Look closely: Tesla's video celebrating a Mustang EV using its Supercharger hides a potential pain point for other drivers

  • Tesla opened 15,000 Superchargers to non-Tesla electric cars on Thursday.

  • The carmaker shared a video that showed a Ford Mustang Mach-E taking up two charging spots.

  • The issue highlights concerns from Tesla owners about EV charging etiquette.

Tesla opened more of its Superchargers to non-Tesla electric cars on Thursday, but it appears to have overlooked a major design flaw.

Tesla shared a video of a Ford Mustang Mach-E using one of its Superchargers on Thursday after the carmaker opened about 15,000 of its Supercharging stations to Ford owners who can access the chargers using a North American Charging Standard (NACS) adapter.

Tesla's ad showed the Ford EV owner using a NACS adapter and taking up two Superchargers — even with the driver neatly parked in a single parking space — because of the location of the car's charging port and the limited length of the charging cable.

Tesla's ad shows a flaw in its charging design for non-Teslas.
Without longer charging cables, the addition of non-Tesla EVs at Supercharging stations could lead to fewer available chargers.Courtesy of Tesla

That's because Tesla's charging port is located on the back left side of the car, so at the stall in the video, a Tesla driver would typically back into the parking spot on the left of the stall. But because the Mach-E's charger is located on the front left side of the car, the cable isn't long enough to reach and the vehicle takes up the spot to the right of the charging stall.

Tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee was quick to point out the issue with the process.

"Did you catch it?" Brownlee wrote on X. "In Tesla's own video with a Mach E (because of the charge port location) the owner parks in the spot that's now blocking 2 spots where a Tesla would take up one. If the charge station fills up the remaining spots with Teslas, the app will show 1 charger as available but the parking spot is blocked by the Mach-E."

Brownlee first spotted the issue after Tesla initially opened some of its Superchargers to non-Teslas last year. At the time, the YouTuber took a Rivian R1T to a Supercharger in New York and said the situation "descended into chaos" as other non-Tesla EV owners struggled to get the charging cord to reach their port — with some blocking multiple charging spots in the process.

"If I was like a huge Tesla person I would probably be worried about you know my own Tesla experience. Will it get worse because more people are charging? Potentially, you'll have more people waiting in line more people taking up more spots," Brownlee said last year.

A spokesperson for Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Since Elon Musk said Tesla would begin opening its Supercharging network to outside EV owners, some Tesla fans have expressed concern about how it could impact charging wait times and said some non-Tesla owners still have a lot to learn about EV etiquette.

Last year, Tesla opened some V4 Superchargers that appeared to address the design issue with longer charging cords, but a timeline for a wider US rollout of the V4 Superchargers isn't clear. Many automakers have switched to Tesla's charging technology over the past year. Tesla's charging network is one of its biggest advantages over EV rivals — from faster and more accessible charging stations to more amenities.

Non-Tesla EV owners can charge at updated Superchargers that have a Magic Dock adapter. On Thursday, Tesla opened V3 chargers to Ford owners who can use a NACS adapter supplied by Ford, according to Tesla's website. However, original and V2 chargers are still not accessible outside the Tesla community.

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