The recently introduced Tesla Universal Wall Connector is envisioned for charging all EVs in North America, regardless of the AC charging inlet - NACS or J1772.
After unboxing and sharing the first impressions a few days ago, our colleague Tom Moloughney had an opportunity to install the new charging unit and conduct an initial test with a non-Tesla electric car.
The Universal Wall Connector was installed in place of the Tesla GEN3 Wall Connector and connected to a Chevrolet Bolt EV - the first try turned out to be successful, although the initiation of the charging session took marginally longer than with the GEN3 Wall Connector, according to Tom.
Tesla's new charging solution can be used for both NACS and J1772 vehicles because it has a built-in J1772 adapter, which can be attached to the NACS plug if needed. It's kind of like an AC equivalent to the Supercharger's DC Magic Dock (built-in CCS1 adapter).
According to Tesla, the Universal Wall Connector is rated at 11.5 kilowatts (48 amp output) and is equipped with a fairly long 24-foot cable length. The length of the cable of a universal charging unit is especially important because various EVs have charging inlets located in different positions.
According to Tesla's website, the Universal Wall Connector starts at $595 (compared to $475 for the standard Wall Connector, which is only for NACS-equipped vehicles). Orders are already being accepted, but shipping will begin in October 2023.
Overall, the introduction of the Universal Wall Connector seems to be a very smart move for Tesla, ahead of the general transition from CCS1 (DC) and J1772 (AC) charging standards to NACS, which combines AC and DC charging scenarios in one connector. We already described the upcoming fade of the J1772 AC charging plug in North America, as a side effect of the switch from CCS1 to NACS.
Some of the other manufacturers recently announced NACS charging equipment for AC charging, but none have introduced a universal device, which would be able to handle NACS and J1772-equipped vehicles.