Tesla owners have access to the largest high-speed network of DC fast-chargers, the Supercharger network, which also happens to be the easiest to use because of the brand’s verticle integration. But that doesn’t mean that Tesla owners won’t benefit from access to high-speed DC fast chargers on other networks.
Unlike in Europe, in North America, Tesla uses its proprietary connector so Tesla owners cannot use non-Supercharger fast chargers without an adapter. We recently posted an article that explained what all of the most common EV adapters are and how to use them. In that article, we demonstrated how the Tesla-made CCS1 to Tesla adapter works.
We then took a 2021 Tesla Model 3 to a 350 kW Electrify America DC fast charger and recorded the full 0-100% charging session to map out the full charging curve and see how quickly the CCS1 adapter will charge a Model 3.
The Tesla CCS1 Adapter charging curve compared to V2 and V3 Tesla Supercharger station recordings.
We were pretty surprised with how fast the car charged using the adapter so we took a look at our Tesla V3 Supercharger video from last year and were even more surprised to see that the Model 3 actually charged from 0 to 100% in less time using the CCS1 adapter on the Electrify America station than it did on the V3 Supercharger.
So we added that recording to this video and ran the V3 Supercharger recording side by side with the CCS1 adapter recording. The V3 Supercharger jumped out to an early lead because it was delivering 250 kW to the Model 3, but it only did so for a few minutes before the charge rate slowed down considerably once the vehicle reached 17% state of charge.
The Electrify America station delivered a peak of 185 kW at 34% state of charge before beginning its slow power ramp down.
The Time to charge graph: Tesla CCS1 Adapter versus the Tesla V2 and V3 Supercharger sessions.
Even though the Electrify America station did technically beat the V3 Supercharger charging the Model 3 from 0 to 100%, that doesn’t tell the whole story. That’s because we did the Supercharger recording one year ago, and the Model 3 has had some battery capacity loss in the past year. We also did the V3 Supercharger recording immediately after doing the 70 mph range test with the vehicle, and we drove it way past the point when the state of charge reached zero.
For the CCS1 adapter recording, we only drove the car about 5 miles past zero, so there was probably more unused capacity in the lower battery buffer for this recording. Therefore, the vehicle only reported taking in 70 kWh on the CCS1 adapter charging session and reported 75 kWh when we did our V3 Supercharger recording.
So to be fair, we’re going to repeat the Tesla V3 Supercharger recording later this week, and drive the vehicle 5 miles past zero, just as we did for the CCS1 adapter charging session. We’ll then make another video comparing the two recordings, done under the same conditions, about one week apart. Stay tuned.