Driving an electric vehicle presents a unique challenge to drivers. While gas stations are everywhere and easy to spot, finding a place to charge your Tesla or other EV could prove tricky.
What Is Tesla Destination Charging?
A vast network of Tesla charging stations provides battery power to drivers. In many places that host Destination Chargers, powering up is free.
What Are The Main Types Of Tesla Charging Stations?
There is more than one way to charge your Tesla when you travel beyond your daily commute. You’ll find a vast network of charging stations around the globe. Two types you’ll find in commercial spaces are Destination Chargers and Superchargers.
Tesla Destination Chargers Explained
Destination chargers are wall connectors available in thousands of urban and rural locations. Hotels, restaurants, vineyards, resorts, and other locations host charging stations to attract and accommodate EV drivers.
It was formerly an industry standard that Destination chargers were free to use for customers of the hosting business. For example, you can use the charging station at a hotel when you are a guest there. Tesla recently rolled out a program allowing businesses with six or more stations to charge a fee for plugging in.
If you have a wall connector installed in your home, you’ll easily recognize the charger at any Destination location. It has the same power connection that charges your battery over several hours. So you can expect about 44 miles of driving per one-hour charge(depending on your Tesla model), just like your home wall connector.
|Tesla Model||Max Charge Rate (miles of range per hour)|
|Model 3||44 miles/hour|
|Model 3 Standard||30 miles/hour|
|Model S||34 miles/hour|
|Model X||30 miles/hour|
|Model Y||42 miles/hour|
The convenience of Destination Chargers allows Tesla and other EV drivers to charge or top off their batteries when they travel, hence the name Destination Charger.
The level 2 AC electricity may at first seem like a downside. However, repeated use of Superchargers can affect your battery life.
Tesla Superchargers Explained
Home and destination charging with adapters or Wall Connections are slower-flowing AC chargers.
Tesla divides filling options into three levels. Level 1 AC charging is a standard option that allows you to plug into a 120V outlet with an adapter. Unfortunately, this method is the slowest way to charge that could take days to reach a full battery.
Level 2 AC charging uses 240V outlets or the Tesla Wall Connector. It requires 40-50 amp wiring but is much faster than level 1 charging. You can fill your battery in 8-12 hours.
A Supercharger (Level 3) is precisely what the name suggests. It fills your battery quickly with fast-flowing DC electricity. Tesla claims you can charge up to 200 miles in 15 minutes. Superchargers range in charging speeds from 90kW to 250kW.
|Tesla Model||Range per 15 minutes of Supercharging|
|Model 3||175 miles|
|Model S||163 miles|
|Model X||142 miles|
|Model Y||158 miles|
How To Find A Tesla or EV Charging Station
EV drivers are a fast-growing market, so finding a charging station is easy. Websites have popped up to direct EV drivers to various brands of charging stations. Tesla drivers can also find information on the Tesla app.
Find a Supercharger Station
Tesla owns and operates a global network of Superchargers. Stations are available along major routes and near amenities like highway rest stations. You can visit the Tesla website or app for Supercharger stall availability. The app also allows you to monitor your charging status to know when your battery is ready to get back on the road.
Find a Third-Party Charging Station
What do you do if there are no Superchargers or Destination Chargers along the next portion of your road trip? You can charge your Tesla at a third-party charging station with the right adapter.
A charging station labeled J1771 works with an SAE J1772 adapter. The Mobile Connector allows you to charge at 120-volt stations and an adapter bundle at 240-volt stations. Tesla recommends preparing for any charging situation by keeping a Mobile Connector and adapter bundle in your trunk while traveling.
EV drivers can find charge stations through Plugshare.com.
Find The Tesla Destination Charger Map
While Tesla does not own and operate Destination Charge stations, you can find the nearest one by clicking Find Us here on the Tesla website.
A super easy way is look those up on EVhype’s charging stations locations map.
How Much Do Tesla Charging Stations Cost?
There are two ways to think about the cost of a Tesla charging station. The first is the cost of charging your battery at a station owned by someone else, such as a Destination charger or Supercharger. The second is the cost of installing a charger at home.
What Is The Cost of Using a Supercharger?
When you stop at one of the distinct red and white Tesla Superchargers, you can expect to pay about 25 cents per kWh. Rates vary by location, though.
Electrek offers a handy formula to estimate the cost of charging your EV at a Tesla Supercharger.
- Find your battery size measured in kWh.
- Visit the EIA website for the estimated cost of electricity in your location.
- Multiply the cost per kWh by the size of your battery. E.g., $0.25 x 75kWh = $18.75 to charge your battery from 0% to 100%
- Accounting for charging efficiency, which results in some energy loss during charging, will bump that price up a few dollars.
While this formula helps you calculate the amount for charging the battery from 0% to 100%, you should never let your battery drain completely. It is also better not to charge it fully for battery efficiency unless you plan to use the full range on a road trip shortly after charging.
Ideally, use a Supercharger to top off your battery while making a pit stop on longer journeys.
The Cost of Using a Destination Charger
In most instances, you’ll still get free service at a Destination charge station. The only stipulation is to be a patron of the hosting location.
The Cost of Installing a Home Wall Connector
As discussed above, Tesla charging options are divided into three levels. You can install Level 1 and 2 charging options at home. A Mobile Connector costs $200 and connects to a basic 120V socket. It is the cheapest and slowest way to power up your Tesla.
A Wall Connector costs $400 for the hardware alone. You’ll likely have to run the proper wiring to support 240 volts. Depending on the current state of your garage, you could see your cost rise to $1500 or more, according to MotorBiscuit.
Host Destination Charging
Businesses, condos, and apartment buildings have the option to partner with Tesla to provide Destination charging stations.
As part of the Tesla Charging Partner Program, your business owns and operates the charging station. Tesla asserts that ideal Destination hosts can support at least six parking stalls. Partners should also provide a hospitable experience through restaurants, shopping, restrooms, and Wi-Fi.
Some minimum requirements include having regular hours of operation, full-time employees, positive customer reviews online, and a willingness to allow your customers to charge for free.
Tesla Destination Charger Installations
A business that qualifies to host a Destination Charger must work with a licensed electrician for an estimated cost for installing the required Tesla Wall Connectors.
You’ll get support from the company through a Tesla Project Manager who will help ensure your installation is cost-effective and technically sound.
The rapidly-growing world of electric vehicles leaves buyers with many questions. Here are a few more Tesla and EV facts.
Are destination Tesla chargers free?
That depends on whether the business hosting the destination charger chooses to collect a fee for using the station. Many hotels, restaurants, and shopping centers offer free destination charging to attract Tesla and other EV drivers. Locations with six or more charging stations are allowed to set their price for charging.
Can any car use a Tesla destination charger?
Other EVs can use Tesla destination chargers with the proper adapter. Drivers in North America can purchase a Tesla-to-J1772 adapter to charge their EV at a Tesla destination charge station.
Can Teslas charge at non-Tesla charging stations?
Yes. You can charge your Tesla at stations labeled J1772 with an SAE J1772 adapter. You can also use the SAE J1772 or the Mobile Connector at 120-volt stations. The adapter bundle allows you to charge at a 240-volt outlet.
What is the difference between a Tesla destination charger and a supercharger?
A Supercharger quickly fills the battery for long distances. You can typically add 200 miles of driving on one hour of charge. A destination charger loads the battery at a slower pace. As a result, you gain about 44 miles per hour of charge time- the same as your home Wall Connector.
Another key difference is that other EVs can use a destination charger but not a Supercharger.
How much does it cost to install a Tesla destination charger?
A wall connector costs $400 on the Tesla website. After that, you’ll need to purchase a charger and add installation costs. According to Tesla, a straightforward installation can cost about $1500. The bill could climb higher depending on the cost of a Tesla-certified electrician in your area.