Last month, Tesla started allowing non-Tesla electric cars to use some of its Superchargers in New York and California. However, a recent video by YouTuber Marques Brownlee demonstrated that this move could create problems for Tesla owners.
Brownlee visited a Tesla Supercharger in New York with his Rivian R1T, and according to his Twitter post, the situation “descended into chaos” when non-Tesla drivers arrived.
In the video, Brownlee explained that he had to occupy two parking spots near the charger because the charging port on his EV was on the front driver’s side, while the charging station was designed for Teslas that have the charging port on the back-left corner of the car.
Although Brownlee considered the experience to be positive since he could avoid using “risky” public chargers, he also noted that crowded Superchargers might deter Tesla owners.
“Suddenly you’re taking up two spots for what would normally be one,” Brownlee said. “If I was like a huge Tesla person I would probably be worried about you know my own Tesla experience. Will it get worse because more people are charging? Potentially, you’ll have more people waiting in line more people taking up more spots.”
The situation at the Tesla Supercharger in New York worsened when a Lucid EV and a Ford F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck arrived.
The driver of the F-150 Lightning faced a problem as Tesla’s retrofitted charging cord was too short to reach the car’s charging port, and he had to pull up so close to the charging stand that the cord was pulled taut. The driver described this situation as too risky.
In a different YouTube video, the same F-150 Lightning driver, Tom Moloughney, who manages the EV charging channel State of Charge, suggested that he may have to park his car sideways to feel more comfortable. This maneuver would occupy three spots simultaneously. Moloughney also stated that the cable was too short for the Lucid driver.
“If you’re a Tesla owner it’s not a good day,” Moloughney said. “Soon that exclusivity of being able to drive wherever you want and plug in it’s going to get more complicated because Superchargers are going to start to get clogged up with non-Tesla vehicles. “
According to Brownlee, the transition toward opening up Tesla’s Superchargers to non-Tesla electric cars would require a lot of maneuvering. Nevertheless, he was satisfied with the charging experience for his Rivian, which cost $30 and took approximately 30 minutes to charge from 30% to 80%.
Brownlee believed that this would not be the last time that EV owners would face challenges like these, and people would have to be patient and respectful while figuring out the charging etiquette for non-optimized cars.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, acknowledged Brownlee’s video on Twitter and called it “interesting.” The billionaire had previously announced that he would allow non-Tesla owners to access some of Tesla’s Superchargers.
Until recently, Tesla’s Superchargers were mainly for Tesla owners, and non-Tesla EVs could only use Tesla’s regular charging stations with a special adapter. However, by the end of 2024, Tesla intends to make its ultra-fast Superchargers compatible with other electric cars.
As more non-Tesla electric cars start using Superchargers, it remains to be seen how Tesla will address these issues and ensure a seamless and fair charging experience for all users.