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How to Charge Your Tesla at a Supercharger

Solid Black Tesla Model 3 Plugged in at a Supercharger

By: Otaiba Ahsan

Perhaps the biggest advantage Tesla has over other electric vehicle (EV) makers is their vast network of Superchargers. Having access to reliable fast charging is incredibly useful, as it opens the possibility to take longer trips with ease and allows owners to charge when the option isn’t available at home. Continue for steps on how to charge your Tesla at a Supercharger.

Tesla Superchargers

For a long time, Supercharging stations were exclusive to Tesla, but they’re now slowly being opened to other EVs. They’re typically found directly off major highways and at other high-traffic areas like casinos, resorts, grocery stores, and more.

Superchargers are classified as level 3 charging, also known as direct current (DC) fast charging and are a high-power charging method that allows your Tesla to be re-juiced at blazing speeds. Whenever possible, owners are billed per kilowatt-hour (kWh), however, in other areas they are billed per minute. When billed per minute there are four tiers to account for changes in charging speeds.

So, what do you do when you arrive at a Supercharging stall? See the simple steps below:

  1. Reverse Park into one of the spots so that your charging port is closest to the cable. Be sure to avoid parking directly next to another person when possible, as it could result in slower charging speeds due splitting of power.
  2. Grab the Supercharging cable and plug it into your car’s charge port. Wait 3 to 5 seconds as the Tesla emblem will go from the color blue to green, and voila! Your vehicle is now charging.
  3. When finished, simply unplug the cable and put it back where you got it from. The card that’s associated with your Tesla account will automatically be charged.

NOTE: You can adjust what percentage you’d like to charge to from both inside the car or from the Tesla app.  This can be done by dragging the charging meter to the desired percentage. In the Tesla app, this line always shows when the vehicle is on charge. However, when in your car, tap Controls > Charging and you can get the same view.

Cost of Supercharging

It’s difficult to pinpoint a single price for Tesla supercharging. This is because some stations bill you per kWh while others bill you per minute. Tesla claims that whenever possible, owners will be charged per kWh. According to SolarReviews, the average supercharging cost per kWh in California is 0.25 cents. However, this number is subject to change as rates continuously vary.

TIP: Try not to charge past 80% at chargers where you’re billed per minute. This is because superchargers become much slower to safeguard battery health once the battery reaches this percentage.

Not sure where to look when trying to find a Supercharger? Don’t worry, we’ve created a useful guide on how to find Superchargers from inside your Tesla.

The Bottom Line

The steps on how to charge your Tesla at a Supercharger are easy. When you arrive at a stall, reverse Park so that your charging port is close to the cable and avoid parking directly next to another person when possible. Next, grab the cable and plug it into your car’s charge port, and wait until the Tesla emblem is green which indicates the vehicle is charging. When done, remove the cable and continue your journey.

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