Destination Charger vs. Supercharger: The Difference between two Tesla Networks


One of the most asked questions amongst electric car enthusiasts is destination charger vs. supercharger: which is better? In truth, the answer to this question is relative because both actions are great for different purposes.

For example, destination chargers are the way to go if you want a comparatively slow charge. But if you prefer a quicker and more convenient way to top off your car on the go, superchargers are ideal.

Do you want to know more about these chargers and what differentiates them? This article will show you how to choose the ideal charging network.

What is a Supercharger?

Tesla Supercharger

Tesla Supercharger

Superchargers are fast-charging stations that can dish out up to 480 volts, which charges an electric car under an hour. Interestingly, these speedy stations are particularly for electric cars traveling lengthy distances. For instance, a 40 minutes charge can get the car’s battery up to 80%. However, the charging rate slows down once it reaches this threshold to protect the battery’s life.

Despite the throttled charging rate after 80%, it takes about 75 minutes to get a full charge with Superchargers. And it’s because these charging stations supply car batteries with direct DC power. In short, these charging stations offer the best speed compared to other chargers.

Additionally, Supercharger charging rates differ according to different car models. For example, 15 minutes of supercharging on a Tesla Model 3 would suffice for 175 miles, while a Model S would travel 163 miles. But Model X and Y would last for 142 and 158 miles, respectively.

What are Destination Chargers?

Tesla destination charging

Tesla destination charging

Destination chargers are stations that offer a slower charging speed compared to superchargers. And this station charges your vehicle based on your battery level. So, you should expect destination chargers to provide a full charge within one to twelve hours.

Typically, destination chargers are ideal if you plan to stay in a particular spot for a long time. In other words, destination chargers aren’t ideal for making quick stops. 

What is the Difference between Destination Chargers and Superchargers?

Charger powering an electric vehicle

Charger powering an electric vehicle


Electric car charging
Electric car charging

Electric car charging

As mentioned earlier, Superchargers are way faster than destination chargers. It takes approximately 75 minutes to get a full charge on your electric car and a maximum of 20 hours for destination chargers.

Destination Charger vs. Supercharger: Battery Health

Destination Charger vs. Supercharger:
Electric car charging station

Electric car charging station

Although superchargers offer attractive benefits, using them frequently may damage your battery. So, despite measures to stop battery degradation, charging at such speeds will inevitably strain the battery.

On the other hand, destination chargers are more suitable for frequent use. They may be slower but shine during lengthy charging sessions–like overnight charging.

Destination Charger vs. Supercharger: Locations

Destination Charger vs. Supercharger:
Charging station locations

Charging station locations

You can find electric car charging stations all over the U.S. Interestingly; these superchargers are strategically located on well-known routes, ensuring that drivers on longer journeys get quick access to charging stations.

Further, the Supercharger network is fast spreading to various urban areas. So, you can find these urban versions in key points like downtown areas or grocery stores.


Contrarily, you may not always find destination chargers in similar convenient areas. And it’s because destination chargers are in various locations but not along highly trafficked roads or in large cities. So, you’ll find destination chargers along local routes where there are no Superchargers.

Destination Charger vs. Supercharger: Road Trip Planner Compatibility

Since charging is a crucial aspect of electric cars, most manufacturers focus on making it easy to find stations. Some companies even go as far as introducing a tool like the Trip planner.

This powerful tool can plan your travel route based on charging station locations. The tool plans the trip from your starting point to the destination with charging stations along the path. Also, the tool indicates how much charging you’ll need at each station.

Thankfully, it’s compatible with both superchargers and destination chargers. But the trip planner always sets your route around superchargers. So, most charging stations along your ‘planned route” would be superchargers. 

However, the tool still shows nearby destination chargers. In addition, the navigation feature can pinpoint the fastest route packed with charging stations. In short, you can get to the closest supercharger or destination charger with this navigation function.

Destination Charger vs. Supercharger: Cost

Destination Charger vs. Supercharger:
Two cars charging from one station

Two cars charging from one station

At one point, Tesla offered free unlimited supercharging on new Model X or S purchases. However, they cut this deal, making supercharging a purchasable service.

Since supercharger pricing varies based on location, you may be billed at $0.25 per kWh. So, with this estimate, a full recharge for 250 miles would cost $22.00. Also, an 80% charge at a supercharging station may cost $18.00.

In contrast, destination chargers are usually free. But this only applies when you’re a patron of the facility offering the service. So, for instance, you can book a hotel room with free destination charging.

Is Supercharging Cheaper than Gas?

Currently, using the supercharging network is expensive. You can use alternative options and adapters to charge your electric car. 

Undeniably, EVs aren’t that cost-efficient if you don’t use home or office charging frequently. Although it’s slower than superchargers, home charging stations help you save some bucks.

Additionally, other fees could make supercharging more expensive–like idle fees. U.S. supercharging stations incur $0.50 per minute if your car stays connected after a full charge. However, an electric car charging station with 100% capacity charges $1.00 per minute of idle charging.

Thankfully, you can avoid such extra expenses by monitoring your app. Also, moving your car within five minutes of a full charge notification doesn’t attract idle fees.

How to use a Supercharger Post?

It’s easy to use a supercharger network. Start by parking your vehicle and plugging it in via the supercharger post’s connector. Afterward, you should see the vehicle’s charge port LED flash green, indicating successful charging.

Your instrumental panel can offer information to help monitor your charging progress. Most times, charging stations will charge you per kWh, but you can also get billed per minute.

How to use a Destination Charger

First, you’ll have to back up to the charging post to easily access your car’s port. Then, take the destination charger and press the button on the nozzle to open your electric car charging port.

Once open, the LED inside the charging enclosure should glow blue, signifying that it’s ready to connect. Afterward, wait for the LED to turn green. While at it, you can check your car’s dashboard to see how many hours it’ll take for a full charge.

Unlike Superchargers, destination chargers give you more freedom without incurring extra fees. 

How to Choose?

Choosing between a destination charger and a supercharger depends on your needs. Destination chargers are your go-to for trips in local areas or places without superchargers. Also, they are perfect when you need to spend long hours in a place.

On the other hand, supercharges are ideal for longer trips. They can charge an EV quickly, and you can make as many stops as needed–provided there are superchargers on your route.


How do I find destination chargers?

You can use your map or navigation feature (if you’re using a Tesla model) to locate destination chargers nearby.

Can electronic vehicles use destination chargers?

Yes. But you’ll need a special adapter to connect an electric vehicle to a destination charger.

How fast is Tesla’s destination charging?

Tesla destination charging can take between one to twelve hours for a full charge or 20 hours at most. But it depends on how much power your electric car has before the charge.

Final Thoughts

Destination chargers vs. superchargers: which one does a better job? In truth, both options are excellent for charging your electric car efficiently. But these charging stations are vastly different and have entirely varying functions.

While superchargers can charge an electric car to 80% in less than an hour, destination chargers can take more than double that time. However, depending on your traveling needs, both chargers can keep your battery up and running.

Do you have any questions about the charging stations? Feel free to contact us, and we’ll be glad to assist.

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