Tesla Model 3 adopts CCS Combo connector in Europe

Tesla has today confirmed that the European version of the new Model 3 will be fitted with a CCS Type 2 Combo inlet with an adapter available for the Model S and Model X, which currently have a Tesla Type 2 socket.

The announcement marks a technical turning point for Tesla which until now has relied on its own version of the Type 2 Mennekes connector, but wired in such as way to allow DC charging at up to 120 kW as well as AC charging at lower power. Adopting the CCS Combo connector brings Tesla in to line with other EU car makers.

The change will be beneficial for Tesla EV owners as it means that Model 3 drivers will be able to use the expanding network of rapid CCS chargers across the EU. In the UK alone, there are more than 1,240 rapid units fitted with a CCS connector, as compared to only 340 Tesla Superchargers. While the latter can provide up to 120 kW, Model 3 owners will welcome the opportunity to access the more numerous CCS stations, albeit most are currently only 50 kW.

In addition, Model 3 owners will continue to have access to Tesla’s own Supercharger network, as the company also announced the start of a retrofit programme for the European Supercharger network which will provide 'dual charge cables' to both support the existing Tesla Type 2 and CCS standard.

On the announcement Tesla commented: "While Tesla owners already have access to the most convenient and reliable charging solutions available between home charging, Supercharging and Destination Charging, we want to expand their ability to charge at third party fast chargers.

"In advance of Model 3 roll-out in Europe, we will be retrofitting our existing Superchargers with dual charge cables to enable Model 3 which will come with a CCS Combo 2 charge port, to use the Tesla Supercharger network. Model S and Model X customers will continue to have full access to the network and a CCS Combo 2 adaptor will soon be available to purchase, if desired."

NGC welcomes the news today as it signals the next step toward standardization of rapid connector types across Europe which include: the Japanese CHAdeMO DC standard, the European CCS Type 2 Combo connector, the Tesla Type 2 DC socket, and the Type 2 which is capable of conducting 43 kW AC power. Given the huge numbers of Model 3's expected on European roads in 2019, the move to CCS simplifies the charging options, which in turn will benefit the whole EV market.

Those interested in the technical issues will wonder why Tesla didn't continue to stick with its class-leading Tesla Type 2 port. In addition to the numbers argument made above, it may also be because Tesla's proprietorial standard is only capable of charging at up to 120 kW whereas the CCS standard has been future-proofed to 350 kW, as being installed by Ionity network, although the next generation will for the most part be rated at 150 kW.

Also included in today's announcement, existing Model S and X owners in North American will soon be able to buy a US version of the adapter so that Model S, Model X, and Model 3 owners in North America can connect to rapid CCS units.

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Ben Lane

Author:Ben Lane
Date Updated:14th Nov 2018

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