Something else to bear in mind is that in the UK and Europe all the V3 Superchargers use the CCS plug, rather than the earlier Type 2. Essentially, this means they can be accessed only by a Model 3, plus any Model S and Model X built after May 2019, both of which get a special adapter. Early cars can be updated, however, with Tesla charging £280 to retrofit the necessary hardware and software.
Where can you find a Supercharger?
In the UK, most Supercharger sites are found at existing service stations, both on motorways and trunk roads. They tend to be placed at intervals that will allow you to cover most long distance trips around the country. These locations also give drivers access to useful amenities, such as toilets, cafés and shops.
Finding a Supercharger is straightforward, because every location is programmed into a Tesla car’s onboard sat-nav system, and over-the-air software updates mean that you never miss out on any new additions. On top of that, the company’s smartphone app provides route-finding details and information as to how many chargers at each site are currently in use.
How do you use a Supercharger?
As with most public charging points, using a Supercharger is pretty much simplicity itself. In fact, it’s arguably easier, because there’s no need to set-up and authorise a payment method like other pay-as-you-go units. Because these chargers are available exclusively to Tesla cars, you simply pull up and plug in. Once your Tesla is tethered, it will communicate briefly with the Supercharger and, if all is well, the light surrounding the car’s charging point will glow green to indicate that electricity is flowing.
Once the car is charging, you can monitor progress using Tesla’s smartphone app. When the battery is full or you’ve met your pre-programmed limit (80% is normally recommended for speed of charging and for the health of the cells), you will be sent a notification. You can also use the app to precondition the car for your return, cooling or heating the cabin depending on the weather conditions.
A further neat feature of the app is that it will alert you when you have enough charge to complete your journey. So if you plot your route into the sat-nav, it will calculate the amount of energy required to get to your destination and let you know when you have enough, minimising the time you have to spend charging when you’re in a hurry.