How to charge a Tesla at home - a complete guide
Fuel costs are soaring right now. And if you’ve been thinking of switching to an electric vehicle, Tesla might be your top choice.
Tesla models like Model 3 and Model S have changed the game for electric cars. While competitors are coming up with their own electric vehicles, Tesla remains unmatched in terms of both power and market share.
If you’re looking to buy a Tesla, you may be asking the question: How will I charge it?
Fear not. Here’s everything you need to know about Tesla charging.
Tesla charging basics: what to know & why you care
Knowing your charging options as a Tesla driver ensures efficient charging and better battery health for your electric car. Each level delivers different charging speeds, so it’s important that you know the right type of charger for your car model.
Different Tesla models have different maximum charge power they can accept. Choosing the right charger can help you lower costs in the long run.
Home charging vs. Superchargers
Most Tesla owners charge at home overnight. Tesla offers a $200 mobile connector that can be plugged into your standard wall outlet. Yes, it’s convenient, but it can only give you around 2-3 miles of range per hour, which may be enough for short drives.
There’s also a Tesla wall connector that can give you a faster charge. There will be additional installation costs, but with up to 44 miles of range per hour, it doesn’t look too shabby.
Another great option for Tesla drivers is the Lectron Portable Tesla Charger, which comes with interchangeable Level 1 and Level 2 charging plugs (12A and 32A, respectively), making it easier for Tesla drivers to charge at home and on the road.
Lastly, Tesla Supercharger gives you fast charging with up to 322 miles of range per hour. You’ll see these in Tesla charging stations but doing it too frequently may negatively affect your battery health.
Tesla has built a network of Superchargers along major highways in the US, but there are only around 5,000 of them so far.
Pros and cons of home charging
One of the biggest advantages of owning a Tesla (or any EV) is in-home charging. You can leave your electric car plugged in overnight and have enough range for the next day. You can also save on installation costs as the Tesla mobile connector or the Lectron Portable Tesla Charger use your standard AC outlet.
And with in-home charging, remember: you’re only paying for the electricity you’re using (unlike paying for the service fee at a public charging station).
The downside of in-home charging is the slower charging speed when compared with Superchargers. But if you’re like most Americans and drive around 40 miles a day (DOT), in-home charging should be enough for you.
Pros and cons of using charging stations
At Tesla charging stations, you can fully charge your car in a little over an hour. And with a Tesla Supercharger, you’ll get 250 kW of maximum charging rate and 322 miles of range in just 15 minutes, depending on the Tesla model.
However, Superchargers are still few and far between (with only around 5,000 located in the whole country). That’s why Lectron makes a CCS Charger Adapter for Tesla, which allows Tesla drivers to charge at any CCS fast charger, vastly increasing available Tesla fast charging options.
Using a Tesla Supercharger is more expensive than home charging because of added taxes and fees. But Tesla offers free supercharging for the first 1,000 miles or so every year, so you can somewhat cut on costs, especially if you don’t drive much.
How fast can I charge my Tesla at home?
If you’re using a Tesla-compatible charger at home, then you’re charging your electric vehicle the best way Tesla recommends. It won’t degrade your battery health and will take advantage of when your car is parked at home overnight.
For an average Tesla driver who covers around 38-40 miles a day, a charger with 20-30 miles of range per hour should be more than enough. With 6.6-10 kW of power delivery, you can get enough range in about 2 hours of charging and can even fully charge your EV battery overnight.
At those charging speeds, you won’t require any big upgrade in your electrical system.
What are charging levels, exactly?
Charging levels primarily determine the charging speed of your electric vehicle. Lower charging levels typically result in slower charging speeds, which in turn can provide your car with a lower range.
There are three EV charging levels:
Level 1 is the simplest and slowest. It uses your standard wall outlet at home, so you can only get between 3-6 miles of range per hour.
Level 2 gives you twice the power of Level 1, typically plugging into a NEMA 14-50 outlet (often called an RV outlet). This is the choice for most home chargers because you can get around 50 miles of range per hour and possibly a full charge overnight.
Supercharging or DC fast charging can give you up to 20 miles of range in just a minute. However, the installation is extremely labor intensive and will require an electrician (and probably a construction team), so they’re not usually found in residential areas.
Why is Level 1 Tesla charging called “trickle charging”?
Tesla owners can charge using the 120V standard wall outlet, but it’s very, very slow. Hence, the term “trickle charging”.
The good thing is you won’t need a major electrical upgrade as you can plug it into your home outlet. And you practically can charge anywhere there’s a 110/120V outlet.
The bad thing is that getting 30 miles of range in your car’s battery will take overnight. You’ll also miss out on discounts offered by electricity providers when the grid isn’t in peak demand.
Why Level 2 is best for home charging
Level 2 chargers allow more power to flow to your Tesla. Level 2 charging is up to 15 times faster than trickle charging. The Tesla Mobile Connector, Wall Connector, and the wireless Tesla charging station fall under this category.
Level 2 home charging is perfect for Tesla drivers who want fast charging but don’t have access to Supercharging stations.
It’s also convenient for those whose electricity providers offer time-of-use discounts during nighttime use.
How your Tesla can charge autonomously
With plug-in charging, you’ll have to manually connect and disconnect the car from the outlet. But with wireless EV charging, your Tesla can charge itself through a wireless charging pad.
It works this way: your Tesla is upgraded with a receiving coil that accepts inductive power transfer. The charging pad is connected to a 240V circuit and converts power into magnetic energy, which your car converts back to electricity.
It’s currently compatible with Model S, but other Tesla models are planned to support autonomous charging soon.
What is the best time to charge Tesla at home?
Tesla suggests plugging in your vehicle every evening to allow for a full overnight charge.
How fast can you charge a Tesla?
The Mobile Wall Connector will supply 2-3 miles of range per hour. The Tesla Wall Connector can give you up to 44 miles of range per hour. While the Tesla Supercharger can add up to 322 miles of range within 15 minutes.
On average, Tesla batteries will last up to 336 miles on a single charge. The lowest-range Tesla, the Tesla Model 3, lasts 267 miles, while the longest-range Tesla model, the Model S, can last up to 405 miles. In a Tweet, Elon Musk said that Tesla batteries can last between 300,000 and 500,000 miles throughout their lifetime.
How much does it cost to get Tesla charging at home?
Home charging costs will vary. For a Tesla Model 3 powered by a 62.3 kWh battery, expect to pay about $10.94 to fully charge the battery.
Lectron is Leading the Charge
Lectron is on a mission to make electric vehicle charging fast, easy and affordable for all EV drivers. We offer a wide selection of convenient and easy-to-use EV charging stations, chargers, and adapters. Lectron is pioneering ways of eliminating range anxiety and compatibility issues for both Tesla and J1772 EV drivers by making it easier and more reliable than ever to charge EVs at home and on the road.