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How important is home charger really?

Mzab21

Member
Nov 22, 2020
41
38
Monterey
So hopefully I’ll be taking delivery of my LR Model 3 here in the next 30 days or so, and I’m wondering opinions on just how important it is I install a home charger. I live in a condo here in Monterey, CA. The HOA has been tossing around ideas to install EV chargers..... obviously I’d rather install my own wall unit directly in my car port. That comes with complications though; breaker panel would need updating, which would be the easy part. Unfortunately, my car port is about 150 away from my breaker panel, and under a very wide parking lot and driveway.

I plan on finding a solution to this within a year or so. Question is; Is it really that important? How often do you think I will need to Supercharge given these parameters. I plan on driving 30 miles on average per day, and leaving sentry mode on for 8 hours a day to start. Is it realistic to think I’ll only need to charge every 5-7 days?

thanks in advance
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,458
11,807
Riverside Co. CA
So hopefully I’ll be taking delivery of my LR Model 3 here in the next 30 days or so, and I’m wondering opinions on just how important it is I install a home charger. I live in a condo here in Monterey, CA. The HOA has been tossing around ideas to install EV chargers..... obviously I’d rather install my own wall unit directly in my car port. That comes with complications though; breaker panel would need updating, which would be the easy part. Unfortunately, my car port is about 150 away from my breaker panel, and under a very wide parking lot and driveway.

I plan on finding a solution to this within a year or so. Question is; Is it really that important? How often do you think I will need to Supercharge given these parameters. I plan on driving 30 miles on average per day, and leaving sentry mode on for 8 hours a day to start. Is it realistic to think I’ll only need to charge every 5-7 days?

thanks in advance

No, not even close. I am not going to get into "how necessary is home charging" but your plan on driving 30 miles a day, leaving sentry on all night and only charging every 5-7 days is simply not going to work.

Sentry mode will use between 1-2 hours of range per hour, so thats between 8 and 16 miles of range right there. You will likely have sentry on "all night" so it will be more than 8 hours, unless you are going out late at night to turn it on. Assuming for the sake of argument though, that you only have sentry mode on for the 8 hours you specify, assume that will be roughly 12-16 miles lost.

You will not be charging your car to 100% every time you charge, you will be charging it to (likely) at most 90% for daily usage. You will not be running the car down to zero, you wont run it down lower on average than 20%.

The single biggest mistake new EV owners make is thinking "My car has 310 miles range, I only drive 30 miles a day, I only will need to charge every 7-8 days.".

Depending on what your commute actually is (freeway, side streets, etc), you should plan on charging every 3 or at most 4 days.
 

XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,148
1,803
SWFL | Vegas
Well said jj. I'll add that the owners manual suggests leaving the car plugged in whenever possible (charging or not) and I do just that whenever my Teslas are at home.

My suggestion: get a 220 plug installed at home. 150 feet of wire is a bit much but if you're going to live there for years just think of the convenience.
 

ArcticStation

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2018
185
277
Maine
Is charging at or near your destination/work an option? Agree that it is best to plug in every day if possible--you will get VERY tired of sitting at a supercharger every three or four days. Also, many contributors feel that optimum battery life is achieved by keeping the car at between 70% and 30% state of charge and avoiding supercharging on a regular basis. If you adopt that premise, you will have to find a solution other than relying on supercharging alone.
 
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Mzab21

Member
Nov 22, 2020
41
38
Monterey
Thanks...... yeah, I want to be a realist about it. I do own the condo, and plan on being here for a long time. I’m going to start contacting electricians and figuring out a solution.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,458
11,807
Riverside Co. CA
Thanks...... yeah, I want to be a realist about it. I do own the condo, and plan on being here for a long time. I’m going to start contacting electricians and figuring out a solution.

I want to be clear that I am not saying you need a home charger. Many people here and elsewhere do just fine without having one. I just wanted to point out, that you wont be charging every 7 days. It would likely end up, on average, every 4 days, or every 3-4 days. If you are ok with charging every 3-4 days, or you have charging at work or wherever the "other end" of your commute is, then you certainly can make it work.

If your requirement is "I need to be able to charge every 5-7 days" then I dont believe that, over time, that will be what you experience given the parameters you laid out.

As I mentioned, you likely would have your car parked, with sentry mode on, longer than 8 hours. Cars are parked at home like 10-12 hours. Assuming 10 hours, you are looking at 15-20 miles a day of sentry mode range loss. Thats 80 ish miles right there. Your effective range is going to be 90% to 20% or somewhere around 245 miles range (when the car is new).

Minus the 80 ish miles sentry mode, now we are at 165 miles you can drive. 30 miles times 5 is 150 miles, so it looks like you could go 5 days, but your car will NOT roll off miles at 1 mile driven for 1 mile range lost, due to heat usage, weather, wind, and a bunch of other things. Even in california this doesnt happen (I am in california). your 30 miles range will likely roll off at around 40 miles used, on average. Likely a little more in fact, but that would be a round number.

So, 40 miles range used for the 30 miles you drive, thats 160 miles, or given everything above, you needing to charge every 4 days. This doesnt account for the battery degradation that WILL happen, so hence, me saying you will need to charge every 3-4 days.

The above is what was going through my head when I posted above, just without some of the back end calculating it out.

If charging every 3-4 days is ok with you, then you will be fine without home charging. Having home charging makes allll that above a non issue though, as you dont have to worry about any of that above if you can charge at home. You can absolutely do it without home charging, as long as you have the right expectations.
 

MarsOrBust

Member
Sep 25, 2020
458
288
Kepler-22b
I have some condo rental properties and two of the buildings have installed Tesla Chargers in the parking lots of owners for an added annual fee. Not sure how much but it was at owners option.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,795
8,039
Maine
Thanks...... yeah, I want to be a realist about it. I do own the condo, and plan on being here for a long time. I’m going to start contacting electricians and figuring out a solution.

I would also suggest talking to others in your condo about it. It sounds like it'll be a pricy install, and there could be an opportunity to lower cost per port if others are interested.
 

Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,492
1,511
Massachusetts
Don't forget some places(states, organizations, electric utilities) will subsidize charger installation. I think Tesla used to supply free HPWC's for businesses wanting to supply charging, and IIRC there's still a federal tax credit to the tune of like 30% of the cost of installs.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,458
11,807
Riverside Co. CA
Oh and if your car port has a 110v outlet, you could use that with your UMC to charge your car. At 3 miles per hour, it is enough to cover your 30 miles usage overnight.

but likely not enough to cover that + sentry mode. At the 10 hours I guessed at earlier, assuming 4 ish MPH that is 40 hours range replenished which would cover the 30 mile drive, but not if you take away 15-20 miles for use of sentry mode during that time.
 

Piwacet

Member
Jun 14, 2019
76
54
SF Bay Area
I'll just add that I don't have home charging and use a combination of charging at work, destination charging when there's no pandemic going on, and supercharging. It's quite doable. I know others who do the same.

I've enjoyed meals from the California Kitchen at the Monterey supercharger, and the time it takes to eat a meal is about the time it takes to supercharge there. They even have curbside pickup. Just FYI.
 

Mzab21

Member
Nov 22, 2020
41
38
Monterey
I'll just add that I don't have home charging and use a combination of charging at work, destination charging when there's no pandemic going on, and supercharging. It's quite doable. I know others who do the same.

I've enjoyed meals from the California Kitchen at the Monterey supercharger, and the time it takes to eat a meal is about the time it takes to supercharge there. They even have curbside pickup. Just FYI.

funny you say that...... the Del Monte center Superchargers you speak of are the ones I would be mainly using. I live two minutes from there. Super convenient...... really just excited to get my car, it’s a relief to know I can get by in the short term or long term if need be with no charger at home.
 

Black306

Member
Oct 14, 2019
594
857
Sacramento
Personally, I find charging at home a big perk of EVs; not needing to go to a “gas station.”

Is there at least a 110/120v outlet available? That might be an option as well. It’ll help cover the ~30 miles per day.

How about at work? Even if there isn’t a dedicated charging station, there might be an outlet you could use.
 
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GZDongles

Member
Feb 23, 2020
225
283
Michigan
but likely not enough to cover that + sentry mode. At the 10 hours I guessed at earlier, assuming 4 ish MPH that is 40 hours range replenished which would cover the 30 mile drive, but not if you take away 15-20 miles for use of sentry mode during that time.

YMMV, but my car gets 5 MPH charging on the NEMA 5-15 that comes with the UMC. That gives me 60+ miles per day depending on how long I'm parked. I usually work from home so this is more than enough (in fact I usually don't plug the car in every night). For the rare weeks where I am driving a lot for work meetings or otherwise during the day and am using more than I can replenish during the night, I can make up that deficit with a quick charge (1-2 hour) on the weekend on a free public Level 2 charger while I do some grocery shopping or hang out at a coffee shop.

That being said, I'm looking at getting a Juicebox Pro 48 Amp charger for the winter. I'm in Michigan and could easily use 20+ miles of range preheating the car. It would be nice to have the option to thoroughly preheat for an hour to warm the battery and cabin to maximize range for long trips in the winter.
 

gavine

Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast
Apr 1, 2014
2,606
2,137
Philadelphia, PA
Oh and if your car port has a 110v outlet, you could use that with your UMC to charge your car. At 3 miles per hour, it is enough to cover your 30 miles usage overnight.

OP has a Model 3 and those charge at 4 to 5 miles per hour on 110V outlets. Model S and X are only 3 miles per hour (less efficient vehicles vs. Model 3).
 
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Mzab21

Member
Nov 22, 2020
41
38
Monterey
Personally, I find charging at home a big perk of EVs; not needing to go to a “gas station.”

Is there at least a 110/120v outlet available? That might be an option as well. It’ll help cover the ~30 miles per day.

How about at work? Even if there isn’t a dedicated charging station, there might be an outlet you could use.

There’s an outlet in a maintenance shed about 20 feet from my parking spot. It’s on the HOA’s Meter though. There’s also a breaker box in that same shed. I’d need to upgrade that panel, but if that can be done, I can get a 60amp circuit there and run directly to my spot. Then, the issue becomes installing a TOU meter and figuring out an easy way to track and reimburse the HOA.

Charging at work is not possible as I’m an independent contractor. While I park in the same lot everyday, there’s no power anywhere in the lot.
 

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