When the Tesla Model 3 arrives in Europe in early 2019, it will carry a special toolkit: the ability to charge—quickly—in more places than any other electric vehicle.
Tesla revealed this week that Model 3 sedans sold in Europe will come with a CCS charge port (inlet). Full compatibility with the standard will be assured with the installation of a module behind the charging receptacle.
To take this a step further, the Model 3 and other Teslas will be the only models capable of charging with all three DC fast-charging standards found in Europe—CCS (Combo), CHAdeMO, and Superchargers. The CCS interface is physically different in Europe versus the U.S., however, so there won't be any easy way for U.S. owners to plug in to those chargers—such as those being installed by Electrify America—in the immediate future.
Tesla has 3,600 Superchargers in Europe, over 430 locations. One regularly updated source, the CCS Charge Map, points to nearly 5,000 chargers that are 24-hour-accessible.
Tesla Supercharger for city centers
Charging hardware is the other side of the charging equation. Tesla plans to outfit its chargers to offer both CCS and proprietary Tesla cables, starting with the most-used travel corridors. Those charging with a CCS connector from a Tesla Supercharger will be able to take advantage of the same official 120-kw peak power, Tesla confirmed to Green Car Reports.
To those familiar with the mobile-electronics sector, Tesla’s approach could be seen as a preemptive move in a region where the European Union has been critical about Apple’s use of proprietary Lightning charging connectors, when most rivals have switched to USB-C.
According to the automaker, it’s simply smart business and gives its customers more charging options.
If you're a Tesla owner in the U.S., don't get too excited—yet. Tesla isn’t looking to expand this cross-compatibility in America anytime soon, because the network of CCS chargers isn't yet as robust. But Tesla hints that a commitment from another manufacturer to share in the costs of the network could quickly turn the tide.
That would almost certainly be welcome news not just to Tesla drivers, but anyone considering an electric vehicle.