What is it and why is it so important for electric cars?

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If Tesla Superchargers open to all electric cars are already commonplace in Europe, in the United States only vehicles of the brand can be charged there. If the latest tidbits are to be believed, this is about to change, with a rather elegant solution, called the Tesla Magic Dock.

Tesla Supercharger

For many months, vehicles with a CCS Combo port have been able to charge at select Tesla Superchargers in Europe. First opened as a pilot program in the Netherlands, the success of third-party vehicle charging has led Tesla to allow other countries to enter the world of open superchargers. In the USA the problem is a little different, but it seems that the solution has finally been found.

Superchargers for everyone, but not everywhere

Last July we told you about the future opening of the Tesla Superchargers network to all vehicles in the United States, but this has not materialized yet. The interest is huge both for Tesla and for electric vehicle drivers in general, as the difference in the deployment of the various fast-charging networks is different compared to Europe..

In fact, for comparison, we have around 135 Tesla Superchargers in France and 120 Ionity stations. If we add the rest of the charging networks (Fastned, Totalenergies, Electra, Allego, Engie, etc.) we far exceed the number of Tesla Superchargers.

Across the Atlantic, more than 1,500 Tesla Superchargers are located in the US, compared to only about 800 Electrify America (which is Ionity’s equivalent) stations. And these are almost the only two networks available, which means that owners of vehicles from a brand other than Tesla may have big problems getting around, since the number of stations is limited.

Charging on the Electrify America network // Source: Electrify America

If Tesla has made a CCS adapter available for Elon Musk-signature vehicle owners to take advantage of charges on the Electrify America network, the opposite is currently not true – There is currently no way for the Kia EV6, Hyundai Ioniq 5, or other Ford Mustang Mach-Es sold in North America to be recharged at Tesla Superchargers.

In order for this to be possible in the near future, Tesla seems to have chosen the way of doing things, in a way that is different from what is done in Europe. In the USA, the Tesla charging port is in a proprietary format, while for our part it is a CCS Combo port as for the rest of the vehicles on the market. Thus, so that other brands can recharge in the United States, until now two options have been possible: add a wire to the terminals already in place, or use an adapter to recharge there.

A “Magic Dock” to allow charging of all vehicles

The second solution seems to have been retained, but with a hitherto unpublished implementation. The adapter would be hidden inside the charging station, in a “Magic Dock”, instead of vehicle owners having to buy their own adapter to charge.

Tesla’s alleged “Magic Dock” would hide a CCS adapter

Details have yet to be made public, but our understanding of the latest leaks suggests thatonce the customer has chosen their charging station, the Supercharger cable must be inserted into the adapter located on the top left of the image above. Then all you have to do is connect the cable with the adapter to your vehicle.

While the opening of Superchargers in Europe raised some logistical concerns in particular due to the location of charging ports on certain cars, in the USA it could be even worse, given the size of some vehicles. We are thinking in particular of electric pick-ups that do not necessarily have the possibility to enter the parking lots of Superchargers, let alone have a charging port close enough to the terminal (the cable of a Supercharger is very short).

Regardless, this historic decision will undoubtedly allow Tesla to significantly increase its charging-related revenue, and further secure its fast-charging hegemony across the Atlantic. More information will no doubt be revealed in the coming weeks.

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