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Is 120v charging enough

So I just had an electrician come take a look and give me a quote for installing a 14-50 220v outlet in my garage. Sadly my panel will need upgrading as it cannot support another 50A breaker so the quote was a couple thousands of dollars. Sucks cos I already ordered and received a nema 14-50 adapter from the Tesla website.

My question is to owners who just exclusively charge using the included 5-15 120v adapter.
1. Do you find it just enough for everyday driving to charge it overnight?
2. How often do you need to go to superchargers or any Lvl2 chargers to top up?

My daily drive to work is around 50 km roundtrip.

Thanks!
 
Depends how often you drive, if you leave it plugged in all the time at home it should be OK, unless you always drive like over 150km/day

That's OK for summer, winter may be a problem
Yeah. I heard that when temperature drops the charge rate significantly drops as well even down to 0 km/hr. At what temps does it usually do that? It rarely goes below freezing in Vancouver so hopefully it wouldn't be much of an issue.
 
Ask you electrician if you can install a 30AMP without upgrading panel, that's plenty
 

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jmaddr

Active Member
Mar 29, 2019
1,149
1,141
Florida
Only you can answer this and ignore anyone who says it will work for you or won't work.
Look at charge miles per hour here:

If you part for X hours and it will add Y miles per hour by the time you leave, you will be fine. For example, on a 5-15 outlet, the model 3/Y only charges at 3 mile per hour. If you drive 50 miles and park for 12 hours, you will only be able to add 36 miles of charge, at optimal conditions, and 120V will not be enough for you. However, if you only drive 20 miles, it will be. On those Sundays or odd days where you drive longer distances, it might be impossible to add enough charge for a drive the next day in the time you will have the car parked. BTW, you can always use supercharging in these corner cases if one is close so not all hope is lost.

BTW, the Y mile number will be reduced in the winter, especially if stored outside as @Blu-Ion mentioned and you are in Canada. The car will spend time heating the battery to get the battery up to charging temperature before adding miles and even then spend energy just keeping the battery at that temperature.
 
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MorrisonHiker

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Mar 8, 2015
10,553
10,587
Colorado
It will be inside the garage.
I will ask if a 30 amp would be work. Thanks!
If you have the correct wiring and breaker, you might be able to swap out the 5-15 outlet for a 5-20 outlet and charge at 16 amps instead of 12 amps. It's not a huge increase but might only cost a few dollars for the outlet. Also, you might be able to exchange the 14-50 adapters for a 5-20 adapter (or whatever outlet you end up getting).
 
Are you physically out of space in your panel? 240V breakers require 2 positions in the panel, so you would need to add a subpanel if that's the problem. If it's a load issue, there are also 240V 6-15, 6-20 and 14-30 plugs that are all good options. I personally have a 14-50 for my SR+, but generally current limit to 16A and find it more than sufficient.
 
Are you physically out of space in your panel? 240V breakers require 2 positions in the panel, so you would need to add a subpanel if that's the problem. If it's a load issue, there are also 240V 6-15, 6-20 and 14-30 plugs that are all good options. I personally have a 14-50 for my SR+, but generally current limit to 16A and find it more than sufficient.
The panel can not support another 50A load. I will try to see if I can get a 30A or 20A added instead and maybe the cost would not be as extensive. Thanks!
 
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Just make sure you're plugging into a circuit without any other loads. I was able to get around 8-9km/h on my 5-15 adapter on a dedicated 5-20 circuit in my garage, so it's not bad, but not great. It's still best practice to get a 240V circuit dedicated to EV charging.
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
10,754
9,798
Visalia, CA
Yeah. I heard that when temperature drops the charge rate significantly drops as well even down to 0 km/hr. At what temps does it usually do that? It rarely goes below freezing in Vancouver so hopefully it wouldn't be much of an issue.

120V is fine in above freezing temperature but otherwise, all the energy will be sent to the battery heater first and you won't get any charge until it's warmed up.

I would say try to get any 240V at any ampere which will be very much welcome such as 15A (NEMA 6-15), 20A (NEMA 6-20), 30A (NEMA 10-30 or NEMA 14-30)... The adapters are sold by Tesla too.

That way, 240V will have enough energy to do 2 tasks of heating and charging your battery at the same time.

Even at 240V 15A, your charging rate will be 11mph and an 8 hour of sleep would get you 88 miles per night and since you might only work 8 hours a day, you might have more than 8 hours to charge your car too.
 
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Too many forums keep recommending the 240V 50A upgrade. It is often unnecessary, and in many cases very costly -- as it would have been in my case. It took me a long time to figure out how to convert a 120V 15A circuit to 240V 15A circuit myself but the information is out there if you are able to find it. The trick is to make sure there is nothing else on the old 120V circuit and have 2 breaker slots available. The DYI cost was under $100 including the new breaker and Tesla adapter.
 
240V 15A or better would be the way to go, using 120V is also inefficient as the charger/fans all use power and since it will be charging longer it will eat away the cost of just getting a proper outlet installed. For a 50 Km round trip a day, I would get at least a 20amp 240V, it's usually not your usual compute that gets you, its the after work lets go meet up across town, then pick something up and the other side of town that makes you wish you had a fuller charge that morning when it's the coldest day of the year
 
I like the idea of wait and see. My wife's model Y gets 9km/h on 120v on her side of the garage, 39 km/h if she uses my 1st Gen charger for my model S. I have the mobile charger on a 220v 30Amp (setting to 23Amps) circuit on my side of the garage. I agree with the above, 220v 30Amp would work well for you. You can always find a supercharger if you needed more and faster.
 

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