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Any suggested alternatives to Tesla wired charger?

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by DalinarAT, Dec 12, 2019.

  1. DalinarAT

    DalinarAT Member

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    About to take delivery on a LR model 3 and appreciate some thoughts on charging.

    As a starting point having a 14-50 outlet installed in my garage and bought the adapter for the mobile connector.

    An idea I had was in the spring (cold outside now) was to run a cable from that outlet through an existing pipe I have in my foundation to be used for the car outside.

    To do so I would need a 25 or so foot cable with 14-50 on one end and tesla connector on the other and wondering if any suggestions outside of the 500 dollar options tesla sells (well options and reliability).

    Thanks
     
  2. srs5694

    srs5694 Active Member

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    It sounds like you're trying to go directly from a NEMA 14-50 to the Tesla. That's not possible; you must have some sort of EVSE to "talk" to the car so as to negotiate an amperage, etc. Although you can get cut-rate EVSEs for less than what Tesla charges, Tesla's units are pretty cost-effective. The Wall Connector, at $500, is more capable than third-party J1772 EVSEs that cost about that much; and the Mobile Connector, at $275, is more capable than other similarly-priced EVSEs. That said, I don't advise permanently installing the Mobile Connector outside, unless you invest in a NEMA 3R or NEMA 4 enclosure, since the Mobile Connector is not rated for use in rain or snow. (Some people report using the Mobile Connector outside for months or years without problems, but I've also seen reports of failures in such conditions. Unfortunately, this is anecdotal evidence; I lack data on failure rates.)

    Another point is that what you're describing sounds a bit jury-rigged and may violate code. That's not to say that the ends you want can't be achieved; but you should probably consult a licensed electrician and have it done right rather than jury-rig something that might cause problems. It might help if you clarify precisely what you hope to achieve. It sounds like you want to be able to charge either in the garage or in your driveway. If so, positioning the NEMA 14-50 plug near the garage door may be all you need; the Mobile Connector comes with a cable that should be long enough to reach the charge port on the Tesla when it's parked outside in such a configuration, unless the car is parked pretty far from the garage door.

    Those caveats out of the way, there are plenty of alternatives to Tesla's EVSEs. Teslas can charge on just about any J1772 EVSE using the J1772 adapter that comes with the car. If you want to do this permanently, you might want to invest in a second J1772 adapter (they cost $95), so that you can leave one attached to your EVSE at home and take the other with you. With just one, you'll have to plug/unplug it frequently or leave it at home and therefore have nothing to use at public Level 2 J1772 stations should you want or need to charge away from home.

    Personally, I own a Clipper Creek HCS-40 that I bought for use with the Chevy Volt that I drove prior to buying my Model 3. It was cheaper and easier to buy a second J1772 adapter to use it with my Model 3 than to replace the whole unit with a Tesla Wall Connector. Some third-party EVSEs are network-enabled, which enables you to monitor electricity use and control charging remotely. Of course, you can do the same thing with the Tesla app, so unless you have a very specific need that's met by a particular third-party EVSE but not by the Tesla app, remote EVSE access isn't all that valuable for Tesla owners. Network-enabled EVSEs include the JuiceBox, the ChargePoint Home, and the OpenEVSE. The main reason to buy a J1772 EVSE, IMHO, is if you expect to charge non-Tesla EVs. This could be an EV that you own or expect to buy in the future, or EVs that belong to friends or relatives who visit you.
     
    • Disagree x 1
  3. SSonnentag

    SSonnentag Rocket Scientist

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    I have a used OpenEVSE I'll sell to you cheaply.

    One caveat with using a non-Tesla EVSE though, as far as I can tell, the delayed charging option only works correctly with the Tesla HPWC. If you attempt to use it with a non-Tesla unit, the relay in your EVSE will constantly clunk on and off every few seconds until your start time rolls around. I don't imagine the relay would last too long at this rate.
     
  4. M3BlueGeorgia

    M3BlueGeorgia Active Member

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    Seems totally feasible with the Mobile Connector that comes with the car, though you may need a short 14-50 to 14-50 extension cord.
     
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  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Active Member

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    The Tesla's delayed charging feature works fine for me with my Clipper Creek HCS-40.

    The Clipper Creek's delayed charging feature (mine has a JuiceNet board installed, which provides this functionality) does not work reliably with my Model 3, but the symptoms are different from what you describe. When the Model 3 goes to sleep, it doesn't respond when the EVSE announces that it can begin charging, so charging won't happen unless/until the car wakes up. If the car happens to be awake when the EVSE begins to provide power, charging will commence normally. Since delayed charging normally delays the charging for hours, the car is likely to be asleep by the time charging should begin.

    It sounds like you're seeing some unique car/EVSE incompatibility. I've not heard of that symptom before. It's conceivable that updated firmware for the EVSE and/or the car might fix the problem, but I have no solid information on that.
     
    • Informative x 2
  6. Occar

    Occar Member

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    There are plenty of 50 amp RV extension cords available for this purpose, yes. I don't know if there are issues using them on continuous loads, so do your research.
     
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  7. SSonnentag

    SSonnentag Rocket Scientist

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    Hmmm, interesting. My EVSE I’m having the delayed charging issue with is a ClipperCreek (HCS-40P, 32A with NEMA 14-50 plug) that I bought to charge my Volt back in 2016. Maybe the newer models are smarter. Mine doesn’t have a JuiceNet board. ❓
     
  8. srs5694

    srs5694 Active Member

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    It sounds like something's wrong, then. I suggest finding another EVSE you can use for testing and try scheduling a charge with it. A lot of public EVSEs use cards to authenticate and may not work well for this, but there are non-networked public EVSEs that might be suitable for testing; or if you have friends, relatives, or neighbors with EVs, you could try at their houses (or borrow their portable EVSEs). You can also try the Tesla Mobile Connector, even plugged into a 120v outlet -- but my understanding is that the Tesla and J1772 standards use different communications protocols, so whatever's affecting your Clipper Creek unit may not affect a Tesla EVSE. Ideally, test with a charging delay long enough that the car goes to sleep before starting (if that's when you observe the problem).

    Anyhow, if you test and find that the problem occurs with other EVSEs, then you should probably contact Tesla to have them check out the car. If the problem is unique to your EVSE, then you should probably call Clipper Creek about it.
     
  9. toolman335

    toolman335 Member

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    I have a Juicebox and it works perfectly with delayed charging. There's definitely no clunking on and off. Everything is nice and quiet until it's time to roll.
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 (S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20

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    That is absolutely not true. Been charging my Tesla with a 14-50 for almost seven years. Also charge at RV parks with a 14-50. The car does the negotiation. The UMC works just fine. However, the UMC isn't rated for outdoor use, so you need to put the 14-50 in some kind of covered and lockable box so that it's protected (with just the cable part sticking out to attach to the car). You can set delayed charging up in the car, no need for any kind of fancy EVSE.
     
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    • Informative x 1
  11. srs5694

    srs5694 Active Member

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    Tesla's Mobile Connector is an EVSE, so you are using one when you charge with it off a NEMA 14-50 outlet.
     
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  12. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Well-Known Member

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    Yes, if it can fit through your pipe, a 14-50 RV extension cord can effectively get the "outlet" out to your driveway and then you can use your UMC with it. And if you want to know where to find RV extension cords like that, you can check either EVSEadapters.com or search for the ones by Camco on Amazon.com.

    And I want to emphasize this. I've seen a lot of weird misinformation over the years with Tesla fans thinking that Tesla cars have all of these kinds of really fundamental electrical equipment advantages over other electric cars, like saying that Nissan Leafs don't have an onboard charger and Teslas do (false) or that Leafs need an EVSE and Teslas don't (false). EVSE devices can come in several shapes/sizes/prices and all electric cars need them. But some people get confused on the terminology, thinking that only a big bulky device that mounts on the wall is an EVSE. That is not true. Any electric car's cable that plugs into an AC outlet is also an EVSE. It just happens to be a smaller and more portable version.
     
  13. MXWing

    MXWing Well-Known Member

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    Use the mobile connector with the car (install outlet) or install an HPWC.

    Anything else is a fools errand unless you happened to have a Clipper Creek or something lying around.
     
  14. Need

    Need Active Member

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    Just curious, if you could park the car inside the garage in winter to charge, why would you want to charge it outside the garage in spring?
     
    • Like x 1
  15. davewill

    davewill Active Member

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    I would note that running an extension cord through a wall is a code violation. Running the cable coming out of an EVSE through the wall probably is not.
     
  16. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Well-Known Member

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    It doesn't sound like it is through a wall. Sounds more like through a hole in the floor of the garage, but still probably wrong in some way.
     

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