Charging/Using a US Model S in Europe

Charging/Using a US Model S in Europe

Hi everyone. I know there are a number of threads on this board and others that tangentially deal with this topic, but most are old and don't come to a full conclusion.

I own a US spec Model S that I have shipped to France. I have three questions I'd welcome answers to:

-The electric car rental and charging company, Autolib, has plenty of stalls with a mix of Type 2 and J1772 connectors. Obviously I have to use the J1772 connector with the adapter that came with my US universal mobile charger. Has anyone done this yet with a US spec vehicle and if so what was the charging rate?
-Relatedly, if I can find a parking garage with a normal European outlet, I could also charge the vehicle using a universal mobile connector. The US version of the UMC can obviously take 220V and higher current, but it comes with either a Nema 14-50 or a 5-15 adapter, both of which are removable. Tesla did not advise using the 5-15 adapter with an ordinary US-to-EU (Schuko) adapter attached, for safety reasons, and I get that. But US Tesla sells the 14-50 and 5-15 adapters separately, leaving me to believe that EU Tesla must sell something like a removable Schuko adapter on the EU version of the UMC. Any idea if this is true? I can't purchase the EU UMC because, per below, it uses a Type 2 charger which my vehicle doesn't support.

-Unfortunately, I have only recently learned that Tesla EU superchargers all use a Type 2 plug instead of the Tesla US proprietary plug. It would be quite dangerous to convert Type 2 to J1772 to the Tesla US plug. Has anyone designed something that can serve as an adapter between the Tesla US proprietary plug (female) and the Type 2 plug (male)? Has anyone successfully used the European superchargers with a US spec vehicle?

-My 3G Internet connection won't work here because it uses a US SIM which is housed in a box behind the touchscreen. Tesla has said they can swap out the SIM (no price quote yet), and the data would presumably be free, although the service will likely be steep. Has anyone been using a dongle (like the Orange Airbox Auto, which plugs into the cigarette lighter for 50 EUR and provides a 4G hotspot from 2 gigs/mo (10 EUR) to 20 gigs/mo (55 EUR)? If so, will it provide a faster/more reliable connection than the SIM provided by Tesla in EU? Any issue with Google Maps? I have been able to connect the Tesla to my iphone as a hotspot, but it doesn't power the maps or the Slacker service fast enough to run. If I go with the dongle, has anyone determined how much data they use each month between things like the Slacker music service and navigation?

Thanks so much!

krissu | August 4, 2016

Supercharging you can forget, but CHAdeMO adapter is pretty useful. Sure you fill find somewhere type2- tesla adapter with 32A, maybe custom made. The hotspot SIM card you better get installed by tesla replacing US SIM. With some 20 eur monthly you will have unlimited data. You will miss spotify and radio stations.

edmontonjoe | August 4, 2016

Very interesting. I'm planning a 3 month euro trip with my Dec 2015 MS. Please share

sklancha | August 4, 2016

Actually, I think there are a lot of military people who would be interested in knowing how a US spec Tesla works out in Europe (and a few other regions with US military bases. I am happy to see more Tesla's on militry installations. What happens when they get orders to Belgium, Germany, or England. Nobody is going to want to leave there Tesla sitting in a relatives garage for 3 or 4 years, while they are stationed overseas.

JayInJapan | August 4, 2016

Bjørn Nyland has a YouTube video on the various adaptors available in Europe (there are a bunch of them). No idea if they'll work on a U.S. car. Why sacrifice supercharging and all the other charging potential?

mike.j.rosenberg | August 5, 2016

thank you all for your posts. quick update with some more related ?s

before i begin i should note that it was nearly impossible to get car insurance for this vehicle in france, which was odd because i see more teslas on the road here than i saw back in the US. french company allianz was the only one who quoted me a decent rate, and it was still more than i paid back home. there's just not enough actuarial data here for the companies to cut their rates.

-tesla does sell a schuko adapter for the universal mobile connector, but it won't fit the US version so that's useless. i could probably rig a high quality schuko adapter to the UMC, but that would presuppose that i could even find a power outlet that is producing sufficient power to make it worthwhile, which is unlikely

-so far the consensus is that there is absolutely no way to use the european superchargers because there is no tesla to type 2 connector available. looks like chademo is going to be my only option for faster speed charging on road trips. and that's going to require a subscription to who knows how many chademo companies, because there's no one standard company in france which provides such a service.

-regarding in-city charging in paris, you have autolib (estimated 7kw max) which has both the type 3 to type 2 plug, or the type 3 to type 1 plug (j1772). using the j1772 adapter that came with the vehicle, i'm guessing this is going to charge at about 10mph. you also have belib service which has the chademo charger at 22kw which could charge significantly faster i hope.

-i'll be in france for the next 3 years with this vehicle. while i'm pending a quote from tesla on the labor to swap out the SIM for a european sim, it would be good to know:
1) does anyone have any idea how much data an average user requires each month for streaming music and nav?
2) presumably if tesla is installing the SIM, my nav system will work properly and the streaming audio will also? can people confirm that the maps and music won't work with a hotspot device?
3) tesla claims they'll offer 4 years of free data from 2014 on. any update on that policy?



sklancha | August 5, 2016

@JayinJapan- "why sacrifice supercharging and all other potential charging?"
I am not sure I understand what you are asking.. If a person owns a US spec Tesla and is getting ready to move to Europe for a few years, I am confident none of them WANT to give up Supercharger access, but it doesn't seem like a bunch of options are available. I know I couldn't afford to take the loss of trading in my car to get a EURO version, and doing the trade in again a few years later. I also would be miserable if I had to leave the car behind for three years.

akikiki | August 5, 2016

mike.j, if someone else was thinking of taking their US spec MS to EU or France, what would you tell them today?

Galve2000 | August 6, 2016

The maps to the left of the steering when might not work also. I know this was the case with others who took their US Spec car to Europe.

This may not be true if Tesla is swapping out the SIM for u. They may be able to "Europeanize" everything but the charging port.

You may also want to have a US-spec HPWC installed at home. You can install the "hot" on one pin and the "neutral" on the second pin and the car will see 230-0 and charge just fine. Just make sure you have an appropriate breaker. (This can also work with the UMC if u get someone to install a 14-50 outlet, although getting an electrician to install a 14-50 outlet in France may not be easy.)

I'm shipping my US spec Model S to Greece in a few years and have done a fair amount of reading on this issue

mike.j.rosenberg | August 6, 2016

thanks for the posts. i used the autolib paris charging network (type 3 their side, type 1 j1772 on my side with the adapter that comes in the universal mobile connector kit). i got 16amps, 230volts, resulting in 10 miles of charge per hour for 1 euro/hour. it's still trial and error using the charger; there is no rhyme or reason why sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. the speed and costs aren't bad, but not what i had expected from my HPWC back in the US via the nema 14-50 plug. next step is the chademo adapter at 22kw on the city's belib network, and we'll see how fast that goes.

i'm unable to install a HPWC here due to the fact that i park in a parking garage which, by the way, has no wall plugs

when using my phone as a 3g hotspot, i can get maps to work properly (it accurately geolocates me and moves with me) but not the nav system. i can get radio but not slacker. still pending a reply from tesla paris on the 3g sim swap. i have to determine how much it costs, whether i'd get free data, if it would solve the maps/radio issue, and if not, how much data i need to be purchasing on a 4g hotspot in order to properly use the vehicle.

i had done a good deal of research but obviously not enough with the supercharger oversight

aki, i guess it depends on how often you're using your car and for what distance. i'm not commuting in paris with it; i had intended to use it for weekend trips throughout france and europe a few times a month. for that i was heavily reliant on the supercharger network, and that is just not possible now due to the type 2 plug issue. i am going to have to see how the chademo situation works on the road. if i can get 150miles of charge with one hour, that's doable.

i brought the tesla here because i own it, shipping was free, there are no charging costs, i love the way it drives, and i love the features like the slacker radio and nav system which are industry best. i still love the car, but it's less attractive if i need to pay to have the nav/radio work properly. either way i'm paying to charge here, but the supercharger issue is a major disappointment. one thing that i have yet to mention which you may seriously want to consider is that europe is just not built for cars of the size of the model s. my car is consistently too wide and too long for even large parking spots and parking garage entrances. this will greatly increase the odds that the car is dinged and scraped over the next few years. some days i wish i just had something compact and gas powered like a mini here, but it would be really hard to go back after driving a model s.

sklancha | August 10, 2016

@Mike- I had my Chevy Tahoe in Europe- initially it felt like a monster truck with the amount of small compact cars they drive around there, but it didn't take long to get comfortable. Even got good at parallel parking in the narrow city streets

krissu | August 10, 2016

The 22kW in Europe is 3 phase 32A Mennekes. You can buy type2 to type 2 cable and add Teslas J1772 adapter, that gets you to 7 kW, as there is just 1 phase used. Thats the max you can get. Tesla US wall charger might be installed, but usual residential houses you still have max 32A, but worth to check out, maybe somewhere you can get the 80A.

krissu | August 10, 2016

Sorry, type2 to type1 cable, have such for Leaf for example.

Drin_m | October 16, 2016

Hi Mike,

Did you ever find a solution for the charge and the 3g internet?

martin | October 16, 2016

I believe a US ChaDeMo adapter that fits your receptacle in your car is your only option.

carlosus | March 12, 2017

Hi Galve2000,

I'm also moving to Greece, Athens and wanted to know if you learned anything more on the charging situation.
1-I will try and get the home Tesla US wall charger 80 if not 50A one installed in Athens (hope this is possible with 220V etc...)
2-Will look into the Chademo adaptors for a US car
3-Thanks mike.j.rosenberg for the info, I will use hotspot for now and see if Tesla Switzerland would do the switch.

If anyone has info on the matter please share,

Thank you,

Galve2000 | March 12, 2017


i wouldn't bother with the "dual charger" option if u are moving your US spec Tesla to Europe. my understanding (which is sort of limited) is that the J1772 spec is single phase only. so that even if you had dual chargers with a US spec car in Europe, you would be limited to 32 amps @ 230 Volts or roughly 7.4 kW of power. which can be handled by a single charger.

if you are installing a dedicated EVSE in yr home in Athens, i would install something capable of three-phase power, but just know that your US-Spec Model S will only use max single phase and then ignore the other 2 phases. I would install a three-phase EVSE simply for future proofing the installation. you won't be able to use the entire capacity, but you never know what BEV you will buy in the future and what it will be capable of, so you want to install something capable of three phases now so you don't have to re-do everything in the future.

as I mentioned in an earlier post, you can wire the hot legs of a US spec HPWC as 230 V and Neutral (instead of 120 V - 120 V which is what happens in the USA) but know that some electricians may not help you do such an installation. in any case you will be limited to 32 Amps, which is again 230 V x 32 Amps or 7.36 KW

when is the big move?

raetser | August 22, 2017

Charging cable for use with US Tesla model S and X in Europe:

inconel | August 22, 2017

Only for home charging, not for superchargers

Troelshin | August 23, 2017

Do not know if the protocol would work or if there is heat monitoring in the US connector, but actually it should be easy to make an adapter for supercharging as it is DC and two of the six pins in the EU connectors run parallel to support the hi power.

ma.loprevite | August 28, 2017

Hello Mike, I am in the same boat...
moving back to France in four months, lived there for six years and I will take my us MS of course. Besides the Insurance, I just found out that AXA too will do mine, how did you handle the warranty?Gone?And for the SC stations,
what about this:

to good to be true?


inconel | August 28, 2017

This cable is 32A and cannot support Supercharging.