Another option to charge your electric car in Washington State.
The best charging network for electric cars in the United States is the Tesla charging network. But I drive a Kia EV so I can’t use it right? Well, maybe a little. Over the last year Tesla has been opening selected “Supercharging stations” to vehicles other than Tesla. This started in Europe, then moved to California, and now is showing up in other states. The selected chargers have what is called a “Magic Dock” that will allow me to plug my Kia into a Tesla Supercharger and get charged up.
The other weekend when I was at the Plug in North Central Washington EV Gathering, I overheard someone saying that there were Tesla charging stations in Quincy and Moses Lake that had the Magic Docks installed. Well, this got me excited, Now I want to try it out. And that’s just what I did.
The first thing you need to do is get the Tesla app. Then you open it and set up your profile. When that is done, you can get started. Now when you open the Tesla app the first thing you see is “Charge your non-Tesla" click on find us and you are on your way... almost. Here is the deal, as of this writing there are only three locations in the state of Washington where you can charge your non-tesla at a Tesla Supercharger, Quincy, Moses Lake and Forks.
I decided to go to Quincy, when I got to Quincy the Tesla app told me to go to George. I arrived in George I could not find the Chargers, so I looked at the app again and it said the chargers were in Quincy. At this point I went to the Nav in my Kia and asked for the nearest Tesla supercharger, it said two miles, so I told it to give me directions and away I went.
Two miles later I arrived and there it was behind a Shell station “quick stop” next to I-90. I chose my charger, backed in and read the directions. On the app you see a map, there will be a “red pin” on the map where the charger is located, when you tap the red pin, you see the info on the location and at the bottom of the screen you will see a blue bar that says, “Charge Here”, Tap That, pick the post number you are parked at and tap “Unlock Adapter”.
Here is a tip, when you are ready to remove the adapter from the charging post, grab the handle and push in, you will hear a click, then you will be able to remove it and plug into your car (there are instructions on the app but who reads those?). As soon as the adapter is plugged into your it will start charging.
The app on your phone will show you your car's charging progress. Interesting note, the app says the superchargers will deliver up to 250kW per hour but mine only ran at 42kW per hour.
You need to remember to use the app to turn off your charging session. Then you can up-plug your car and return your cable to the charging post, and you are done. The cost of the electricity was 33 cents a kW hour (about10 cents cheaper than other chargers I have used.
According to electrly.com there are about 1,442 Tesla Superchargers in Washington State. Only 28 of those have the CCS-2 adapter. The rumor is that sometime in 2024 Tesla will offer an adapter that you can buy that will allow non-Tesla cars with a “CCS-2” type connector to plug into a “NACS” connector and then charge from any Tesla supercharger. Let's hope sooner rather than later.
As learning experiences go this worked out rather well, and if I’m ever passing through Forks Washington I will know where to charge.
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Gallery Credit: Nicole Murray