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Do electric motorcycles and cars use the same type of chargers? Can we charge a Zero motorcycle at a Tesla supercharger station? How about at an electric car parking?

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2015 and newer Zero Motorcycles have a "Charge Tank" option that allows you to use standard chargers:

Zero Motorcycles Charging Options.

For fast charging on the go, Zero offers the Charge Tank accessory. It effectively triples on-board charging speed, typically allowing riders to recharge their power pack in as little as 2-3 hours. The Charge Tank works with the rapidly expanding network of Level 2 public and home charging stations using the popular J1772 standard. The Charge Tank is a dealer-installed option available on 2015 and later Zero S, Zero SR, Zero DS and Zero DSR models.

I also found this blog post that states Tesla Superchargers are meant only for Tesla cars and they have a proprietary connector. However, you might be able to build or purchase an "off brand" adapter that will let you suck some juice from the Tesla pumps.

Correction: The blog post linked above is talking about "Tesla HPWC charging stations" which are different from Superchargers. The Zero supports the J1772 standard which is fast AC charging. A Supercharger is a Tesla-only fast DC charger, so the two would never be compatible. The Tesla HPWC is a fast AC charger which may or may not be able to be converted for J1772 standard usage (The video in the above blog could even be faked... It's the internet...).

  • Could you park a Zero motorcycle at a designated electric car parking slot with a charger, and use the charger? – nk379 Mar 25 '16 at 10:08
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    That would of course be up to the building that you are parking at or whoever owns the charger, but it is compatible, and I really doubt anyone would be unimpressed enough with an electric motorcycle to ask you to move. I'd be busy looking at it and taking pictures. – JPhi1618 Mar 25 '16 at 12:11
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You won't be able to charge at a Tesla Supercharger, no matter what. Not even all Model Ss can do this. The charger inquires from the car, probably its serial number, and validates it in a database.

Unless someone has reverse engineered the protocol and put in a valid S/N, it isn't going to work.

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I have a 2015 Zero S and I charge at electric vehicle stations frequently! A Zero can charge from many (but not all) EV stations. It's possible to use:

  • Any station that provides a normal 110V wall plug. Same as plugging in at home.
  • J1772 (L2) stations with a J1772 to wall adapter. Even though this provides 240V to the bike, it won't charge any faster because you're limited by the onboard charger (1.3kW max).
  • Tesla Destination Chargers (not Superchargers) with a custom adapter. These are just J1772 with a different connector, so they work with an adapter. Just like L2 stations, you'd be limited by the onboard 1.3kW charger.

As you can see, with anything bigger than a wall plug, you quickly run into the limits of the onboard charger. It's possible to drastically increase the amount of power the bike can pull down (and decrease the charging time) by adding larger chargers:

As @DoxyLover mentioned, Tesla Superchargers (and any DC fast chargers like CCS or CHAdeMO) won't work, because the bike's voltage is not compatible with these stations.

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