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Can you charge an EV from another EV?

From a technical standpoint, it sure is possible. However certain things have to be in order, as the type of charging cable you are using and do you have a converter near you.

So in what scenario could this even be relevant to do so and would it even be feasible in such a scenario. One could imagine that you forgot to recharge or just didn’t find a charging station in time. Instead of calling a tow truck to tow you to the nearest charging station, why not wave at the next EV to come and help you with a little electricity. While the idea sounds good, the practicality of it is not.

Here is why you should just call for a tow-truck immediately instead of waiting around for another EV to charge you.

Today you have many types of chargers. While this may change in the future when things get more standardized, for now, it’s a complicated world. Different type of connectors is used for different brands and different purposes. In the table below I’ve listed the most used connectors on the market.

CHAdeMO (Japanese JEVS)50 kW DC
Combined Charging System (CCS)50-350 kW DC
Tesla Type 2 (proprietary)150 kW DC
Type 2 (Mennekes, IEC 62196)43 kW AC
Type 2 (Mennekes, IEC 62196)3-6 kW AC
Type 1 (SAE J1772)7 kW AC
Type 1 (SAE J1772)3-6 kW AC
Commando (IEC 60309)22 kW AC
Commando (IEC 60309)3-6 kW AC
3-Pin (BS 1363)3 kW AC
List of different connectors and their kW capability
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AC ConnectorsDC Connectors
UK 3-pin (BS 1363)CHAdeMO (Japanese JEVS)
Industrial Commando (IEC 60309)CCS (Combined Charging System or ‘Combo’)
Type 1 (SAE J1772)Tesla’s proprietary supercharger connectors
Type 2 (Mennekes, IEC 62196)
List of different connectors based on AC and DC

So with all these types of connectors, you almost have to be lucky to find a suitable EV for charging your own EV. If you have a Tesla, you most certainly cannot charge a Nissan Leaf.

If you a lucky, say what if you have a Nissan Leaf and another Nissan Leaf or a Mitsubishi happened to stop by it would be technically and practically possible to get charged up again. Both Nissan Leaf and Mitsubishi use the CHAdeMO connectors. However again you still need to be in luck because one of you must have the CHAdeMO rescue cable that allows for the two EVs to connect. This goes for other brands as well, you need an intermediate converter for converting the electricity to actually used stored energy for charging.

Can a Tesla charger charge other cars?

Technically yes if you have a DC car, but Teslas uses their own proprietary connectors so if you have a Nissan Leaf, Ford, Porsche, or anything else than a Tesla you will not be able to connect it. Not even if you had a converter, the station will simply deny any electricity to your vehicle. I hope that this is something that they’ll change. It most definitely has served its purpose, to promote the sale of Teslas, but Tesla has already come so far that they are an established brand. It’s a huge advantage though if you have a Tesla. They put an astonishing amount of new charging stations every day, so longer trips in a Tesla, not a hassle. But what about other cars?
Well, luckily other large companies doing their duty towards providing chargers at every corner.

To name a few brands you have ChargePoint, ABB, BP, Shell, Webasto, Hyundai, RWE, Siemens, and Renault. Others are coming to market every day.

In a few years charging stations will not even be an issue worth talking about. With the current speed, charging stations will outnumber gas stations by far within the next couple of years.

Author: Morten Pradsgaard

Morten has been working with technology, IoT, and electronics for over a decade. His passion for technology is reflected in this blog to give you relevant and correct information.