After my foray into Supercharging my next bit of learning was using a standard electric vehicle (EV) public charger. While I’m learning that there are many types of plugs, cables and adapters the one that is most common outside of the Tesla world is the EV Plug (J1772). These plugs can charge at up to 80A at 240V (19.2kW), but the power can vary and you often see them at only 30A and 200V (6kW) or about ~3/4 of the NEMA 14-50.
Connecting the Tesla
Tesla includes an adapter for the J1772 to fit it into the Tesla’s charge port. You don’t need your universal mobile connector (UMC). Once the adapter is fitted onto the J1772 connector you just plug in and charge as usual. One thing to be careful of is that you now have a plug going into the adapter that then goes into the car. Fitting them together is straight forward and can only be done one way. Unplugging you need to follow a simple process:
- Stop charging (from 17″ screen)
- Unlock charge port
- Grab charge cable by the adapter (not by the J1772/cable) and pull out
- Separate your adapter from the J1772 cable
- Replace J1772 cable in the hanging spot
On the J1772 I found which is a pretty typical one in this area of the US I saw a charge rate of 16 miles/hour. Definitely not a fast charge but about 5 times better than plugging into a normal 110v outlet.
There are a bunch of great ways to find available chargers. Chargepoint has an entire network of over 17,000 chargers. There you can find chargers, check their operational status, check the power rating, etc. The one I used was listed as:
Level 2, J1772, 6.6 kW
This particular one I tested on was on the Chargepoint network and for the Tesla right now this is about what they offer. In my area they’re all rated around that 6.6kW amount. Not all Chargepoint chargers are for a fee, but you need to use your Chargepoint account to access/enable all of them. You can sign up for free online and you would only pay when/if you use them. Signing up was one of the pre-delivery things I did and this charge was to test the charging as well as the card/access. If you didn’t sign up for a Chargepoint card you can use a regular credit card at many of them instead. This particular one seemed to be free but the whole pricing/communication of price is weak both on their site and on the charger. Either I’m missing something or it’s still really early days for this infrastructure.
One really nice thing about the Chargepoints is that it’s a small way for businesses to generate revenue while looking green and attracting people driving EVs — the result is that they’re often located in convenient locations where you may be stopping for a while. Those locations can vary from shopping centers to grocery stores, to restaurants.
The 99’er is a local chain with reasonable prices and you can charge up while you’re eating. It won’t add a lot of miles to your car but may top you up enough to get home if you’re low. This location had 2 charging spots and there seems to be some kind of partnership between Chargepoint and National Grid to get these spots installed and powered in Massachusetts.
In the end, it was a simple process and worked as expected. You definitely appreciate your NEMA 14-50 or your HPWC at home once you’ve exposed yourself to charging in public. And a Supercharger spoils you for life!
This post first appeared on Teslarati.