Ford EVs Can Now Use the Tesla Supercharger and Its a Game Changer

The standard for EV chargers is shifting to the NACS Tesla supercharger, and Ford EV owners will be the first to use it; Ford is sending them adapters. Here's how to get yours!

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Ford gifting NACS chargers to their EV owners is a game changer. Photo: Liv Leigh

Tesla Supercharger, Meet My Ford Mach-E

Picture this: I’m at a bustling Tesla Supercharger site in Southern California. The sun’s out, those iconic white Teslas are everywhere, and we’re plugging our bright blue Ford Mustang Mach-E into a Tesla Supercharger. This is a game-changer. Thanks to Ford and Tesla teaming up, the old “us vs them” mentality is fading fast.

My EV charging session will be chugging along thanks to my brand-spankin’ new, official Ford NACS Tesla charging adapter. I, along with a select few other Ford enthusiasts across the country, received this highly-anticipated item along with an instructive briefing on how to use it. This particular adapter works only with Superchargers, not the lower-power level 2 Tesla chargers found in people’s homes, hotels or other Tesla charge sites that are not designated Superchargers.

Thanks to the Ford/Tesla partnership we are also able to use Ford’s Plug & Charge: just plug the car in with no need to tap an app or swipe a credit card; the terminal recognizes your car and your account. The software in the Tesla terminals and the Ford’s cars are able to complete the handshake needed for Plug & Charge to work.  This quiet moment seems almost unremarkable in its ease and success, and I’m excited for others to experience this soon.

Related: Why I Bought a Tesla Model Y

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This EV charging adapter lets Tesla owners charge at Combined Charging System Chargers. Now CCS can do the same. Photo: Tesla

A Trip Down EV Charging Memory Lane

Let’s rewind. Back in 2011, it seemed like the auto world was getting on the same page about EV charging. Ford, BMW, Audi, GM, Porsche, VW, and a bunch of automotive engineering bodies all got together and decided to make a unified EV charging system that everyone could use. Then Tesla went their own way with a different style charger and dedicated chargers.

For years, Superchargers – level 3 fast charge terminals – and dedicated Tesla level 2 chargers, such as those installed in people’s homes or at hotels, were the exclusive playground of Tesla owners. Non-Tesla drivers were envious; Tesla chargers are often more conveniently located, Superchargers work quickly and seamlessly and the smaller connectors are easier to use. It was a charger-standard standoff.

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Jim Farley of Ford and Elon Musk of Tesla announced this crazy EV charging partnership on Twitter. Photo: Techcrunch

Adapting Tesla’s Charging Standard Means A New Era of Sharing

Then came 2023 – the year Ford and Tesla shook hands or, more literally, Ford CEO Jim Farley and Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Suddenly, Tesla’s proprietary charger was reborn as the North American Charging Standard (NACS). One by one, most other automakers jumped on board. It was peer pressure in the best way. Ford paved the way for this partnership, committing to providing adapters by Spring 2024 and incorporating NACS in vehicles from 2025 onwards, while other brands committed to their own timelines.

The adapter Ford sent us is only for use with the Supercharger; level 2 Tesla Chargers are slightly different and will require a different adapter.

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Tesla has 50 Magic Dock chargers that let CCS charge; this Ford Lightning can charge at Tesla chargers now. Photo: Sergio Rodriguez

For Now, We’re All Going to Need EV Charging Adapters

Someday, new EVs will likely have NACS baked right in. But for our current rides, these Tesla charger adapters are like magic keys. Ford, first to the gate and delivering on the promise right on schedule, is the first to hand owners of Mach-E and F-150 Lightning an adaptor for free.

If you’re an owner here’s how you can receive your complimentary charger:

  • Go to https://www.ford.com/FastChargingAdapter/ and sign in
  • Select to ‘reserve your adapter at no cost’
  • Confirm your shipping details
  • Make sure that you have ‘automatic updates’ on so your car can get prepped for Supercharging
  • And finally, try to be patient as Ford sends out all these free adapters

Driving another electric car? Your automaker is probably scrambling to get an adapter to you, or to the market. And, third party suppliers are already starting to sell them, so you can get one quickly via Amazon, but be sure you buy the adapter for the level charging you need – level 2 or level 3 Supercharger and to use the adapter recommended by the maker of your car.

You’ll also want to know how your automaker is adapting to Tesla’s chargers to ensure the terminal and your car can complete the handshake smoothly. Hopefully, it will be as easy as Ford is making it.

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Charging the Ford F-150 Lightning has just gotten a lot easier. Photo: Erica Mueller

Why This is a Colossal Deal

This moment isn’t just about EV charging at a Supercharger, awesome as that is. It’s that it’s not proprietary anymore, and Ford was able to work with Tesla to ensure that our vehicles are ready to Plug & Charge on the Tesla charger network. It’s about choice, flexibility, and EV adoption going mainstream. Imagine a road trip where finding a fast charger is NEVER a worry, no matter what EV you drive. No more range anxiety, no more “charger envy” –  just open roads and endless possibilities.

Having access to the Supercharger network may not fix everything, and it may not be seamless, but removing the proprietary restrictions that make EV charging a community struggle is going to make a world of difference.

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Be sure to check with your carmaker to see when you’ll be able to access the supercharging network. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Charge Your Brain with These Important Tips

  • Not all Superchargers can handle non-Tesla vehicles yet; look for the V3 stations and newer. There are more than 15,300 of them.
  • Carmakers are on different timelines for NACS rollouts, so be sure to check your brand’s schedule.
  • Superchargers are not designed for our non-Tesla charging port locations yet, so let’s all try to be extra considerate of which stalls we take up when we’re charging.
  • If someone’s charging port location makes them take up the *wrong* stall, try to park next to them to minimize the number of extra stalls being taken.
  • Tesla drivers – extend a friendly hand to the new EV arrivals. This partnership is meant to benefit everyone. Tesla invited us in, so hopefully, you will, too.

The future of EV charging is looking incredibly bright, and a whole lot of cooperation powers it. This is a win for drivers everywhere.

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CCS vehicles already have numerous charging company options like Blink EA and EVgo, but reliability is rough. Photo: Liv Leigh

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An enthusiastic supporter of everything she’s passionate about, Liv got her first Electric Car and immediately made a YouTube... More about Liv Leigh

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