What is Tesla Destination Charging (Explained)
Tesla runs two types of charging networks, commonly-known Superchargers and obscure Destination Chargers. While both are used to charge Tesla vehicles on the go, they serve different purposes.
Supercharging is used for rapid charging on long-distance travel when you want to get back on the road quickly. But what if you’re out and about, not near a Tesla Supercharger? And don’t want to rely on third-party charging stations?
That’s where a Tesla Destination Charger comes in!
Destination Charging is Tesla’s global network of 35000+ Wall Connectors that provides a convenient charging option at hotels, restaurants, workplaces and shopping centres, where you’d be spending time over an extended period.
In this post, I’ll explain what Tesla Destination Charging is, how it all works and everything you need to know about the network.
…so you have all the knowledge you need to make the most of road-tripping in your Tesla without range anxiety.
Let’s dive in!
What is Tesla Destination Charging?
Tesla Destination Charging is a network of 35,000+ Wall Connectors installed at popular destinations like hotels, restaurants, shopping centres, car parks etc. These Wall Connectors provide a convenient charging option when you’re away from home.
Tesla Destination Chargers are designed to be used for longer periods, such as overnight stays. They add up to 44 miles (70 km) of range per hour depending on your car model, battery size, state of charge and the charging station’s power output.
The concept is simple: businesses partner with Tesla and provide a charger (or multiple chargers) with usually free charging. In return, Tesla lists their property on its in-car maps and the website (Find Us page) as a destination charger.
This is a win-win for all parties; the businesses, Tesla drivers and Tesla as a company.
Businesses get exposure to 4Mn+ Tesla drivers who will spend money at their establishments, Tesla drivers get access to convenient charging locations while they shop, eat, or stay at a hotel and Tesla gets more chargers for its network helping promote its brand and sell more cars.
How Does Tesla Destination Charging Work?
Tesla Destination Charging is quite similar to Supercharging, except without the costs! All you have to do is plug in your Tesla at a listed location and that’s it – you’re good to go!
You don’t need any additional setup – no apps, no RFID cards!
Destination chargers are the same wall-mounted units (Tesla Wall Connectors) that you can install for home charging using alternating current (AC).
How Many Tesla Destination Chargers Are There?
There are 35,000+ destination chargers around the world.
These chargers are spread across 485 locations in the UK and 3687 locations in the USA.
Where Are Tesla Destination Chargers?
The 35K+ Tesla Destination Chargers are located all around the world (45+ countries) in major cities, shopping centres and popular tourist destinations.
If you’re a Tesla driver, searching for a destination charging location is simple.
To easily list the Tesla Destination Charging locations, use the Tesla Destination Charger Map from your in-car navigation system.
This will bring up a list of businesses with charging stations near your location. You can access all the locations on Tesla’s Find Us page.
Or, you can use apps like PlugShare and Zap-Map to search for Destination Chargers.
What Does a Tesla Destination Charger Look Like?
Tesla Destination Chargers look just like the Tesla Wall Connector units for home charging.
This is the Gen 3 version that comes with WiFi and is easily identifiable by the white glass plate, thinner cable and smaller in size than its predecessor, the Gen 2.
They come with a single connector that looks like this:
How to Use a Tesla Destination Charger?
To use Tesla Destination Charging, follow the below simple steps:
- Step #1. Navigate to a participating location using the in-car navigation and park your car at an available spot.
- Step #2. Plug your vehicle into the Tesla destination charging station.
- Step #3. Once plugged in, the charging will begin automatically without needing any additional setup.
The process is the same as charging at home using Tesla Wall Connector or at a Supercharger.
Most destination chargers are Level 2, which means they charge slower than a Supercharger. But they’re still much faster than a standard Level 1 charger (UMC – Universal Mobile Connector) you’d use for trickle charging at home.
How Fast Are Tesla Destination Chargers?
Tesla Destination Charger can reach charging speeds of up to 44 miles per hour (mph) but the charging speed depends on your car model and the electricity supply circuit. So charging speeds can usually range between 20miles/hour for 7kW power to
The time it takes to charge will depend on the amperage of the charger and how much your car can take in. This means that a full charge can take anywhere from 1-12 hours, depending on the size of your battery and the SoC (State of Charge) it’s at.
|Tesla Model||Distance adder per hour of charging|
|Model 3 (SR – RWD)||up to 30 miles per hour|
|Model 3 (LR/P – AWD)||up to 44 miles per hour|
|Model Y||up to 44 miles per hour|
|Model S||up to 41 miles per hour|
|Model X||up to 35 miles per hour|
But the charging speeds you get depend on the Amperage and the kW rating that the charger you’re using is on.
Note: Keep in mind that Destination Chargers are useful only when you’re stopping for a while or staying the night. They realistically deliver around 18-25 miles of range per hour, so they are not designed to be your primary charging source if you’re on a long journey. Superchargers are the best for that.
How many kW is a Tesla destination charger?
Tesla destination chargers usually vary between 6-22 kW, allowing up to 44 miles added per hour.
What is the maximum amperage for Tesla destination charger?
Tesla destination charger (Gen 3 Wall Connector) has an Amperage (current output) range of 12-48 Amps and recommends circuit breaker configuration on the supply between 15-60 Amps.
|Circuit breaker (Amps)||Max Output (Amps)|
The Gen 2 variant used to support up to 100A of output but because the max output was restricted to 48A for onboard chargers on all Tesla vehicles, the Gen 3 wall connectors now support a max Amperage of 48 Amps only.
Are Tesla destination Chargers AC or DC?
Tesla destination chargers are AC (alternating current) chargers. The onboard charger in your Tesla car then converts the AC power to DC (direct current) for storing energy in the battery.
In contrast, Tesla Superchargers are DC (direct current) fast chargers that override your car’s onboard charger to directly charge the battery and store energy. They can reach up to 250 kW of power (for v3 Superchargers).
Here’s a simple illustration showing how it works:
How Much Does Tesla Destination Charging Cost?
All destination chargers are cost-free, though usually restricted to customers of the host business. For instance, a hotel may only permit its guests to access their Electric Vehicle (EV) charger. Or, if you’re charging at a restaurant, they might expect you to eat there.
So, typically businesses might expect you to buy something while your car charges and absorb the cost of EV charging.
It’s rare, but some businesses may choose to charge a fee for using the charger. The Tesla infrastructure provides the capability to enable paid charging for the Gen 3 Wall Connectors provided the business has 6+ units installed.
If enabled, the business can charge customers for the electricity used during the charging session directly through the Tesla account (like you do for Supercharging).
Tip: If you’re planning on using a destination charger, it’s always best to call ahead and confirm that the charger is available and that there are no usage fees.
You might think, “it’s great that these destination chargers are free for me but somebody must pay for the electricity usage!”
So it begs the question of who is footing the bill to install and maintain these destination chargers? And who pays for the electricity used?
Who Pays for Tesla Destination Chargers?
The answer to this is surprisingly simple: businesses and landowners that have installed the destination chargers pay for the installation and maintenance. They also absorb the cost of electricity usage.
This is an investment for a positive outcome – an influx of new customers from Tesla drivers looking to charge up recharge at their locations, many of whom may end up making purchases as well!
Tesla Destination Charger vs Supercharger
Tesla Destination Chargers and Superchargers both offer distinct advantages catering to specific needs. When charging times are not a priority, destination chargers are perfect; however, when you need to power up quickly to get going quickly, nothing beats Supercharging.
With these two options combined, you get access to rapid-fire recharge on those long trips as well as reliable charging options at your destination, hence the name: destination charging!
Tesla Destination Charging is a great way to charge your car when you’re going to stay in one place for a few hours or overnight. The charging speeds range from 20-44 miles/hour and you’ll usually wake up to a full battery. In most cases, you won’t have to pay for the electricity used.
On the other hand, Supercharging is typically more expensive than destination charging, but it’s also much faster for long-distance travel when you need to get back on the road as soon as possible and reach your destination.
Supercharging can add 100 miles in about 10 minutes (reaching charging speeds of up to 1020 miles/hour in the right conditions), but you will be charged per kWh used (about £0.50/kWh in the UK or $0.25/kWh in the US) unless you have free Supercharger miles.
Superchargers are situated on well-travelled roads, making them more accessible than the out-of-the-way destination chargers typically located in hotels or restaurants.
As you can see, Tesla’s Destination Chargers and Superchargers are great solutions when it comes to recharging your EV. Both of them have a unique purpose and address different needs.
The charging network is Tesla’s USP.
Whether you’re planning a long-distance trip or just need to charge up while waiting for your food order, these two options from Tesla will get you back on the road quickly and safely!
Can I use Tesla destination charger for other cars?
Yes, you can use Tesla Destination Charger for other electric cars but you might require a Tesla to J1772 adapter. Some locations are reserved for Tesla drivers only; most, however, offer open chargers to various EVs with a ratio of 2:1 – two spots designated for Teslas and one available to all other electric cars.
At these stations, look out for red logos marking reserved slots or white signs designating open access.