Using ChargePoint and other public EV chargers to charge a Tesla (or new BMW i3, Jaguar IPACE or Renault Zoe)

ChargePoint makes and manages chargers for electric vehicles on behalf of shopping centres, hotels, and parking stations. They are the largest and most open charging network in the world with chargers in many countries, including Australia.

As far as we know, all ChargePoint chargers in Australia use the standard (until now) J1772 (Type 1) connector. But what if your car uses the Type 2 (Mennekes) connector? You’ll probably need an adapter.

More about ChargePoint

In the general Sydney metro area alone there’s over 80 chargers installed at places like Stockland and Westfield.

You can sign up to their network online and then simply go and use their chargers whenever you wish. You’re able to use their chargers on a wide range of EV’s from many manufacturers. From Tesla (with an adaptor), to Nissan LEAF’s you can just pull in and charge up, most of the time for no charge at all!

The problem Teslas and most newly delivered Electric Vehicles in Australia have with public charging

All the ChargePoint chargers use the Type 1 or J1772 type plugs. So if you were to pull up in say, a Tesla Model X and try and charge at it… you’d be a bit out of luck as Teslas use a different plug type.

In addition, Type 2, or Mennekes, connectors are becoming the standard for newly delivered electric cars in Australia, despite the public charging network mostly being equipped with Type 1 connectors – such as the 2018 BMW i3, Renault ZOE and the upcoming Jaguar I-PACE.

As an aside, Tesla’s cars are compatible with Type 2 connectors, but other Type 2 cars are not compatible with the Tesla charging connector.

Confusing!

Solution: you’ll need an an adaptor!

Some public charging stations are being equipped with Type 2 connectors, which is good for new EV owners, but frustrating for the first wave of owners equipped with Type 1.

So, owners of Type 2 vehicles should know there are a number of adaptors that can convert a Type 1 plug into other types.

Type 1 J1772 to Type 2 (Mennekes) Tesla Converter Adaptor Cable. Source: EVolution Australia

For Australians, a great place to purchase EV adaptors is EVolution Australia. Here you can find a number of Type 1 (or J1772) adaptor cables, with various lengths of 1m to 5m.

The key cable to charge a Tesla or other Type 2 equipped electric car is the Type 1 J1772 to Tesla Converter Adaptor Cable (1m).

They are a little bit pricier than your Aussie to Europe travel plug but it’s well worth it if you are planning to charge at public chargers frequently. It’s a one-off purchase that you can then use for many years.

They also have free shipping anywhere in Australia and NZ (if the item is over $99) and a 3 year replacement warranty on most of their items.

Finally, and unfortunately, it’s worth noting there are few or no options on the market to cover off different DC fast charging plug types – CCS1 (Type 1 with CCS underneath) or CCS2 (Type 2 with CCS underneath). While CCS1 to CCS2 (and vice versa) cables exist, they are expensive.

Summing up – charging cable adapters / converters aren’t going anywhere

Owners of Electric Cars who want to go far and wide are, for the near future, going to need a small selection of charging adapters to have the most charging options. Each car will be a little different, so we’ll try and cover the most common options in upcoming guides.

Most owners who purchase these cables tend to keep them tucked away in the boot in case they’re required. While many owners of petrol cars assume EV owners charge their cars all the time out and about, the reality is that almost all charging of EV’s is done at home overnight as that’s most convenient.

That being said it’s good to be prepared and especially so if you’re going on a long trip. If you’d like to learn more about EV charging, the different power levels as well as the different plug types check our beginners guide to charging electric cars in Australia.

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