More chargers at Reading Services

I had read some time ago that non-Tesla electric vehicles could use some selected Tesla superchargers. Alas none in the Bristol area can be used, so I’ve never had the chance to try them out. As well as using the chargers at  Studlands Retail Park in Newmarket in Suffolk, I also used the Tesla chargers at the westbound Reading Services on the M4.

They use to have a couple of Gridserve chargers for electric vehicles, they have since expanded the provision to fourteen Gridserve chargers and twelve Tesla superchargers. There are an additional four BP Pulse chargers at the petrol stations as well.

When I arrived at the services I was not the only interloper (non-Tesla) electric vehicle to use the Tesla chargers, there was a BMW as well.

I found it interesting that these Tesla chargers are opposite the Gridserve chargers. The Gridserve chargers are 20-30p a kWh more expensive than the Tesla chargers. I used the Tesla chargers there, as it was easy through the app (and cheaper than the Gridserve chargers.

Not all plain sailing…

electric car being charged

I had read some time ago that non-Tesla electric vehicles could use some selected Tesla superchargers. Alas none in the Bristol area can be used, so I’ve never had the chance to try them out. On a recent long distance journey to Norfolk I  stopped at the Tesla superchargers in the Studlands Retail Park in Newmarket in Suffolk, and it all worked really easily and smoothly.

On my return journey, I decided to use the superchargers again. It was mid morning when I arrived and there was a fair few Tesla cars in place charging. As a result I had to use the space differently than on my previous visit. The first Tesla charger I used, I had to stretch the charger over the bonnet, I plugged in and using the Tesla app, set it to charge. However it wouldn’t charge. Tried again, but still no joy. Ah well I thought, I would use a different charger. The car though wouldn’t unlock the charger. I did my usual lock, an unlock routine, but that still didn’t release the charger. I had to use the manual cable release under the bonnet, which took me an age to find, but this once found worked fine.

I then moved spaces and tried again. This time the charging worked fine. I headed to the café in the Tesco and had a coffee and did some work.

Once I had a good charge on the Funky Cat, I headed off.

Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to be…

…a Tesla

I had read some time ago that non-Tesla electric vehicles could use some selected Tesla superchargers. Alas none in the Bristol area can be used, so I’ve never had the chance to try them out.

So on a recent long distance journey to Norfolk, I planned a stop at the Tesla superchargers in the Studlands Retail Park in Newmarket, in Suffolk. I had a backup to use the nearby Instavolt chargers at McDonalds if I couldn’t use the Tesla superchargers.

I had never used the Tesla superchargers before, so wasn’t 100% confident it was going to work. I created an account on the Tesla app, set up the payment, and then plugged the charger into the Funky Cat. On the app I set the charging going. I was pleased (and a little) surprised it worked.

The chargers were in a retail park, but the Costa coffee was still under construction. It was rather cold and chilly. I had to go elsewhere for refreshment.

After charging to 80% I headed off to complete my journey. It had take less than forty minutes to charge from 9% to 80%, which I thought was quite impressive.

The charger was cheaper than other rapid chargers I have used. Using these off-peak these are 55p per kWh compared to 85p for the Gridserve chargers I usually use at services. 

I believe part of the compatibility issue is the length of the charging cable. The Tesla superchargers when charging Tesla vehicles, don’t need a long cable, as they only need to plug into the charging socket in the boot area of the Tesla. Other electric vehicles, their charging sockets are all over the place. The Funky Cat is on the front passenger side, on other cars I have seen them at the front, in the middle, rear driver side, and so on. The Tesla superchargers at Studlands had cables of a sufficient length.

It’s a pity that the ones in and around Bristol are Tesla only.