Tesla has been widely known for having the most convenient fast charging networks in the world of electric cars. It's been so successful that some have even referred to it as Tesla's "moat" against competition.
For Model 3 owners, however, who make up the bulk of Tesla drivers, it has been all they have access to.
This week, Tesla released a long-awaited adapter to allow Model 3 owners to plug their cars into CHAdeMO chargers on other networks, and Tesla fans—and especially Model 3 drivers—are celebrating.
Other charging networks have different business models, focusing on urban areas, for example, where most EV owners live, or on workplace charging. While Tesla Superchargers are widespread and focused on enabling owners to make long trips in their cars, they aren't always where some owners want them.
Some shopping malls, for example, may have EVgo, Blink, or ChargePoint chargers, but not Tesla Superchargers. New York state highway rest areas are contracted to install Greenlots chargers, but not all have Tesla Superchargers. Most of these other networks offer CHAdeMO as well as CCS Combo fast chargers.
While the CHAdeMO chargers aren't as fast as Tesla Superchargers, they can provide about 100 miles of charge to a Model 3 in a half hour. Chargers using the CHAdeMO standard, however, might never be able to charge as fast as some of the fastest chargers rolling out today, however, at up to 350 kilowatts, which use CCS Combo connectors.
Since most non-Tesla fast-charge stations now include cords for both CHAdeMO and CCS standards, having a CHAdeMO adapter will give Model 3 drivers access to most fast charging sites across the U.S.
Since Teslas were developed before most other automakers agreed on a standard for fast-charging, most Teslas use a unique, proprietary charge port. CHAdeMO is a standard developed earlier in Japan and shared by Nissan and Mitsubishi.
Since then, most U.S. and European automakers have agreed on the CCS Combo standard, and Model 3s sold in Europe come with a CCS charge port in place of the proprietary Tesla charge port.
The Tesla Model S and Model X, which use a different battery and on-board chargers, have long offered CHAdeMO adapters, but they don't work for the Model 3.
The new Model 3 CHAdeMO adapter is available on Tesla's website for $450.
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