Nissan Leaf attempted to charge at a Tesla supercharger

Nissan Leaf attempted to charge at a Tesla supercharger

This happened just a few minutes ago. I am supercharging at the Fremont supercharger and browsing and see a Leaf pull up next to me.

The guy tries to plug in his car, and has a puzzled look as he realizes it won't fit. I thought at first, may be Nissan sells an adapter?!

Nope. So I walk up to him and tell him the charger only works with Teslas. He seems mildly annoyed and says 'but I thought this is a free supercharger!' I reiterate that it won't work with any other car than a Tesla, trying not to sound condescending. I then remembered the free EV plugs in the back of the Tesla building. I suggest he charge there. Then he gives me a look (why?!) and says, 'No, I'll take it to the one 2 miles away at the Target'


hector | January 22, 2016

I wonder what a jolt of 350amps would have done to that Leaf?

Tâm | January 22, 2016

It's a copy cat!

It's a recreation of an event that happened 2 years ago in Hawthorne:

UnshodBob | January 22, 2016

While charging, I saw a guy in a Prius backing in at a supercharger at Harris Ranch, and I told him it wouldn't work on his car, but he had to park, get out, and check for himself. He left soon after. Strange, what some people will do.

negarholger | January 22, 2016

In Europe the connector fits...

hwye81k | January 22, 2016

Kleist.....was it actually charging?

MilesMD88 | January 22, 2016

Driving home tonight in HOT lane following a leaf, speed limit 70. I want to go 80, leaf is going 65. I started to get frustrated but came to the conclusion that maybe that's the leaf's top

They were probably range limited driving up I85 to home in Atlanta, maybe 70 miles.

RedShift | January 22, 2016

What is dumb is that I told him the FREE EV plug is 500 feet away, the guy says, the one at the Target 2 miles away is ALSO free!

Hats off pal.

Tâm | January 22, 2016


The story was published last month:

German Smart car owner uses the same Mennekes Type 2 connector as Supercharger uses over there.

Once he plugged in, Tesla Supercharger cable took his car hostage and wouldn't charge. He posted it on Facebook and had to sleep over in a hotel until he could sort it out in the morning :)

RedShift | January 22, 2016


"I wonder what a jolt of 350amps would have done to that Leaf?"

You wanna smoke some leaves? ;-)

hector | January 22, 2016

@Redshift, I think you're the only one that got my lame joke. ;o)

RedShift | January 22, 2016

I regret not getting it when the time was right. I was dating this girl in my freshman year, and we go out, and she is drunk out of her mind, so I am driving her car, she turns to me and says 'you wanna smoke some leaves?'

I broke the red light, and refused, in the confusion!


negarholger | January 22, 2016

@hwye81k - there are actually several pictures of other European EVs plugged into SC and no they can't charge.

The Type 2 connector in the other BEVs are only wired for AC, not for DC.

The irony in Europe is that the idea of one standard connector for all BEVs has created more plugs then the rest of the World... Type 2, CCS (80 kW), CCS-2 (150 kW) and the upcoming 800V plug for Porsche.

b.tesla | January 23, 2016

Some Nissan LEAFs come with a CHAdeMO DC fast charge connector. I could understand how somebody might be confused and think that Superchargers are just a different buzzword for the same thing. It makes me wonder why there isn't an adapter; there is a CHAdeMO adapter for Teslas. As Tesla owners, part of our purchase price was for supercharger access and build-out, which LEAF owners aren't paying for. Why not have an adapter and billing system that will let LEAFs pay for charging? Tesla has taken a remarkable step by opening its patents to all, . We're all on this planet together. Are we here as Tesla elitists, or are we trying to encourage a more sustainable future with EVs? | January 23, 2016

Tesla is open to sharing the Supercharger network, but so far no one has bit. Some of the factors include:

1) NIH (Not invented here) paradym at other car companies.
2) They are branded as "TESLA".
3) Tesla doesn't want spend time or effort to set up charge cards and tracking system (it's all free right now).
4) Other companies don't want to pay for it (most likely reason).
5) Many are still only making compliance cars and really don't want EVs to succeed.
6) Short range cars can't make it between Superchargers

hammer @OR-US | January 23, 2016

@b.tesla-Elon has stated several times that he invites other EV manufacturers to join in the Supercharger network under the same conditions that Tesla runs them but nobody has taken him up on it.

buchholtz3 | January 23, 2016

@b.tesla I understand your point, but none of us want to have even more vehicles beyond Teslas crowding the superchargers that we were promised upon purchase. The power of a supercharger is far in excess of what many of the other vehicle makes take. It's better for them to stick with their slower charging options, and we will stay clear of those given a supercharger option.

AmpedRealtor | January 23, 2016


Believe it or not, some beloved car dealers are telling customers that their EVs can use the Superchargers. In fact, one local BMW salesman calls all DC fast charging for the i-3 "superchargers" when you talk with. I read one incident here or at TMC where a BMW i-3 owner tried to supercharge because his dealer told him he could use the Supercharger stations, but then got really angry when a Tesla owner told him the truth.

trevor58 | January 23, 2016

Wow! We are all used to being lied to by car salesmen, but that takes it to a new level!

steveg1701 | January 23, 2016


You raise a very good point here but if Tesla did it right (requiring the other car companies to add one SC site for every however many cars they sell) then we would all benefit from that.

trixiew | January 23, 2016

A few months bacl I was at a supercharger sittin gin my car when this big Kia minibus like contraption tries to pull into the charger next to me. Two guys got out and complained that the length of the cable was too short, so they pulled around to the stall behind me. I see them pulling the cable through their passenger side to near the dash. I got out and politely mentioned that the chargers only work with Teslas.

One guy says, with that -don't be a stupid bitch, we are dudes arrogance-"we know".

Watched them try and maneuver that beast of a vehicle for about 20 minutes before they finally gave up and drove away.

Tropopause | January 23, 2016

I saw a brand new Ford Fushion "energy" plug-in hybrid attempt to Supercharge as well.

The point is people want to be able to extend their range without gasoline.

Bolt and Model 3 might lead to mass adoption of charging infrastructure.

Red Sage ca us | January 23, 2016

b.tesla asked, "Why not have an adapter and billing system that will let LEAFs pay for charging?"

As for the CHAdeMO/Tesla adapter, you'll have to ask Nissan. As for the billing system, Elon Musk has already said, "No." because he doesn't want end users billed at all, and prefers to work out the details in a business-to-business fashion. As for why, Supercharger locations would be much less 'Super' if throttled down to the maximum charging capabilities of low capacity battery packs.

The stories related here are certainly comical. I do have some concerns about Superchargers being unavailable, but not due to overcrowding from sharing. I think it is more likely to happen as the result of stupidity or outright vandalism that results in their being broken or damaged. I think the Coal Roller/Here, Hold My Beer contingent is luckily rather unaware of Superchargers thus far... But as they become more widespread, and petroleum fuels eventually creep back to their previous 'Six Bucks a Gallon, Please Pay Before You Pump' levels, I expect bad things may happen.

b.tesla | January 23, 2016

@buchholtz3 and @steveg1701, yes, certainly none of us wants to wait in a long line for a supercharger. We know that Tesla is making lots of new EVs that are going to be competing for them, but at the same time and with some growing pains, the supercharger network is getting bigger with better coverage. A CHAdeMO can get a LEAF to 80% charge in 30 minutes, so it wouldn't be blocking a charging spot for hours, but it may have to dial down the current vs. a Tesla. Hypothetically, if Tesla were to make a supercharger-to-CHAdeMO adapter and sell it with supercharger access, how much should they charge for it?

We would laugh at a world if some gas stations could only serve Chevys, and others could only serve Toyotas, etc. We're still in the early days of the EV revolution, and eventually the EV charging standards will work themselves out. Tesla is in a fantastic position the way they're building out their superchargers.

Red Sage ca us | January 23, 2016

b.tesla: I think the concern is not the 80%, but the actual number of miles added in that 30 minute period.

My guess is that the Nissan to Tesla adapter, if it existed, would be sold by Nissan, and would cost at least $450.

It is not Tesla Motors' fault that SAE and the traditional automobile manufacturers work so hard to ensure there is no universally accepted EV charging standard of any use.

PBEndo | January 23, 2016

That smart car blocked 2 Superchargers

RedShift | January 23, 2016


To ensure payment, Tesla will have to setup a point of sale infrastructure so others might be able to plug in. IMHO this is not worth their time.

There are plenty of EV plugs, much more numerous, and EV plug types are much more common among Leaf owners. Really, I know many Leaf owners here in SF Bay Area, where these cars are called 'carpool lane cars'. Out of 10 I know, only one went for the additional expense of the Chademo plug.

I don't really see other car companies interested, anyway. So you see, many hurdles, and like others have pointed out, little gain if they jump over all of them.

freeewilly | January 23, 2016

Regarding the BMW sales told i3 buyer that i3 can charge at Tesla superchargers. I honest believe the BMW sales didn't lie.

It's worse, BMW sales has no clue about different types of chargers and assume Combo Charging is the same as Super Charging. It is why regular car dealership can't sell EVs, due to lack of EV knowledge.

negarholger | January 23, 2016

Except the likes of Aston Martin or similar I can not imagine any of the big car companies participating in the SC network... they are still not over the hump to build crippled electrical cars and that deserves a crippled charging network.

PhillyGal | January 23, 2016

We were charging in Albany and saw an electric Smart back into a SC spot. He had no idea...

sklancha | January 23, 2016

Before we pick on the idiots trying to charge their EV in a SC spot- I went to a Nissan dealer with the LEAF I bought for my daughter [wanted her to start off in the right direction ;)]. They ICEd their own location with dealerships cars. When I tried to get them to move a car so I could charge, they told me about the charger down the street... right across from the mall... near Starbucks. The ONLY EV charger in that location is the Tesla SC. When I brought this to the 'advisors' attention- he looked completely perplexed. He had no idea that different EVs have different charging capabilities. Fortunately my situation happened before I saw a LEAF trying to charge at the supercharger- otherwise I would have thought she was an idiot. Definitely was much more helpful and understanding


mjwellman | January 23, 2016

The problem, as a few people have mentioned, is that no one other than Tesla is serious about EV's. The other car companies are only trying to meet the minimum goverment regulations. If GM was serious they would have added fast charging capability for their car. Not until the other car companies come on board with EV will we get a national plug standard and maybe we will start to see truck stops and gas stations start to install rapid chargers.

RedShift | January 23, 2016


I am not calling him an idiot. I am saying he could have chosen to charge at the nearest location which was only 500 ft away, when he learnt that super chargers weren't compatible with his car. Instead he said he will drive way out of the way to charge. Which was dumb, plain and simple.

Ross1 | January 23, 2016

I think the real problem is in becoming a retailer of electricity.

Logjam there, it can't be done (in most places.

Tesla has to be licensed as a retailer, so they give it free, covered in the initial price of the car)

If other mfacturers want to join, how could they?

Tâm | January 23, 2016


I think other manufacturers can freely copy Tesla Supercharger patent and build their own.

However, if their customers want to use genuine (not copied) Tesla Supercharger stations, their manufactures need to sign a deal with Tesla that the manufacturers pay for the access cost, and car owners are not to pay per-access fee.

negarholger | January 23, 2016

When someone approaches me considering buying a Tesla the one question that I get for sure all the time is "how do I charge the car?"

That is probably the biggest hurdle for the adoption of EVs as it so different from the ingrained gas station model. Tesla made it super simple (in the US)... one connector for all types of charging and zero hassle how to pay. I don't think the classic car companies have zero interest to make charging easy to understand, accessible and cost effective to the customer.

negarholger | January 23, 2016

"zero interst" = any interest

C Bretaud | May 3, 2016

See on twitter (Tesla LifeStyle App) a Nissan Leaf with an adapter connect to a supercharger in UK !!
It seems that a reverse Chademo Adapter could works...

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | May 3, 2016

@C Bretaud....even if they can get by the connection format problem, get by the charging protocol communication, they can't fake the Super Charger enabled coding that will allow the charge to proceed. What makes you think that Tesla Motors can block a Tesla from charging ( because it is not enabled) but couldn't block any other EV?

Only full cooperation from Tesla will make it work for anyone!

Haggy | May 3, 2016

I personally don't know, but the UK connectors are different from the US ones. There are specific regulations that are different. But even if there's required compatibility, theft of services should still be illegal.

AoneOne | May 3, 2016

Level 2 J1772 EVSEs are quite dumb. They include safety circuits and they tell the car how much current they can supply and the rest is up to the car. The car knows all about its battery (like its chemistry, state of charge, balance, age, and temperature) and has the responsibility to charge correctly within the power rating of the EVSE. Specifically, they don't know what your car is: make, model, or VIN, and they can't tell if you are allowed to charge there. That's why you have to interact with the pedestal to enable charging (and billing).

I wonder if the Tesla superchargers are similarly simple. The supercharger doesn't have to check if your car is supercharger-enabled, because your car already knows. Similarly, the car knows exactly how much current is best for the battery. The supercharger might simply advertise its available current, and keep everything safe.

If that's the case, a supercharger-to-CHAdeMO adapter might be possible, especially if it was specific to one type of car. European superchargers, using a standard connector and a standard protocol would make this even easier. Does anyone know if the European connector includes an authentication protocol (it could be like a credit-card chip) to check the authorization of each car?

Haggy | May 3, 2016

The charger doesn't need to know if your car is supercharger enabled, except in the sense that it does need to know but finds out as part of the handshake. Since your car is constantly communicating with Tesla, their computers would be keeping track too. They'd know which supercharger, how long you are connected, your charging rate, etc. Designing a charger that won't start without handshaking might be essential, especially in order to charge at high power.

AoneOne | May 4, 2016

Certainly lots of communication between the supercharger and the car is required, but there's no formal need for the supercharger to know the car's identity so long as the car (and Tesla, through the car) controls charging.

Until we know if supercharger authorization is controlled through the car, through the supercharger, or through some combination, we won't know how hard it would be to "steal" a supercharge.

Has Tesla ever published enough detail about their offer to let others use the superchargers to answer these authorization questions? Certainly they'd have to be addressed.

alnrench2 | May 4, 2016

They can make an easy Tesla SC - LEAF adapter by using two metal coat hangers and cutting pliers......; )

kfenske | June 12, 2016

With the recent announcement that Tesla supercharging will be an optional and potentially billed per use for Model 3 cars it seems that the billing infrastructure will be built. At that point it's only sensible that other EVs could use superchargers on a pay as you go basis with the right adapter. Tesla says they want to encourage the move to EVs and share patents and this would do that and in fact be fair since we can use other EV chargers. Also, this is a potential revenue stream for the company and a great way to get other EV owners to see Teslas more often and consider to advantages of their cars. Win-Win-Win.

As far as superchargers becoming overwhelmed with demand I suggest that billing begin within 5 minutes of you arriving in the spot and continue until you have vacated the space, this is technically feasible. In this way you pay by the minute the space is occupied and not by the KWH delivered. This means a slower charging car is going to pay more per KWH but this will encourage automakers to enable faster charging. It also means that you are billing for the scarce resource (charging spaces) and not holding up others to get a few KWH unless you really, really need it.

My $.02

T90KWH | June 12, 2016

There is no way that Tesla will be going with pay per use for Superchargers. You either opt in and pay an upfront fee or you don't. They are not going to get involved in billing per minute, per kWh or anything else.

On the other hand they will open up the Supercharger network to other manufacturers who (a) build cars which can take it and (b) contribute to the cost of the network. Whether those manufacturers choose to pass on the extra cost to the customer (they will) will be a matter for them.

Made in CA | June 12, 2016

@T90KWH - I really hope you are wrong on both counts.

In order to be sustainable Supercharger must be metered in some way. And if other car brands are allowed to use the network Tesla will lose one of it's main advantages.

T90KWH | June 12, 2016

@Made: the first is speculation. The second is certain - and the only thing holding it back is that no other manufacturer has come up with a car which take the charge and a willingness to contribute. Elon has already made it clear that the door is open whenever there is a taker. | June 12, 2016

Tesla has also stated that if the Supercharger is opened up to another non-Tesla vehicle, the vehicle must have a large capacity battery in the 200+ mile range. Currently there is no other EV that has 200+ range, and it appears beyond the Bolt, very few will appear in the next 2 years. Not something I worry about.

I look as a huge plus if another car maker supports the Tesla Supercharger. It means a faster build out, more stalls and more options. That said, I suspect other car makers have zero interest in Supercharging just like they don't get involved in offering gasoline. Likely a huge mistake on their part. They mostly seem clueless on EVs and so far consider them low-volume compliance vehicles so they can sell more huge gas consuming SUVs.

sklancha | June 12, 2016

@teslatap +1. almost verbatim what i was gonna say!

negarholger | June 12, 2016

@T90KWH - since June 17 it is mandatory in Germany at new constructions to include a CCS connector and provide non-discriminating access to all EVs... other countries will follow as this is an EU requirement.

Tesla had to rethink its supercharger strategy if it wants to grow in Europe. I expect a new improved version of the supercharger hardware soon. A billing system is required in the future in Europe, but i hope Tesla ties it to the car ("car as the customer") as it is now.