Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Is WC the way to go for outdoor charging even if I don’t need that much “charging power”?

dms_waiting

New Member
Oct 13, 2021
2
0
Virginia
Hey everyone!
I’m prepping for delivery and trying to figure out the best charging solution for me. Sorry if this particular issue has been discussed somewhere else!

No matter what, I will have to charge outside (no garage, no driveway) and will have to run the electricity about 100 ft from the panel box to the charging location. The charger or plug will have to be installed on a new 4x4 post no matter what option I go with.

The cost to install will be about the same between installing a WC vs a NEMA 14-50 outlet, both on a 50 amp circuit. The WC would then obviously be $500 more to buy.

My question is for 100% outdoor charging, is the WC really the best option? I am a mostly local driver and will not need the charge rate or power of the WC, and will be totally fine with a NEMA 14-50 mobile charger or even a “less powerful” alternative. I even don’t mind putting the mobile charger away when not charging to protect against the elements. But, since I’m going to have to wire it anyway, regardless of charging option or plug type, should I just bite the bullet and spend the extra $500 for the WC or save that money for a lower output, but not weatherproof, option?

Thanks for the advice!
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,755
3,820
Maryland
Hey everyone!
I’m prepping for delivery and trying to figure out the best charging solution for me. Sorry if this particular issue has been discussed somewhere else!

No matter what, I will have to charge outside (no garage, no driveway) and will have to run the electricity about 100 ft from the panel box to the charging location. The charger or plug will have to be installed on a new 4x4 post no matter what option I go with.

The cost to install will be about the same between installing a WC vs a NEMA 14-50 outlet, both on a 50 amp circuit. The WC would then obviously be $500 more to buy.

My question is for 100% outdoor charging, is the WC really the best option? I am a mostly local driver and will not need the charge rate or power of the WC, and will be totally fine with a NEMA 14-50 mobile charger or even a “less powerful” alternative. I even don’t mind putting the mobile charger away when not charging to protect against the elements. But, since I’m going to have to wire it anyway, regardless of charging option or plug type, should I just bite the bullet and spend the extra $500 for the WC or save that money for a lower output, but not weatherproof, option?

Thanks for the advice!
The cost difference ends up being ~$200 more for the WC.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,755
3,820
Maryland
The cost difference ends up being ~$200 more for the WC.
As you noted, the Wall Connector is fully weather rated. The NEMA 14-50 receptacle (any receptacle) is not fully weather rated and water can intrude into the receptacle.

The WC requires only 2 wires (plus the ground wire); the wiring of a 14-50 receptacle requires 3 wires (plus the ground wire). For 100 ft of wire you will save some money with the WC.

The WC can be configured for use on any circuit from 15A up to 60A.

The NEMA 14-50 receptacle (any outdoor receptacle and/or EV charging receptacle) requires GFCI protection ($100 for a 50A GFCI circuit breaker.) Since the WC is hard wired the WC does not require a GFCI circuit breaker (The WC has built-in GFCI protection for the charging connector.)

For 2021 there is a federal tax credit available that can reduce the effective cost of the installation and equipment for home charging by 30% (up to a maximum of $1000). See IRS Publication 8911. About Form 8911, Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit | Internal Revenue Service

The tax credit applies to the cost of the circuit, labor, and charging equipment. (The tax credit would also apply if you decide to install the NEMA 14-50 receptacle.)
 
Last edited:

jpfive

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 31, 2019
562
542
Pensacola, FL
Tesla Wall Charger has worked well for me. It is mounted on the exterior brick, adjacent to my driveway. It presents a more pleasing appearance than a 240V outlet, plus no wear and tear from plugging and unplugging charger cables. All things equal, why not accept the additional charge rate? Cheers.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,035
8,651
Boise, ID
For outdoor installations, I always recommend putting in a wall connector for better weatherproofing.

But the cost difference is not as you think, as @jcanoe points out. An outlet would require the really expensive breaker that a wall connector wouldn't, and that extra wire for 100 feet isn't cheap. So yeah, it's probably only around $200 more, not $500. And that $200 does give you the benefit of acquiring an extra charging device, which is something.
 
  • Like
Reactions: hcdavis3

Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,672
1,758
Massachusetts
In addition to the aforementioned stuff, since you don't >need< a 60 amp circuit, don't put one out there. If you install a 14-50, the wiring and breaker only needs to be 40 amps, since the UMC will never take more than 32. If you don't need 40(32) amp charging, go down to 30(24), and you'll only need 10 gauge wire to traverse those 100 feet, instead of the 6 gauge you'll need for 50 amps.

Your cable costs for an HPWC install should be around (0.40 x 3) * 100 = $120 for the 10 gauge, or ($1.06x2+0.40) * 100=$252 for the HPWC at 60(48) amps, or $358 for a full-on 14-50. Note right there that you lose $100 by going 14-50. (Note I also got my numbers from solid, not stranded 10AWG. Stranded is 0.39/ft, saving you a couple bucks.

There's no real NEED to install a 14-50 for the UMC, you could put in a 10-30 outlet and get 240/30(24 amps for charging) out of it, and you would only need two conductors(plus ground). If you need any less, there's even a 6-20 outlet, and the 12 AWG cable for that would be about half of the cost of the 10 AWG.

Some of the things you might have missed:

A quality 14-50 outlet is $75. Put a box around that for another $100. Add the high-current GFCI for $150, and the 14-50 adapter for $45. Right there you are at $370, and we haven't talked about the extra conductor($100, even at discounted-direct prices). So in reality you are looking at spending like $470 for NOT having an extra charger available in your car all the time(not really that important for most people, I must admit), and for having a pretty f'n ugly utility box on a post out by your driveway instead of a sleek Tesla charger.

If you really want to go with the UMC, its probably a good money-saving option only when you get down to 20-30 amp charging with a two-conductor outlet. You might also want to consider mounting the UMC body itself inside the gray utility box, for weather purposes. 'Rated' for wet weather doesn't necessarily mean 'Will last as long as if its kept dry', IMHO.
 
Last edited:
  • Helpful
Reactions: Rocky_H and mrwug

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,035
8,651
Boise, ID
There's no real NEED to install a 14-50 for the UMC, you could put in a 10-30 outlet and get 240/30(24 amps for charging) out of it, and you would only need two conductors(plus ground).
I'm nitpicking a little, but you can't. 10-30 outlets have been forbidden from new installations since 1996. The proper one for 240V plus ground is a 6-30, and it's a bit frustrating that Tesla doesn't sell that one, but you can get it from EVSEAdapters.com.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sophias_dad

WattsappMTL

Member
Nov 2, 2020
155
94
Montreal
Unless I missed it, nobody has mentioned the consideration that the WC avoids the need to deploy and re-pack the mobile connector cable, since I assume that's what you would be using. It would also mean repeated insertion/removal of the 14-50 plug which is not a good idea even if you install a high-quality receptacle. If your drives are local it's not a problem to leave the mobile cable behind but I always feel more comfortable knowing it's onboard whenever I may need it.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,035
8,651
Boise, ID
Unless I missed it, nobody has mentioned the consideration that the WC avoids the need to deploy and re-pack the mobile connector cable, since I assume that's what you would be using. It would also mean repeated insertion/removal of the 14-50 plug which is not a good idea even if you install a high-quality receptacle. If your drives are local it's not a problem to leave the mobile cable behind but I always feel more comfortable knowing it's onboard whenever I may need it.
That's not really a consideration. This isn't 2013 anymore, where you need to always have the cable with you. People go for years with their mobile charging cables hanging on the garage wall and not in the car.
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,804
3,287
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
No matter what, I will have to charge outside (no garage, no driveway) and will have to run the electricity about 100 ft from the panel box to the charging location. The charger or plug will have to be installed on a new 4x4 post no matter what option I go with.

The cost to install will be about the same between installing a WC vs a NEMA 14-50 outlet, both on a 50 amp circuit. The WC would then obviously be $500 more to buy.

I've only ever charged on a 14-50 outlet, for all of my EVs for the last ten years. Part of the reason people don't have any money is because they feel they MUST have this or that, when they don't. You're going to be charging overnight on a 50 amp circuit either way, so you DO NOT need a wall charger. Use the outlet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Arthur31

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,035
8,651
Boise, ID
I've only ever charged on a 14-50 outlet, for all of my EVs for the last ten years. Part of the reason people don't have any money is because they feel they MUST have this or that, when they don't. You're going to be charging overnight on a 50 amp circuit either way, so you DO NOT need a wall charger. Use the outlet.
I've been using a 14-50 outlet as well for the last 7 years, but if you had read the responses here, you might realize two things:

1. This is a different situation, where it's outdoors, so there is specific advantage to using a wall connector in a more weather exposed situation.
2. People covered the cost issues in previous comments. It's a lot more expensive to install a 14-50 outlet now than it was when you or I had it done, and there's not much cost difference anymore.

Pertaining to the philosophical point of not wasting money, I would be definitely in that camp if someone were wanting a 60A circuit just because it seems cool, that is going to require a couple thousand dollars in service upgrades to their house, when they could get by with a 20 or 30A circuit for pretty cheap.
 

WattsappMTL

Member
Nov 2, 2020
155
94
Montreal
If you really want to go with the UMC, its probably a good money-saving option only when you get down to 20-30 amp charging with a two-conductor outlet. You might also want to consider mounting the UMC body itself inside the gray utility box, for weather purposes. 'Rated' for wet weather doesn't necessarily mean 'Will last as long as if its kept dry', IMHO.
Just to expand on this, the UMC body is supposed to be supported rather than allowing its weight to hang on the adapter cable. In this situation, if it's not stowed inside the utility box, it would need to be suspended upside down to avoid rain ingress where the adapter plugs into the body because that's not a completely waterproof connection. WC would be a much tidier installation in the OP's location.

Regarding 14-50 vs WC, my home solution was an easy decision since I had access to a provincial rebate of up to $600 (CAD) for a home charging connection and that covered most of the WC cost! I use 14-50 at my "satellite" charging locations (my kids' homes).
 

Stavinski

Member
Jan 31, 2021
144
165
USA
How married are you to the location and the Tesla? Consider whether a generic J1772 outdoor rated charger might make more sense if you plan to be there a while and your next car may not be a Tesla.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top