Watch A Ford F-150 Lightning Charge Perfectly At A Tesla Supercharger

It’s not just that Tesla has more electric vehicle fast-chargers than anyone else. They just work better, too. But starting with Ford’s EVs, a lot more cars are about to be using those stations as they open up access via new charging adapters. Will the Tesla Supercharging experience be just as good when it has to power so many new and different cars?

If a test of Ford’s new Fast Charging Adapter is any indication, the answer is: so far, so good. 

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Ford kicked off a charging revolution

Ford was the first automaker to announce access to Tesla’s charging stations and a move to its type of plug. The rest of the North American car industry followed suit throughout 2023. The move will open up 15,000 more DC fast chargers to all kinds of EV owners.

Our man Tom Moloughney from the State of Charge YouTube channel was among the first to actually use a Ford Fast Charging Adapter at a Tesla station yesterday, thanks to the folks at Ford, who met him at one of his local stations so he could try it out on his F-150 Lightning. (I should note that Tom did this charging test immediately after flying home from the Arctic Circle, where he was testing a Polestar 3 prototype; the man puts in the work, folks.) You can see his full preliminary test in the video above. 

As InsideEVs reported yesterday, the Ford Fast Charging Adapter is available to all Ford EV owners free of charge until June 30. It can be ordered online or via the FordPass app. Starting July 1, it costs $230, including taxes and shipping. The unit is rated to take up to 1,000 amps and 500 volts. 

The adapter has no communication protocols, so it technically should work with all EVs and not just Ford’s, but there are software authentication issues with Tesla’s network that may prevent that. Then again, maybe not—stay tuned at the end of Tom’s video for more on that front. 

There are some caveats to Ford’s adapter. It does not work with older V2 Supercharger stations, so use Ford or Tesla’s apps to determine compatible ones, and it only does DC fast charging; this will not work with the standard Tesla destination chargers. But it’s still a huge coup for Ford drivers. 

In the video, Ford rep Jovina Young said the safety features of the adapter and how it interacts with the vehicle and charger to prevent any overheating or accidental removal. It’s being issued to owners of the Lightning, Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit van. “We expect demand is going to be much higher than supply to start,” Young said, so put in an order if you haven’t already. 

Tom Lightning Charging

So how did the adapter perform? Tom pulled up to the Tesla station with a 27% state of charge (SOC) on his Lightning. During that time, the Supercharger delivered as much as 173 kW of power (and more than his Extended-range Lightning battery is officially capable of) with an “initial boost” that came very quickly. It eventually tapered off to a rate of about 140 kW, which is typical, but it still bumped Tom’s truck to 47% SOC after just 10 minutes. 

Reliable, fast, seamless—just like you’d expect at a Tesla Supercharger. “I’m super impressed with this,” Tom said. “This really is going to liberate Ford electric vehicle owners.” 

It’s going to liberate a lot of electric vehicle owners, in fact. Nearly every other automaker has signed on to gain access to Tesla’s charging network this year via an adapter like the one Ford makes, and in the coming years, Tesla’s slimmer North American Charging Standard (NACS) plug will become standard equipment on the vast majority of EVs from the factory—making it truly the North American standard for charging.

This not only does away with the bulky Combined Charging System (CCS) plug for DC fast charging, it also allows those EVs to use Tesla’s vast network as well. (As for Tesla, current owners may grumble about having to share stalls with other EVs that have plugs in awkward locations, but the move will unlock billions in revenue for the automaker over the next few years.) 

But as Tom mentions at the end, things are about to get very interesting on the Tesla Supercharging front. Not only are many new automakers getting added to the network this year, more third-party charging adapters are coming to market soon. Ford doesn’t recommend you use those for safety reasons and Tesla forbids it too, but we all know how people are. That is going to lead to some interesting experiments as non-Tesla EVs attempt to charge at these stations, perhaps some more successfully than others. Expect more charging adapter tests from Tom very soon. 

In the meantime, Christmas came in February for Ford’s EV owners, because they now have 15,000 additional and very good DC fast charging stations to use. And it’s the start of every other type of EV being able to have the same kind of convenience and minimal range anxiety as Tesla owners. 

“This is a good day for electric vehicles in America,” Tom said. “Once the dust settles in a few years, we’re going to be a lot better off.”