Non-Tesla EVs Face Higher Supercharger Fees Without Membership

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Non-Tesla EVs Face Higher Supercharger Fees Without Membership

Tesla has recently made its Supercharger network accessible to non-Tesla electric vehicle (EV) owners, starting with Ford vehicles. This development brings to light important details about how Supercharging will function for these new users, including the associated costs.

Non-Tesla EV owners will face approximately 35% higher charges per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for using the Supercharger network, based on prices shown in Tesla’s app. However, rates can vary significantly depending on the location and time, with some stations offering reduced rates during less busy hours.

In specific cases, the premium for non-members reached about 37%, but dropped to around 23% during off-peak times. Tesla is also introducing a $12.99 monthly membership that aligns the charging costs for non-Tesla owners with those for Tesla drivers, potentially offering savings for frequent users.

For example, at a Supercharger in the Los Angeles area, the cost is 61 cents/kWh for non-members and 45 cents/kWh for members. By these calculations, charging about 81 kWh—nearly 60% of the battery capacity for a Ford F-150 Lightning with the larger battery option—would offset the monthly membership fee. This membership option has been part of Tesla’s strategy since last year when it began allowing all EVs access to select Superchargers through Magic Dock adapters.

Tesla’s decision to prioritize its customers in the Supercharger network usage is understandable, considering the network’s exclusivity and appeal until recently. Tesla’s Superchargers have been a key selling point due to their widespread availability and convenience, outshining competitors like Electrify America and EVgo.

In a significant industry shift over the past year, nearly all car manufacturers have announced their transition to adopting Tesla’s charging port design, now dubbed the North American Charging Standard (NACS). Originally, the NACS port was exclusive to Tesla vehicles, designed to fit the Superchargers’ plugs, making them incompatible with other brands. This exclusivity extended to Tesla’s proprietary charging infrastructure.

This scenario is evolving as both established car makers and new EV companies plan to integrate the NACS port in their upcoming models and have negotiated access to Tesla’s Supercharger network. This expansion grants their customers access to approximately 15,000 of the 27,000 Supercharger plugs Tesla operates across North America.

Opening up the Supercharger network is seen as a significant boost for EV adoption, addressing one of the primary concerns potential EV buyers have: the fear of running out of charge, commonly referred to as “charging anxiety.”

Vehicles equipped with the older Combined Charging Standard (CCS) ports will require an adapter to utilize Tesla’s Supercharger network. Coinciding with Tesla granting Supercharger access to its vehicles, Ford began accepting orders for its adapter. Initial tests, including those by expert Tom Moloughney, suggest the adapter is functioning well.

Rivian, a California-based startup, announced that its vehicles would have access to the Supercharger network starting in March, with adapters being shipped subsequently. Tesla has also indicated that General Motors, Volvo, and Polestar, Volvo’s electric vehicle division, are expected to receive Supercharger support by this spring.

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