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Choosing A Tesla Home-charging Option

Which home-charging option do you plan to or already use?

  • Tesla Gen 2 (or 1) Mobile Connector (that came with car)

    Votes: 23 36.5%
  • Dedicated Tesla Gen 2 (or 1) Mobile Connector (a 2nd one you purchased just for home use)

    Votes: 5 7.9%
  • Tesla Corded Mobile Connector

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tesla NEMA 14-50 Wall Connector

    Votes: 8 12.7%
  • Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector (i.e., the latest model)

    Votes: 17 27.0%
  • Tesla Gen 2 (or 1) High Power Wall Connector

    Votes: 19 30.2%

  • Total voters
    63

tps5352

Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
358
241
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
With the continued influx of new Tesla (especially Models 3 and Y) owners, questions continue about the best way to charge at home. Here is a modest decision-making chart.

Tesla Charging-Connector Options - 9.jpg
Notes
  • A first decision is often whether to charge your car at 120 or 240 volts. Advantages of the higher voltage are well-documented in this Forum, on the Tesla website, and by many other online sources. If only 120-volt charging is available Tesla supplies a 12-amp NEMA 5-15 Adapter plug with the Gen 2 Mobile Connector that comes with the car. Connected to a standard 15-amp grounded wall outlet, it supplies about 2 to 3 miles worth of stored energy per hour of charging. An optional 16-amp NEMA 5-20 Adapter plug ($35) on a 20-amp house circuit provides 3 to 4 miles of travel energy per charge-hour. (The 240-volt connectors are able to contribute to much faster rates of charging.)

  • The next choice is seemingly between the exclusive use of Tesla products and similar devices made by other companies. In practice, users may delay that decision, continue through the steps to select from among Options 1-6, and consider both Tesla and equivalent "aftermarket" devices at that point.

    There are several well-known brands of non-Tesla wall connectors--e.g., Clipper Creek, ChargePoint, and Juice Box spring to mind. There are others, with some made in America. The better ones are not cheap. The precursors to today's home charging devices were around in the decade before Tesla--since at least the General Motors EV1-days of the 1990s. These products service increasing numbers of both non-Tesla and Tesla plug-in vehicles.

    Both Tesla (Models S, Ǝ, X, and Y) and non-Tesla electric car owners can use this chart by swapping in equivalent non-Tesla products in place of the ones mentioned. Note that unless specifically made for Tesla vehicles, most non-Tesla charge connectors require use of the J1772 Adapter, supplied with each new car, in order to connect to a Tesla. (Note also that this chart is not intended for the original Tesla Roadster.)

  • Option 1: For the budget-minded, the up to 32-amp Gen 2 Mobile Connector (MC), included with every new car, comes with a 20-foot cable. To plug into a particular 240-volt wall outlet, purchase one of six corresponding types of (12a to 32a) Tesla NEMA Adapters ($35), with additional aftermarket adapters available.

    Not shown is the original Tesla Universal Mobile Connector (with its Generation 1 NEMA Adapters). The UMC is an up to 40-amp device, but for decision-making purposes is otherwise similar to the Gen 2 MC (Options 1 & 2). The UMC is no longer sold by Tesla.

  • Option 2: Some drivers purchase a second MC as a solely-dedicated home connecting device. An additional Gen 2 MC and Adapter cost $310/$320 ($275+$35/$45).

  • Option 3: The Corded Mobile Connector has a 20-foot cable and sells for $520 from Tesla. It is similar in appearance to the Gen 2 MC, but is all one-piece, has a permanent NEMA 14-50 plug end, and is an up to 40-amp connector.

    Having a second mobile (or wall) connector helps alleviate wear-and-tear on the original Gen 2 MC, and allows it to be kept stored in the car for on-the-road use. It also means that the second mobile connector can be kept more-or-less permanently plugged into the wall socket (with cable neatly stored on a convenient hanger), alleviating the real danger of cumulative in-out wear to the socket, and reducing any (even minor) risk of shock.

  • Option 4: Tesla briefly offered the NEMA 14-50 Wall Connector with either an 8½ or 24-foot cable. They originally cost $500, but are no longer offered by the Company.

  • Option 5: The 48-amp Gen 3 Wall Connector is the latest version from Tesla. It comes with either an 8½ or 18-foot cable for $500.

  • Option 6: The 80-amp Gen 2 High Power Wall Connector came from Tesla, with either an 8½ or 24-foot cable, for $500.

    Not illustrated, the Gen 1 Wall Connector is similar to the Gen 2 Wall Connector (Option 6). However, Gen 1 WCs lack the charge-sharing feature and therefore cannot be electrically linked to charge up to 4 cars simultaneously off of one circuit, as can Gen 2 WCs. Neither the Gen 1 or Gen 2 WCs are currently sold by Tesla. But Gen 2 devices may still be found online, new or used.

*****​

Readers can see where charging-connector options (1-6), from Chart 1, fit diagrammatically within a typical home charging system in this revised figure (taken from Post #13, below):
Home Charging System - 3.jpg
Notes for each category are in Post #13. A few additional comments:
  • Circuit Breaker - I've been prompted to remind readers that for safety GFI (or GFCI) circuit breakers, like the one pictured in Chart 2, are required under Code for certain circumstances in particular locations when installing electrical wall outlets used in car-charging systems. (Tesla Wall connectors have protective ground fault interruption circuitry built in, I believe.) Check with your local permitting authorities about this.

  • Connecting Cable - Tesla (and non-Tesla) connection devices come with different cable lengths; for Tesla the choices were 8½, 18, 20, or 24 feet (see first chart, above). Plan accordingly, check the device specs, and choose the right cable length for your particular situation.
 
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SSedan

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
2,948
2,310
Greenville Wisconsin
One overlooked reason for buying something is to have a backup.
Never know when something will fail, be broken, stolen or vandalized.
Maybe your backup is a neighbor's connection, nearby public L2 or at work.

That was one of the reasons I bought a wall connector, my UMC is now the backup.
I also had a family emergency that caused me to want a faster home option, my car is old with dual 40amp chargers, gen 2 wall connector offers up to 58miles added per hour on my car. Has been rare that I have needed that but no regrets on giving myself the option.
 
Jul 20, 2019
30
34
Minnesota
If I were doing it again, I’d probably go with a Clippercreek or similar J1772 home charger. You can get units that share a single 14-50 outlet for more than one car, as well as being able to offer a charge to my J1772 friends when they visit.
 
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mrau

Authorized Driver
Nov 12, 2018
404
776
Mid-Michigan
as well as being able to offer a charge to my J1772 friends when they visit.

If you already have a Tesla connector, you can get an adapter that converts the Tesla style handle into a J1772 for those friends. Folks with a J1772 type EV might have their own Tesla adapter so they could use Destination chargers as well as their good friends. :)

Here is one version, there are others as well.

Lectron J1772 adapter.jpg
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,113
7,112
Boise, ID
Here is one factor I don't see mentioned: If someone is having to do an outside install, I would recommend some form of wall connector, because they are more sealed and rated against weather than using a mobile connector plugged into an outlet.
 

tps5352

Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
358
241
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
One overlooked reason for buying something is to have a backup.
Never know when something will fail, be broken, stolen or vandalized.
Maybe your backup is a neighbor's connection, nearby public L2 or at work.

That was one of the reasons I bought a wall connector, my UMC is now the backup.
I also had a family emergency that caused me to want a faster home option, my car is old with dual 40amp chargers, gen 2 wall connector offers up to 58miles added per hour on my car. Has been rare that I have needed that but no regrets on giving myself the option.

Absolutely! Correct on all counts. I should have also pointed out in the text below the chart that drivers wanting to (a) safeguard their UMCs or Gen2 MCs from excessive wear and tear; (b) avoid the cumulative hassle of daily removal from trunk, hookup, and return to the trunk (not a big deal until you do it, like, a million times); and (c) keep them readily available for emergency on-the-road use may want a second Universal, Gen 2, or Corded MC or a Wall Connector. And additional charging speed is always good to have. A dedicated home connector will take less of a beating (at the wall end) and be more convenient in the long run. Though perhaps the most expensive (purchase + installation), wall connectors are arguably the safest, fastest, most secure, and most convenient way to charge at home.

Attention all spouses and friends of Tesla drivers--a charging device makes a great present! (Ha, ha. I don't work for Tesla, in case you are wondering.)
 

tps5352

Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
358
241
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
Here is one factor I don't see mentioned: If someone is having to do an outside install, I would recommend some form of wall connector, because they are more sealed and rated against weather than using a mobile connector plugged into an outlet.

That's right. I have some experience with that.

At first I installed an outdoor NEMA 14-50 receptacle (initially Leviton, replaced with a better, larger Hubbell after reading helpful TMC posts) with weatherproof cover. I was all set to use a dedicated 20' Tesla Corded Mobile Connector (keeping the MC safely stored in the car). But then I was forced to move the 240-volt circuit to my carport (still "outside") due to HOA hassles. Unfortunately, I then needed a slightly longer cord. A new Gen 2 HPWC, with its 24' cord, was the perfect solution. So, first-hand experience with one, two, three types of Tesla charging connectors. Thanks a lot HOA.
 

tps5352

Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
358
241
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
If you already have a Tesla connector, you can get an adapter that converts the Tesla style handle into a J1772 for those friends. Folks with a J1772 type EV might have their own Tesla adapter so they could use Destination chargers as well as their good friends. :)

Here is one version, there are others as well.

View attachment 624899

Good information. I don't have a non-Tesla car, but a friend may buy a RAV4 Prime or some other type of plug-in hybrid. (Yes, I know. I should try to convince them to go full electric. But for some people it is hard to break their long-standing ties to OPEC [i.e., cheap petroleum].) Anyway, it would be nice to have an adapter for visitors to be able to charge their non-Tesla electric cars from my Tesla Wall Connector.

I am not an expert on these Tesla-to-J1772 adapters. As you said, they are offered by different sources. But I think I have seen online complaints, some concerning the overseas version you mention, that they don't always work with all Tesla (destination or wall) connectors. (Of course, none of these adapters are meant to work with Tesla Superchargers.) Apparently it may have something to do with higher power level settings on some Tesla connectors? Is that right?

Anyway, I might recommend that users also check out the several versions available at TeslaTap. They have different power-level versions and will supposedly work on all the home or destination Tesla charge connectors (but again, not on Superchargers). Maybe TeslaTap was first to offer these? Also, I think it is an American company, if that makes any difference to interested buyers.

TeslaTap Adapters

One example:

Tesla Tap.jpg


Full Disclosure
: I am not associated in any way with Tesla, TeslaTap, or any other electric-car business.
 
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nwdiver

Well-Known Member
Feb 17, 2013
7,748
9,972
United States
I really think the best option is a 14-50 that you leave mounted OR a hard-wired HPWC PLUS a 14-50. I set my Mom up with a HPWC that plugs into a 14-50. For a brief time Tesla was selling HPWCs with a 14-50 pigtail. What I like about this is that if the HPWC fails you can always just unplug it and use your UMC. No need to hire an electrician. At my house I have a HPWC fed through an RV pedestal so I have a HPWC, a NEMA 14-50 AND a regular 110v outlet for vacuuming or whatever.
 
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tps5352

Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
358
241
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
I really think the best option is a 14-50 that you leave mounted OR a hard-wired HPWC PLUS a 14-50. I set my Mom up with a HPWC that plugs into a 14-50. For a brief time Tesla was selling HPWCs with a 14-50 pigtail. What I like about this is that if the HPWC fails you can always just unplug it and use your UMC. No need to hire an electrician. At my house I have a HPWC fed through an RV pedestal so I have a HPWC, a NEMA 14-50 AND a regular 110v outlet for vacuuming or whatever.

Yes! Good points.

Unfortunately, I could not purchase a good used or new original Tesla NEMA 14-50 Wall Connector on eBay, Craig's List, or other online sites. I suspect their original (only 2018-19?) distribution was limited. So I followed the advice of some TMC members and converted my new Gen 2 HP Wall Connector to plug into the NEMA 14-50 receptacle. I made a point of using heavy cable, gold-plated connection ferrules, a good quality cable gland, and a beautifully-made Hubbell heavy-duty 14-50 plug (a good match for the Hubbell receptacle) to make the short pigtail. Of course I'll only be able to charge up to 40 amps max. But that should be sufficient for overnight charging. And the Wall Connector can be easily removed or converted back to hard-wiring.
 
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tps5352

Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
358
241
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA

I always recommend charging at the rate you need not the rate you can. Even
with a hardwired 80A HPWC I generally don't charge at > 20A.

Smart. I'm going to evaluate my overnight needs and turn it down if possible. Nonetheless, I installed #6 wiring, but wish I had used #4 or heavier. (Didn't anticipate using a Gen 2 HPWC at the time, though.) The future is arriving faster than we imagined.
 

tps5352

Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
358
241
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
With the continued influx of new Tesla (especially Models 3 and Y) owners, questions continue about the best way to charge at home...

In addition, here is a much-simplified home charging system diagram showing where the charging connector options in my starting post fit into the overall scheme of things. This is old news, of course, for most TMC participants, but it may be helpful for new and prospective Tesla owners.
Home Charging System.jpg

It may be worth highlighting a few key issues discussed in various TMC forum threads and posts.

Breaker Panel
  • Is a 240-volt charging system necessary?
  • Will the house have enough available electric power (measured in amps) to handle a dedicated 50-amp (or more) charging circuit?
  • Is there enough physical space on the panel to accept a new (double-wide) circuit breaker?
Circuit Breaker
  • The pros and cons of more expensive GFI circuit breakers.
  • What size of circuit breaker (in amps) is needed for a particular charging circuit?
House Wiring
  • The choice of wire gauges (e.g., #8 vs. #6 vs. #4, or heavier) can be quite daunting to the novice.
  • The question of professional versus do-it-yourself installation.
  • Important safety and code considerations.
Wall Outlets (& mobile connectors) versus Wall Connectors
  • It’s a never-ending debate.
  • The comparison of Tesla versus non-Tesla products.
  • Is weatherproofing (covers or enclosures) necessary.
Connector Cable
  • Cable length—e.g., 8 ½’, 20’, or 24’—can be an important consideration.
The Vehicle
  • Yes, right. The TMC forum does have a few things to say about Tesla vehicles.
*****​

In short, you can find all kinds of information and important safety tips in TMC forum posts.

Important Safety Tip.jpg
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,113
7,112
Boise, ID
  • The pros and cons of more expensive GFI circuit breakers.
  • What size of circuit breaker (in amps) is needed for a particular charging circuit?
People seem to think those are questions, but they're really not.
Code now requires a GFCI breaker with outlets intended for EV charging.
And for wall connectors, the install manuals specifically say to not use them.

And except for some obscure edge cases, the breaker rating IS the rating of the circuit. (People constantly misunderstand the "next size up" provision, so just don't try to use it.)

[Edit] I guess I could amend that last part. There is some valid frequent discussion when using 14-50 or 6-50 kinds of outlets of whether people would do those as 40 or 50 amp rated circuits/breakers. Either is allowable.
 
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pb2000

Member
Dec 22, 2019
211
243
Calgary
  • Will the house have enough available electric power (measured in amps) to handle a dedicated 50-amp (or more) charging circuit?
  • The choice of wire gauges (e.g., #8 vs. #6 vs. #4, or heavier) can be quite daunting to the novice.


I always recommend charging at the rate you need not the rate you can. Even
with a hardwired 80A HPWC I generally don't charge at > 20A.

A 6-20 plug is actually a really good option for people who only have 80 or 100A service and will charge a model LR M3 from 20% to 80% overnight (13 hours). It also has the added bonus of using inexpensive and readily available plugs and 12/2 wiring.
 

tps5352

Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
358
241
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
A 6-20 plug is actually a really good option for people who only have 80 or 100A service and will charge a model LR M3 from 20% to 80% overnight (13 hours). It also has the added bonus of using inexpensive and readily available plugs and 12/2 wiring.

Good to know. So it would be used with a 240-volt circuit, but at only 20 amps? Intended for modest or older homes with smaller service levels (<100a), correct?

I had this chart from somewhere (Tesla website?). Now out of date? Google for more current examples.

upload_2021-1-7_18-34-18.png

More arguments for lower-power charging here:


With resources like these potential buyers (on a budget) can determine what their minimum home charging system equipment needs will be based on anticipated usage and available charging schedules.

*****​

Concerning electric vehicles in general, things appear to be changing relatively quickly. If personal vehicle ownership continues, as it should for awhile, and as more and more people make the switch from gasoline to electricity, it seems obvious that in the near future some/many new homes will start coming outfitted with convenient charging circuits in or near garages and parking areas.
 

tps5352

Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
358
241
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
...Interestingly said:
Corded Mobile Connector[/B] (Option 2) is also a Gen 1 device that is still sold by Tesla....

I've added a poll just for fun. I'm interested to know how popular the various options are.

Starting to get n (sample size) values high enough for at least a minimum of statistical validity. (Yes, I know that the sample is not random. Have to use non-parametric statistics, right?) Judging by poll results so far, most people (not unexpectedly) are just using the Gen 2 Mobile Connectors that came with their cars; or else they spring for a Wall Connector.* Makes sense.

I'm curious, though... If, as poll results suggest, Corded Mobile Connector (CMC) home use is low, why does Tesla still bother to sell them online in North America (and for a whopping $520--$245 more than a Gen2 MC)? Trying to get rid of excess inventory? No, because they are frequently sold out and re-stocked. Somebody must be buying and using these things. (But for what? Moonshine stills? Jump ropes? Black op sites? It's a mystery.)

The 40-amp CMC has a storied history. Promoted by Tesla in the early days as a convenient and faster (than 120v) way to charge at home (allowing the factory-supplied 40a UMC & NEMA 14-50 adapter to remain in the car for on-the-road use), its reputation was perhaps sullied by association due to early reports of over-heating and wall outlet failures during extended 240v home charging incidents. This despite the fact that, then as now, shorts and overheating were probably most often due to the use of inexpensive and/or carelessly installed 240v wall outlets--e.g., inadequate wiring, insufficient torque on wire connection screws, and/or eventual heating/cooling-caused loosening of said screws. Regardless, Tesla turned down the maximum charging power of its Gen 2 MC (to 32a) and--for those wanting faster charging--promoted its (professionally-installed) wall connectors. Yet the 40a CMC remained on the menu. It's a one-piece unit, so arguably more weather-resistant and a little less prone to wear-and-tear than the other MCs. But it is significantly more expensive (even more than a wall connector!) and unlike other Tesla MCs can only be used with a NEMA 14-50 wall outlet. So its usefulness on the road is limited.

Nonetheless, many years later, the Gen 1 CMC is still for sale on the Tesla website, unlike most other Gen 1 charging options.

Anyone have any further insight?
_____
* By the way, take a look sometime at an overseas Tesla website, say for Great Britain,
and at all the colorful charging adapters available for travel around various countries. IMO, the sooner a universal travel-charging standard (CCS?) is adopted, the better for sales of electric cars in general. Should Tesla convert to CCS in North America (as it apparently has in Europe)? That's a whole other topic. But it does appear we are headed that way.
 

MD-2000

Member
May 1, 2019
551
370
Winnipeg
I had the corded (14-50) wall connector. It started to throttle back charging, the plug and cable to the wall overheating. Tesla replaced it under warranty but with a Gen 2 since the corded wall charger was no longer available.

Rather than discard my (expensive) Hubel 9450 socket, I bought a 50A stove plug cable from Amazon ("General Electric WX09X10037 4-Feet 50-Amp 4 Wire Range Cord") and connected that to my charger. Works great, the cable does not even get warm during full charging at 40A continuous. (40A is the most you can do with a 50A breaker on the circuit) I still have the option of using the portable charger that came with the car, should I have problems in future. Note from what I've read, the max a 3 will do with 240V is 40A for the MR and 48A for the LR, so I'm not really missing very much by not using a 60A circuit.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,113
7,112
Boise, ID
Note from what I've read, the max a 3 will do with 240V is 40A for the MR and 48A for the LR, so I'm not really missing very much by not using a 60A circuit.
Just a slight correction on that. They have not offered any 40A onboard chargers in the Model 3 or Y. The short range and mid range have 32A chargers, and the long range have 48A.
 
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tps5352

Supporting Member
Oct 30, 2019
358
241
Bay-Delta Region, California, USA
I had the corded (14-50) wall connector. It started to throttle back charging, the plug and cable to the wall overheating. Tesla replaced it under warranty but with a Gen 2 since the corded wall charger was no longer available...

Interesting. That is the first I've heard of trouble with the Tesla 14-50 Wall Connector. Did you have to return the 14-50 Wall Connector to Tesla, or were you able to dissect it to investigate exactly where the problem was (e.g., short; wiring too small, etc.)? Good job making your new Gen2 Wall Connector work with your existing Hubbell NEMA 14-50 receptacle and 50a circuit! (I did something similar with my Gen 2 Wall Connector, to also plug it in to an exisitng Hubbell 14-50 outlet.) A maximum of 40a, or even 32a or less, should be fine for overnight charging, we're told.
 

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