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A complete guide to Tesla destination chargers

Tesla destination chargers are Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers designed to help you power your Tesla away from home, particularly overnight or if you’re not in a rush. They’re just like the Tesla Wall Connectors you can install at home but are located in public places like hotels, restaurants, and parking garages. In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about Tesla destination chargers, including what they are, where to find them, how to use them, and how much they cost.

Key takeaways

  1. Tesla destination chargers are Level 2 chargers you can use to power your EV when away from home – particularly if you’re not in a rush or need to plug in overnight.

  2. Using a Tesla destination charger can add up to 44 miles of range in one hour, depending on which Tesla model and type you drive.

  3. There are a few easy ways to find Tesla destination chargers, including your Tesla navigation system, the Tesla app, Tesla’s website, and other EV charging apps.

  4. Tesla destination chargers are usually free to use, but you may need to pay for parking at a hotel or in a parking garage – some may also have fees.

  5. Sign up for solar quotes on the EnergySage Marketplace to charge your Tesla with free solar energy right at home.

What’s in this article?

What is a Tesla destination charger?

Tesla destination chargers are Wall Connectors available in public locations for Tesla drivers to use when they have a few hours to charge away from home. Located in both urban and rural locations, these chargers are expanding EV charging infrastructure across the country.

A Tesla destination charger is a Level 2 charger that allows you to charge much more quickly than a Level 1 charger, providing up to 44 miles of range per hour depending on which Tesla you drive. For comparison, a Level 1 charger just uses a standard 120-volt wall outlet with a J1772 connector and Tesla adapter – this is very slow, only adding about 2-5 miles per hour to your range. Learn more about the different EV charging levels in this article.

In addition to the Tesla destination chargers, some other networks and ways to charge your Tesla include:

  1. Tesla Supercharger network: public Level 3 chargers to help you charge quickly, adding up to 200 miles in approximately 15 minutes.

  2. Tesla Wall Connector: a Level 2 EV charger designed for you to charge your Tesla at home.

While more companies are starting to offer EVs as part of their vehicle lineup, according to a Kelley Blue Book report published in July 2022, Tesla currently has 70.1 percent of the U.S. EV market share. Most EVs sold in the US today use a standard J1772 plug or charge port for charging, but Teslas use a unique Tesla-only plug – when driving a Tesla, you need either an adapter or a Tesla-specific charger to charge. There are over 35,000 Wall Connectors available at Tesla destination charger locations around the world.

Tesla destination chargers aren’t as fast as Tesla Superchargers, which are ideal for quick stops on road trips, but destination chargers are helpful when you have an overnight stop or need to plug in for a little while.

How to use a Tesla destination charger

Tesla destination chargers are extremely easy to use: you simply plug in your Tesla at any Wall Connector to begin charging. While Tesla destination chargers are all Level 2 EV chargers, your exact charging speed will vary depending on a few factors including which Tesla model you’re driving, the energy output at the destination charger location, the age of your Tesla’s battery (batteries degrade over time), and if there’s any extreme weather.

Charger speed by Tesla model

Each Tesla model and type charges at a different speed because they have different battery sizes. The larger the battery, the longer it will take you to charge it. Here’s a general guide of how many miles you’ll add with one hour of charging time if the destination charger uses a 60 amp (A) circuit breaker with a maximum output of 48A.

Maximum miles added with Tesla destination chargers Tesla ModelMaximum distanced gained after one hour Model 344 miles Model S41 miles Model X35 miles Model Y44 miles

Source: Tesla

Charger speed by location

You might not be able to add quite as many miles as shown in the table above if the Tesla destination charger you’re using is on a lower amperage circuit breaker with a lower power output. Both the Tesla app and the main screen of your Tesla will show you the charging speed once you plug into the Wall Connector at the Tesla destination charger location.

Also, if you’re charging where there’s extreme cold or heat, you may experience slower charging because your battery needs to use more energy to heat or cool the interior. Batteries also lose range more quickly with extreme weather, so if you leave your EV parked overnight in the cold, it’ll noticeably lose range.

Monitoring your charging

Just like when you power your Tesla at Superchargers or at home with a Wall Connector, you can monitor and control charging at destination chargers and receive notifications when it’s complete using the Tesla app.

plugshare app, tesla destination charger

Image credit: Plugshare app; charging status shown in a Model 3 at a Tesla destination charger

Adding chargers for you business

Businesses can host Tesla destination chargers in their parking lots or garages for customers or the general public to use. Tesla looks for sites that can support six or more individual parking stalls and provide amenities, restrooms, and Wi-Fi – though there may be locations with only one or two destination chargers. Tesla also has an ongoing process for selecting destination charger hosts based on market expansion needs and aligning locations with popular routes and destinations.

Businesses who add Tesla destination chargers own and operate the chargers themselves – so, they may qualify for tax incentives or credits when adding Wall Connectors to their location. To qualify for listing on Tesla’s map and Trip Planner, a business must have regular business hours, sell or provide services to the general public, and have full-time employees on site during those hours.

Tesla destination charger spots getting ICE’d?

“Getting ICE’d” is a term EV drivers use when an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle parks in an EV charging spot. Sometimes if destination chargers are located in parking spots near a hotel or building, there’s a chance they could get ICE’d, which prevents you from charging. If your hotel only has one or two Tesla destination chargers and you’re relying on those to charge to get to your next destination, you may want to call ahead to see if they’re currently available. Or, if you arrive and a destination charging spot is ICE’d, you can often speak with the property manager or business owner to see if they can get in touch with the driver to move it.

How much does it cost to use a Tesla destination charger?

Usually, you can charge at a Tesla destination chargers for free, but there are a few exceptions:

Business customer requirements

Sometimes businesses provide destination chargers as a free perk for its customers. So, if you’re not staying at the hotel or resort with the destination chargers, you may not be able to use them. However, you may still be able to park and charge there if you visit the hotel or resort’s restaurant.

Valet or parking fees

You’ll likely have to pay any regular parking fees in a parking garage or for valet parking where the Tesla destination charger is located. This isn’t a cost to add range, but just something to be aware of when planning your charging.

Tesla charging fees

Tesla is making it possible for business owners to enable fees for using destination chargers to cover the cost of the electricity they’re providing. But, Tesla does provide a few guidelines around this – to collect payments for Tesla destination chargers, a business or property must have:

  1. Six Wall Connectors available at their destination charger location

  2. Gen3 (third generation) Tesla Wall Connectors that are connected to either Wi-Fi or Cellular

  3. A signed Services Agreement with Tesla

Through the Tesla Pay-for-Use Charging program, property managers and business owners can collect a fee for the electricity provided when charging. They’ll use the Tesla Property Manager Portal to manage their Tesla charging assets and set pricing.

How to find a Tesla destination charger

Tesla destination chargers are very easy to find using your Tesla’s main screen, the Tesla app, Tesla’s website, and even other EV charging apps.

Your Tesla’s main screen

When driving your Tesla Model 3, S, X, or Y, you can quickly see nearby destination chargers on your Tesla’s main screen (also known as the Tesla media control unit or MCU).

The Tesla app

Like your Tesla’s main screen, the Tesla app shows nearby destination charger locations.

Tesla’s website

You can enter an address, city, or zip code into the map on Tesla’s website to find a destination charger closest to you or at any location. The same map lets you find Tesla Superchargers, service centers, collision centers and stores.

tesla destination charger map

Image source: Tesla

Tesla’s online trip planner

Tesla’s online trip planner lets you plan a route ahead of time based on your Tesla model. You’ll input your model and type (e.g., Performance or Long Range) and then you’ll see Tesla destination chargers near your stop or destination.

tesla destination charger route

Image credit: Tesla

Other EV charging apps

Other EV charging apps like Plugshare let you find Tesla destination chargers and other public EV chargers (which you can use to charge your Tesla on the go with an adapter). Plugshare shares details about how many Tesla chargers are at the location and what amenities are available. You can also see reviews along with notes from other Tesla drivers who have used the charger.

Image credit: Plugshare app

Charge your Tesla at home with solar

One of the best long-term solutions to lower your home Tesla charging costs is to go solar so you can power your EV with free energy from the sun. Check out the EnergySage Marketplace to compare several quotes from pre-screened installers so you can find a system that fits your needs at the right price. If you’re planning to charge an EV at home, simply make a note in your profile so your installer can help you build the right size system.


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