By Sean Tucker
Tesla operates America’s largest electric car charging network. But the company is an island — only Tesla /zigman2/quotes/203558040/lastsale TSLA -1.14% drivers can use its chargers, and Tesla cars can’t use other types of chargers.
Tesla has now introduced a fix for the second half of that problem. The company has promised the White House it will fix the first part this year, but it said the same last year and never followed through.
The company has introduced an official adapter that lets some Tesla owners charge at other commercial charging stations. It doesn’t work with every Tesla on the road.
Most Model 3 sedans and Model Y SUVs are capable of charging through the adapter. However, only recent Model S sedans and Model X SUVs can use it. To find out if your Tesla is compatible, you’ll need to check the CCS Adapter Support page under the Additional Vehicle Information menu on the touchscreen.
For those that can’t use it, there’s hope. The problem may be fixed with a software update. Tesla says that owners whose vehicles aren’t currently compatible should “ check back in early 2023 for availability.”
Most electric vehicle owners do most of their charging at home. But public networks of charging stations enable owners to take trips outside their cars’ normal range.
Tesla’s Supercharger network includes about 35,000 charging stations, with at least one location in every state. Several other companies operate multi-state networks. But other EV brands use a different plug. The adapter allows Tesla owners to use the most common non-Tesla plug, known as a CCS port. It’s found on virtually every non-Tesla public charger.
At press time, the adapter is available on Tesla’s website for $250, with a promise to ship “within two weeks of order placement.”