Ford offers EV owners free Tesla Supercharger adapters until July

Starting today, people who own electric vehicles from Ford can reserve an adapter that will enable them to charge at Tesla’s vastly superior Supercharger network.

The company is the first to distribute adapters to customers, after announcing last year its plans to adopt Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) connector for its EVs. Other automakers soon followed Ford’s lead, leading to a massive shift toward Tesla’s standardized version of its proprietary charging system.

The adapter, which is manufactured by Tesla and allows EVs equipped with Combined Charging System (CCS 1) outlets to use Tesla’s Superchargers, typically retails for $230. But Ford is offering the first adapter to its EV customers free of charge — at least for a while.

The adapter typically retails for $230

“This will more than double our access to fast charging within the US and Canada with the addition of greater than 15,000 chargers with the Tesla Supercharger network,” Ken Williams, director of charging and energy services at Ford, told reporters.

Ford said the adapters will be complimentary starting today for a period until July 1st. After that, customers will need to pay $230, plus taxes and shipping, to acquire the adapter. Customers can reserve an adapter through their FordPass smartphone app.

To be sure, not every customer will receive an adapter right away. Ford is reliant on Tesla to make enough adapters to meet demand — and the company is expecting supply to be limited in the early stages.

“We are supply constrained as we move forward,” Williams said. “We do believe that in the initial phases of launch, the demand will exceed supply, but we’re going to try to manage that demand on a first-come-first-serve basis.”

For years, Tesla Superchargers were exclusive to Tesla owners. In fact, that was one of Tesla’s main selling points: consistent, exclusive, and abundant EV charging. But eventually, the company started offering access to non-Tesla EVs, first in Europe and then in the US after the Biden administration said it would be a prerequisite to tap into some of the $7.5 billion for EV charging in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he never intended the Supercharger network to be a “walled garden.”

“We are supply constrained as we move forward.”

Tesla’s Supercharger network is widely recognized as superior to many of the third-party EV charging stations, most of which feature CCS plugs and the less utilized CHAdeMO charging standard. The company says it has 55,000 Superchargers worldwide, 15,000 of which are located in the US.

Ford said that its customers can access the “vast majority” of Tesla’s network using the adapter, Williams said. Older V2 Superchargers, as well as some V3 stalls, won’t be available to Ford owners.

For safety, adapters are limited in how much voltage they can handle and tend to charge more slowly than a direct connection. Ford said that its electric vehicles are capable of receiving “their maximum charge” while using Tesla Superchargers but wouldn’t comment on how the rate of charge compares to a direct connection.

The adapters are intended to only be a short-term solution to the problem of EV charging availability and reliability. Non-Tesla EV owners have reported problems with public chargers, including buggy software, broken chargers, and unavailable locations. Tesla, by comparison, has some of the highest rates of operability in the industry.

Eventually, Ford and other automakers have said they will produce EVs with factory-installed Tesla NACS ports, obviating the need for adapters. Those vehicles aren’t expected to come any sooner than 2025.


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