What Charging port will the Model 3 use?

What Charging port will the Model 3 use?

It's obvious to me that no other car manufacturer is going to include Tesla Supercharger compatibility.
https://arstechnica com/cars/2016/11/bmw-vw-ford-daimler-team-up-for-electric-vehicle-charging-network-in-europe/
https://cleantechnica com/2017/03/27/volkswagens-2-billion-settlement-diesel-emissions-cheating-will-see-400-ev-fast-charging-stations-built-usa/
which is a darned shame.

Tesla knows more than I do about the near future of fast EV charging. Assuming they agree with me, will the Model 3 come with a CCS port and a Tesla adapter, rather than a Tesla port and J1772 adapter as is currently shipped?

Tesla could certainly push forward with the Tesla proprietary network, but 5 years from now they'll end up supporting a network for their vehicles, when every other EV manufacturer will be simply putting a CCS receptacle on their cars and letting EVGo and ChargePoint handle the distributed charger problem. That's an extra cost for Tesla that Ford, GM, VW, BMW etc., wouldn't have to pay.


Carl Thompson | March 28, 2017

Tesla is like Apple. They'll continue to ship their proprietary connector.


KP in NPT | March 28, 2017

Then they'd have to include the adaptor for all their superchargers. ;)

The common standard still isn't settled. And at the CES we learned that ChargePoint is in talks with Tesla to offer the tesla connector at its stations. (Owner drives a tesla.) Who knows, it could end up being the tesla connector is the common standard In the meantime, I've never had to use anything but a supercharger and my 14-50 at home.

reed_lewis | March 28, 2017

Tesla already offers a CHAdeMO adapter cable for the Model S/X. I am sure that Tesla could design a CCS Adapter cable also.

The issue I see is that every of the Chargepoint/EVGo installations I have seen with DC fast charging they have either 1 or 2 ports available. That is wholly insufficient for the needs of travellers.

New Tesla superchargers now have at least 8 and usually 12 ports available. That is a major difference.

KP in NPT | March 28, 2017

CCS is J1772, isn't it?

Red Sage ca us | March 28, 2017

Tesla first offered their 'proprietary connector' as an option for standardization to the SAE before the Model S was released, and it was rejected either: 1) because it was too pretty and worked too well; or 2) those guys wanted something bigger, uglier, and slower. Though it could have been the SAE just figured those guys at Tesla were full of themselves and thought they could call the shots. So they decided to teach those guys a lesson, because they didn't know how the real world works and stuff. Effectively, the SAE have a different mandate, a different goal, a different motivation than Tesla. They want to keep their jobs. Tesla wants to change the world.

jordanrichard | March 28, 2017

Just a quick somewhat related question. If Tesla can mange to get nearly 400 amps to go through a connector that is about the size of a quarter, why on earth are all these other connectors so large, especially the CHAdeMO and they are only passing about half if not less, power through them?

Red Sage ca us | March 28, 2017

jordanrichard: Because the SAE members employed by traditional automobile manufacturers have been advised they should come up with 'standards' for electric vehicle charging that are as funny looking, weird, bulky, complicated, unwieldy, inconvenient, demotivating, and discouraging as possible. That's why.

KP in NPT | March 28, 2017

I believe part of Obama's plan for EV infrastructure, which I'm sure is DOA now, included a study for coming to common standard. Would it be possible that the proliferation of Model 3s will be a market force that makes Tesla's connector become the common standard?

jordanrichard | March 28, 2017

Red Sage, I know. It was a more of a rhetorical question, but I didn't phrased it that way. Tesla should and I sure they will, will stay with the connector they have. It will be the consumers of other EVs that will start asking GM, Nissan etc., why can't they make a connector as small and easy to use as Tesla.

brasshat | March 28, 2017

Tesla joined CharIn last year as a core member, which is dedicated to CCS 2.0 and beyond. Whether the implication is that Tesla simply wants to create (and maintain ongoing) compatibility with CCS, but still rely on a proprietary connector, or has interest in potentially switching/standardizing to CCS, remains to be seen.

Superchargers could be retrofitted to incorporate CCS, but that's just a technical hurdle. The more important question is understanding Tesla's long-term objectives. Tesla is becoming an integrated energy and transportation company. If they're still interested in partnerships to supply energy to partners' vehicles via the Supercharger network, the road to doing that would be much, much clearer if it were CCS-based.

Not exactly news, but worth pointing out since it's good news, Chargepoint announced their CCS-based 400kW Express Plus and Power Cubes at CES this year (

In any case, CHAdeMO is looking more and more like a modern-day Betamax.

Frank99 | March 28, 2017

brasshat -
I saw those stories - a great step forward.

If Tesla could simply convince the other members that a sleek, elegant charging connector for CCS 2.0 is in everyone's best interest compared with the frankenplug, it would fantastic. But even if the Frankenplug wins, it's better to have a single common connector than three different ones.

Red Sage ca us | March 28, 2017

I'm reminded that the Tao of Jeet Kune Do recommends that one should simply 'Use What Works'.

'Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it.' -- Bruce Lee

DonS | April 19, 2017

The Roadster has a different connector than the Model S because a better version was invented. The unknowns around the Model 3 are whether the Model 3 will be able to charge faster, and whether the exsisting connector will be compatible with any new Model 3 needs.

mos6507 | April 20, 2017

"the SAE members employed by traditional automobile manufacturers have been advised they should come up with 'standards' for electric vehicle charging that are as funny looking, weird, bulky, complicated, unwieldy, inconvenient, demotivating, and discouraging as possible."

Red, I wish you would stop your "Tesla vs. the world" schtick. Not everyone out there are incompetent, corrupt, or "out to get" Tesla.

jordanrichard | April 20, 2017

mos6507, what other explanation would there be to explain the ridiculously large cumbersome connectors out there. Through a connector, the size of a half dollar coin, Tesla has over 300 amps going through it. Clearly you don't need a connector the size of a grapefruit, to pass significant less power through it.

KP in NPT | April 20, 2017

I expect it will be the same connector as the S/X, if it is at all possible. Plenty of current owners are getting a model 3 - two different connectors in the garage (or a required adapter) would be silly.

dyefrog | April 20, 2017

"CCS is J1772, isn't it?"
No, CCS is level 3 (german origin I think), J1772 is level 2 which is what the vast majority if not all of the freebie chargers you see at grocery stores, restaurants and generic home use are.

KP in NPT | April 20, 2017

Thanks dyefrog. As you can see I've never used a public charger. ;) I think I'm confused because it evolved from j1772

SamO | April 20, 2017

The Charge Port cover on Model 3 (from the latest video) is much larger than on Model S/X.

Some speculation on connector for new high speed charging enabled by 2170 cells.

Can't find the youtube video of the new port.

Carl Thompson | April 20, 2017

The J1772 port is part of a CCS port. Put another way a CCS port is a J1772 port with some extra "holes." So you can plug a J1772 "charger" connector into any car with a CCS port.


slasher0016 | April 20, 2017

Regardless of the actual connector, it's pretty safe to say that the standard 14 nema 50 outlet is going to be the most common charging method correct?

KP in NPT | April 20, 2017

@slasher, not sure about "most common" - I don't know the percentages but yes a large number of Tesla owners use just a 14-50 at home for charging. (myself included.) We will likely spring for a HWPC when we get our 3 but still on the same 240v circuit.

Carl Thompson | April 20, 2017


I have a J1772 at home and know a lot of other people with EVs also have one. A benefit of the J1772 is that it is going to be compatible with most any EV if you are in the U.S. (though a Tesla will need an adapter). So if you think you might also own an EV made by different company at some point the J1772 might be a good choice.


KP in NPT | April 20, 2017

I admit I know nothing about other EVs - can they not be plugged into a 14-50?

Carl Thompson | April 20, 2017

Most other EVs in the U.S. use the J1772 (except the Leaf which I think has its own thing). The only plug my EVs have come with is one for standard 110v wall sockets to connect to the J1772. In other words, they come with a plug you'd never want to use. So I installed a J1772 that plugs directly into the car. I guess third party companies probably make 14-50 to J1772 adapters though and I suppose that would work just as well. I think if you go with the 14-50 and have a second EV that uses the J1772 you need to get such an adapter and switch out the whole cord when you want to switch cars. With the J1772 I guess I guess you could just put an adapter on the end when you want to charge your Tesla. Either way would work. The 14-50 does have the advantage of being usable for other things.


Carl Thompson | April 20, 2017

Oh, a benefit of installing a J1772 is being able to see charging status (not progress) at the wall instead of looking at the car. Also you can set the timer or time window for charging at the wall though most EVs have the same sort of controls built in.


Carl Thompson | April 20, 2017

Oh, one more thing. Some of the fancier J1772 units are connected so they can send you an alert when your car is done charging (if your car doesn't do that itself).


finman100 | April 20, 2017

Leaf has a J1772 port, plus an optional Chademo DC port.

KP in NPT | April 20, 2017

Wow so complicated. So much easier to just plug in to a regular 14-50 and see the charging status from the app on your phone anywhere in the world. ;)

Carl Thompson | April 20, 2017

Thanks, finman100. So pretty much everything in the U.S. has a J1772 port (except Teslas). So if you might ever own a different brand EV along with the Model 3 a J1772 might work for you. Though I'm sure a 14-50 could be made to work with appropriate adapters too.


Rocky_H | April 20, 2017

For @KP, It's Tesla's hardcore charging cable with the changeable adapters and support for 120/240V that is so awesome. Every other EV comes with only this lame, wimpy 120V only cord that can only plug into a wall outlet. If you want something higher power, you have to go buy a J1772 EVSE of some kind--some may be plugable into some kind of outlet or some for being hardwired.

And to further flesh out the CCS structure thing, there are multiple forms of it, based on North America or Europe. Have you heard of Type 1 (J1772) and Type 2 (Mennekes)? Those are the level 2 charging plugs for those two areas. So, for CCS, there is a version for each of those, which uses that plug shape on top to handle the signaling communication with the two big fat pins below it to carry the level 3 current.

Rocky_H | April 20, 2017

That is also why CCS is a bit more convenient as far as the frankenplugs go, versus CHAdeMO. A car can have just the CCS port in it. Then, either you plug a CCS handle into the whole thing, or you can plug just a J1772 handle or Mennekes handle into the top part of it for level 2 charging.

giskard | April 21, 2017

@KP to further answer your question, no car I know of plugs directly into a NEMA 14-50 outlet. They typically come with an EVSE that converts between a normal 120v socket and J1772 for level 1 charging (emergency use, really, though I still charge my i3 this way since it has a relatively small battery). This is the "wimpy" plug Carl Thompson is talking about.

For faster charging most EV drivers install a level 2 EVSE at home which provides more power through its J1772 cable that connects to the car. These level 2 EVSEs are either hard wired to a dedicated circuit or come with cable that plugs into a NEMA 14-50 outlet. This makes them cheaper to install and far easier to move. Some are also designed to be portable, so you can take it with you on long road trips and take advantage of NEMA 14-50 outlets on the road (say, at RV parks).

Also note that NEMA 14-50 outlets are not really designed for a lot of plug/unplug cycles. If you were to plug and unplug your car into/out of one every day the socket itself would probably wear out in months or maybe a couple of years. J1772 (and Tesla's connector) are designed for many more cycles since that is what they are intended for.

KP in NPT | April 21, 2017

"no car I know of plugs directly into a NEMA 14-50 outlet"

You mean, except a Tesla. ;)

Hmm, while we don't plug in every day, we've been using our 14-50 for almost 2 years with zero issue. I've also not heard of issues with worn out plugs from other owners. But I guess I'll be aware.

That said when we get our second Tesla we will likely get the HPWC so it won't be an issue.

anyway thanks for the primer guys. I knew a little bit as it relates to public stations (got charge point card, did some recon for backups while on road trips, which I've never had to use) but had no clue about home charging for non-Tesla BEVs. I very briefly started to look into it, when we first started talking about ordering a tesla, but quickly found out they were not necessary. Friend has an i3 he will replace with a Model 3 when his lease is up - I'll have to ask him what setup he has.

giskard | April 21, 2017

Well, technically the Tesla doesn't either :) But, I know what your mean. The included Tesla EVSE includes an adapter for NEMA 14-50 in addition to the normal 120 volt one for level 1 charging. It is far more capable than the level 1 only EVSEs included with other manufacturer's cars.

While I'm currently using the 12 amp EVSE that came with my i3, I have purchased a Juicebox 40 (40 amp). I just haven't gotten around to installing a NEMA 14-50 outlet to plug it into yet. I will also be building a garage this year - the Juicebox will be moving there when it's completed. It's very likely I will replace the i3 with a Model 3, but I'm also keeping my options open (the refreshed i3 is due out at the end of the year with a rumored sportier i3s variant).

SUN 2 DRV | April 21, 2017

J1772 is on the CAR end of the cable, NEMA 14-50 is on the WALL end of the cable. Two entirely different things.

Your Tesla charing connector might have BOTH, either one separately, or neither. I prefer to use the HPWC which has neither.

Haggy | April 21, 2017

The Roadster had a different connector for another reason. For those who used a UMC, it's easy enough to unplug it and use a different one for a Model S/X/3. The Roadster wasn't designed for superchargers, so it wasn't as if changing the connector took anything away.

These days there are superchargers throughout the world and they need to work with any Tesla car on the same continent. There's no question that the Model 3 will work with superchargers. There's no reason to redesign anything or require an adapter for everyday use when Tesla can keep things consistent and use an adapter for compatibility with other devices.

Tesla hasn't and probably won't exhaust the capacity of the connector. The current superchargers might not be able to handle significantly higher power levels without getting too hot, but Tesla has already come up with hydraulically cooled cables for superchargers that are as thin as the ones used at home but can carry the power needed for a supercharger without getting hot. The connector itself is not an issue

It might not have been an issue with other connectors either, except that Tesla would have to conform to a standard if they used a standard connector. They couldn't simply use it for higher power than the standard calls for.

Red Sage ca us | April 21, 2017

Unfortunately, traditional automobile manufacturers fail to let their compliance cars even use the maximum capabilities of the specifications they do allow. They have no interest in reaching them, let alone exceeding them. Apparently because that would make using EVs a bit too convenient.

SUN 2 DRV | April 21, 2017

Haggy: I've been thinking the same thing and I agree with your logic when thinking about the next incremental step to support the Model 3.

But if Tesla ever wants to use a different connector (for whatever reason) they might consider doing it as they introduce their high volume car to minimize their transition efforts down the road.

Red Sage ca us | April 22, 2017

They could easily include a 'different port' on the opposite side of the car in the other taillight, or in another location near a front fender in future vehicles. Similarly, they could offer an adapter to a better connector that comes in the future. They shouldn't have to change every car going forward.

sosmerc | April 22, 2017

Just FYI, I was able to purchase an adapter for my stock 2017 Volt EVSE for $65 that allows me to plug into a 14-50 (@240V) and charge my vehicle in less than 5 hours instead of 12 hours on a standard 120V outlet. Due to the range extender engine, charging is not really a critical issue, but I am now "future proof" with a dedicated 240V 50AMP circuit for my next BEV, whatever that turns out to be. (do have a deposit on Model not anticipated before 2019). Hoping that by then there will be many more options to choose from.

Obi Wan | April 22, 2017

CCS = Combo and is L3 or around 400/500 volts. The female receptor, has two additional pins under the J1772 receptor. J1772 = L2 or about 240 volts. CHAdeMO is a separate connector, different from CCS, but similar in its voltage, although, CHAdeMO may be able to go higher than CCS. All EVs come with a J1772 connector, but for Tesla, the CHAdeMO/CCs adapters have been extra.... I think. A LEAF has a 6.6 kWh charger built in...the Bolt is 7.2 kWh? The Volt was about 3.3 kWh, so yeah, the Volt takes twice as long to charge than other EVs. This is why, charging to charge, by the time, is not fair.

3PEN | July 1, 2017

Model 3 in Europe will have a CCS. It has logic. As CCS incorporates Type 2 which is now in every Tesla in Europe they would solve one small problem of present models. Fastcharging only on superchargers. (With further money investment in CHAdeMO adapter also on there.) With CCS they would have all the charging options todays models have (home charging, supercharging) and fastcharging on CCS. That is what I think about Europe.

3PEN | July 1, 2017

Model 3 in Europe will have a CCS. It has logic. As CCS incorporates Type 2 which is now in every Tesla in Europe they would solve one small problem of present models. Fastcharging only on superchargers. (With further money investment in CHAdeMO adapter also on there.) With CCS they would have all the charging options todays models have (home charging, supercharging) and fastcharging on CCS. That is what I think about Europe.

DTsea | July 1, 2017

I foresee there will NEVER EVER be an Sae Combo or other frankenplug on a Tesla.

DTsea | July 1, 2017

Scout, charging by time is MOST fair. Main cost is the equipment ... slow charging cars tie it up longer.

MKM3 | July 1, 2017

Teslas without a DC CCS port will be the slow charging cars in Europe. ;)
That's why they need CCS / Combo 2 in those models as well as a new adaptor for existing S and X.
Even a Smart ED or Renault Zoe AC charges twice as fast (22kW) on Type 2 as any given Tesla (3 phased, 230V at 16A), without the dual charger option.

Guess what, there are quite a lot of regions where there aren't any SCs within a usable distance. Having to pay for SC will make public local charging stations a lot more competative.
As Matchke wrote, Combo 2 / CCS along with Teslas European plug (which is in fact a Type 2 with additional DC pins) is a very elegant solution and far from a "frankenplug".

DTsea | July 1, 2017

Sae combo frankenplug

Known in europe as dc ccs.

22kw dc is sliw charging. Supercharger is 135 kW.

DTsea | July 1, 2017

Mk.3 despite your winky face, you will never see a dc ccs built into a tesla. It doesnt fit. Maybe an adapter.

Supercharger is far superior.

johnse | July 1, 2017

Most current CCS stations only supply 50kW of power. The existing spec allows up to 150kW, but few, if any, are deployed. CharIN is working on a spec for 350kW.

Superchargers started at 90kW, then jumped to 120kW. Some are 135kW and 145kW but current cars can charge at a maximum of 120kW. Since charging stalls are paired, sharing a single charger between two cars, the additional power can be used to not diminish shared charging rates as much.

Elon hinted on Twitter at even faster rates, calling the planned 350kW rate a child's toy

So, no, I don't think Tesla will step down to a CCS frankenplug...though I expect they will make a universal ChaDeMo/CCS adapter.