Tesla superchargers open to everyone in France: are they interesting?

Owners of electric vehicles hoped for it, Tesla did it: the American brand is opening its first “multi-brand” stations, whose terminals are accessible by any vehicle equipped with a CCS charger (excluding Nissan Leaf, therefore) . Until now, it was impossible for a driver of a Porsche Taycan, Audi e-tron, Jaguar I-Pace or even Volkswagen ID.3 to connect to a Tesla terminal, the fault of a specific communication protocol dedicated to vehicles of the brand.

Last year, Elon Musk announced the arrival of “open” terminals in Europe, in two phases: an experimental one, first, with tests conducted in the Netherlands and now in France. A second of validation a little later, when the tests will have been conclusive.

The first French stations

Make sure your vehicle can plug into the (short) Supercharger cable!© Franck Camuzat

16 stations comprising an average of 14 terminals each are spread over the territory (the list on the official site), but beware: the architecture of the Superchargers is particular. The cables integrated into the terminals are indeed relatively short, since the charging points are designed for Tesla vehicles whose sockets are located on the left rear fender. If you have an electric car with a hatch at the rear right or at the front left, you risk not being able to access the terminals… And Tesla clearly states this in its general conditions: “ the architecture of some Supercharger stations may not be suitable for certain vehicles. Please do not obstruct other vehicles by parking on the lines if the cable cannot easily reach your vehicle “.

Another constraint, less annoying this time: unlike Tesla customers who take advantage of “Plug & Charge”, other owners of electric cars will have to go through the Tesla mobile application (and therefore create an account) to connect to a terminal and start charging.

The price of “open” Superchargers

In France, there is not a fixed price for all Superchargers. The price per kWh can indeed vary depending on the stations (and local charges), but be aware that it will take a little less than 50% extra cost compared to a Tesla owner on a brand terminal. Concretely, the kWh will cost you between 0.55 and 0.60 € if you do not choose the subscription at 12.99 € per month. Otherwise, the rate will drop to around €0.40, which is the price a Tesla customer pays on a Supercharger, and for the subscription to be profitable, it will take around 70 kWh of charging per month (the equivalent of a large “full”). Do your calculations.

Overall, Superchargers will be very relevant for vehicles that do not have high powers (less than 100 kW, for example). Indeed, on the Ionity terminals, billing is done by the minute: it is necessarily less interesting for cars that charge slowly! The tariff per kWh rather than time spent at the terminal will therefore be lighter for these users. And for those who have cars that charge very quickly (Kia/Hyundai, Audi, Porsche, etc.), it will probably be better to use Ionity terminals. But here again, everything depends on the capacity of the terminal on site to hold its power over time…

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