Tesla Supercharger Guide

As we know electric vehicles need to top off their batteries. Tesla owners can turn to the extensive Tesla Supercharger network to quickly recharge while on the go.

After reading this, you’ll have everything you need to know about Tesla Superchargers.

Table of Contents

    What Is a Tesla Supercharger?

    A Tesla Supercharger is a high-voltage charging station designed for Tesla vehicles. This network offers fast-charge solutions for Tesla owners, reducing charging time and allowing longer trips.

    Tesla Supercharger V1

    In 2012, Tesla paved a new way forward by introducing the Tesla Model S sedan to the world. That same year, the innovative company created the first Tesla Supercharger. This was the first attempt at a high-speed charging network.

    By using the proprietary connector, the Tesla Supercharger is designed for Tesla vehicles only. This first version offered up to 120 kW of power, greatly reducing charging times. If two cars were charging at the same time, the available power was halved.

    Tesla Supercharger V2

    The second generation of Tesla Superchargers started at 120 kW of power but eventually rose to 150 kW through software updates. Like the Supercharger V1, the power was halved if two cars were plugged into the same station.

    The design was updated as well, with a more rounded shape in the V2 as compared to the Superchargers V1’s boxy shape.

    Tesla Supercharger V3

    In 2019, the Tesla Supercharger V3 marked a major upgrade in the automaker’s charging stations. The new cabinets bumped up to 1 MW, supporting peak charging rates of 250 kW per car. And it doesn’t reduce when others connect to the same charger.

    This update also came with an on-route battery warmup that created optimal charging temperature. Through these features, the average time spent charging decreased by 50%.

    Tesla Supercharger V4

    Tesla opened the first V4 Supercharger in Harderwijk, Netherlands in March 2023. They use the CCS Combo 2 (CCS2) plugs used by most new EVs in Europe, including Tesla vehicles.

    The charging stations are equipped with longer cables for charging non-Tesla vehicles, part of the EV industry standardization.

    Reports show that this V4 Supercharger can produce up to 600 kW of power, but it is currently capped at 250 kW. Perhaps in the future, this will increase and allow for higher wattage capabilities with Tesla or other vehicles.

    Tesla Supercharger Comparison

    VersionAppearanceCharging SpeedPower SharedBattery PreheatLiquid-Cooled Cable
    V1Rectangular with center hold120 kWYesNoNo
    V2Arched top with rounded sides and center hole150 kWYesNoNo
    V3Very similar to V2250 kWNoYesYes
    V4More rectangular shape with no center hole250 kW peak (600 kW system capability)NoYesYes, and longer for non-Tesla vehicles

    How To Use a Tesla Supercharger?

    To use a Tesla Supercharger, park in front of one and plug the charging connector into your Tesla charging port. The port will flash green, letting you know that it has started charging.

    The Tesla app shows you the charging progress, indicating the needed charge level to get to the next Supercharger on your route. You can continue charging, but sometimes the charge limit might be automatically set to 80%. If you want more charge, adjust the value through your car’s touchscreen or the Tesla app.

    How Long Does It Take To Charge a Tesla With a Supercharger?

    The time it takes to charge a Tesla with a Supercharger varies by model. The battery size of your particular vehicle also impacts the time to charge. 

    Here is what you can expect to receive with 15 minutes of charging on a Supercharger:

    • Model S: Up to 200 miles
    • Model 3: Up to 175 miles
    • Model X: Up to 175 miles
    • Model Y: Up to 162 miles

    How Much Does It Cost To Charge a Tesla for a Supercharger?

    Charging costs depend on the local energy rates, whether it’s on-peak or off-peak hours, and the charging speed used. You can view the specific pricie of a Supercharger site on your vehicle’s touchscreen. It is typically provided in kWh but in some cases is billed per minute.

    When billed per minute, there are four different charging speeds. Tier 1 is the slowest at or below 60 kW, but also the least expensive. Tier 4 is the fastest at above 180 kW and also the most expensive.

    You’ll see an estimate when charging is complete and you can review the final invoice in your Tesla app.

    How To Pay for a Tesla Supercharger?

    All payment for Tesla Superchargers goes through the Tesla app. It is automatically processed from the payment method available there. You must have a primary payment method on file to use a Supercharger.

    Tesla Supercharger Off-Peak Hours

    At select Supercharger locations, you may receive lower prices for charging during off-peak hours. These are usually in the early morning or late night hours. You get a lower price by staying away from the busy times from lunch through the evening rush hour.

    Are Superchargers Open 24 Hours a Day?

    Most Supercharging stations are open 24 hours a day. But there can be some with limited hours. These will be displayed on your vehicle’s touchscreen when you select the site. The amenities around the Superchargers might close at times as well.

    Do Tesla Superchargers Run Fast to 100% Battery Charge?

    Tesla vehicles slow the charging speed as the battery charges for protection. The Supercharger can provide 80% charge much faster than many other chargers. But it will take significantly longer to reach 100% charge.

    Are Tesla Superchargers Safe To Use in All Weather?

    Superchargers and the connectors of Tesla charging ports are weather-resistant. Plus, all Tesla cars have safety features to avoid electric shock. It is safe to use the Tesla Superchargers in all weather, including rain and snow.

    Are Tesla Superchargers Worth It?

    For local driving needs and daily commutes, Tesla recommends using home charging options. But when you need to quickly recharge to get back on the road or do long-distance travel, the Tesla Superchargers are well worth it.

    They can provide an ultra-fast charging solution that fills your Tesla battery up to 80% rapidly.

    Our Verdict

    Tesla revolutionized the electric vehicle market by rolling out an extensive network of charging stations. Now in its fourth version, Tesla Superchargers can support up to 250 kW charge rates, giving you up to 200 miles of charge in 15 minutes.

    Are you ready to take your Tesla on the road? Don’t forget to upgrade to Premium Connectivity and grab one of the Best Car Covers for the trip.

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