The Tesla Model 3 is a sleek and classy electric vehicle that anyone would be proud to own. Whether you are brand new to electric cars, or you’ve been around them for a little while, the charging particulars can get pretty confusing.
There seems to be a lot of information about charging Tesla Model 3s with CCS, and unfortunately it differs regionally. European and North American charging infrastructure is quite different, which means that navigating the specifics of CCS charging gets confusing. We’ve got everything you need to know about charging a Tesla Model 3 with CCS.
What Is CCS?
CCS stands for “combined charging system.” As the name implies, it combines two additional direct current, or “DC” contacts with existing alternating current, or “AC” contacts to provide high power DC fast-charging at up to 350 kilowatts. There are two standards commonly referred to as CCS1 and CCS2 or CCS Type 1 and CCS Type 2.
CCS1 is the standard across North America and CCS2 is the standard across Europe. They serve similar purposes, but they do feature a different structure of contacts so they are not immediately compatible. The Tesla Supercharger network is the most prominent CCS network of chargers across North America.
What Differences Exist Between the North American and the European Model 3?
In North America, Tesla uses a proprietary charging connector that is designed to work with their existing network of superchargers. European Tesla owners have been able to purchase a CCS2 adapter for a few years now, but in North America the technology is still tough to find reliably.
This is largely because Tesla holds the strongest position in electric vehicles in North America. They can continue to keep things proprietary for business interest because they largely control the market. Whereas in Europe, they have further embraced a more universal approach to electric vehicles and charging stations, thus allowing drivers to use third party chargers.
North American CCS1 to Tesla Adapters
Some manufacturers, such as Setec Power, have introduced an adapter allowing for a connection between CCS1 and Tesla’s proprietary inlet. Reviews indicate that users have experienced mixed results with these adapters and that it largely depends on your Model 3’s current charge and the station you are using to charge.
Notably, none of these adapters have been regarded as being as effective as Tesla’s existing superchargers. They are largely considered emergency uses in the event that you need a charge and the only charging stations you can reach are third party stations. If you look at it that way, it isn’t a bad device to have on hand for emergencies.
European CCS2 Tesla Charging
Europe has more strongly embraced electric vehicles and has much more legislation surrounding their use and the charging stations. European Teslas make use of the CCS charging standard which means you won’t need to buy a clunky adapter to charge your Model 3 wherever you’d like.
Tesla superchargers are also available across Europe, though they don’t hold quite as much of the market as they do in North America. The Model 3 supports slow, fast, and rapid charging. It all depends on your charging source.
How Long Does It Take To Charge a Tesla Model 3?
Charge times vary based on the charging station and your current battery level. There are some official estimations for charging from an empty to full battery and for rapid charging up to 80%. The rapid charging stops at 80% in order to maximize efficiency and protect the battery. The table below shows these charge time estimations.
|Charger Kw||120 kW||100 kW||50kW||22kW||7kW||3Kw|
|Est. Time||20 minutes||30 minutes||1 hours||5.5 hours||8.5 hours||20 hours|
It is worth noting that the charge times above are estimated based on your battery being at 0%. It is extremely unlikely that you would be charging your battery from 0% in any case, so all of these estimated charge times will likely be shorter than the time listed, assuming you are actually getting the kW input noted.
How Much Does It Cost To Charge a Tesla Model 3?
The cost of charging electric vehicles is considerably more confusing than filling up your standard gas tank in your old car. Tesla ran some promotions years ago where “early adopters” were given free charging for life, so if you fall into that category then you are all set.
Regulations vary regionally about charging consumers for electricity so some charging stations are priced per kWh (kiloWatt hour), while others are priced per minute of charging used. When you are being billed per minute, you will be charged at either Tier 1 or Tier 2. Tier 1 applies to vehicles charging at less than 60kW and Tier 2 applies at vehicles charging above 60kW.
Tesla Superchargers also have an “idle fee.” The idle fee applies to any car occupying a supercharger when the station is at least 50% full and once the charging session is complete. Effectively, you are being charged for leaving your car in the charging station for more than five minutes after you’ve finished charging it.
The average cost at a Tesla supercharger is $0.25 per kW. The full recharge to an expected range of approximately 250 miles, generally costs about $22.00. This is the cost of just the charging based on that average and does not include the possible addition of “idle fees.”
How To Charge a Tesla Model 3 At Home
If you’ve decided to invest in a Tesla Model 3, then you will likely also be interested in investing in a home charging system. This way you can always be sure that your vehicle is charged and ready to go right out of the garage.
Tesla offers proprietary home charging systems, and European residents can actually get a grant to offset the cost by as much as £350. There are certain specifics you will need to follow to be eligible for the grant, such as having dedicated off street parking.
Additionally, you could look to purchase a third party manufacturer’s home charging system. There are any number of these available, and may work well for your situation. That being said, Tesla has invested heavily in it’s own infrastructure and we do find that their products work best when used altogether.
Home chargers are not going to charge the same as a supercharger. These are usually lower power slow chargers, designed to bring your car to a full charge over a longer period of time. So be prepared to charge the car overnight, instead of in twenty minutes before you leave.
The Verdict on Charging a Tesla Model 3
Ultimately, a Tesla Model 3 is a great electric vehicle and a wonderful investment personally and globally. It may seem tricky to navigate all the different charging stations and rules and geographic specifics, but ultimately the car is a great choice and you shouldn’t have too hard of a time getting it charged.
When you go searching for all this information, you can quickly get confused by forums about what is true in Europe and what is true in North America. But the simple fact is that, wherever you buy the Tesla Model 3, you should be able to comfortably and confidently charge up with rapid CCS power all over. The infrastructure is growing larger and larger everyday.