So, I am trying to understand the difference between conventional stations and Tesla Model S stations. Since many of these stations are federally funded, shouldn't we be able to charge at these stations? Has someone developed some type of inverter to use these stations with conventional electric cars? What differentiates these stations from regular stations? Thanks in Advance!
There are a million threads that discuss this on these forums. I recommend you spend some time with the search function to get the details. Here's the short version:
There are three levels of commonly recognized charging:
-Level 1, which uses standard US 110v 12A Alternating Current
-Level 2, which uses up to 240V at 32A Alternating Current
-Level 3, which is a higher voltage and amperage Direct Current
There are SAE standards for Level 1 and Level 2, power is negotiated and delivered via a J1772 connector and all production EVs can use them natively. (Teslas use an adaptor provided with the car)
Level 3 is where things get haywire as there are two competing standards (CHAdeMO and SAE Combo). Tesla didn't want to wait for either so they have their own proprietary SuperCharger.
First things first: Our Karmas can only charge from Level 1 and Level 2. There is no DC or Quick Charge capability. Also, our onboard chargers operate at 3.3KV, meaning that even at a level 2 charger the best we'll draw is 16A at 220/240. Most public EVSE chargers are 30A or higher but the extra juice doesn't do us any good.
As for Level 3:
Tesla Superchargers are entirely privately funded and owned by Tesla. They are proprietary and will only work with Model S cars, and only those with the capability enabled. Not all of them are. While Tesla has made a PR move saying they were open to letting others use their patent nobody has - or likely will - take them up on it.
CHAdeMO is the dominant standard now primarily because it had a head start. It is used by Japanese and Korean cars (including the Nissan LEAF, the lead player and the new Kia Soul EV) It has a considerable lead in market penetration. Some of these were installed with government funds, some with private funds and some sponsored by the auto manufacturers, notably Nissan.
SAE Combo (aka CCS) is ostensibly used by a consortium including virtually all US and European car manufacturers but currently only BMW with the i3 uses it. There are relatively few of these in the states but the number is growing. As with CHAdeMO there are government and private dollars behind some of this but notably BMW hasn't thrown a lot of money into public infratructure yet, but they are promising to. They do have a L3 charger that is only ~10% of the cost of a standard CHAdeMO charger, so that should help with adoption. Many installations are now including dual-head options as well with both CCS and Chademo.
So there you have it: No fast charging for us, Tesla or otherwise.
I'm curious if that changes with Elux in the next gen of the Karma...