Tesla Supercharger vs Destination Charger – What’s The Difference?

If you own a Tesla and are looking for a place to charge your new electric vehicle then both Destination Chargers and Superchargers are probably on your radar.

Tesla has been vigorously expanding their charging network of both of these kinds of chargers for years now and it certainly provides you with a lot of options.

The big question is though, what is the difference between superchargers and destination chargers? And which should you use and when?

That is what this article is all about. Explaining the differences between the two, the pros and cons, and the reasons you would choose one over the other.

The Main Differences Between Tesla Destination Chargers & Superchargers

Tesla superchargers are high-power chargers that charge electric vehicles faster than a destination charger. However, you will almost always pay for a supercharger whereas destination chargers are often free.

Tesla Superchargers will charge your electric car a lot faster reaching up to 200 miles of charge in 15 minutes. In comparison, a destination charger can only charge between 30-44 miles per hour.

Tesla has actually built a large supercharger station infrastructure across the globe to help support Tesla owners. This means there is likely a Tesla charging station right around the corner from you, or on your next road trip ready to get you all the way to your destination.

tesla supercharger port macquarie australia
Tesla Supercharger in Australia

When & Why To Use A Supercharger

The Tesla supercharger network is a huge collection of chargers to help you fill up your battery faster when you are on a long journey. They are strategically located to help Tesla owners reach further destinations and have a charging capacity of up to 250 kW.

The Tesla Navigation App (Trip planner) is also set up in your electric vehicle to help you plan your route to include charging at superchargers and giving the times you should charge for to optimize your route.

For most Tesla owners Superchargers are not free, so you have to keep in mind that you will be charged a reasonable price to use a supercharger.

Normally, only Tesla vehicles can use superchargers. However, Tesla has also recently started opening up the Supercharger network to other electric vehicles in Europe.

Tesla Destination Charger

When & Why To Use A Destination Charger

Tesla has also worked with local businesses and hotels (ie destinations) to help expand their charging station infrastructure. They provide businesses assistance in installing destination chargers wherever they can so that you always have more options to charge your Tesla model.

Destination chargers are low-powered chargers that will only provide limited charge/mileage compared to a supercharger and are intended more for long-term/overnight charging. This is why they are located at destinations (ie. places you will park for longer periods). To help charge electric cars while their owners are off doing something more useful.

So, if you are heading on a trip and planning on parking at a hotel or specific area for a longer time, this is when destination chargers will come in handy. A Tesla destination charger is also great for a top-up while you are shopping or visiting an area as well.

Tesla also provides destination chargers on their in-car navigation to help you find them more easily. They are also usually all displayed on Google maps.

Updates and Other Charging Info

The Tesla App can also come in handy because it shows you specific information and updates you when your vehicle is almost charged.

On the App, Tesla drivers can also

  • see charging stall availability
  • monitor your charge status
  • get notified when your vehicle is ready to go

The last one can be particularly handy as Tesla charges an idle fee if you leave your car plugged in and you actually no longer need to charge.

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