Tesla Makes Model S Compatible With CHAdeMO

By · October 07, 2013

Tesla Chademo adapter

It looks strange, but this adapter will let Model S owners use CHAdeMO quick charge stations.

Currently, with the right adapters from Tesla, you can charge up a Model S electric car from practically any power source, from a 120-volt outlet or standard wall outlet for a clothes dryer, to a Level 2 public charging station or, of course, Tesla’s network of proprietary Supercharger stations.

Now, Tesla has confirmed a CHAdeMO quick charge adapter will be available this winter that will give Model S owners the ability to charge their luxury sedans from the same charging stations used to quick-charge the Nissan LEAF and Mitsubishi i. Promised for some time, the CHAdeMO adapter quietly appeared on the Tesla Motors online store this weekend, and it didn’t take long for fans to spot the additional charging apparatus. The accessory will become "available online this winter," according to the website.

Looking a little like a cross between a gas pump handle and a futuristic household vacuum cleaner, the adapter will enable Model S owners to charge at 50 kilowatts from a CHAdeMO charger, adding 150 miles of range per hour of charge.

That’s a far cry from the 200 miles of range it’s possible to put into a Model S at Tesla’s own Supercharger station, but for owners whose chosen driving route doesn’t include a Supercharger station, but does include a CHAdeMO quick charge station, the adapter could prove invaluable. The adapter could also help alleviate the long queues found at popular Supercharger sites too, giving Model S drivers another place to quickly refuel when faced with an hour or more to wait at Tesla’s own charging stations.

Market Specific

Despite the CHAdeMO standard being implemented internationally, Tesla cautions owners that they need a country-specific adapter to use with their car. That’s because Tesla’s standard power inlet differs between U.S. and other markets. In the U.S., all Model S cars come with Tesla’s own proprietary connector. Meanwhile, in Europe, Model S cars ship with a modified version of the Mennekes Type 2 connector found on all EU market cars.

Similarly, Tesla said, Asian customers will also need to order a specific local-market adapter to safely use CHAdeMO public charging stations with a Model S.

Not Cheap

Then there’s price. Tesla said for Model S owners in the U.S. who already have Supercharging capabilities enabled on their car—in other words, all Model S cars with a 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack—can order the Adapter for a cool $1,000.

If you don’t have a Model S with supercharging enabled, you’ll need to shell out $2,400 for the adapter, plus hardware activation if you place an order before your Model S is delivered, or $2,900 if you’ve already got your car.

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