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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: 37 33.9%
  • Dedicated Tesla Gen 2 (or 1) Mobile Connector (a 2nd one you purchased just for home use)

    Votes: 8 7.3%
  • Tesla Corded Mobile Connector

    Votes: 3 2.8%
  • Tesla NEMA 14-50 Wall Connector

    Votes: 17 15.6%
  • Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector (i.e., the latest model)

    Votes: 37 33.9%
  • Tesla Gen 2 (or 1) High Power Wall Connector

    Votes: 22 20.2%

  • Total voters
    109

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nice graphic!
There's more than 120V option.

Thank you, Bruce.

That's right. There are two Tesla Gen 2 120-volt adapter-plugs, and six Gen 2 240-adapter-plugs, right? There is often so much focus on the slowest (5-15) and fastest (14-50 and maybe the 6-50) adapters, that we overlook the others. I have seen at least three additional aftermarket Gen 2 adapter plugs, also. Meanwhile, to its credit Tesla continues to offer two Gen 1 120-volt adapter-plugs, and four Gen 1 240-adapter-plugs.

Why so many different types of Tesla USA plug adapters? First, because United States buildings have been constructed with a bewildering variety of different 120- and 240-volt electrical outlets, each with their advocates and devotees. Second, because it may be an historic remnant of the "early days" of Tesla, before the supercharger and fast DC charger networks grew so large, when Tesla wanted to help alleviate charge paranoia and attract as many customers as possible by providing homes and businesses with pre-existing outlet types on garage walls the claimed means to keep electric cars operating (at first with UMCs and after 2017 with Gen 2 MCs). These days most new, better informed car buyers are probably being steered mostly towards hard-wired wall connectors or perhaps NEMA 14-50 receptacles. Up until a few years ago, new Teslas came with both 5-15 and 14-50 adapters. I'm sure you remember that.

I'll see about modifying the chart to perhaps somewhat better recognize other Tesla NEMA adapters. (I need to improve the resolution, anyway.)

The poll might be a teensy bit more complete if you added an option for non-Tesla charging equipment.

True. But I am going to respectfully punt on that one. I have no hands-on experience with non-Tesla, aftermarket charge equipment. There are more than a few domestic and overseas sources; I would hesitate to try to keep up with new product introductions, successes, and failures; and I couldn't always vouch for quality. Most (but not all) Tesla charging equipment I can personally vouch for. Its relatively small number of product designs seem relatively stable, well-made, of good quality, and often well-documented. Although it can seem initially overwhelming, what the chart suggests is that today's Tesla customer has a relatively small, clear-cut number of charging options from which to choose.

It was not my intention with the chart to get into the review, evaluation, and recommendation from among all products. Instead, the goal was to provide a logical blue-print for step-by-step decision-making from among the limited numbers of Tesla charging products.

Comments like these are helpful and have already given me ideas for a different approach to home-charging decision-making.
 
Why so many different types of Tesla USA plug adapters? First, because United States buildings have been constructed with a bewildering variety of different 120- and 240-volt electrical outlets, each with their advocates and devotees.
NEMA 14 series is just a modern grounded version of NEMA 10 (no longer permitted, but still in the wild). Everything else if just follow the series and match breaker amperage to the plug
NEMA 5 - 120V (LNG) - Typical household plugs
NEMA 6 - 240V (LLG) - Hotel/Home through the wall air conditioners, welders, shop tools
NEMA 10 (depreciated) - 120/240V (LLN) - Dryers, ovens
NEMA 14 - 120/240V (LLNG) - Dryers, ovens, RV/boat shore power

240V only countries are a lot simpler due to only one voltage, but a lot of their electrical code/work looks a bit dodgy in my opinion (especially the UK).
 
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tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
I got a Clipper Creek 240V 40A charger for free and put a Tesla adapter on it.

Tell us a little about that, would you?
  • Is it a mobile connector or a wall connector?
  • If a wall connector, is it hardwired, or does it plug into an outlet?
  • How long is the charging cable?
  • Does your Tesla provide the same charging information on the screen during charging?
  • Do you charge other brands of electric cars, or just the Tesla?
  • Any issues?
  • How can all of us get a free wall connector? (Ha, ha.)
Thanks. I'll take a look at the CC website. I think I remember that the three CC founders initially made home charging equipment for the General Motors EV1 in the 1990s, is that right?
 

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member

You are in Alberta, correct? Please excuse my ignorance. Are home electrical devices pretty much the same in Canada as they are in the USA?* I've only seen a couple of movies about the North American electricity wars involving Edison, Westinghouse, and Tesla. But I don't know the history of electrical development in other countries.
_____
* Just Googled. So we are both on 120-volt standards, I guess.
 
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.
The cable with the 14-50 plug -which is what overheated - is all sealed molded plastic, so not really dissection friendly. I wasn't going to open the wall unit, and since eventually it was warranty replaced, good thing I didn't. Tesla stopped making/selling the units with the 14-50 plug so I assume whatever was happening was an ongoing problem. I contacted Service, and between California tech support and the local service guy, they advised me to run tests with the wall unit and then with the portable charger (which did not overheat). They concluded my wall charger had the problem, and since they no longer sold the plug-in chargers, I got a warranty replacement Gen2 Wall charger. (The Gen3 set the max current by WiFi, but this Gen2 has a rotary switch inside to set max current - I've set 40A.) Note the prices were about the same, so I'm not really gaining or losing anything. I dismounted and wrapped the old unit, the Service Tech guy made the exchange dropping off the replacement.
 
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Thoughts on NEMA 14-50 outlet + mobile charger vs wall connector. My main thought about going the NEMA route would be around possible resell of my house in the next 5 years. I'm not sure how long we will be here, but it is likely we will move as our family needs change. Considering the Tesla wall charger is exclusive to Tesla vehicles - would that be a turn off to potential future home buyers? If so, how hard would it be to take the Tesla wall charger with me - would I need to hire an electrician to take it off the wall for me? Would the availability of adapters make this a non-issue?

My panel is about halfway down the wall opposite my garage door. I want the ability to charge my Tesla Model Y in any orientation - with pulling in being the most common. I'm also planning to put something outside (probably NEMA 14-50 in a weatherproof enclosure) for family, friends, and me being lazy. After having our Model Y for a week, my wife has expressed interested in getting a second EV in a few years.

Thoughts on setup:
NEMA 14-50 outlet inside (halfway down a side wall to allow the mobile charger cord to reach) + outside outlet (separate circuits)
-or-
Inside outlet + outside outlet + Tesla wall charger (gen3, 60A) (all separate circuits)

My electrician recommend sharing a circuit, but that was before my wife expressed interest in having another EV in the future.
 

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
Thoughts on NEMA 14-50 outlet + mobile charger vs wall connector...

>>> possible resell of my house in the next 5 years.

In five years things are going to be that much more different. Concerning high-tech products like electric cars, things are moving relatively quickly. More electric cars will be on the market. Reliable 500+ mile range vehicles (Cybertruck 3-motor; certain Lucid models; maybe others, like Mercedes) should be on the roads, setting an example for less-expensive vehicles. Electric cars in general will be more widely accepted. Tesla cars may still be the most popular electric cars in North America, or not. If Aptera does well, solar-powered cars may be making inroads. We'll see.

Estimating value towards a hypothetical house sale (highest first): (1) good-quality generic (aftermarket) wall connector in garage, (2) dedicated NEMA 14-50 outlet in garage, and (3) Tesla Wall Connector in garage--unless a prospective buyer owns or plans to buy a Tesla, in which case #3 becomes #1. In addition, one of those power sources outside is icing on the cake.

>>> Considering the Tesla wall charger is exclusive to Tesla vehicles - would that be a turn off to potential future home buyers?

For ~$150-$250 there are good Tesla-to-generic adapters you could buy to leave with a Tesla Wall Connector, so it could be used for any electric car. For example, see TeslaTap Adapters.

>>> If so, how hard would it be to take the Tesla wall charger with me - would I need to hire an electrician to take it off the wall for me?

A person comfortable working on home electrical wiring could disconnect the Tesla (or any) wall connector easily. However, since it is a 240-volt circuit, I would advise that you hire an electrician--to make sure it is done correctly and safely. Not a big deal (for those who know how and who work safely). If you wanted to retain the circuit, at the spot where the wires came out of the wall you could probably install a working 240-volt outlet (like a NEMA 14-50 receptacle).

>>> Would the availability of adapters make this a non-issue?

Probably. Most prospective buyers should welcome an electric car charging station, or at the very least just ignore it.

>>> Thoughts on setup:

Second-guessing and predicting the future are difficult at best and often fruitless. We can try to be too clever and waste a lot of time. If you are going to own Tesla(s), get the best Tesla charging setup right now, which I would argue is a correctly-installed Tesla Wall Connector. Worry about taking it with you, or not, if and when you get to that point. By then there may be better devices and you may want one of those for your new house.

>>> My electrician recommend sharing a circuit, but that was before my wife expressed interest in having another EV in the future.

Check the Tesla wall connector owner's manuals (available to download online) for the Generation 2 and Generation 3 Tesla Wall Connectors. Two (up to 4) Gen 2 WCs can share a single, adequately-powerful circuit for charging multiple cars, I believe. Depending on the location, Gen 2 connectors can still be found used and new. Gen 3 WCs, which are available directly from Tesla, are more sophisticated, I hear, using wireless technology or something to link multiple WCs for multi-car charging. (However, last I heard this feature still had some bugs to iron out?) And there are good aftermarket wall connectors that offer these and other sophisticated features.

So if you'll have two electric cars sharing a single circuit may be a good idea. You would need to research the options and details before-hand. The best way to approach it is to think carefully about what it is you need and want (vis á vis, car charging) right now, and then to pick the best, easiest, least-expensive, and/or best-quality and safest ways to make that happen. It takes some planning and careful implementation. There are tons of stories and ideas on this Forum site.
 

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
For 50 amp charging at the plug, what is the benefit to asking the electrician to wire the circuit for 60A?
Caveats
  1. I am not an electrician.
  2. I am not an electrical engineer.
  3. Because of the power of and potential danger from 220-240-volt circuits, I always recommend seeking professional advice.
Background (for readers in general)

As we all know, use of higher amperage circuits can result in faster charging. But you should ask yourself, "What is to be gained, and what are the costs, of charging at 'higher' amperage?" Since most home charging is overnight, when drivers are asleep anyway, is charging in, say, 5 hours really necessary, as opposed to in, say, 8 hours? In addition, for safety reasons it is very important to properly match all the components of the home system to truly and safely achieve the desired amperage. Higher power in general can require bigger, better, and more expensive components. And it is arguably even more important that components be adequate and installed correctly. Is that expense and, let's be frank, (slight) risk worth it?

The main components of a home system are illustrated in Chart 2 here: Choosing A Tesla Home-charging Option. The breaker panel (B) limits the total amount of amperage (e.g., 100-amps, 150-amps, 200-amps, etc.) available to all home circuits (for lights, outlets, appliances, etc.). An individual circuit breaker (C) and the wiring (D) of a particular circuit are chosen to be adequate to safely handle somewhat more than the maximum desired amperage of that circuit. The wall outlet (E) or wall connector (F) can also determine maximum amperage (as can the car ). Each component can potentially be a limiting factor. And preferably, each component is properly and safely coordinated with all other components--so no one component stands out as an obvious "weak link" in the overall system. In my mind, I want to emphasize the need for adequate (thick enough) wiring, since once installed it can be difficult/expensive to upgrade/replace--outlets and breakers are, in comparison, easy to replace. And inadequate house wiring could, in a worst-case scenario, lead to a house fire. (So too can a poorly-chosen or improperly installed outlet or, perhaps less likely, wall connector.)

There are different ways to approach selection of charging amperage. If a presumably safe home circuit to be used for charging already exists, you will probably be limited to its pre-established maximum amperage. If you are installing a new circuit, then you can start from the car, or from the breaker panel, or even from the outlet/wall connector and craft your circuit from that point, matching components accordingly.

First, recognize that recent Tesla cars are limited, I believe, to a maximum of 48-amp charging. I think that would require a 60-amp circuit (breaker, wiring, etc.). The outlets I am familiar with are, I think, limited to 50 amps. For example, a NEMA 14-50 receptacle is rated at 50 amps, and no more than a 50-amp circuit should be wired to it. To be safe, that would limit charging to a maximum 40 amps, if I am not mistaken. (To be safe you should always charge at, what?, at least 10% or more less than the maximum rated amperage.) In my case I have found that 40 amps is unnecessary for my overnight charging. So while I use a wall connector on a 50-amp circuit, I used the car's (Model X) software to set my charging level at 32-amps. That's more than adequate for overnight.

To charge at 48-amps, you would probably need either (a) a 60-amp outlet (e.g., NEMA 14-60 receptacle) or (b) a Tesla or good aftermarket wall connector rated for at least 60 amps. Appropriately heavy wiring (#4 gauge?) and breaker should also be selected.

I could be wrong, but I do not recall Tesla offering a NEMA 14-60 adapter plug for its Gen2 Mobile Connector (the one that comes in the car). However, I think I remember seeing aftermarket adapter plugs?

The wall connector option is probably best, in part because it is easy to mechanically select the standing amperage rate (the car's software can also be used to further lower that rate). As long as the house wiring and circuit breaker are adequate, a properly-installed wall connector is probably the safest choice.

Answers to Your Question
  1. Faster charging. (But is this necessary? See discussion above). How much faster really depends on several factors--e.g., the car model, the environmental conditions, age of the batteries, the starting and ending charge levels, et cetera. Try this helpful calculator to see how charging at various amperage might vary: Electric Car Charging Cost and Time Calculator.

  2. Future-proofing. For example, you could charge at 40 amps or 32 amps (whatever is adequate) now, but in the future charge at up to 48 amps (if conditions change). The Tesla Gen 2 Wall Connector was rated at up to 80-amp charging (on a 100-amp circuit), but that proved totally unnecessary for most customers and Tesla lowered the rating to 60 amps for the Gen 3 Wall Connector, correct? As time passed it seems that Tesla has tended to discourage higher amperages for home charging in favor of a sweet spot of around 32 amps (which is still adequately powerful for most drivers).
As I re-read your question, I have these additional comments:
  • I don't think you would be able to charge at 50 amps exactly.
  • The upper range power gradations (within the car's charger) are currently 32 amps (off of 40-amp circuit), 40 amps (with a 50-amp circuit), up to a maximum 48 amps (60-amp circuit)--correct?
  • If you did want to charge at 48 amps, you would absolutely have to have a properly-installed 60-amp circuit (with adequate breaker, wiring, and outlet/connector), right?
In general, my impromptu rule is (a) properly install a (somewhat) more powerful charging circuit than needed (say 50-60 amps) but (b) plan to regularly charge at the minimum power rating adequate to get the job done in the allotted time (say 32 amps or even less). (All this is dependent on a number of factors--e.g., status/health of existing house breaker panel and circuitry, your budget, location of breaker panel in relation to parked car, and so forth.)

I welcome other comments/corrections.
 
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For 50 amp charging at the plug, what is the benefit to asking the electrician to wire the circuit for 60A?

60a circuit (48amp draw) is slightly faster for charging than 50a circuit (40amp draw). The downside is that any 48a wall charger must be hardwired since there appears to be no outlet available for 60a circuits (apparently 14-60 is fake news). For me, it comes down to total cost vs benefit. If I have to run another circuit (silly rules), if the extra cost of the thicker wire required for 60a isn't that much more, it might be worth it - otherwise, I'll stick with 50a circuit, perhaps just one line and use a range appliance wire to turn the Tesla wall connector into a plugin (make it easier to take with me if I move). I need to get an adjusted quote from my electrician to make the final call. My panel does have plenty of room.
 
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tps5352

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Supporting Member
  • One example of a NEMA 14-60 (60-amp) wall receptacle: Bryant 60 Amp NEMA 14-60R Receptacle
  • Another: Leviton 60 Amp NEMA 14-60 Receptacle

    I get the impression that many electrical product companies offer a NEMA 14-60 receptacle (and corresponding plug). Hubbell/Bryant make beefy, industrial-strength receptacles. For electric-car-charging it is worth investing in their top-grade products (rather than buying less-expensive electrical products at big-box or hardware stores).

    So I wouldn't say that the NEMA 14-60 60-amp receptacle is "fake news." Rather, 60-amp charging is not really a thing because the maximum charge rate on (recent) Tesla internal chargers (inside the car) is probably 48 amps, I'm told, then 48 amps is the very maximum home (A/C) charge rate you can expect. Furthermore, even achieving 48-amps using a simple receptacle and connecting cable may be difficult (see below). So, I agree that use of a wall connector is probably the best way to achieve the true 48-amp charging rate (off of a 60-amp circuit). But if properly modified (with heavy cable and NEMA 14-60 plug) the wall connector could be a plug-in (just like with a 50-amp circuit). It's just arguably easier to make it hardwired, as intended. And btw, it's not difficult to disconnect a hardwired wall connector to take to a new home. Turn off the electricity at the breaker, screw plastic safety caps onto the wire ends, and slap a simple cover over the opening and the new homeowner has a handy place to install a wall connector of their choice, Tesla or aftermarket. Oh, and shouldn't a 60-amp circuit use #4 gauge wiring? (Whereas #6 gauge wire is adequate for a 50-amp circuit, I believe.) The point is, wiring for a 60-amp circuit will be more expensive. (But, for example, I was able to find an adequate length of new, surplus heavy-gauge house wiring for sale on Craig's List at a significant savings.)

  • Just one example of an aftermarket Tesla Gen 2 Mobile Connector NEMA 14-60 adapter plug: NEMA 14-60 Adapter for Tesla Gen 2 Mobile Connector. There may be others.

    But, note that because the Tesla Gen 2 Mobile Connector (that comes with a new car) itself is only a 32-amp connection device, 32-amps is the maximum rate you will achieve using it , even with a 60-amp adapter plug and even though your circuit (i.e., breaker, wiring, and outlet) may be rated for 60 amps. (And even though the maximum Tesla car charge rate is 48 amps.)

  • If a person just had to use a NEMA 14-60 wall outlet and some sort of 48-amp mobile connecting cable (similar to the Gen 1 40-amp Tesla Corded Mobile Connector), I suppose that other options are to find an aftermarket charging cable (I haven't looked for one), or to have some sort of custom charging cable made by a service, with a NEMA 14-60 plug at one end and Tesla connector plug at the other.

    But even if such a theoretical cable is available and would safely communicate with the car's internal charger, the Tesla car would still only charge at the 48-amp (maximum) rate, I believe.

    So, as awesomejt suggested we come back to the idea of using a good wall connector to achieve the true 48 amp charging rate--safe, easy, and effective (albeit somewhat expensive) if installed correctly.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
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Boise, ID
For 50 amp charging at the plug, what is the benefit to asking the electrician to wire the circuit for 60A?
Uh, wow--people gave some massively long responses about that.
The simple answer is just that changing something later that is on the ends of the circuit, like the breaker, or the receptacle/appliance, is quick/easy/cheap. But the wire that is put in place inside walls and conduit is labor-intensive and therefore expensive to change and redo later. So it doesn't hurt to have slightly oversized wire in case you want to make it a larger circuit later for some reason without having to re-pull the wiring run.
 
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Thank you for your thoughtful responses.

Just to followup about future proofing. Most long range EVs seem like theyre 75-110 kWh batteries, but who knows if I or a future homebuyer might want to put in a 2nd EV, or even something bigger like the 200+kwh cybertruck battery, roadster (unlikely but nice to dream), or whatever gets built into next gen S/3/X/Y.

I plan to install a 50A charger soon, given that 40A continuous draw is more than sufficient for my use with one car. But suppose theoretically I get a 2nd car in 5 years. As far as installation costs, are there any savings to over-sizing the wiring NOW to an 80amp circuit, or even put in a sub-panel?
 

tps5352

Active Member
Supporting Member
...I plan to install a 50A charger soon, given that 40A continuous draw is more than sufficient for my use with one car. But suppose theoretically I get a 2nd car in 5 years. As far as installation costs, are there any savings to over-sizing the wiring NOW to an 80amp circuit, or even put in a sub-panel?

Difficult to answer definitively--many variables may or may not apply, just some of which might include:
  • Status and condition of your house--new (being built or remodeled) or already built, wall layout and construction, breaker panel sizes (total available amperage and available physical breaker space), et cetera.
  • Any plans you might have to move (due to expanding family; career pathway, retirement, etc.).
  • Distance of anticipated circuit run (breaker panel to outlet/wall connector).
  • What type of connector (I assume a wall connector) you plan to use--Tesla, aftermarket; Gen 2 or Gen 3?
  • Cost in your area of doing the work. Will you be buying parts retail, wholesale, or surplus online? Estimated labor charges (dependent on wiring gauge?).
  • Local permitting.
  • The realistic likelihood of future ownership plans (e.g., for a second car).
  • And of course trying to second guess the status of electric car technology in 5 years--difficult.

    Will we even want/need to buy more personal vehicles? (At some point there will probably be successful full-self-driving, autonomous vehicles that people will lease or call, like Uber.) Though I imagine 5 years is soon enough that car-buying as we know it certainly still be with us. But big changes are coming.
As I mentioned in posts above, an arguably discernible general trend (as evidenced through its onboard car chargers, wall connectors, and mobile connectors) has been for Tesla to over time actually de-emphasize, not encourage, the need for high-power charging. (That hypothesize that that has been for liability purposes, and also because it has become more clear over time how and why customers perform home charging.) Is that "trend" actually real, and if so will it continue?

So while I don't know the answer (that is for you to determine), I point you towards my impromptu rule at the bottom of Post #53. An 80-amp circuit might be overkill even in the future, or not. (BTW, if you meant to charge at the maximum 80-amps of, say, a Gen 2 Wall Connector you would need a properly-installed 100-amp circuit, correct?) The most important thing is safe installation of whatever you do.
 
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