Where can I find Tesla & other charging stations for my EV?
Written by Andrew Sendy
Updated March 13, 2020
7 minutes read
Electric vehicles (EVs) continue to gain popularity among new car buyers as environmentally friendly alternatives to those powered by traditional fuels. According to Forbes, Americans purchased over 350,000 EVs in 2018, and the total figures for 2019 are expected to be much higher.
When using EVs, finding a charging station can be a challenge. Whether you're on a road trip or searching for stations in your neighborhood, there are convenient resources to help you find charging ports for your EV.
Which EV charging stations can I use?
All electric vehicle charging stations are not created equal. There are 3 main types of public charging stations, each best suited for a different type of EV battery.
- Level 1 charging stations produce up to 1 kW of charging power. At these low levels, it can take between 8 and 12 hours to fully charge a vehicle's battery. These stations work best for charging smaller models overnight. Most home charging ports are Level 1 installations.
- Level 2 charging stations can yield anywhere from 3 to 20 kW of electricity. With the increase in power, batteries charge more quickly. These ports can charge a drained battery in 3 to 8 hours.
- DC fast chargers or superchargers are high-powered, fast charging stations that deliver between 50 and 120 kW of output. Since these stations require more electricity than the average home current can handle, they are only found on public and commercial plots.
Most EV models come with connectors for Level 1 and 2 stations. Tesla builds DC fast chargers specifically for their vehicles. However, these cars include an adapter that allows users to charge their vehicles at any convenient station. Check your owner's manual to find out which station is best for your particular EV model.
Where can I find Tesla supercharger stations?
Tesla motors maintain a map of their supercharger network available to Tesla owners. This map is available through the software in the car and also the Tesla website. An EV driver can plan out long distance trips based on the miles of range of their EV and destination charging available within 1,000 miles.
How much does it cost to use the Tesla charging network?
Owners of Tesla Model X and S cars are able to use the Tesla charging stations for free to charge their electric cars but owners of the Model 3 will have to pay. See our related article on how much does it cost to charge an electric car.
Where can I find other EV charging stations?
In order to make EVs a more reasonable alternative to gas-powered vehicles, manufacturers, businesses, and municipalities install EV charging stations in strategic locations.
What are the best apps for finding charging stations?
Use the power of modern technology to easily locate a charging station near you with these 3 phone applications.
- Available via app or internet browser, PlugShare is one of the most popular EV locators. Simply plug in your parameters to quickly find a station that fits your needs.
- Open Charge Map integrates navigation functions so users can more easily find an exact location. Pictures and other information are included to aid in pre-trip planning
- Dubbed the ‘Airbnb of EV charging,’ EVMatch is an innovative app that connects homeowners and businesses that have a charging station to EV owners seeking a place to juice up. If the host has solar, you can charge your vehicle with 100% clean energy.
The US Department of Energy maintains an interactive map of EV charging stations across the United States and Canada. While it does not provide as much detail as the other applications, it is accurate and can be a lifesaver when there are no other search options.
What are the benefits of installing a solar garage or home EV charging station to charge your electric car?
Solar power is the perfect energy source for your home charging station for a number of reasons.
Not sure if a solar garage is a savvy financial investment? Use this solar cost and savings tool to see how much you could save with a home solar installation.