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Best CCS Adapters for Tesla – How to charge Teslas on CCS in North America

Tesla Charging on CCS charger in USA
Photo by: Michael Kim // EVchargerReviews.net

Updated Jan. 23, 2023 by Michael Kim

The Supercharger station network has the most number of Level 3 DC fast charging stations and is hard to beat. However, there is a whole industry of competing DC charging networks out there that can offer more convenient locations or better pricing. Although Teslas use different charging connectors from other brands in North America, it is still possible to fast charge over CCS with the correct adapter.

Why trust us? We have hands-on testing experience with the most popular EV charging products.

Prerequisites

Not all Tesla cars are able to accept energy from CCS chargers. Earlier cars may not have the necessary hardware to communicate over the CCS protocol. You can confirm that your Tesla is compatible by going to the Software menu in your car, and tapping on Additional vehicle information.

Here you want to see that CCS adapter support is “Enabled”, instead of “Not Installed”.

Teslas manufactured after October 2020 for the North American market should be compatible. But earlier models are potentially upgradable from Tesla Service. A new ECU upgrade is required the car reports CCS as unsupported. CCS compatibility can be retrofitted by Tesla Service.

Here are our top picks for the best CCS to Tesla charging connector adapters:

Lectron CCS Charger Adapter

Lectron CCS Adapter for Teslas unboxing

Lectron is a reputable brand in EV charging, and this CCS adapter is another well-built product. A 300 amp limit on this adapter means a theoretical max speed of 150 kW. However, in practice, we have seen a 131 kW peak, because Teslas’ voltage typically hovers closer to 400 volts than 500.

We tested the Lectron CCS adapter at six different DC charging stations, and it has been very reliable. The overall construction feels solid, but the plastic stick above the Tesla plug is the weakest point. This thin plastic stopper prevents the adapter from damaging the Tesla charging port. This is the product we decided to keep for daily usage.

Specs

  • CCS to Tesla adapter
  • 500V and 300A maximum
  • 150kW
  • Operating temperature range: -22 °F to 122 °F
  • IP44 waterproof rating

tesplus CCS Charger Adapter for Tesla

The CCS adapter from tesplus appears visually and functionally the same as the one from Lectron. In fact, we would recommend purchasing whichever product is less expensive on Amazon at your time of purchase. The tesplus adapter has more user reviews, but that is likely because it was listed for longer.

The product description says up to 250 kW, but you are more likely to get ~130 kW in typical usage. CCS supports 250 kW and beyond, but because of the 300 amp limit of this adapter and Tesla being on 400-volt architecture, the user is unlikely to get more than 150 kW in optimal conditions. This is plenty fast! The tesplus CCS adapter has great reviews from other users too.

Specs

  • Operating temperature range: -22°F to 122°F
  • IP54 water resistance rating, splash and rainproof
  • Max power: 250 kW (stated)
  • Max amps: 300

Supicon CCS to Tesla Adapter

Supicon is another interesting CCS-to-Tesla adapter option on the market. Unlike competing products with 300 amp limits, this one is rated at 400. Users have reported peak charging rates of up to 180 kW as a result. (Note that such peak rates appear only briefly before speeds are throttled down)

Supicon’s CCS to Tesla adapter is often on sale and represents a great value pick. It is compatible with all CCS-capable Tesla models; S, X, 3 and Y.

Specs

  • Power: 175 kW
  • Max amps: 400
  • Operating temperature range: -22°F to 122°F
  • IP55 water resistance rating

How to get the highest charging speed on CCS with a Tesla?

For an EV battery to charge at the fastest possible speeds, it needs to reach a certain temperature range. (Typically 104° F – 120° F)

When a Tesla car is navigating to a Supercharger, it begins to precondition the battery for fast charging by warming it up. However, there is no option to manually begin to preconditioning of the battery for non-Superchargers. So in order to get fast charging speeds from CCS EV chargers, the trick is to set the Tesla navigation to a nearby Supercharger, but instead drive to the CCS charger.

Doing this 10-15 minutes prior to your CCS charging session will warm the battery enough to get 100+ kW or more. This is especially important in colder weather in freezing temperatures because a cold battery would not be able to accept much more than ~40 kW for the first few minutes of charging.

Precondition before arriving at a CCS charger
130 kW at a 150 kW capable Level 3 charger

Frequently Asked Questions about charging Tesla on CCS

Can you charge a Tesla at Electrify America stations?

Yes. Electficy America stations use CCS connectors at their ultra-fast Level 3 chargers. So if you have a CCS to Tesla adapter you can take advantage of their growing network. Their CCS charging machines are usually at least 150 kW, with newer “hyper-fast” chargers being capable of up to 350 kW.