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Level 1 vs. Level 2 Charging Cost?

LanonJ

New Member
Jun 27, 2021
1
0
Bakersfield
Hey guys,

I just purchased my brand new Model Y 2 weeks ago and I’m down to 500 miles of the 1,000 I was given for the referral bonus or whatever. I’m stuck between upgrading to a level 2 charging solution or staying at level 1. I drive about 30-40 miles per day and I usually charge about 30-40 miles per night when I get home and if I miss a day or two and get down to 100 miles or so I just fully charge on my two days off and then go from there. If I miss that charging cycle I just drive to my charging station (7.6 miles out) and fully charge up then head home and usually have about 270-290 miles of range. My deciding factor is this:

If I upgrade to a level 2 charging station at home will that lower or increase my bill, versus if I just stay on the basic level 1 charging, or will it have no adverse change to my bill?

Im a newbie so when it comes to electricity and all that good stuff I just don’t get it. Like say I need to charge 100 miles on my car. That would take 20 hours (5 miles per hour) on my level 1. But on level 2 it might do it in half the time or maybe even faster then that. But does it cost the same thing to do both since it is giving me 100 miles either way. Or since the level 2 charging is faster and does it in half the time, does that make it cheaper? Trying to see if I am paying to just charge faster or if I am actually paying for efficiency in the long run since I will be charging 100% at home over the next 7-10 years.

To add to the equation, don’t know if this helps or I tried to switch to TOU and potentially go solar. However, my electric company PG&E said to stay on my current plan because I pay 0.17 cents for my baseline tier, 0.22 cents for tier 2, and 0.265 cents for high use regardless of how much I use or the time of day I charge. They did say going solar would be up to me on whether or not I can negotiate a cheap rate with the solar company. But that’s a different conversation for a different day. I just wanted to add how much I was paying just in case that changes things!

Weather: In the summer it gets about 90-108 degrees, and normally 80-95 on regular days so that may also be a factor as I lose range due to the heat as well.

If there is anything else that would help let me know. I want to be as transparent as possible, to ensure I get the answer I am looking for! Thanks as always and look forward to your responses!
 

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Darblish

Member
May 19, 2021
167
347
Columbus, OH
Assuming you pay per kWh, it would cost approximately the same. Whether it’s 10 hours at 1kW or 1 hour at 10kW, you’re consuming close to the same amount of energy. If your utility has specific windows where electricity is cheaper, L2 could be better because you can get your whole charge done within that period of time, rather than spill over into peak rates.

There’s something to be said for charging loss at 120V vs. 240V, specific equipment efficiency, etc., but the lamp in the guest room you forgot to turn off last night is probably going to affect your bill more noticeably than those.

Do factor in, though, the cost of running a new circuit at a time that copper prices are insane. What might have required $300 in wire last year would be $500 or more now.
 
Upvote 0

TravelFree

Member
Mar 23, 2020
799
709
Jacksonville, Florida
There is no difference in cost per KWH whether you use 240v or 120 volts. However in some locations your power company will discount your cost per KWH for night time hours of home use vs daytime. Check with your power company to find out as there is no standard how they regulate or meter this.

Also, you will want to check with your power company to see if there are any rebates for installing a home L2 charging (EVSE) center. I got a thousand dollars from the power company to install mine.
 
Upvote 0

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,274
3,261
Maryland
Tesla recommends only charging the Model Y to 90% on a daily basis, not to 100% unless taking a road trip. Even then you rarely need to charge above 90%. Many Model Y owners don't regularly charge above 80% to prolong the useful life of the battery.

Driving 30 to 40 miles per day you are right on the cusp of where charging at Level 1 (120V) becomes impractical and charging using Level 2 makes it easier to fit the time needed to charge into your daily routine. If you do ever move to a TOU rate plan charging at Level 2 will enable you to charge during the lowest rate period, i.e. midnight to 06:00 AM.

It is true that charging at Level 2 is more efficient than charging at Level 1; Level 2 is generally 90% efficient while Level 1 charging is between 80% and 85% efficient. Over a period of 12 months you might save $25 by charging at Level 2 due to the increased efficiency.
 
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Upvote 1

KurtSanders

'21 MY Red/Black, 20" induction w/FSD
Sep 11, 2020
39
37
Xenia, Ohio
You could stay with level 1 charging and catch up some miles on the weekend, if the car is being charged and not driven. If you need to catch up lost miles, you can always seek a public level 1 charging while at work, or an infrequent full charge at a Tesla SC.

The cost of installing a Level 2 charger in your garage may be economical if your home circuit break panel is located near or in the garage, otherwise if the panel is located some distance from the garage, the install cost by a licensed electrician can be $1,000-$2,000, negating the higher cost of using a Tesla SC from time to time to get a full charge.
 
Upvote 0

ATPMSD

Member
Mar 12, 2021
294
295
Atlanta, GA
240V is more efficient than 120V and is, therefore, less expensive.

a 5-15 outlet will charge the MY about at about 3 miles per hours, one hour on charge is 1,440 watts

a 6-15 outlet (240v, same amperage) will charge at about 10 miles per hour, one hour on charge is 2,880 watts

So for twice the wattage you get 3+ times the charge. Reason? Mostly because the AC to DC conversion in the car is more efficient at 240v.
 
Upvote 0

Exelion

Member
Feb 21, 2021
243
315
Los Angeles, CA
Ahhh, you are in a very similar situation I’m in. Tiered plan costs a lot the more electricity you use, and the TOU plans are terrible if you use electricity during usual times of the day. Let’s see how the plans line up with yours:

E4285216-64F9-41F7-88D1-8E3B126E8E6B.jpeg

I think yours is slightly cheaper, but the game is the same-the more you use, the more the price goes up. Going into the red tier is what everyone would try to avoid given this situation. charge at work. Offset the cost at an SC if the rates are low. But to answer the question, no L1 vs L2 isnt a noticeable difference in cost, maybe $10-$20 a year. What really kills you is lots of time charging at home and pushing you into the 2nd and 3rd tier


Now let’s look at the time of use (TOU) plan:

1D241E8D-F551-4D19-92F2-CA6348B845EA.jpeg


Upon seeing this (not that wonderful) plan, what you’d want to avoid is using electricity during the period of 4pm thru 9pm. But how do you do that? That’s when everyone uses the MOST electricity! Solar panels wouldn’t help as much as a home battery would in this situation, because panels give you electricity during the high noon periods and less before and after. The battery, however, would help a lot. Run the battery during 4-9 and use regular grid power at all other times. The point of this is to show that TOU isn’t the magical, wonderful plan the power company makes it out to be.

the only real practical advantage of L2 is replenishing all your energy used the previous day. To minimize monthly electricity cost, look to where else you can charge for lower rates.
 
Upvote 0

JimBob 909

Little Red Raven
Sep 16, 2019
148
100
Southern California
As mentioned above, there may be a utility company rebate which would help defray the installation costs of a wall charger. I installed L2 and rec'd $1,000 from Edison. I am not TOU, but I set the car to start charging at 2am, feeling that there is less demand on the grid at that hour, then it's usually done before 6am. My solar keeps me from going into Tier 3 during the summer.

And welcome to TMC.
 
Upvote 0

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
9,242
7,935
Visalia, CA
Hey guys,

I just purchased my brand new Model Y 2 weeks ago and I’m down to 500 miles of the 1,000 I was given for the referral bonus or whatever. I’m stuck between upgrading to a level 2 charging solution or staying at level 1. I drive about 30-40 miles per day and I usually charge about 30-40 miles per night when I get home and if I miss a day or two and get down to 100 miles or so I just fully charge on my two days off and then go from there. If I miss that charging cycle I just drive to my charging station (7.6 miles out) and fully charge up then head home and usually have about 270-290 miles of range. My deciding factor is this:

If I upgrade to a level 2 charging station at home will that lower or increase my bill, versus if I just stay on the basic level 1 charging, or will it have no adverse change to my bill?

Im a newbie so when it comes to electricity and all that good stuff I just don’t get it. Like say I need to charge 100 miles on my car. That would take 20 hours (5 miles per hour) on my level 1. But on level 2 it might do it in half the time or maybe even faster then that. But does it cost the same thing to do both since it is giving me 100 miles either way. Or since the level 2 charging is faster and does it in half the time, does that make it cheaper? Trying to see if I am paying to just charge faster or if I am actually paying for efficiency in the long run since I will be charging 100% at home over the next 7-10 years.

To add to the equation, don’t know if this helps or I tried to switch to TOU and potentially go solar. However, my electric company PG&E said to stay on my current plan because I pay 0.17 cents for my baseline tier, 0.22 cents for tier 2, and 0.265 cents for high use regardless of how much I use or the time of day I charge. They did say going solar would be up to me on whether or not I can negotiate a cheap rate with the solar company. But that’s a different conversation for a different day. I just wanted to add how much I was paying just in case that changes things!

Weather: In the summer it gets about 90-108 degrees, and normally 80-95 on regular days so that may also be a factor as I lose range due to the heat as well.

If there is anything else that would help let me know. I want to be as transparent as possible, to ensure I get the answer I am looking for! Thanks as always and look forward to your responses!

Charging at 240V instead of 120V is a convenience that could translate to cost savings as well.

You currently have a good plan if you stay at 120V: It just takes more time and you have a Supercharger nearby in your town as needed.

As other posters pointed out above about home charging, you pay for kWh and not the speed.

However, if you are on a Time Of Use, then an increase in your charging speed is important so you can charge quickly during the cheap hours and you don't have to charge during the expensive hours.

However, since your current plan, not TOU, only costs you a maximum of $0.265 per kWh then it's quite a good rate for high usage.

Negotiating a cheap rate with solar company sounds like you are not owning the system. I don't think Tesla does solar leasing anymore so you'll have to pay fully for your system. On the other hand, if you go with non-Tesla systems, they have all kinds of plans for you to negotiate with.

If it were me and I have the money:

1) 240V charging due to the convenience factor. It's well worth the money.
2) Switch to TOU so I can charge during cheap hours.
3) Tesla Solar with Battery: Use your battery during expensive hours (late afternoon) and charge your battery during cheap hours (daylight)


If I am short of cash:

Stay the same with the current inconvenience of 120V and use Supercharger as a backup plan.
 
Upvote 0

Physicslawyer

Member
Feb 19, 2020
117
77
NY/PA
We were using our outlet for years to charge. We recently were able to get a Juicebox with a $500 rebate from our utility and had it installed. The Tesla recommended electricians all wanted 1k without even coming to see my house. I had an electrician set up the charger for $500. He put a Nema 14-50 outlet on the side of my garage and I can remove the Juicebox, which I do when we are gone for a few days. Having a level 2 charger has been incredible because of the time saving and convenience. Call around and get different quotes, the price differences might be startling.
 
Upvote 0

ATPMSD

Member
Mar 12, 2021
294
295
Atlanta, GA
If I am short of cash:

Stay the same with the current inconvenience of 120V and use Supercharger as a backup plan.

Also, you can also convert a standard 5-15 (120V, 15A) outlet into a 240V 6-15 outlet IF you can do all of the following:

1. First you need to ensure you are using a dedicated circuit. If the circuit serves any other outlets or lights you need to disable them.
2. Replace the single pole 15A breaker with a dual-pole 15A breaker. This means you will need two open slots side by side.
3. Wire the black wire to one breaker and the white to the other (put a piece of Red tape on it), leave the ground connected
4. Replace the 5-15 (120V) outlet with a 6-15 (240V) outlet, again red tape on the white wire
5. Buy a 6-15 adapter from Tesla

If you happen to have a 5-20 outlet (120v 20A) you can convert that to a 6-20, just use a 20A breaker, 6-20 outlet and Tesla adapter.
 
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spokey

Member
Aug 8, 2020
703
261
Flagtown
I was in the same boat. level 1 was ok for me. But I bit the bullet and had an outlet installed as I figured I would eventually and wasn't sure if the tax break would continue. The 30mph vs 4 or 5 mph is convenient. I don't use it normally though. I keep it at 12A so I get 10-11 mph. FIgure it gives the battery a nice easy charge.

I also only charge to 67-70%. Again to baby the battery.

When I need a quick charge, I just up to 32A. That will get you from mostly empty to mostly full overnight. I don't need anymore than that.
 
Upvote 0

Schulz1983

Model Y LR AWD: Matte PPF, Vossen HF-1
May 14, 2021
584
393
High Ridge MO
Your in the same boat as me with daily driving. I tried the level 1 charging and found myself trying to stay home on the weekends to catch up on charging. I would drive about 7 miles out of the way to a supercharger to top off during the week. Found it to be a nuisance to “watch” my charging all the time. Ultimately I had the Tesla wall charger installed and found a local contractor to install for $250. My breaker box is in my garage so that helps the cost. I now charge at 12KW/46 MPH depending on how you look at it.
side note: I never realized how high some utility rates are. We use TOU and pay $.13 on peak and $.056 on off peak. I guess electricity out west is more expensive? The highest I have paid is $.31 KW in Illinois for super chargers.
 
Upvote 0

spokey

Member
Aug 8, 2020
703
261
Flagtown
Not just out west. No TOU here (I think they had it years ago and dropped it) at PSE&G. So I pay x for the first 500, y for the next xxx, etc. Commodity and delivery together ranges from the cheapest in the mid .17 to mid .19. It's hard to figure out. Just looked at the current bill and it has 2 tiers for delivery and 4 tiers for the electricity and the breaks between the two don't match so there are in reality more like 8 tiers for the total electricity and delivery.
 
Upvote 0

Schulz1983

Model Y LR AWD: Matte PPF, Vossen HF-1
May 14, 2021
584
393
High Ridge MO
Not just out west. No TOU here (I think they had it years ago and dropped it) at PSE&G. So I pay x for the first 500, y for the next xxx, etc. Commodity and delivery together ranges from the cheapest in the mid .17 to mid .19. It's hard to figure out. Just looked at the current bill and it has 2 tiers for delivery and 4 tiers for the electricity and the breaks between the two don't match so there are in reality more like 8 tiers for the total electricity and delivery.
Is this on purpose to confuse people? Ours is pretty simple.
DFA7CBEE-04B2-4151-A397-BE4DAB1C05F2.jpeg
 
Upvote 0

spokey

Member
Aug 8, 2020
703
261
Flagtown
Is this on purpose to confuse people? Ours is pretty simple.
probably. Ours changes from month to month. Here is the most recent. But one month back, the top two tiers are the same, but the bottom is different
Instead of
560
96
40
7

it is
544
210
56
23

went back to some prior month and the rate for the two top tiers was
For the next 436 kWh x $0.053463 $23.31
For the next 30 kWh x $0.143333 $4.30

so that month I paid about .19 2/3 for the last kwh

Snap7.png
Snap7.png
 
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73Bruin

Member
Nov 7, 2020
225
116
Torrance, CA
Now let’s look at the time of use (TOU) plan:

View attachment 678490

Upon seeing this (not that wonderful) plan, what you’d want to avoid is using electricity during the period of 4pm thru 9pm. But how do you do that? That’s when everyone uses the MOST electricity! Solar panels wouldn’t help as much as a home battery would in this situation, because panels give you electricity during the high noon periods and less before and after. The battery, however, would help a lot. Run the battery during 4-9 and use regular grid power at all other times. The point of this is to show that TOU isn’t the magical, wonderful plan the power company makes it out to be.

the only real practical advantage of L2 is replenishing all your energy used the previous day. To minimize monthly electricity cost, look to where else you can charge for lower rates.

I have a 50 gal aquarium that I keep heated to 84 and have lights that are on 10hrs per day in addition to all of the network items that are on 24x7. We are not a low energy usage household and our usage always had some tier 3 charges. Since we moved to the TOU plan that you have shown from SCE, our bill has dropped somewhat even with adding the Tesla charging. I charge late at night and we do things like washing clothes and dishes during the non-prime hours. It hasn't been that hard and our 4pm to 6pm usage is now about 22% of our total (incuding weekends). One caveat, we don't have air (we live about 1.5 miles from the beach), so we don't have that prime time hit.

I agree that having a battery would be ideal, but last time I checked the payback period was too long.
 
Upvote 0

Exelion

Member
Feb 21, 2021
243
315
Los Angeles, CA
I never realized how high some utility rates are. We use TOU and pay $.13 on peak and $.056 on off peak. I guess electricity out west is more expensive? The highest I have paid is $.31 KW in Illinois for super chargers.
Yes. Electricity here is horribly expensive, I think it's due to being mandated to buy only renewable energy sources, which are costly. The pennies per kW you pay is probably due to Natural Gas/Coal/Oil sources. As much as I'm for green energy, dare I say I'd rather be paying for non-renewable?

One caveat, we don't have air (we live about 1.5 miles from the beach), so we don't have that prime time hit.

I agree that having a battery would be ideal, but last time I checked the payback period was too long.

And the central AC is the biggest hit on the electricity bill (besides the EV). No AC = days with way less than 10kWh usage, but AC pushes that to 20-30. But even with the EV addition, its still cheaper than gasoline by a longshot. I remember having to fillup once a week at $70.00 or so, definitely don't miss those days.
 
Upvote 0

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