Bent on overcoming practical objections to its Model S, Tesla has offered myriad charging options from powerful home units to free access to Supercharging, and this winter it will make access possible to CHAdeMO DC Quick Chargers.
Tesla’s adapter however will come at a price –– $1,000 to $2,900 to be exact.
Variance in pricing depends on whether a Model S is already set up for Supercharging. If not, on-board hardware activation is required and the extra service brings the package cost to $2,400 for pre-delivery cars, and $2,900 for folks who already have their Model S.
For the fee charged, Model S drivers will be able to tap into the growing network of 50-amp CHAdeMO-standard infrastructure and receive enough electrical energy per hour to travel an additional 70 miles.
Tesla’s own Superchargers are far quicker, but CHAdeMO DC Quick Chargers may be the next best option, and the convenience factor may be a plus for some on-the-road Model S drivers.
Companies including Nissan, Mitsubishi, and other infrastructure vendors are proliferating CHAdeMO chargers as a competing pin configuration for electric cars’ charge ports in addition to standards also underway by the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and others in other markets.
Tesla has designed its own proprietary charger port standard that does not interface with other manufacturers’ cars, as the company tends to enjoy zigging when others zag.
Not quite a case of “if you can’t beat them, join them,” Tesla’s premo-priced access to a competing standard appears to be a little bit of both as the company is set to profit from its competitors in what is otherwise billed as a convenience.
Perhaps an enterprising company may think of offering these for rent to traveling Model S drivers?
At this gestational stage, things are still playing out, including who would even benefit from this adapter. Presently many more CHAdeMO chargers (EVSE) are in the Pacific Northwest, and just like the Supercharger network, their numbers and locations are increasing.
Although a pricey unit, Tesla’s CHAdeMO adapter does appear to be a much more highly engineered solution than a mere cable with a couple of end spliced onto it.
The adapter model pictured is for Model S sedans sold in the U.S., and Tesla says European and Asian market cars will require a different unit.