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What’s The Best Charger For My Tesla?


Tesla Wall Connector, EV Charger or NEMA 14-50 / 6-50 Outlet


We are often asked what’s the best Level 2 charging solution for my Tesla vehicle. And before we get started on the technical differences between options, the primary factors affecting the decisions are not technical but rather:

  • Tesla Model

  • Vehicle usage - miles driven per day

  • Amperage availability (“power available”)

  • Vehicle agnostic charging options

For a first example, we will use a TESLA Model 3. Let’s analyze vehicle usage, specifically how many miles are driven on a regular basis. We are going to assume an 8 hour charging period based on utility programs and common overnight charging.


Tesla Wall Connector Generation 3

MIles Per Hour Charge: 44

Benefit:

  • Up to 50% increase in charging speed.

  • Charge less often .

  • Networkable - ability to share circuits and be part of multi charger solution.

Considerations:

  • Based on the maximum amperage available which would need to be determined before installation.

  • TESLA proprietary

  • Must be purchased separately from the vehicle

8 Hour Charge: Up to 352 Miles


Standard EV Charger J1772

MIles Per Hour Charge: 30

Benefit:

  • Industry standard Level 2 standard across most manufacturers.

Considerations:

  • For TESLA models, an included adapter must be used.

  • Charge port door must be manually opened via the release button in the vehicle

  • Must be purchased separately from the vehicle

8 Hour Charge: Up to 240 Miles


NEMA 14-50 or 14/-60 Outlet

MIles Per Hour Charge: 30

Benefit:

  • TESLA includes a mobile charger with each vehicle.

Considerations:

  • The user must purchase the NEMA 14-50 or 14-60 adapter (dongle)

  • Ability to purchase adapters for different types of electrical outlets including dryer and standard 110v outlet

8 Hour Charge: Up to 240 Miles



Tesla Wall Connector Generation 3

The latest Tesla charger which provides for the fastest charge of any Level 2 solution



Clipper Creek

Standard EV Charger J1772

This is a common EV charger which can support Tesla and most other manufacturers who use the J1772 standard.


Nema 14-50 Outlet

This is a universal standard outlet which allows you to bring your own charger.


Tesla Corded Mobile Connector

Most flexibility of outlets and amp ratings using adapters.

Included with each Tesla vehicle.






Considerations

  • Based on an 8 hour charge, the Tesla Wall Connector at full charge capacity would be able to provide nearly a full vehicle charge while the other options would still provide a significant charge and miles driven should be factored.

  • Having the ability to skip (or forget to charge) or a slightly faster “top off” makes the WallConnector a better solution.

  • A Corded Mobile Connector is included with each Tesla; owners keep it in the vehicle as an emergency charger vs. having to unplug from the outlet (or forgetting it) when taking a road trip.

  • The Generation 3 Wall Connector is a network device with very significant future networking features such as multi-unit charging and integration with Tesla’s energy ecosystem.

However, let’s consider the Model X’s charging speeds which are significantly less than the Model 3’s.


Tesla Wall Connector Generation 3

MIles Per Hour Charge: 30

8 Hour Charge: Up to 240

Standard EV Charger J1772

MIles Per Hour Charge: 20

8 Hour Charge: Up to 160

NEMA 14-50 or 14/-60 Outlet

MIles Per Hour Charge: 20

8 Hour Charge: Up to 160


Based on the Model X’s slower charging, the Tesla Wall Connector’s increased charging performance is significant and we encourage it as a charging solution since the vehicle’s charging needs are significant.


Load Calculations and “Available Power”


Critical to the charging speed assumptions is “available power”. Based on the following, here are the amperage requirements for each charging solution.


Tesla Wall Connector Generation 3

Break Size (Maximum): 60 amp breaker

Actual Used By Vehicle: 48 amps


Standard EV Charger J1772

Break Size (Maximum): 40 or 50 amp breaker

Actual Used By Vehicle: 32 amps


NEMA 14-50 or 14/-60 Outlet

Break Size (Maximum): 40 or 50 amp breaker

Actual Used By Vehicle: 32 amps


Available power is actually how much load can be safely placed in the existing electrical infrastructure based on amps available.

A load calculation determines how much amperage is available to be allocated to the EV charger based on the total amount of amps available and how much electrical draw occurs by other devices such as appliances and general consumption.

Based on the amount of available amperage as determined by a load calculation, we would be able to suggest the safest charging solution, the highest amperage amount.


Conclusion

For most real world applications, the choice of level 2 charger solution is driven by cost and interoperability with other electric vehicle manufactures. While the Tesla Wall Connector presents significant performance advantages, these benefits are only realized if the electrical infrastructure can support the increased charger speed and desire to stay within the Tesla ecosystem.

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San Francisco, CA 94117

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