As the United States’ prominent electric car charging station chain, Electrify America has established itself at the forefront of the industry. With the increasing popularity of Tesla vehicles, it becomes crucial to comprehend the compatibility between Tesla cars and Electrify America’s charging infrastructure. This article aims to delve into the answer to the question Can a Tesla Charge at Electrify America stations, elucidate the necessary adapter, and outline the diverse charging levels available. To ensure accuracy, we have sourced information directly from Tesla and Electrify America’s official websites.
Electrify America: A Brief Overview:
Electrify America has quickly become one of the largest and fastest-growing electric car charging station companies in the United States. Their network comprises over 2,600 individual electric car chargers distributed across more than 600 charging stations throughout the country. Focused on making electric car charging affordable and convenient, Electrify America aims to redefine America’s preferred method of refueling vehicles. At their dedicated electric charging stations, you won’t find any gas pumps.
Charging Options at Electrify America:
Electrify America employs fast chargers capable of significantly increasing an electric car’s range in as little as 30 minutes. Nevertheless, the amount of range gained during this period differs based on the specific make and model of the vehicle. These fast chargers, known as Level 2 chargers, aim to deliver a high-power charge to electric car batteries quickly. While they are fast, it’s important to note that they are not the fastest chargers available in the market.
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Tesla Compatibility with Electrify America Stations:
Good news for Tesla owners! All Tesla models can be charged at any Electrify America station or by using an Electrify America Level 2 home charger. Although Teslas charge relatively fast at Electrify America stations, it’s worth mentioning that the charging speed is not as rapid as at a Tesla Level 3 Supercharger station.
The Need for an Adapter:
To charge your Tesla at Electrify America stations and third-party chargers, you will need to purchase a CHAdeMO adapter. Tesla offers this adapter on their website for $400. It is advisable to use Tesla adapters when charging your vehicle at third-party stations to ensure compatibility and maintain the manufacturer’s warranty. While aftermarket adapters may be available at a lower cost, they may not have the official Tesla warranty.
Understanding Electric Car Charge Levels:
Electric car charging is categorized into three levels. Level 1 chargers, commonly found in garages, connect to 120-volt home outlets. These chargers operate at 15 or 20 amps and add a mile or two of range per hour, making them impractical for charging stations.
Level 2 charging is significantly faster than Level 1. These chargers operate at 240 volts, twice the voltage of Level 1 chargers, and offer higher amperage. Level 2 chargers can add several miles of range to an electric car in a short time, usually between 18 and 40 miles per hour. Tesla vehicles tend to charge quickly at Level 2 charging stations.
Level 3 charging stations, such as Tesla’s Supercharger stations, are extremely fast. They operate at 400+ volts and high amperage, allowing them to add approximately 170 miles of range to a Tesla in just 30 minutes. These charging stations outperform Level 1 and Level 2 stations by a significant margin.
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The cost of charging your Tesla at Electrify America varies by state, but membership can provide significant savings. For example, in California, the normal charging rate is $0.43 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), but with a membership, the rate reduces to $0.31 per kWh—a savings of over 25%.
Let’s consider the cost of fully charging a standard-range Tesla Model 3 at an Electrify America station, both with and without a membership. We’ll also compare the cost of charging for 30 minutes at a Tesla Supercharger station.
Without a Membership at Electrify America:
For a standard Tesla Model 3 with a 50 kWh battery pack, the total cost of a full charge at Electrify America would be approximately $21.50 in California, considering the $0.43 per kWh rate.
With a Membership at Electrify America:
Electrify America members save 12 cents per kWh in California, which translates to $15.50 for a full charge of a 50 kWh battery with the membership discount.
Charging at a Tesla Supercharger Station:
Tesla Superchargers offer a rapid charging experience, capable of fully charging a 50 kWh battery in minutes. The pricing structure varies: if you use under 60 kWh, you pay $0.13 per minute, and if you use over 60 kWh, the rate increases to $0.26 per minute. Alternatively, charging by kilowatt-hour incurs a flat rate of $0.28 per kWh. Considering these rates, the cost to charge a Tesla completely at a Supercharger station is $14, which is $1.50 cheaper than the lowest California rates at Electrify America. However, it’s important to note that Supercharger availability and prices may vary.
Charging your Tesla at Electrify America stations is indeed possible and offers a viable option for Tesla owners. Electrify America’s Level 2 charging stations can provide a decent charging speed, but it’s important to recognize that Tesla’s Level 3 Supercharger stations offer unparalleled charging capabilities. Additionally, understanding the different charging levels, owning a CHAdeMO adapter, and considering membership benefits can further enhance the charging experience while minimizing costs. Always stay informed about the latest pricing and charging options available to maximize the efficiency of your Tesla charging endeavors.