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Just ordered Model 3, need to set up charging, recommendations?

ml678

Member
Oct 29, 2020
12
2
New Jersey
Just ordered Model 3 standard range plus (263 miles), my garage has no 240V I believe, and not sure it's 100A or 60A. I have no knowledge of electrical stuff, so will hire an electrician to do things right. I read many posts and still am a bit confused. It seems this is what I need to do/make sure if I want to have a cheap but good enough charging solution for my car:

1. Upgrade panel to 100A/240V as needed. 60A should not be enough room for also charging Prius Prime (15 amps) and household usage?
2. Install at least one NEMA 14-50 outlet.
3. Buy NEMA 14-50 adapter from Tesla ($35 at Gen 2 NEMA Adapters) for use with the included mobile connector.

That should be it, right? I understand wall connector might be cleaner, charge faster, and less wear/tear, but I plan to keep mobile charger plugged in the wall, not on the car and keep the installation cost low, so I think this is the setup that fits. Would appreciate any suggestions (or electricians for central NJ)!
 
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RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,161
2,126
San Jose, CA
Your electrician should be able to tell you how much capacity your panel needs for your usage. A good one will inspect all of your electrical appliances and ask about your typical usage to determine what the maximum amount of power would be (i.e., a load analysis), plus the requirement for the cars (~40A for the mobile connector, assuming a 14-50 outlet). That will tell you if you need to upgrade the panel (and possibly incoming wiring), which could be the largest financial outlay for this project. Location of the 14-50 outlet from the main panel could be costly depending upon the distance and physical barrier(s) between them. Using the mobile connector to charge the car with a 14-50 adapter will be the lowest cost option, when compared to a wall connector and assuming no existing 240V outlet in the area where you plan to charge the 3.

edit: Note that you might need to upgrade your panel even if you have enough capacity, if there's no room to install the new 50A breaker for your car.
 
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Silicon Desert

Active Member
Oct 1, 2018
3,610
3,508
Sparks NV / GF 1
I'll be interested in hearing what your electrician says. I have never heard of a home that didn't have 240 vac available. Maybe you mean no 240 vac outlet, but the panel will have it. And most newer homes (last 20 years depending on location) will have 200 amp service.
 
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AxlxA

Member
Jun 23, 2020
529
458
Bay Area
Hey OP.

If you can figure out where your circuit panels are, take a pic of it with the door open.

If you have one in the garage, and it says 60A, then it's likely a subpanel.

The main panel can he near the main lines coming into the house, like outside the garage or something. Take a pic. We can help after that.

But the rest of your points is good. A NEMA 14-50 adapter($35) is indeed what you need. And charging the Prius prime is easy. You can actually consider getting a 3rd party charger like $350 for a J1772 plug. I've also read people have Tesla adapters for J1772(the other way, so people can use the Tesla chargers(EVSE) for their J1772 ports)
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,010
1,255
Syracuse, NY
Just ordered Model 3 standard range plus (263 miles), my garage has no 240V I believe, and not sure it's 100A or 60A. I have no knowledge of electrical stuff, so will hire an electrician to do things right. I read many posts and still am a bit confused. It seems this is what I need to do/make sure if I want to have a cheap but good enough charging solution for my car:

1. Upgrade panel to 100A/240V as needed. 60A should not be enough room for also charging Prius Prime (15 amps) and household usage?
2. Install at least one NEMA 14-50 outlet.
3. Buy NEMA 14-50 adapter from Tesla ($35 at Gen 2 NEMA Adapters) for use with the included mobile connector.

That should be it, right? I understand wall connector might be cleaner, charge faster, and less wear/tear, but I plan to keep mobile charger plugged in the wall, not on the car and keep the installation cost low, so I think this is the setup that fits. Would appreciate any suggestions (or electricians for central NJ)!

My sweet summer child... don't expect anywhere near 263 miles from a SR+

All homes are 240V standard. To get 120V they just use half of the 240V connection.

Breakers are just breakers. 15A, 30A, 60A, etc. You can put whatever as long as it's less than the total input in to the house. (Sub-panels are another story)

To charge there are 4 options.
Standard 120V 12A charging (very slow)
Install a 14-50 plug, (240V, 32A charging with bundled mobile connector) fast
Third party wall charger (240V, 32A to 40A) faster
Tesla wall connector (240V, 48A charging) fastest
 
Last edited:

NickFie

Member
Sep 28, 2017
550
625
Near Philadelphia, PA
Be SURE to get top-tier receptacle / outlet for your charger. There are several threads on that topic in TMC.

Charging pulls high current for extended periods. Defects, deterioration or wear that impairs the connection can lead to heating. Overheating can lead to fire.

EV charging is not an area to pinch every penny. No need to stay awake worrying.
  1. Get solid installation of good quality material. If the electrician offers to cut material cost by using a smaller wire, say, “No, thanks.”
  2. Once a month check for hot spots. Start charging your car at maximum current. After an hour, use the back of your hand-more sensitive-to feel:
    1. Charge outlet circuit breaker in main panel.
    2. The electric line to your garage, if it’s exposed at some point.
    3. The outlet where you plug in the charger.
    4. The adapter/plug that goes into the outlet.
If any of these are hot, especially too hot to keep your hand in contact, then stop charging and call in a licensed electrician. Tell them which area(s) were hot. They can diagnose and correct the problem before it’s too late.
 
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KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
3,712
3,375
Maine
Just ordered Model 3 standard range plus (263 miles), my garage has no 240V I believe, and not sure it's 100A or 60A. I have no knowledge of electrical stuff, so will hire an electrician to do things right. I read many posts and still am a bit confused. It seems this is what I need to do/make sure if I want to have a cheap but good enough charging solution for my car:

1. Upgrade panel to 100A/240V as needed. 60A should not be enough room for also charging Prius Prime (15 amps) and household usage?
2. Install at least one NEMA 14-50 outlet.
3. Buy NEMA 14-50 adapter from Tesla ($35 at Gen 2 NEMA Adapters) for use with the included mobile connector.

That should be it, right? I understand wall connector might be cleaner, charge faster, and less wear/tear, but I plan to keep mobile charger plugged in the wall, not on the car and keep the installation cost low, so I think this is the setup that fits. Would appreciate any suggestions (or electricians for central NJ)!
Open panel, look at the top, it'll say if it's 100A or 60A on the master breaker. However, since you already have a Prius Prime, did you have an electrician look at your electrical panel back then? Take pics, easy enough to do.
 

ml678

Member
Oct 29, 2020
12
2
New Jersey
Thanks for your replies! I checked my panel and the inside has the model # and said it's 150 amps max (see photo below). It indeed has 240 VAC. Based on the scheme drawing, there're 10 rows for breakers but only the lower 9 rows were used. So I assume that I don't need to upgrade the panel, which indeed seems to be the biggest cost as internet quotes seem to indicate.

I also thought I read somewhere that there's a Fed tax credit for installing charging equipment for EVs up to $1000? Couldn't find it now, I wonder if it's for all equipment or just specific equipment from ChargePoint etc. places.

@AxlxA that's interesting, I'll investigate the options you mentioned for Prius Prime too.
@Gasaraki The usual daily max we travel would be within range probably in winter (120 miles). However it's a good point that if we should keep it in mind for any longer day trips. What's the usual range for SR+ in
@NickFile OK will follow the suggestions to check
 

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AxlxA

Member
Jun 23, 2020
529
458
Bay Area
Thanks for your replies! I checked my panel and the inside has the model # and said it's 150 amps max (see photo below). It indeed has 240 VAC. Based on the scheme drawing, there're 10 rows for breakers but only the lower 9 rows were used. So I assume that I don't need to upgrade the panel, which indeed seems to be the biggest cost as internet quotes seem to indicate.

I also thought I read somewhere that there's a Fed tax credit for installing charging equipment for EVs up to $1000? Couldn't find it now, I wonder if it's for all equipment or just specific equipment from ChargePoint etc. places.

@AxlxA that's interesting, I'll investigate the options you mentioned for Prius Prime too.
@Gasaraki The usual daily max we travel would be within range probably in winter (120 miles). However it's a good point that if we should keep it in mind for any longer day trips. What's the usual range for SR+ in
@NickFile OK will follow the suggestions to check
Not the diagram but the actual circuit breakers. Take a pic of the set up
 

beachsideev

Member
May 23, 2020
279
136
usa
A picture of the other side of the panel with all the breakers would have been better....

I get about 210 miles in my sr+ when charged to 90%. You won't routinely charge to 100% so immediately take 10% off the 263 number. That is your best case every day range.
 

ml678

Member
Oct 29, 2020
12
2
New Jersey
Panel photo attached. We have two zones in the house, so 2 sets of AC breakers and 2 furnace breakers.
 

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RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,161
2,126
San Jose, CA
Looks like you might need to juggle around some breakers in order to fit the 50A (probably dual slot) breaker in the panel. I could be wrong...
 

beachsideev

Member
May 23, 2020
279
136
usa
They can replace the oven breaker with a quad 50a. Easy peasy.

The main dual breakers should have a bar connecting them together, though.
 

TX_M3P+

Member
Mar 6, 2020
561
396
Austin, TX
If you want to try to do it yourself, that's cool. If you want a professional to do it, Tesla has a page where you give it your city and it will provide a list or certified electricians that have experience installing Tesla chargers.

Find an Electrician

I highly recommend having a professional do the work. I paid ~$1000 to have mine installed but that also included the gen2 wall charger. I believe the gen3 is what Tesla is currently selling today on their web site, but it has a slightly lower max amps rating. The gen 2 has the max of 48A and has a longer charging cord, so it's has more range within the garage than the gen3. I went with Smart Charge America in my area as they had the best review ratings and they also provide free removal if you ever move. I've had it installed since March and haven't had a single issue with it.
 

beachsideev

Member
May 23, 2020
279
136
usa
I installed a 14-50 in my garage and use an umc with the 14-50 adapter. I picked up a second umc that I leave in the car for about $200 on ebay. I also splurged and bought the $35 cable organizer from tesla to relieve strain on the umc cable/adapter. It works for me and was fairly inexpensive.
 

AlexP

Member
Nov 13, 2018
109
30
Miami, FL
Just ordered Model 3 standard range plus (263 miles), my garage has no 240V I believe, and not sure it's 100A or 60A. I have no knowledge of electrical stuff, so will hire an electrician to do things right. I read many posts and still am a bit confused. It seems this is what I need to do/make sure if I want to have a cheap but good enough charging solution for my car:

1. Upgrade panel to 100A/240V as needed. 60A should not be enough room for also charging Prius Prime (15 amps) and household usage?
2. Install at least one NEMA 14-50 outlet.
3. Buy NEMA 14-50 adapter from Tesla ($35 at Gen 2 NEMA Adapters) for use with the included mobile connector.

That should be it, right? I understand wall connector might be cleaner, charge faster, and less wear/tear, but I plan to keep mobile charger plugged in the wall, not on the car and keep the installation cost low, so I think this is the setup that fits. Would appreciate any suggestions (or electricians for central NJ)!

The M3 SR+ can charge at maximum 32AMP. All you need is a 240V 40AMP breaker with the proper gauge wire. (I think 8 gauge may be enough but I'm not an electrician). You will need 4 wire to properly wire the 14-50, 2 hot, 1 neutral and 1 ground. You can use a 14-50 outlet on a 40AMP circuit. Depending on how far from the panel the outlet is, the wire will be the most expensive part of the build.

I would not put 2 charges on the same circuit. I would have a separate 120V 15amp outlet for the Prius Prime
 
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DaveG_NJ

Member
Oct 7, 2020
301
842
NJ
You're spot on with #2 and #3. 14-50 is the way to go. I went from 4 miles/hr charging using the UMC on 15A to 30 miles/hr at the UMC's max of 32A.

I called three electricians (found on the Tesla site) for estimates. One never called back, the other couldn't give me an estimate for two weeks and the third gave me an estimate over the phone and came out in a few days to do the work. It turns out he lives a mile away. It's a straightforward install that I could have done myself, but our town is fussy about permits, and I'd have to take a day off (and lose a day's pay), so it was worth it for me to hire someone to run 100' of 6/3 Romex across an long unfinished basement, through a cricket infested crawlspace, into the garage and around to the back so that I could charge in or outside the garage. Came to just under $1500. Very happy with the work and I can charge up my DM/LR overnight easily.
 
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ml678

Member
Oct 29, 2020
12
2
New Jersey
@beachsideev $200 sounds like a great deal for UMC. They seem to go for $300+ on eBay even for gen1 as I just checked.
@AlexP I probably will still go with pros to install it for me, even if I could follow Youtube videos and do the install myself. My install is relatively simple - just need the outlet right below panel, so really could do it myself. But I'm just worried about load, or any hidden risk that an electrician might find.
@DaveG_NJ I got a quote for $450 for NEMA 14-50 + $69 for breakers, $150 for permit, and $169 for an extra 120V for my Prius Prime. Cheaper than yours mainly because my outlet can be right below the panel on the garage wall, so at most 1 foot of running wire is needed. I'm waiting for more quotes right now.
 

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