SAE J1772 Adapter: How to Charge ANY Tesla with ANY L2 EV Charger
What is a SAE J1772 Adapter?
The SAE J1772 is also known as a J-plug and is the North American standard for electrical connectors made for electric vehicles. The standard is maintained by SAE International (Society of Automotive Engineers).
As described on Wikipedia “It covers the general physical, electrical, communication protocol, and performance requirements for the electric vehicle conductive charge system and coupler. The intent is to define a common electric vehicle conductive charging system architecture including operational requirements and the functional and dimensional requirements for the vehicle inlet and mating connector”.
Charging a Tesla with a Non-Tesla Charger
The Tesla supercharging network (Level 3+) is growing rapidly. Tesla currently has supercharging stations in 2000+ locations and a total of over 20,000 superchargers in the United States alone.
In addition, most Tesla owners opt to install a Level 2 Tesla charger (such as the Tesla Gen 3 Charger) at their home for additional charging convenience.
But on top of this expanding network of Level 2 chargers, did you know you can charge your Tesla with essentially ANY Level 2 charger on the market?
That’s right, you Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y (and future CyberTruck or Roadster) can be charged using non-Tesla chargers thanks to the SAE J1772 to Tesla adapter. And there is no need to run off to purchase one of these power adapters, it came with your vehicle! It should be in the black travel bag that stores your Level 1 charger.
Just like USB-C is a widely accepted electric standard for audio, video, and power transfer, the SAE J1772 standard is widely accepted for charging electric vehicles. That is unless you are Tesla. Similar to how Apple has it’s own charging port, Tesla has decided to create their own charging standard specific to their vehicles.
And yes, Tesla has been called out countless times for going this route. And yes, Tesla will continue to be ridiculed time and time again for this decision.
Yet as the undeniable leader in the electric vehicle revolution, Tesla seems to be able to make up the rules as they go. As a Tesla owner you an charge your EV with any charger on the market (Tesla or non-Tesla), but as a non-Tesla EV owner you are limited to only charge within the J1772 charging network.
As the Tesla charging network continues to grow at a far faster pace than competitors, this creates yet another large advantage for the electric vehicle pioneer company.
The SAE J1772 to Tesla adapter that comes with your Tesla allows you to plug any Level 2 J1772 compatible charger in on one end, and then plug the other end into your Tesla.
As stated on the Tesla Shop the SAE J1772 Charging Adapter is “Compatible with most Level 2 public charging stations, the J1772 Adapter supports charging speeds up to 19.2kW and works with all Tesla vehicles.”
So in theory you can use this adapter with a charger capable of charging at up to 80 amps (although most home Level 2 chargers can only charge up to 50 amps, and most home electrical panels are not setup for such high power draw). If you happen to have lost the adapter that came with your car, you can purchase a replacement on the Tesla Shop website for $95.
3rd party adapters are available online such as the Lectron SAE J1772 to Tesla adapter (sold on Amazon for $85). Using one of these 3rd party options should be done at your own risk, as Tesla could void your warranty by using one of these adapters. Tesla recommends consulting third-party EVSEs directly for more details on using non-Tesla charging practices.
The SAE J1772 to Tesla adapter gives Tesla owners the flexibility to charge with almost any Level 2 charger on the market. While the rest of North America uses the SAE J1772 charging standard, Tesla has decided to use their own charging standard and has created the adapter to open more charging options for their customers.
How do you feel about Tesla using their own charging standard? Do you think this will encourage other automotive companies to develop their own charging standard (or are they too late in the game)? What has been your experience using a SAE J1772 adapter to charge your Tesla with a non-Tesla charger?
Leave a comment below and join the conversation!
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