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cost/ benefit of installing a nema plug vs tesla wall connector

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
891
704
North East Arkansas
If you have a single-circuit plug that you'd upgrade to a 20A plug then you might as well buy a two-pole 20A breaker and convert it to a 6-20 which will give you 11-15 mph of charge.

I agree, but it sounds like the electrical system in his garage is very limited at the moment since he is talking about pulling wires 160' from the breaker box in the house... I am looking for the cheapest solution that meets his needs. If he was driving less than 60 miles I would just say to plug in to a 15 amp 120V plug and call it a day :)

Keith
 
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PorthosJon

Member
May 5, 2021
108
95
Westchester, NY
I would get additional quotes from other electricians.

The Wall Connector price ($500) is more than 50% offset by the items you don't need, would need or want to have if you install the NEMA 14-50 receptacle.

Required for NEMA 14-50 Receptacle:
1) 50A GFCI circuit breaker ($100) - Required
2) Junction box and high quality NEMA 14-50 receptacle (i.e. Hubbell, Bryant or Cooper; not Leviton) ($100) - Required
3) Cable Organizer ($35) - Would want to have.
4) 3 wire (plus ground wire) for a total of 4 wires, in conduit. For a long wire run this could easily add $100 to the cost of the materials. (Labor to install the wire would be the same for the Wall Connector.) - Required

Required for Wall Connector:
1) Tesla Wall Connector ($500)
2) standard circuit breaker ($10)
3) 2 wire (plus ground wire) for a total of 3 wires, in conduit.

The Wall Connector can be installed on any circuit from 15A up to 60A. Since the distance from your service panel to the garage is 160 ft it may make sense to install a sub panel in the garage, use aluminum wire versus copper wire as the cost of aluminum wire is currently ~25% of the cost of copper wire. (Large gauge aluminum wire is used all of the time for bringing power into the home from the meter to the service panel.) You could install a 100A sub panel, be able to add an additional charging circuit in the future.

When installed on a 50A circuit the Wall Connector can charge at 40A. The Tesla Mobile Connector when used with the NEMA 14-50 plug adapter is limited to 32A. As you stated your current driving is limited to ~60 miles per day. Any 240V charging setup from 20A up to 60A would meet your current charging needs.

The Wall Connector supports automatic load balancing; up to 4 Wall Connectors can share a single charging circuit. (This may not be something you would need.)

The Wall Connector is designed to be installed inside a garage or outdoors. (This does not matter as you plan to install the charging circuit inside your garage.)
Only a couple of corrections. On a 50A Circuit the Wall Connector can charge at 42A, on a 60A the Wall Connector can charge at 48A. The NEMA 14-50 can charge at 42A using a third party charger, or the mobile connector in the Tesla.

The other piece that you have to account for (in some states) is that code can require a drop-switch if you have a generator/backup power. Meaning that the system has to automatically stop charging your car if the grid power goes out and your backup power kicks in (that does not count for Batteries/PowerWall); it's all about the harmonic distortion of the power.

I agree that the majority of what you are paying for is the wire, because carrying 60A or 100A for a decent distance is expensive. I had a Tesla Wall Connector @ 60A rated, and a NEMA 14-50 @ 50A rated installed in my garage (the NEMA is for my wife's EV- not a Tesla) and the total install was about $1,100 in NY State from a licensed electrician. My panel is in my garage, so the runs were only like 10' for the 60A and 25' for the 50A from the panel. I also purchased the Wall Connector myself.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,256
3,237
Maryland
Only a couple of corrections. On a 50A Circuit the Wall Connector can charge at 42A, on a 60A the Wall Connector can charge at 48A. The NEMA 14-50 can charge at 42A using a third party charger, or the mobile connector in the Tesla.
Hmm. When charging any plug-in vehicle the rule is you can only charge at up to 80% of the circuit rated amperage.

These are 240V circuits:
60A X 0.80 = 48A
50A X 0.80 = 40A (I don't know how you arrived at 42A)
40A X 0.80 = 32A (Maybe you were thinking of a 40A circuit being limited to charging at 32A)

These can be either 120V or 240V circuits
30A X 0.80 = 24A (TT-30: 120V/30A circuit for camping, RVs, 14-30: 240V/30A commonly used for electric dryers.)
20A X 0.80 = 16A
15A X 0.80 = 12A

Usually the majority of the cost of installing a circuit is the labor. For longer wire runs the cost of the wire, especially copper wire, can be a significant part of the total cost. Installing wire rated for a larger amperage circuit than you may need now may make sense so you don't have to pay to ugrade the wire later if your needs change.

I don't understand why you brought up the drop switch. My post was intended to compare the actual costs of installing a 14-50 receptacle for use with the Mobile Connector versus installing the Wall Connector. If a drop switch is required for an installation with a standby generator this would be the case whether installing a 14-50 receptacle or installing a Wall Connector. Nothing in the original post indicated there was a standby generator.
 
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s14roller

Member
Jul 10, 2021
32
16
USA
Have been debating the same thing although previous owner put in a junction box in the garage already. The only odd thing is it’s for 80 amps. Is that fine or is it supposed to be 60 amps max?
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,256
3,237
Maryland
Have been debating the same thing although previous owner put in a junction box in the garage already. The only odd thing is it’s for 80 amps. Is that fine or is it supposed to be 60 amps max?
Have an electrician determine if the wiring is correct for 80A, if not use the correct breaker. For the Wall Connector the maximum breaker would be 60A or you could install the Wall Connector on a smaller circuit, breaker run off of the sub panel. One option might be a 60A for the Wall Connector and a 20A circuit for tools, lights etc. (The older model Tesla High Power Wall Connector (HPWC) could be installed on an 80A circuit, maybe that is why you have an 80A sub panel.)
 

tempest2001

Member
Mar 14, 2021
152
48
SoCal
I've been getting quotes from tesla certified electricians for botha Nema 14-50 or tesla wall connector in my garage.

All of the quotes are within +/- $250 each other but the tesla wall charger quotes are almost $1k more than the cost of the Nema. For example one electrican quoted me $1850 for the Nema and $2950 for the tesla wall connector (including the $500 connector).

Unfortunately I'm going to require about 160 feet of conduit and wiring from my breaker to the garage so I accept that it's going to be expensive.

If my typical daily charging need is only going to be 50-60 miles of "fill up" nightly, does it make sense to the extra for the tesla solution? Anyone hated the nema and upgraded to the tesla wall connector?
Rates will vary by state and it sounds like by type in your area. But in Southern California, we have this wall charger rebate for $250 but has to be the wall connector, 14-50 plug does not qualify. The electrician here charges the same for Nema or wall connector, they indicated to me most of the labor is going to be around the conduit run and in my case was about 30 feet and total was $650 (parts and labor including panel moving the circuit around and 60amp circuit) + the wall connector (I have to supply) + $100 pulling the permit from the city + $200 city permit fee and it was a Tesla certified electrician which turned out to be cheaper than non-Tesla certified electrician. If you don't have that rebate and the electrician there somehow charges differently, the 14-50 sounds like the better deal to me. I was going to suggest getting multiple quotes and read their reviews like in Yelp, but sounds like you've already done it. In my case, I had quotes that ranged wildly from $600 to $3000 for the exact same set up. But it was pretty crazy when he installed the 60amp circuit, he didn't need to shut off the power to the house, but I'm no electrician so maybe they all do it like that lol.

Note a lot of people feels the permit is optional but for me personally I feel more protected if anything goes wrong with the wall connector and insurance company complains about I don't have a permit so at least I got that covered.
 
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lfahome

New Member
Jul 26, 2021
4
0
Woodbridge, VA
New member here. I recently ordered a Model Y Performance. Love all the info shared here!! Regarding the NEMA plug, are there any issues with plugging the charger in and unplugging it when not needed? I have a garage spot that in the middle of two other parking spots. I don't have a place to hang a Tesla charger. I'm looking to get the Tesla NEMA 14-50 adapter and plugging my car in nightly. This would require me to plug it in and unplug it from the NEMA plug for each use. Thanks in advane!
 

mstatkus

Member
Jun 18, 2021
58
29
Belfair, WA
I got like $175 fed tax credit on the wall charger.
Local power company offered wall charger rebate (mileage varies) up to $1200 - Waiting on VIN to finish that.

Just listing that if it's factoring in to the $500 hit. However if you think you'll want to run a welding machine or some other heavy duty appliance in the garage the NEMA may make more sense
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,256
3,237
Maryland
New member here. I recently ordered a Model Y Performance. Love all the info shared here!! Regarding the NEMA plug, are there any issues with plugging the charger in and unplugging it when not needed? I have a garage spot that in the middle of two other parking spots. I don't have a place to hang a Tesla charger. I'm looking to get the Tesla NEMA 14-50 adapter and plugging my car in nightly. This would require me to plug it in and unplug it from the NEMA plug for each use. Thanks in advane!

Most 14-50 receptacles are not designed for a high number of plug and unplug operations. (The typical 14-50 application in a home is for an electric range that hardly ever gets unplugged.) There are commercial 14-50 receptacles such as for RV campgrounds that are designed for frequent use. These 14-50 receptacles are expensive compared to the $40 to $80 you would pay for a quality 14-50 receptacle for use when charging an EV.

You could skip the receptacle and install the Tesla Wall Connector. The Wall Connector would be more difficult but not impossible to steal. Also, currently there is no way to lock a Wall Connector so anyone could plug in when you were not using the Wall Connector. You could install the 14-50 receptacle or mount the Wall Connector in a security box but that might not be approved for aesthetic reasons.

There are charging stations from other manufacturers besides Tesla that do have the ability to lock the equipment preventing unauthorized use. ClipperCreek arguably has the most extensive line of EVSEs. At a minimum a small padlock can be attached to the J1772 charging connector of these EVSEs so it cannot be used without first removing the padlock. (When using a non-Tesla charging station you would use the Tesla J1772 adapter that comes with every Tesla vehicle.)
 
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lfahome

New Member
Jul 26, 2021
4
0
Woodbridge, VA
New member here. I recently ordered a Model Y Performance. Love all the info shared here!! Regarding the NEMA plug, are there any issues with plugging the charger in and unplugging it when not needed? I have a garage spot that in the middle of two other parking spots. I don't have a place to hang a Tesla charger. I'm looking to get the Tesla NEMA 14-50 adapter and plugging my car in nightly. This would require me to plug it in and unplug it from the NEMA plug for each use. Thanks in advane!
Oh. Also. Meant to mention that I'm hoping to get the NEMA plug installed above my parking spot. Wondering if there's an issue with that.
Most 14-50 receptacles are not designed for a high number of plug and unplug operations. (The typical 14-50 application in a home is for an electric range that hardly ever gets unplugged.) There are commercial 14-50 receptacles such as for RV campgrounds that are designed for frequent use. These 14-50 receptacles are expensive compared to the $40 to $80 you would pay for a quality 14-50 receptacle for use when charging an EV.

You could skip the receptacle and install the Tesla Wall Connector. The Wall Connector would be more difficult but not impossible to steal. Also, currently there is no way to lock a Wall Connector so anyone could plug in when you were not using the Wall Connector. You could install the 14-50 receptacle or mount the Wall Connector in a security box but that might not be approved for aesthetic reasons.

There are charging stations from other manufacturers besides Tesla that do have the ability to lock the equipment preventing unauthorized use. ClipperCreek arguably has the most extensive line of EVSEs. At a minimum a small padlock can be attached to the J1772 charging connector of these EVSEs so it cannot be used without first removing the padlock. (When using a non-Tesla charging station you would use the Tesla J1772 adapter that comes with every Tesla vehicle.)
Thanks for the info!
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,256
3,237
Maryland
Oh. Also. Meant to mention that I'm hoping to get the NEMA plug installed above my parking spot. Wondering if there's an issue with that.

Thanks for the info!
Do you mean overhead? I'm not aware of any restriction re placement of the 14-50 receptacle in a garage. (In some cases the local code requires electrical switches, receptacles and equipment be installed above a minimum height from the floor to avoid a spark from potentially igniting gasoline fumes.) Maybe you can include some photos of the parking space and surrounding structure so others can see what you are planning.
 

lfahome

New Member
Jul 26, 2021
4
0
Woodbridge, VA
Do you mean overhead? I'm not aware of any restriction re placement of the 14-50 receptacle in a garage. (In some cases the local code requires electrical switches, receptacles and equipment be installed above a minimum height from the floor to avoid a spark from potentially igniting gasoline fumes.) Maybe you can include some photos of the parking space and surrounding structure so others can see what you are planning.
Thanks! Yes. I meant above my parking spot. This photo shows my VW Atlas where my Tesla will eventually be parked in our condos garage. I have a pillar one parking spot over on both sides. My other spot is behind the Atlas. I was wondering if it’s possible to install a NEMA 14-50 plug above my space and use the Tesla supplied charger (with the NEMA 14-50 plug) or maybe install the charger (EVSE) in the ceiling above my spot since it’s a drop down ceiling and there’s 1-2 feet above. Hoping to find a workable solution.
 

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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,256
3,237
Maryland
Thanks! Yes. I meant above my parking spot. This photo shows my VW Atlas where my Tesla will eventually be parked in our condos garage. I have a pillar one parking spot over on both sides. My other spot is behind the Atlas. I was wondering if it’s possible to install a NEMA 14-50 plug above my space and use the Tesla supplied charger (with the NEMA 14-50 plug) or maybe install the charger (EVSE) in the ceiling above my spot since it’s a drop down ceiling and there’s 1-2 feet above. Hoping to find a workable solution.
Wow, that is going to be a challenge. Can you swap parking spaces with someone so your space is next to a pillar or a garage wall? I have only seen drop ceilings with lighting fixtures and ventilation. In a classroom I have seen a ceiling mount and 120V power for a video projector. Hopefully someone here knows the relevant parts of the electrical code that would apply.

Also, based on your weekday commute how many miles a day you drive? If you only drive ~30 to 40 miles per day you could get by with a 120V/20A receptacle. Your condo board might be more willing to let you install a 120 receptacle.
 

lfahome

New Member
Jul 26, 2021
4
0
Woodbridge, VA
Wow, that is going to be a challenge. Can you swap parking spaces with someone so your space is next to a pillar or a garage wall? I have only seen drop ceilings with lighting fixtures and ventilation. In a classroom I have seen a ceiling mount and 120V power for a video projector. Hopefully someone here knows the relevant parts of the electrical code that would apply.

Also, based on your weekday commute how many miles a day you drive? If you only drive ~30 to 40 miles per day you could get by with a 120V/20A receptacle. Your condo board might be more willing to let you install a 120 receptacle.
Thanks for sharing!! I have a couple installers that I’ve been in contact with and hoping they can come up with something when they do a site visit. Crossing my fingers!
 

Sittingduck63

MYP ordered 7/18, white/black int
Jul 28, 2021
37
54
Chandler, AZ
I am having a 14-50 installed later this week. My electrician told the install price would be the same for the Tesla charger or the 14-50. I’m fortunate that it is a easy install since my house transformer is on the outside wall of the garage. Price for me in AZ is $300.
 

rjpjnk

Member
Mar 12, 2021
663
343
NJ
This makes sense to me as the bulk of the work is running the wire. I went through a cost comparison myself a while back and determined that when I considered all the parts I didn't have to buy if I got the Wall Connector it turned out (for DIY) the WC was only about 135 dollars more expensive, and it allowed me to keep the mobile charger in my car at all times, and I could mount the WC outside in the weather, so it was a no-brainer.

 
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easter

Member
Aug 10, 2021
9
9
Bay Area
I went with the receptacle and a mobile connector. That way, if the connector fails/gets damaged, or we get a second EV and want a dual EVSE, or we go somewhere that we’d want the slightly faster 40-amp charging, we can disconnect and make the change much more easily (and without an electrician).

I actually just mounted the connector today, in fact.

Wow this looks really well done. Is that mount part of the included accessories on the mobile charger or sold separately?
 

Darblish

Member
May 19, 2021
166
347
Columbus, OH
Wow this looks really well done. Is that mount part of the included accessories on the mobile charger or sold separately?
Thanks!

The mount is from Tesla, though the item description is not great at suggesting it comes with a mount for the connector at all: Cable Organizer

I’ve had a few issues with the 40A corded mobile connector and that mounting bracket, and made a separate thread about them. It seems to not provide great airflow behind the unit (which I suppose is not unexpected), and might do better mounted to a block wall or something which does a better job of absorbing heat than insulation and drywall.
 

NYCer

Member
Apr 12, 2021
27
27
New York City
Mobile connector on 14-50 is perfect for daily 60 mile commute.

Mobile connector on a 14-50 plug (32A) puts out 29miles/hour charge rate (assuming min 40A breaker). So tops off tank in about 2 hours 😁
 

Vin_L

Member
Apr 24, 2021
173
289
San Jose, CA
I used to only use the mobile connector in my garage until recently. I was talking to a Tesla Service tech and we started talking chargers. In his experience constant use of the mobile leads to a lifespan of about 2 years. The Wall Connector is more robust and designed for long term. This past weekend I wired in a wall connector to a 50A circuit and it’s been great. Now I just take the mobile on road trips.
 
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