Two white Tesla car charging stations in front of a stone brick wall with a black fence on top.

Can other cars use Tesla charging points?

The Tesla Supercharger network was one of the first attempts to build EV charging infrastructure for drivers to recharge while away from home, with the first charging points opening in 2012.

A decade later, Tesla operates over 40,000 Superchargers worldwide and over 35,000 Destination Chargers. These Tesla wall connectors are often offered for free by hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality venues for the convenience of their customers.

With this extensive infrastructure, Tesla drivers have historically had access to far more places to recharge, including some of the highest power ratings (and, therefore, fastest charging) at any given time over the years.

But with thousands of EVs taking to the roads and many of the top new models of electric cars made by companies other than Tesla, drivers can be forgiven for wanting to ‘refuel’ at Tesla Superchargers, no matter what car they drive.

Is this possible? The answer is… maybe. It depends on a few factors, such as where you are, what charger cable your car uses, and the availability of Tesla’s recently introduced Non-Tesla Supercharging Pilot scheme.

What Is The Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot?

The Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot launched in November 2021. It’s an initial pilot scheme to see how well the Tesla Supercharger network can cope with the capacity demands of supporting non-Tesla EVs.

Tesla’s website says: “It’s always been our ambition to open the Supercharger network to non-Tesla EVs, and by doing so, encourage more drivers to go electric.”

To participate, drivers of non-Tesla EVs need to download and install the Tesla app, version 4.2.3 or higher. The app now includes a ‘Charge Your Non-Tesla’ option, which guides drivers by finding a participating Supercharger location and paying for access.

All Superchargers remain open to Tesla owners too. For motorists who drive both a Tesla AND a non-Tesla EV, a single existing account can be used to charge (and pay for) both vehicles.

Which Locations Are In The Supercharger Pilot?

The pilot scheme spans 15 countries, including the UK and much of Europe. To use a Tesla Supercharger, non-Tesla motorists must drive in one of these countries and live in a participating country (i.e. for the purposes of paying via the app).

In full, the list of participating countries is:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • The Netherlands
  • UK

Drivers wanting to access Tesla Supercharger sites in these countries can use the app to check their nearest available location, while Tesla drivers from any country (not just those on the list) can still recharge as normal at participating locations too.

Which Non-Tesla EV Chargers Are Supported?

The type of charger your vehicle uses is the most likely problem factor in accessing a Supercharger as a non-Tesla driver. The vehicle must use a fully compliant CCS connector to charge a non-Tesla car at a Tesla Supercharger.

CCS stands for Combined Charging System and features an AC charging connector with the addition of two direct current (DC) charging pins, which allow for much faster charging at high-power charging stations like the Tesla Supercharger network.

It’s common for the top new models of electric cars sold throughout Europe to include a CCS charger. If you own or lease a new electric car, there’s a good chance you will be able to access the locations covered by the Pilot scheme.

Tesla’s FAQ for the Supercharger Pilot explains: “If a Supercharger post has two cables, non-Tesla cars can only charge with the CCS connector. Tesla cannot accommodate vehicles that do not fully comply with CCS communication and safety protocols.”

Due to the layout of some Supercharger stations, it’s also possible that the cable might not reach the charging port on all EVs. Unfortunately, in such instances, Tesla does not allow the vehicle to park in a different position (e.g. across two bays) in order to make it reach.

If your vehicle does not have a fully compliant CCS charger, or if your charging point is located too far from the Supercharger post, you will not be able to charge at that location.

What About Tesla Drivers?

As mentioned above, Tesla drivers have, until now, benefited from access to a much wider choice of places to charge — so is the Supercharger Pilot eroding the added value of driving a Tesla?

The answer is not really, and not yet. There are still significant benefits (in terms of charging while on the road) for Tesla drivers:

  • Not subject to the geographic limitations of the Supercharger Pilot
  • Unlikely to encounter compatibility problems with the charger/post
  • Pay a lower unit price for charging at a Tesla Supercharger

Tesla says the higher price paid by non-Tesla motorists is to cover the additional cost of supporting a more comprehensive range of vehicles, but it’s also a good way to ensure that Tesla drivers continue to get the best value when using a Supercharger.

Non-Tesla Supercharger Pilot Prices

So how much does charging a non-Tesla vehicle at a Supercharger cost? That depends on the location — the Tesla app will tell you the unit price before you plug in.

According to third-party charging station mapping service Chargemap in July 2022, Supercharger prices averaged €0.46 per kWh for Tesla drivers and €0.68 per kWh for non-Tesla drivers, a premium of nearly 50%.

It’s also worth noting that if you don’t vacate the bay once charging is complete, you’ll be charged idle fees of €0.50 per minute. This rises to €1 per minute if all bays in the Supercharger station are occupied – again, these rates were correct as of July 2022, but please check in the app for current prices.

Finally, third-party chargepoint mapping apps like Chargemap have updated to show participating Supercharger locations to non-Tesla drivers, so investigate your app options if you want to make sure you’re seeing the Pilot scheme locations (or if you want to hide them).