Can I use a NACS-to CCS adapter now?
February 11, 2024 9:45 AM   Subscribe

We recently got an EV (2024 Hyundai Kona), and as we plan for a road-trip this summer, I am hoping to clear up some things that confuse me about fast charging on the road. Specifically, I want to know if I purchase one of these specific adapters if I will be able to charge at Tesla Superchargers if I *need* to.

Lectron and A2Z have both recently released adapters that work with v3 and v4 Tesla Superchargers. I know my new car cannot do 350kw charging -- it can only do 100kw according to the specs -- so my question is not about achieving those speeds. I just want to know if, in a pinch, I will be able to connect to a Tesla charger and charge if that's my best/only option.

Some follow-up questions:
1) If my car will only accept 100kw charging could I use an older adapter and save myself some money, or will the linked adapters be my best bet if I encounter v3 or v4 Tesla charging stations?

2) I have the Tesla app, and have created an account. What, if anything, will I need to do to get the Tesla chargers to allow me to charge my non-Tesla vehicle?

I always prefer to no use anything associated with Elon Musk, but as this roadtrip is over 700 miles, I want to be prepared. I have watched a bunch of videos on the reliability of other fast charging networks and I don't want to be stuck somewhere!

Please no guessing. Thank you!
posted by terrapin to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Lectron's page says you cannot yet use their device at Superchargers:
The functionality for Superchargers and non-Tesla electric vehicles using the Tesla / North American Charging Standard is expected to become active in early 2024. To coincide with this functionality, the Lectron Vortex Plug is scheduled to commence shipping in January 2024.
posted by kickingtheground at 11:44 AM on February 11

A decent subset of Tesla Superchargers have built in CCS adaptors now.

If you go to Plugshare and toggle your filters to only show plug type CCS and network Tesla you'll see which ones do. As a doublecheck you should see non-tesla reviews when you click on one. We've used one of them with a 2019 Kona EV and it was no problem, just make sure you download the app and set up an account first. When you unlock with the app the charger will come out with the CCS adaptor attached.
posted by true at 12:08 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: On preview: Thank you, true! I do have the app but hadn't thought of that.

What I was writing: I am now discovering that the Lectron model isn't backwards compatible with the previous Tesla chargers -- and the A2Z likely isn't as well -- so it is looking like I may need to buy a Tesla Tap Mini or A2Z's cheaper version, and only look for older Destination charging locations in a pinch.

Hyundai is supposedly going to provide owners with adapters in a year.

Thanks for the replies.
posted by terrapin at 12:15 PM on February 11

Also here to recommend plugshare. From what I understand, however, the Tesla chargers that have opened up to nonTesla cars are the slower chargers; the entire network, which is superb, (we also have a Tesla, purchased in 2018 before Musk went totally bonkers) is not all available. FWIW, we drove out to Colorado from the east coast last year in a BMW EV and used Electrify America almost exclusively because we had free charging. Electrify America is not as reliable as the Tesla network and Plugshare is a super helpful crowdsourced app to let you know what the real deal is with the set of chargers you are headed to. As co-driver, I would figure out approximately how far we wanted to go (how low we wanted to let the battery level go to), check Electrify American for chargers and then Plugshare to see what previous users wrote. Plugshare is like the old internet!

On preview, I see you have done your due diligence on the tesla chargers.
posted by bluesky43 at 12:41 PM on February 11

Also, on re-reading your last comment, there is a distinction in the Tesla network between superchargers and destination chargers. Superchargers are the bank of chargers you might see at Sheetz on the east coast, destination chargers tend to be free (not always), slow (almost always) and either municipal buildings or hotels. This may already be clear to you but I raise it just in case. have a great trip!
posted by bluesky43 at 12:46 PM on February 11

Absolutely do NOT buy or rely on any third-party adapters for charging a CCS car at a Tesla "supercharger" station. There is an insane amount of power flowing through those things (like hundreds of kilowatts) and the slightest flaw will cause them to fail in spectacular (and possibly fatal) ways. Note that you can not yet buy one of those adapter that is UL-listed, meaning none of them have been tested by labs to be safe.

Only buy from Tesla or your carmaker, and they don't exist yet. They will soon, later this year, but not yet.

Note that I'm only talking about CCS/Supercharging adapters. Third party adapters for Level 2 AC charging, like TeslaTap, are fine, and I recommend buying and carrying one of those for long roadtrips where you expect to charge overnight at a hotel. Personally I sprung for the larger TeslaTap over the Mini because of the higher power handling, as many newer cars pull 48 Amps / 11 kW these days, including my last two EVs.

For DCFC, stick to the official CCS stations, which is starting to include Tesla itself via their "Magic Dock" tech. As mentioned multiple times above, just use Plugshare to find them.
posted by intermod at 8:57 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]

Agreed with Intermod. Wait until a device is available that is officially supported by Hyundai and won't violate your warranty before you try to use a Tesla supercharger.
posted by mmoncur at 1:38 AM on February 12 [1 favorite]

My understanding is Tesla Superchargers will only work with J-1772/CCS cars (ie, not NACS / Tesla) if the Supercharger is a Magic Dock station. There are precious few of those, I think this is Tesla's map.

This is supposed to be changing any month now, with Tesla having made deals to open Superchargers to pretty much every EV out there. You may need your own adapter. But it's not enabled yet.

Plugshare is a great app for finding chargers. See also A Better Route Planner (as website or app) for a long drive route finder with advanced features for planning charges.
posted by Nelson at 6:09 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]

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