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Can BMW i3 Use the Tesla Charging Station?


BMW, like Tesla, manufactures electric vehicles. The BMW i3 is among the most popular BMW electric vehicles. Even though BMW manufactures electric vehicles, it lacks Tesla’s extensive Supercharger network. BMW’s i3 is among the most popular EVs in the UK and Europe. However, Tesla’s Supercharger network is still very superior, and you may need to charge your BMW i3 from it. But can BMW i3 use the Tesla charging station?

Yes, it can, but it will need some additional equipment, like adapters, to make it able to do so. However, you can’t use the Tesla Supercharger for your BMW i3.

BMW i3 is the only one available as a pure EV and a range-extended i3 REX. Two battery upgrades increased the range of i3 to 186 miles per charge during production. A styling refresh has also resulted in a sharper design and the introduction of a sportier BMW i3s modified version. Read on to learn more about BMW i3 charging.

Let’s look at how to charge the BMW i3:

How to charge the BMW i3?

BMW i3 uses the CSS charging standard, which includes a DC and AC inlet port. At the top side of the inlet, you will find the Type 2 connector which you can use for charging at slow public or home points and fast AC points. During rapid DC charging, all sections of the inlet, that is, the upper as well as the lower one, carry high power. The CCS charging inlet on the BMW i3 is located on the off-side rear 3/4 panel, where you would hope to encounter a gasoline flap.

BMW i3 Charging

You can charge BMW i3 slowly or quickly, depending upon the network and the charger unit type available. Slow charging typically necessitates a 3-pin-to-Type two cable, while fast charging necessitates a Type 2-to-Type two cables, one of which is typically included with the vehicle. BMW i3 uses a tethered CCS connector which you can find as a component of the of the charging unit for rapid charging.

To charge the EV on DC or AC, the driver needs to insert the connectors into the appropriate inlet. The car will ‘talk’ to the charging unit to ensure that the power source is present, that there are no defects, and if starting the charging process will be safe. The vehicle begins charging automatically when charging at a workspace or residential space charge point.

Pay-as-you-go contactless units are also becoming more common on newer chargers. These units will perform connection and account checks and then start to charge the EV for safety reasons. This might require the use of an RFID card or a mobile application, based on the network operator.

Can BMW i3 use the Tesla charging station?

One of the largest global automotive manufacturers, Tesla stretched its charging stations to other electric cars through a new initiative in the Netherlands. Now Non-Tesla vehicle drivers can use the Tesla app to connect superchargers in ten Dutch locations. This means that you can charge your non-Tesla electric vehicle at a Tesla charging station. Even so, there are some factors to consider.

Whereas non-Tesla drivers are welcome to use charging stations, the facility of Tesla’s high-speed charging stations is only accessible to Tesla automobiles. That is why you cannot get adapters for a BMW electric vehicle to use a Supercharger. It is under consideration by Tesla to open its Supercharger network to other electric cars. These are just rumors, with no definitive proof from the company.

Different Tesla Standards

European charging standards differ from those in the US, and Tesla vehicles require different connectors. Tesla’s propriety connector is not used with all the vehicles sold in Europe, which is why the charging experience differs significantly from others, such as those in North America.  

In Europe, Tesla practices the CCS standard, enabling a wide range of automobiles to charge at stations that do not involve an adapter with a similar connector. As per Tesla, non-Tesla motorists getting charged at Tesla stations may cause the company to pay added expenses to endorse a broad range of cars and site improvements to cater to these automobiles. This, as per the company, expands Tesla’s main objective of speeding up sustainable energy growth.

You can charge your BMW i3 at a Tesla destination charger if you have a suitable adapter. For United States, it requires a J1772 adapter, however, in Europe, a CSS adapter can do the job.

While Tesla has over 25,000 Superchargers worldwide, other automakers have collaboration systems or have started investing in network companies as they prepare to launch new car models. Currently, Superchargers are only available for cars that have the Combined Charging System found in BMW, Ford, Daimler, and the Volkswagen Group, which also consists of Porche and Audi.

Where can you charge your BMW i3?

You can charge your BMW i3 at:

Home: Many plug-in auto manufacturers have agreements or collaborations with charge point providers. In some cases, you might get a free home charge point with the purchase of a new car. Often these home chargers are either 3 kW or 7 kW rating. Higher powered wall-mounted units typically cost more than the slightly quicker 3 kW option, but they cut charging time in half.

Public networks: The United Kingdom has many public EV charging networks, some of which provide national coverage while others are limited to a specific region. Since most demand an account set before use, some swift rooms are furnished with non-contact card readers. Charging tariffs typically include a flat connection fee, a cost per battery charging (pence per hour), or a cost per unit of energy consumed (kWh).

Final Thoughts

You can charge your BMW electric vehicle at a Tesla charging station. But there may be a need to get additional parts, i.e., an adapter. Thank heavens, some Tesla adapter alternatives let BMW electric cars and other non-Tesla vehicles go to any of Tesla’s many charging stations throughout the United States.

Tesla’s high-speed supercharger, however, are not good with BMW i3 cars. This is Tesla has restricted these charges to their products only. Moreover, superchargers use a different connector and charging voltage. Furthermore, the Tesla supercharger communicates with the vehicle to ensure whether it has permission to charge there.

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