The Ultimate Tesla Supercharger Guide

Use this guide to understand where to find Tesla Superchargers, how much it costs to Supercharge, how Supercharging works, and more helpful information associated with Superchargers!

Many industry analysts believe supercharger technology is one of the big reasons for Tesla’s lead in electric car sales across the globe. (Source: Tesla)

Most charging networks have struggled to find traction during the early stages of EV adoption, meanwhile Tesla’s Supercharger has received praise from customers for its simple design and extensive global coverage. Tesla's Supercharger technology is one of the big reasons for the company's dominance in the EV market, and this guide reveals the essential features of the current Supercharger network and how to optimize your visits to these locations.

Table of Contents

Total Supercharger Costs (Charging and Idle Fees)

Charging Power, Battery Range and Cost

How to Find a Supercharger Location and Which to Choose?

Which Station Should I Use?

Opening the Charge Port Door

Charge Port States and Colors

Understanding your Tesla’s Charging Screen

Outdoor Temperatures Matter

V3 Supercharger, What’s the Difference?

Total Supercharger Costs (Charging and Idle Fees)

Charging Fees

Electricity pricing varies across the world and the same holds true for Supercharging fees. In 2019, Tesla increased pricing across its Supercharger network and the average price for a kilowatt hour (kWH) increased to $0.31.Additionally, California and New York electricity pricing can exceed $0.32 kWH, depending on location. Depending on certain state and regional requirements, Tesla also charges on a per minute basis in some instances. These costs can range from $0.28 per minute above 60kW to $0.14 per minute below 60kW. In Germany, the cost reaches €0.46 per minute above 60kW and, for Canada, the price hits $0.50 per minute above 60kW.With so many different pricing schedules, it can be difficult to keep track of what the standard rates are, so we’ve provided the chart below to summarize:

U.S.
$0.31 per kWh (per kWh locations)
$0.28 per minute above 60 kW and $0.14 per minute at or below 60 kW (per minute locations)
Canada
$0.50 per minute above 60 kW and $0.25 per minute at or below 60 kW
Europe
Austria€0.31 per kWh
Belgium€0.32 per kWh
CroatiaHRK 1.88 per kWh
Czech Republic7.02 CZK per kWh
Denmarkkr. 3.22 per kWh
Finland€0.27 per kWh
France€0.27 per kWh
Germany€0.46 per minute above 60 kW and €0.23 per minute at or below 60 kW
Hungary81.38 HUF per kWh
Ireland€0.32 per kWh
Italy€0.33 per kWh
Liechtenstein€0.34 per kWh
Luxembourg€0.28 per kWh
Netherlands€0.28 per kWh
Norwaykr. 1.86 per kWh
Poland1.38 PLN per kWh
Slovakia€0.28 per kWh
Slovenia€0.28 per kWh
Spain€0.32 per kWh
SwedenSEK 2.56 per kWh
SwitzerlandCHF 0.34 per kWh
Great Britain£0.27 per kWh
Asia-Pacific
Australia$0.47 per kWh
China¥2.00 per kWh
Hong Kong$3.20 per kWh
Japan¥44.00 per minute above 60 kW and ¥22.00 per minute at or below 60 kW
New Zealand$0.47 per kWh

Idle Fees

For vehicles that remained parked after charging is finished, there is a 5-minute grace period before you are charged an idle fee. Tesla will charge $1/minute ($60/hour) from when the vehicle completed charging until it is moved. However, the fee is waived if the Supercharger is less than half full, as other drivers are still able to readily charger their vehicles. Once charging is completed, it’s common courtesy to move your vehicle, making spaces available to others that need to charge. Additionally, you can configure the Tesla mobile app to send push notifications once charging is completed.

Idle Fees By Country

CountryCurrencyIdle fee (per minute)Idle fee (per minute) when the station is 100% occupied
United StatesUSD$0.50$1.00
CanadaCAD$0.65$1.30
AustriaEUR0.40 €0.80 €
BelgiumEUR0.40 €0.80 €
CroatiaHRKkn 3.10kn 6.20
Czech RepublicCZKkr. 5.45kr. 10.90
DenmarkDKKkr. 3.15kr. 6.30
FinlandEUR€ 0.40€ 0.80
FranceEUR0.40 €0.80 €
GermanyEUR0.40 €0.80 €
IrelandEUR€ 0.40€ 0.80
ItalyEUR€ 0.40€ 0.80
HungaryHUF141.65 Ft283.30 Ft
LiechtensteinCHFCHF 0.50CHF 1.00
LuxembourgEUR0.40 €0.80 €
NetherlandsEUR€ 0.40€ 0.80
NorwayNOKkr. 4.05kr. 8.10
PolandPLN1.80 zł3.60 zł
SlovakiaEUR0.40 €0.80 €
SloveniaEUR€ 0.40€ 0.80
SpainEUR0.40 €0.80 €
SwedenSEK4.40 kr8.80 kr
SwitzerlandCHFCHF 0.50CHF 1.00
UKEUR£ 0.35£ 0.70
AustraliaAUD$0.65$1.30
ChinaCNY¥ 3.20¥ 6.40
Hong KongHKD$3.90$7.80
MacauHKD$3.90$7.80
New ZealandNZD$0.70$1.40
JapanJPY¥ 55.00¥ 110.00

Charging Power, Battery Range and Cost

The vehicles battery pack size and cell design will limit its maximum charging power when using a Supercharger. Below is a summary of charging power, battery range and cost for popular Tesla models:

In rare instances, power at a specific Supercharger location may be limited by a utility power transformer.However, in most locations, there’s ample power for all Supercharger stations and you won’t encounter any limitations.

As your vehicle reaches ~45% State of Charge (SOC), you’ll notice that the charging power starts to decrease.This means that you get the fastest charging when you’re between 20% - 55% SOC, as charging slows down the closer you get to 100%.When travel requires multiple Supercharger stops, the best plan is to stop charging once you have enough power to reach your next charging stop, plus a 10% - 15% reserve for safety. When reaching an 80% SOC, charging power will significantly decrease to avoid any thermal damage to the car’s battery pack. Meaning the last 20% can be quite slow, up to 30 to 35 minutes, so you’ll want to try to avoid it.

Tesla also rolled out its urban Superchargers in 2017, which is based on the standard Supercharger design but caps the power rate at 72kW in certain metro areas. These urban charging locations allow up to 80% SOC, to facilitate quicker charging sessions for local driving.

The urban Tesla superchargers deliver charge rates up to 72kW. (Source: Tesla)

How to Find a Supercharger Location and Which to Choose?

There are several ways to find a Tesla Supercharger location, however we recommend that you use 1 of 2 methods depending on how you’re planning your trip.

The first way is to use the Trip Planner navigation inside of your Tesla.It’s comprehensive, detailed, and native to your car’s navigation system, providing you with turn-by-turn navigation and integrated Supercharging stops along your route aligned to your battery’s SOC and miles of range.

Finding a supercharger route is easy with Tesla’s destination planner. (Source: Tesla)

The second way is to use PlugShare, which you can either download the free app for or access it from the web.PlugShare is a top reviewed, data-driven, community-based tool that guides drivers to public charging locations throughout the world. We’ve embedded their Supercharger map below for you to give it a try and see just how easy it is to plan a road trip in advance or even in your car, which can then port to either Apple or Google Maps.

Finding a Supercharger location on your route is simple, just enter a destination on your car’s touchscreen and the Tesla Trip Planner navigation will automatically route you through convenient Superchargers along the way as needed.Typically, you’ll only have one Supercharger location to choose from along different points on your route.In rare instances, you may also find that there are multiple Supercharger locations within proximity of one another, providing you the luxury of selecting a specific location.When multiple choices are available, here are a couple factors that you’ll want to take into consideration:

• Select the location that leaves you with the lowest State of Charge (SOC) before arriving.Supercharging is fastest at low SOC levels, like when your battery is close to drained.This is mostly ideal on long road trips.

• Select the location with the most available stations. This avoids having to wait to charge, and you can possibly find a pair of stations that are unoccupied, speeding up your charging.We’ll talk about this more in a later section.

• Select the location that has the amenities you’re looking for nearby, such as restrooms, restaurants, coffee shops, shopping and Wi-Fi.

From the Tesla Trip Navigation screen, you can see Supercharger locations by tapping any red pin.Availability is also displayed above the pin to let you know how many stations are available at a given Supercharger location.

Tesla’s Trip Navigation offers information about charging availability, along with amenities. (Source: Tesla)

For more details on each location, we recommend using the PlugShare app (iOS & Android), where you can find pictures of each location and their stations, nearby amenities, sites and helpful comments from other Supercharger users. Below is a small sample of images from PlugShare that you can find at one Supercharger location alone, which Tesla’s Trip Navigation won’t reveal.

An image of the V3 supercharger station (Fremont, Calif.) is included in the PlugShare App, along with a picture of the first Falcon 9 reused rocket showing up at Hawthorne station (the home of SpaceX).
The Supercharging station located at the SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, Calif.

Which Station Should I Use?

Fast and optimized charging is always ideal, so you’ll want to make sure to select the right station based on availability. If a Supercharger’s stations are completely empty, any stall should offer you the maximum charging speed. However, at a busy location, which is what you’ll most likely encounter, picking the wrong station can increase the time that it takes for you to charge.

For V2 Superchargers, stations are configured in pairs to a single Supercharger power cabinet.Each cabinet has a number that correlates to the charging station with that number followed by the letters A or B. In order to get the maximum charging capacity and speed, you want to select a station where your Tesla will be the only vehicle at station A and B. Many PlugShare App users leave ratings in the comment section on individual Supercharger stations and their performance. Comments can include “only running 88kW with no other cars “ or “2B and 3B don’t work.”

Finding the right supercharger station on your trip is essential to reduce overall traveling time. (Source: Tesla)

When vehicles occupy both stations A and B, energy coming from the Supercharger power cabinet is divided between both vehicles charging. The first vehicle will receive the most power, and the second vehicle will receive at least 30kW. Once the first vehicle exceeds ~50% SOC, power is tapered down to protect the battery. The excess capacity is then shifted to the second vehicle. Once the first vehicle completes charging or leaves, the second vehicle then gets the entire capacity of the Supercharger.

If you find a new V3 Supercharger, it allows each station to get up to 250kW, and unlike V2, there’s no power sharing, allowing you to get the fastest charging experience possible for your vehicle.

This is an example of a V3 charging session and its 200kW+charging speed. (Source: PlugShare)

Opening the Charge Port Door

There are several ways to open your charge port door, like using the touchscreen or the Tesla app. However, when charging, the cool and convenient is by tapping the release button on the Supercharging connector while aiming it near the charge port door.One caveat, if you own a Model S with the older manual closing charge port door, you’ll need to use your key fob or touchscreen to open it instead.

Charge Port States and Colors

On the Model 3 there’s a small Tesla logo that lights up to the left of the charging port to tell you what’s going on.On the Model S/X, there’s a ring around the charging port that lights up to communicate the same.On the European Model S/X, there’s a charging indicator to the right side of the charging port consisting of three LED lights to communicate as well.Regardless of which model vehicle you have, here’s what each of the colors mean that you might see when charging:

(mult. colors- showing charge states)]

(1) The light blue ring shows that the vehicle is ready for a charging session, while the Model 3 and the (2) green-colored Tesla logo demonstrates car charging. The (3) European Model 3 comes equipped with a CCS/combo charging plug, but the European Model S and X models (4) doesn’t possess the combo charging plug.

Understanding your Tesla’s Charging Screen

Understanding the information displayed on the charging screen is important and can help you get the most out of your charging sessions. When charging, the screen will display the following information:

Source: PlugShare

To reduce your charging time significantly, if the last 20% of range isn’t necessary for your trip, you should stop charging.

After you’ve been connected to a Supercharger for 5 to 10 minutes, we recommend you check the charging screen via your car or the Tesla app. In rare cases, charging may stop or not operate properly. Checking early allows you to resolve any issues without wasting a lot of time thinking that your car is charging, when it’s not.

Outside Temperatures Matter

If the car’s battery pack is too cold or hot, its power will be reduced until the pack returns to a safe fast-charging range. The vehicle’s HVAC system is used to cool or heat the battery, accordingly,during these periods. Charging at the optimal rate typically takes about 5 to 10 minutes once charging has begun. Additionally, Tesla released a feature in early 2019 that can precondition the battery as needed when navigating to a Supercharger so that when you arrive, charging can begin at the maximum rate aligned to the SOC. As with all electric vehicles, battery pack range will be reduced during extreme temperatures, such as 0 deg C or above 95 deg C, but returns to its regular range once the weather returns to normal.

Source: u/privaterbok of the r/TeslaMotors subreddit

V3 Supercharger, What’s the Difference?

The new V3 Supercharger uses a single cabinet to manage 1MW of power! It can distribute up to 250kW per vehicle across 4 stations at a time. The Model 3 Long Range can take advantage of the V3 Supercharger with a charge rate of up to 1,000 miles per hour, equating to 75 miles of charge in 5 minutes.Model S/X also see an advantage from using the V3 Supercharger, with the ability to charge at up to 200kW.

As mentioned earlier, since the maximum power can be provided to each station and doesn’t need to be shared, there’s no need to be selective as to which V3 station you charge at to get maximum power.

The V3 Supercharger stations arrived in 2019 and reach up to 250kW+ at the beginning of charging sessions when SOC is low. (Source: Tesla)
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