How Do Tesla Charging Stations Work

How Do Tesla Charging Stations Work: Ultimate Guide!

You must know that long-distance driving requires careful planning. And this includes knowledge of the route and charging stations. Tesla charging stations are pretty cool and quite sophisticated. But have you ever wondered how these charging stations actually work? 

Well, wonder no more!

The tesla charging station actually works by arranging a direct connection between an AC/DC power source and the battery of your Tesla. Once the connection is established, the charging station delivers power to your vehicle. This continues until it reaches you’re preset charge level, usually between 80-100%.

Today I’m here to explain how do tesla charging station work in different charging methods. Let’s dive and find more on these charging stations!

How Do Tesla Charging Stations Work

So How Do Tesla Charging Stations Work!

To power the charging stations, Tesla relies on 2 methods that are by the way quite different from each other. Stations utilizes solar power and grid power at the same time (for example in the case of Supercharger stations). But the grid power from local companies is primary source . 

These solar panels are a testament to sustainable energy and reducing the carbon footprint of their charging stations. Furthermore, these stations are designed with forward-thinking technology to maximize efficiency and minimize energy waste. 

The combination of grid power, solar power, and advanced technology helps to create a reliable and sustainable energy source for Tesla vehicles. 

Now to use the Tesla charging stations on the road, you might need to know about their general working mechanisms. There are 3 main types of them and each works in its own way. These includes:

  • Supercharger.
  • Destination charger.
  • 3rd-party charger.

Based on their types, learn how each of them works and then keep your Tesla charged:


Being the fastest charging option out of all, the Supercharger let you charge the car for up to 162 – 200 miles in around thirty minutes. It’s simple to find in any location and this stays open for 24/7 time. 

How did Tesla charging stations work?

It works like a usual wall connector but contains Level 3 charging power and so this charges the car at a rapid speed. This offers DCFC (DC Fast Charging) power to the Tesla and recharges the battery. To use this, do the following procedure:

  • Enable Trip Planner. To do that, click on the Settings > Navigation > Trip Planner option on the touchscreen of the Tesla.
  • Pick a location where you want to choose for charging via Supercharger. You can use the zoom option to find the station on the map. The Supercharger spot on the map contains a red lightning bolt icon.
  • Reach the Supercharger spot and simply park the car.
  • Plug the connector from the Supercharger post inside the Tesla.
  • Wait for the charge port LED of the car to turn green and flash. This indicates the charging is occurring.
  • Set the Tesla charge limit setting to 80% and monitor it on the Touchscreen (instrumental panel) or phone (Tesla app).

Note: Be sure to learn about the troubleshooting techniques if the tesla not charging at supercharger.

Destination Charging

Destination Charging is another option that lets you charge Tesla for up to 44 miles per 1 hour. It is spotted in any urban and rural areas (on popular hotels, restaurants, vineyards, resorts, and any spots) to simply charge on the road.

This uses Level 2 charging power that takes a few hours to fully charge the car. It offers an AC charging facility, unlike the Supercharger. Here’s what you need to do to use it:

  • On the touchscreen, go to the map and search for any resorts, hotels, or nearby areas to find Destination Charging.
  • Drive the Tesla to the spot.
  • Pull the connector and insert it inside the car.
  • Let it stay connected and notice the charge port LED light that will flash in green to indicate the car is charging.
  • Relax and charge it overnight.

Third-Party Charging

The Tesla 3rd party charging is the last option among all charging stations available. You’ll able to find the local charging station (like AmpUp, ChargePoint, PlugShare, and so on) with the J1772 label that works with an SAE J1772 adapter

This is also a Level 2 charging network that offers AC charging facility. You only need to use the appropriate adapter to work on the 3rd-party stations. Know that it will require more time to charge fully!

Under this segment, I’ll share the process of using it:

  • Locate the third-party charging stations nearby and drive to the destination.
  • Find a suitable 240V outlet with an extension cord to use in third-party stations.
  • Plug the connector into the car. Wait for the charge port LED to flash in green light.
  • Let it charge overnight or daytime for 12 hours.

Note: Each of the charging stations requires paying per kWh/minute which is automatically paid from the Tesla app account.

Tesla Charging Stations May Not Work For Free

A lot of folks wonder whether does it cost money to use a Tesla charging station or requires fees. The simple answer is yes, but not all costs.

Now, is Tesla charging free on Third-party Charging? Well, there’s no free meal for this as you’ll need to pay some money.

But Exactly When Is Charging At Tesla Stations Free?

Most of the time, Destination Charging is free for the buyers of the business. Based on the location of the charging station, the hotels or resorts owner can take some charges too.

Also, Supercharger isn’t free unless you are one of the 2 “classes” of buyers who have a free usage facility. Like:

  • New Buyers: Folks who brought a new Tesla will get free charging benefits for up to 10,000 miles (expires in 2 years).
  • Old Buyers: Some old customers (especially the earlier Model S users who contain the car) get unlimited free charging from the station.

How Do You Pay At A Tesla Charging Station?

The payment method for the charging station is simple. All kinds of charging stations offer different payment options. Let me explain it below:

  • Supercharger: Use the Tesla app to easily pay the charging cost. Other than this, you can use American Express, Discover, JCB, MasterCard, Visa Card, and Diners Card to pay it off.
  • Destination Charging: The payment method is the credit card, debit card, cash, Pay Pal, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and so on. When you book the hotel or resort, some owners may charge it in the bill.
  • Third-party Charging: You can pay it on the spot or use mobile payment methods.

Overall Thoughts

To all first-timers reading this, I hope now you know how do Tesla charging stations work! For urgent charging, you can use Supercharger, Destination Charging, or a third-party station.

Here are a few more things to note when you are planning to pick one from these options:

  • The Supercharger costs less while charging is fast (takes 15 – 25 minutes).
  • Destination Charging doesn’t cost (in general) but you need to stay in the hotel meaning an additional bill plus it takes 5 – 10 hours to charge.
  • The third-party station works great and takes less charge, but it’ll charge after 8 – 12 hours of wait.

Go ahead, pick one and charge your Tesla!

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