How not to suck at Supercharging

A recent trip to the U.K. showed me the reality of opening the Supercharger network to non-Tesla cars. I hadn’t really seen much of that in Belgium yet, but then I don’t use the Superchargers a lot when I’m close to home. The occupation rate of the stations I tried in the U.K. was higher than before (2021-2022), with anywhere from 25% to 75% of the stalls occupied by other brands. And that is not without its challenges.

Charge Port Position

The problem

The Supercharger network was designed for Tesla cars. All Tesla cars have their charge port on the Rear Left (RL) position of the car. There is no doubt how the car is best positioned to charge, since there’s only one that works. So there’s also no confusion about which charging station to use. It’s the only one that’s close enough to the charge port, since the Supercharger cables are typically short.

Other brands have not followed the same logic. There are five common positions for the charge port on other brands: rear left & right, front left & right, and front center. Only three of those work well with the design of a typical Supercharger. Two of them don’t.

Charge Port Position 🙂 Supercharger
Rear Left (RL) ✅ Yes
Rear Right (RR) ❌ No
Front Center (FC) ✅ Yes (if the cable is long enough)
Front Left (FL) ❌ No
Front Right (FR) ✅ Yes

Now check out this list of common EV vehicles. Can you spot the problem?

Charge Port Position source: – missing from this list: Chinese brands like BYD, Lynk&Co (Geely), HiPhi, Zeekr

That’s right. Lots of popular EV cars from BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche and Volkswagen have their charge port on the wrong side for correct usage at a Supercharger. If they park their car on slot #1 to charge, they will not use the charger of slot #1, they will use that of slot #2. If a Tesla then arrives into slot #2 to charge, they will have no charge cable for slot #2 available, so they cannot charge.

The solution

Here are some possible solutions to this problem.

Change Supercharger layout

Reconsider the open-for-all policy

Do nothing

This seems to be the strategy followed at the moment. Just let the drivers fight it out. Strictly speaking this is a bait-and-switch strategy. Part of the appeal of buying a Tesla was the abundant, affordable and excellent Supercharging network. The ‘excellent’ aspect will now be diluted by excessive and potentially anti-social charging by other brands.


I’m aware it’s a first world problem. But this is the situation as it is today:

Elsewhere on the web

“It looks like Tesla is already aware of the situation because it is working on a new generation of its charging station, Supercharger V4, which appears to have a much longer cable.” Jaguar blocking a Tesla via

“Serious investments and a new Supercharging layout appear to be the only cure if the network were to be open for all.” Wrong side via

“Practically speaking, us being plugged in on the “wrong side” with our EV6 makes one of the charging spaces useless for a Tesla owner who may come along” Kia EV6 via

💬 car 🏷 ev 🏷 electric 🏷 tesla 🏷 supercharger