manual to determine what kilowattage your car can accept so you can avoid buying the wrong adapter. While some extra power will not hurt, too much can cause the adapter to overheat.
An argument for the powerful adapters, though, is that they will work for future generations of electric vehicles. It’s often referred to as future proofing preparing for what might be available (or needed) in the next several years. As electric vehicles get more powerful, their maximum accepted kilowattage will increase. If you have a 40-amp (or greater) charging adapter, any vehicle that comes out with 7.2 to 9.6 kilowatts will charge more quickly.
Tesla Wall Charger’s Default DIP Switch Position
One challenge you might encounter when attempting to charge other cars with a Tesla wall charger is the DIP (dual in-line package) switch. Tesla wall chargers include internal DIP switches that are usually set, by default, to the “legacy” setting. This communicates to the charger that it should only operate on Teslas and not other electric vehicles.
Tesla wall chargers are for personal home use, but they are the same design as the Tesla destination chargers that you would see at a hotel or place of business. The legacy setting prevents other electric cars from charging on Tesla chargers that the company provided for free. However, it is an easy enough challenge to overcome.
- Turn off power to the charging station.
- Open the wall-mounted charger.
- Locate the two DIP switches.
- Use a non-conductive tool to flip switch 2 to the “OFF” position.
This should prevent the wall charger from attempting to force a Tesla connection. In the third generation Tesla wall chargers, this might not be an issue. It is best to be prepared just in case, though.
Who Needs to Charge Other Cars with a Tesla Wall Charger?
If you have a Tesla wall charger in your garage, you probably have a Tesla. So, why would you need to charge other electric cars with your Tesla wall charger? There are actually several good reasons.
- There are several electric cars in your household.
- You have visitors who drive different electric cars.
- You anticipate future upgrades.
Someone else in the household could have a different electric car. Being able to use the same wall charged for multiple cars would be very convenient, and wall chargers are not cheap. Typically starting at $500 (if not more). You also need the electrical capacity in your breaker to add multiple chargers. Also, if you have visitors coming to stay who drive electric cars, they can feel confident knowing that they will have a way to safely charge their cars overnight.
Avoid the Need for Two Garage Outlets
When you buy an electric car, you will likely need to call an electrician to come to install the proper outlet in your garage. Modern Tesla wall chargers need a 240-volt outlet. A second electric car would need at least a 120-volt, but probably a 240-volt outlet of its own. Having two outlets installed can be pricey. That is if your home can handle two.
Older homes may not have the electrical circuitry required to run two separate 240-volt outlets charging two electric cars simultaneously. Using one Tesla wall charger to charge two electric vehicles may mean taking turns, but it could save a lot of money in electric work.
Only AC Charging Can Be Adapted to Other Cars
Tesla wall chargers charge your vehicle using standard AC power. They are designed to charge your car in your garage over a matter of hours. They do not charge rapidly in the same way that Tesla Superchargers do. These supercharging stations use DC power and are meant to be quick stops, charging your car for long distances in under one hour.
Currently, only the AC wall chargers can be adapted to charge other electric cars. This is because not all electric cars are compatible with fast charging. Tesla’s fast-charging technology uses DC power that charges at high kilowatt speeds per hour. From the above section, it is clear that other electric cars on the market are not compatible.
- V1 Supercharger output up to 150 kW
- V2 Supercharger output up to 150 kW with improved speed from V1
- V3 Supercharger output up to 250 kW
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has offered to allow other electric car manufacturers to join the Tesla Supercharger network. To make this happen, the other companies would need to begin manufacturing cars with the same fast-charging capabilities. They would also have to agree to pitch in financially to join the Supercharger network.
While Tesla ruled the market in the early days of electric vehicles, there are several other brands of electric vehicles on the roads today. Electric vehicle ownership has skyrocketed in the past decade and will likely continue to do so. From diminishing carbon emissions to cost efficiency, the benefits of using electric cars cannot be overstated.
If you have a Tesla wall charger, it is possible to charge other electric vehicles. Consider investing in a J1772 adapter. It will come in handy for a second electric vehicle, and any guests you have that need a charge will surely appreciate it.