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Travelling in USA with UK-Model Y

Hi Guys,

I'm from UK and I'm thinking of solo travel in USA for a period of 6 months and then another 6 months in Canada......thanks to option for working remotely - this approach seems feasible.

I'm picking up my Model Y next week and going to spend few weeks familiarising/hoping on EuroTunnel to do a weekend drive to France and back etc.

My plan is then to RoRo my Model Y to East Coast-USA - Baltimore. I will fly over and pick up my car from Baltimore (seems to be a lot cheaper to ship it over here rather than New York port) and set off on my 6 months road-trip/van-life equivalent across USA.

Thanks to camp mode and supercharging network, I think I will be okay sleeping and working out of the car and use the rest of the time visiting spots of interest in the great land. I will be working UK timings, so will have plenty of day-light in USA time left over to do the fun bits I hope !!!

Help needed:
1. Has anyone done this - i.e. ship your UK-Tesla over to USA ? - if you did please share details on what modifications you had to do to your car to make it compliant in USA (across all states)
2. Any potential issues UK-Tesla's could face in USA and how can I mitigate those risks ? (I'm thinking I need to get a whole bunch of power adapters : Type2+CCS -> USA_TeslaPlug, handful of Nema-adapters(need to learn what they are...)
3. What adapters/equipment do I need to be able to charge in camp-grounds where electrics are available
4. Ideal mobile-data-broadband setup to get (I work in Software industry), I'm thinking if I just sign-up for a good network that has best coverage across USA and use my mobile as hotspot that will do ??
5. Any adjustments I need to do to headlights of Tesla to make it work proper/legally compliant in USA - is this doable (switching over from RHS to LHS driving from UK to USA)
6. Any other technical issues I might face bringing over an UK-Tesla into USA ?

🤞
 

drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
3,111
4,053
Seattle
I can't comment on all these issues, but for #2 you are going to have a problem, as there is no such thing (that I wam aware of) that will let your CCS car plug into a USA Tesla supercharger. You should be able to charge at non-Tesla networks (e.g. Electrify America), but these are less common than SC's in the US, and tend to be more expensive.

Camp-grounds mostly have NEMA 14-50 outlets, so you will need a NEMA 14-50 to CCS adapter cable. Tesla do sell a 14-50 adapter for the US Tesla mobile charger, but I'm nor sure if that is compatible with the UK mobile charger cable.

You should also remember that you will probably have to rely on your phone for maps and navigation, as its unlikely the car will have access to US maps (not certain of this though).

Personally, my feeling is that once you take into account the shipping costs, the paperwork/legal hassles with getting the necessary import clearances, driving an RHD car in the US, difficulty with charging etc, you might be better off trying to find a long-term rental car in the US.
 
Hmmm...not a great start I guess but shall remain hopeful and see if this can be solved :
I think I will need to find a source that sells the reverse of this adapter : US Tesla to Type 2 Charging cable adapter - evChargeking
1647050785815.png
 
partially solved this charging adapter compatibility issue - looks like 'Electrify America' is using a CCS Combo 1 type adapter.
UK Tesla Model Y comes with a CCS Combo 2 type adapter in place.
With a CCS Combo 1 to CCS Combo 2 adapter, I can make my tesla compatible with 'Electrify America' charger (and I'm guessing that will also apply all other fast chargers in USA except Tesla Superchargers) - something like below (it's a bit pricey but I have seen similar in Alibaba for £150)
150A CCS Combo 1 To CCS Combo 2 Adapter | Accraine Ltd
 

swaltner

Active Member
Oct 13, 2012
1,728
1,846
Kansas, USA
1 - For six months in the United States, you might be better off just buying a used US-market Model Y outright and selling it at the end of your stay. Surely six months of depreciation, insurance, and registration would be less than shipping your vehicle from the UK to the US and back to the UK. Just be sure to purchase and register it in one of the states that doesn't charge sales tax. I don't know about the logistics of someone with a foreign passport and driver's license purchasing and registering a vehicle in the US though.

4 - As long as you're not out in the real boonies or in the mountains (also away from civilization), you'll have good cell coverage on a hotspot from almost any of the major players. AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile
 
Yeah - I did think about that option of buying a car in USA but it's a massive hassle and also a huge financial commitment.....I think it might be easier figuring out the charging solution instead.
I've been on RV forums and seems generally okay to ship vehicles to USA from UK and also the logistics around camping grounds in USA seems straight forward.

Just need to get the right info in terms of using an European Tesla in USA.
Shipping costs on a Roll-On-Roll-Off basis is not expensive - only about £1000 each way, so on a 6 months trip basis it works out economical I think - about £11 per day which is not bad.
 

swaltner

Active Member
Oct 13, 2012
1,728
1,846
Kansas, USA
Shipping costs on a Roll-On-Roll-Off basis is not expensive - only about £1000 each way, so on a 6 months trip basis it works out economical I think - about £11 per day which is not bad.
That's less than I was expecting. A year ago, I paid 5,000 Euro to ship a 40' shipping container (with a new Pipistrel Taurus Electro glider loaded in a matching 31' Cobra Trailer) from Slovenia to the US (Texas).
 
yeah - container shipping is a lot more expensive.
RoRo shipping is where the car just gets driven into a ship (like the ones car manufacturers used to move around their cars across countries) and driven out at the destination and this method is a lot cheaper. Only constraint is that there should be nothing else in the car during shipping (e.g. you can't load the car with clothes/bicycles etc. which you could otherwise do in the container-shipping mode)
 
partially solved this charging adapter compatibility issue - looks like 'Electrify America' is using a CCS Combo 1 type adapter.
UK Tesla Model Y comes with a CCS Combo 2 type adapter in place.
With a CCS Combo 1 to CCS Combo 2 adapter, I can make my tesla compatible with 'Electrify America' charger (and I'm guessing that will also apply all other fast chargers in USA except Tesla Superchargers) - something like below (it's a bit pricey but I have seen similar in Alibaba for £150)
150A CCS Combo 1 To CCS Combo 2 Adapter | Accraine Ltd

You might look at this one too: US/Korea/Taiwan to European CCS Combo 1 to CCS Combo 2 EV Quick Charger Adapter – EVSE Adapters

You'll definitely want an adapter for J-1772 for public L2 charging: US to European Type 1 (J1772) to Type 2 (IEC / Mennekes) EV Adapter – EVSE Adapters

For overnights at places like hotel parking lots and RV campgrounds, you may want NEMA 14-50, TT-30, 5-20, and 5-15 adapters for your mobile connector. If you stay at something like an Airbnb with a handy clothes dryer receptacle available, they will typically use either NEMA 10-30 (older homes) or 14-30 (newer homes).
 
Last edited:
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You might look at this one too: US/Korea/Taiwan to European CCS Combo 1 to CCS Combo 2 EV Quick Charger Adapter – EVSE Adapters

You'll definitely want an adapter for J-1772 for public L2 charging: US to European Type 1 (J1772) to Type 2 (IEC / Mennekes) EV Adapter – EVSE Adapters

For overnights at places like hotel parking lots and RV campgrounds, you may want NEMA 14-50, TT-30, 5-20, and 5-15 adapters for your mobile connector. If you stay at something like an Airbnb with a handy clothes dryer receptacle available, they will typically use either NEMA 10-30 (older homes) or 14-30 (newer homes).
Thanks man, this is super helpful. I had figured out the first link but was not aware of the Type 1 to Type 2 adapter - very handy.

Do you know in what type of places can I expect to see the Type 1 ports available for EV charging in US ? - and will these be like 220v/240v (single phase/3-phase) power supplies ?
 
Thanks man, this is super helpful. I had figured out the first link but was not aware of the Type 1 to Type 2 adapter - very handy.

Do you know in what type of places can I expect to see the Type 1 ports available for EV charging in US ? - and will these be like 220v/240v (single phase/3-phase) power supplies ?

J1772 (Type 1) charging stations are all over the place. But usually limited to about 6 kW (e.g., 32 amps at 208 volts single phase).

Get familiar with PlugShare. Set filters for "United States of America", then turn on filters for the plug types you are interested in. The CCS/SAE (CCS 1) selection is listed under "Incompatible plugs".
 
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A hassle that you should not over look is the tendency to be stopped by every single police passing by your car when they see there is no US license plate on it. My understanding is that you cannot get a US license plate for this car since it is not importable to the US and you are using it temporarily in the US.
 

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