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European single charger upgrade in the works?

MrBravo

Member
Feb 19, 2015
75
8
Belgium
Some time ago I contacted my local service center in Brussels for a different issue. I asked about charging and why a single charger in Europe takes 16A on a single phase. He mentioned that there is an update of the single charger in the works that would allow European single charger to take more current (32A?), but was not sure about any details.


Since then I can not find any information on this. Does anyone know anything? Or have I misunderstood, since I am not very bright with these things?
 

MrBravo

Member
Feb 19, 2015
75
8
Belgium
In that case I admit not to know how to charge my car! :redface:

I have a Dutch Ratio 30A one phase chargar with type 2 plug. I have the "neuterprobleem" in Brussels, where 230V is between L1 and L2. Never tried, but UMC should not work with this type of electricity. I have a single charger in the car. The car charges at 16A, althoug it displays 30A as the setting of the charger. What am I doing wrong?
 

jkirkebo

Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU
Jun 13, 2010
961
12
Fredrikstad, Norway
In that case I admit not to know how to charge my car! :redface:

I have a Dutch Ratio 30A one phase chargar with type 2 plug. I have the "neuterprobleem" in Brussels, where 230V is between L1 and L2. Never tried, but UMC should not work with this type of electricity. I have a single charger in the car. The car charges at 16A, althoug it displays 30A as the setting of the charger. What am I doing wrong?

Third party chargers mush have a connection between L1 and L2 (L3 is not necessary but doesn't hurt) to charge at 32A single phase. In the blue UMC adapter this is done internally.
I sell charging stations, and for 32A charging stations for Teslas with single charger I use a three-phase cable and connect L1, L2 and L3 together after the contactor.
The only way to fix your charger with a single phase cable is to open the Type 2 plug and connect L2 with L1 there, if possible.

I assume Teslas charger update is doing this automatically in the charger when a single phase source with more than 16A is detected. That would be nice, I could stop using those bulky and more expensive three-phase cables then.
 

MrBravo

Member
Feb 19, 2015
75
8
Belgium
Update: I asked the same question to Tesla on their ServiceHelpEU e-mail. They answered with:
You mentioned the Tesla has got a single charger on board. This charger is good for charging with 16 A maximum (11kWh). This is the reason you cannot charge faster.

jkirkebo, thank you for very informative comment! Can you post a link where the issue you are mentioning is discussed in detail? I would love to read it to understand.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,951
Boise, ID
TeslaserviceEU quote: “You mentioned the Tesla has got a single charger on board. This charger is good for charging with 16 A maximum (11kWh). This is the reason you cannot charge faster.”

Good grief. That is a really disappointing uninformed answer from Tesla. First off, it’s horrible that they referred to a charging rate incorrectly using kwh instead of kw. But also, there is probably a bad miscommunication of the question versus the answer, because 240V times 16A is 3.8kw, not 11kw. So they must have been thinking this was about 3 phase electricity or higher voltage levels.
 

arg

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
1,814
1,811
Cambridge, UK
Some time ago I contacted my local service center in Brussels for a different issue. I asked about charging and why a single charger in Europe takes 16A on a single phase. He mentioned that there is an update of the single charger in the works that would allow European single charger to take more current (32A?), but was not sure about any details.

Since then I can not find any information on this. Does anyone know anything? Or have I misunderstood, since I am not very bright with these things?

I am fairly sure that an upgrade is not only in the works but now rolling out (at least in UK cars, and it would be strange if not applied to other european cars).

Considering only european models:

Original single charger cars can accept only 16A per phase (ie. 16A on up to 3 inputs). The blue adapter on the UMC connects the three inputs together, so the car can use 32A total (split between the multiple inputs). Standard chargepoints don't do that (supplying up to 32A but only on one pin on the connector), so these cars can only draw 16A from such chargepoints.
Tesla seem to have considered this "OK" for most of Europe where three-phase is quite common and the UMC was supplied bundled with the car.

When Model S deliveries started in the UK (June '14) there was a problem: three-phase is very rare in homes here, and we have a government subsidy for installing standard chargepoints - hence most people would already have a 32A single phase type2 chargepoint (the subsidy at that time was enough to make them free or very low cost). Tesla initially started working with one of the chargepoint installers on the government subsidy scheme to hack their chargepoints to have the same wiring as the UMC, but then a few weeks later they reversed that plan and the modified chargepoints were removed from those people who had them and replaced with standard ones. I have since heard that plugging a Renault Zoe into a chargepoint with that wiring causes damage (both to the chargepoint and the Zoe), which may be the explanation.

So Tesla changed plan again, and all UK cars were delivered with two chargers fitted: people who had only paid for 1 charger then got a software update that disabled the second charger except when working in single-phase mode. These owners were able to pay the difference in price and have full use of their second charger.

Cars delivered to the UK recently appear not to have the 2nd charger, yet can still charge on 32A single phase with standard wiring. It appears that there has been a change to the hardware in the car to allow this (might not a change to the charger itself, the extra contactor could be in one of the various junction boxes).
 

MrBravo

Member
Feb 19, 2015
75
8
Belgium
Based on the answer of Rocky_H I asked the question to Tesla again in a different way. Here is the answer:

Yes you are able to charge 1P/32A/230V=7.3kW, if you are using the Blue Adapter and UMC, in a blue industrial socket.

If you are charging with a Type 2 cable, you are for the moment unable to charge with 32A on 1 phase. That’s why you are unable to charge faster than 3.7 kW with a Type 2, single phase and 230V, if you only have 1 onboard charger.

So, for the moment, you can only charge with 32A on 1 phase with the Blue Adapter and the UMC.

They repeat "for the moment" twice, which to me suggests that there could be something on the way.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,479
6,230
Los Altos, CA
Australian Model S vehicles have the same problem, but they also have J1772 charging stations (with captive cable) which are inherently single phase. So, a small business there has arranged production of a J1772 to Type-2 adapter which properly routes the single phase power to more than one line on the on-board charger so you can charge at the full rate of the charging station.
 

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