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New 2021 M3LR Owner - Wall Connector definitely worth it

variable

Member
Dec 16, 2020
28
31
Chicago, IL
Just wanted to chime in my experience since I found all the charging options a little overwhelming when I first got my M3 a few weeks ago.

I was originally going to slum it like a peasant with my 240v 16A outlet (that used to be used for a wall AC), but got tired of running an extension cord out my window in the winter; and while 16A isn't the slowest, it also wasn't super fast (16-17mi/hour), especially when the battery heater has to run in cold weather. Apparently the battery heater only seems to run off of the charger power and not internally when it preconditions for a charge, and that meant it was only able to use 4KW (I assume this is so you don't actually lose mileage while plugged in for a charge). I remember one charge last week that seemed to take an hour before it would even show added mi/hr despite showing full 245V and 16A.

I had Smart Charge America (who were great BTW) install my Wall Connector today and just hooked up with <50% charge. I was expecting to get 44mi/hr after the batter warmed up. The pleasant surprise is that:
  1. The battery heated itself WAY quicker despite the cold weather, and quickly started showing a charge rate
  2. I'm now getting 51 mi/hr, which is a bit more than the rated 44mi/hour on their spec sheet.
I definitely wasn't expecting to get over 50 mi/hour, but I'm definitely not complaining. I'm not sure if that's because ComEd tends to overvolt my neighborhood or not; typically my wall outlets show between 123-125V depending on the load.

Here's the summary of stuff that led me to make this choice vs. a cheaper 30A NEMA outlet:
  1. Tax rebate, which basically made the Wall Connector free
  2. I don't have a garage and have to charge outdoors, and the Wall Connector is more secure; don't have to worry about someone running off with an adapter or my UMC if the charge port unlocks in the cold
  3. Speed
  4. SmartCharge America's deal let's you have them uninstall the Wall Connector for free if you ever decide to move, which is a nice extra
Overall, the Smart Charge installers were great. They were professional and friendly and got the job done in roughly the amount of time they estimated. They also have 18mo 0% financing with Synchrony if that's your thing (I, for one, enjoy free money).

Obviously, the mi/hr may vary for you depending on your local utility and how much voltage they send your house. Hopefully this info is helpful.
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
9,410
11,296
San Diego
I'm now getting 51 mi/hr, which is a bit more than the rated 44mi/hour on their spec sheet.

It sounds like you are set up for 48A charging, then, for your new Wall Connector installation?

These ratings perhaps just represent the current worst case (largest rated miles) Model 3. Since you have a 2021 LR AWD non-P, each rated mile has less energy now, so it will charge “faster” for a given energy per unit time (power).

Specifically, each rated mile displayed contains 0.955*77.8kWh/353rmi = 210.5Wh/rmi.

Charge efficiency at 48A/240V is about 92-93% or so.

So at 11.5kW, would give:

11.5kW*0.93 / 210.5Wh/rmi = 50.8rmi/hr

So it all makes sense.

Other examples:

2021 Performance: 80.7kWh/315rmi *0.955 = 245Wh/rmi. (Currently might be 249Wh/rmi, since 310rmi may be max right now.)

=> 44rmi/hr (43rmi/hr) @ 11.5kW AC

A 2018 AWD would also add energy at the same rate, but would add only 46rmi/hr.

All of these rates are exactly the same, in terms of energy added. (44mi/hr, 46mi/hr, and 51mi/hr).

(If an SR+ could charge at 11.5kW (it can’t), it would add 59mi/hr! As is, slightly less than 2/3 of that...sad!)

As everyone knows, the 0.955 factor here accounts for the 4.5% buffer so converts the energy content from EPA rated miles to displayed rated miles, which are less energetic (Jeb Bush rated miles? ;) )
 
Last edited:

variable

Member
Dec 16, 2020
28
31
Chicago, IL
It sounds like you are set up for 48A charging, then, for your new Wall Connector installation?

These ratings perhaps just represent the current worst case (largest rated miles) Model 3. Since you have a 2021 LR AWD non-P, each rated mile has less energy now, so it will charge “faster” for a given energy per unit time (power).

Specifically, each rated mile displayed contains 0.955*77.8kWh/353rmi = 210.5Wh/rmi.

Charge efficiency at 48A/240V is about 92-93% or so.

So at 11.5kW, would give:

11.5kW*0.93 / 210.5Wh/rmi = 50.8rmi/hr

So it all makes sense.

Other examples:

2021 Performance: 80.7kWh/315rmi *0.955 = 245Wh/rmi. (Currently might be 249Wh/rmi, since 310rmi may be max right now.)

=> 44rmi/hr (43rmi/hr) @ 11.5kW AC

A 2018 AWD would also add energy at the same rate, but would add only 46rmi/hr.

All of these rates are exactly the same, in terms of energy added. (44mi/hr, 46mi/hr, and 51mi/hr).

(If an SR+ could charge at 11.5kW (it can’t), it would add 59mi/hr! As is, slightly less than 2/3 of that...sad!)

As everyone knows, the 0.955 factor here accounts for the 4.5% buffer so converts the energy content from EPA rated miles to displayed rated miles, which are less energetic (Jeb Bush rated miles? ;) )

That definitely makes sense looking at the increasing battery capacity, thanks for clarifying. I learned something new today. So it sounds like that spec sheet is perhaps out of date considering the 2021 range changes?

Now if someone could wave a magic wand to get the actual rated 210.5Wh/mi in the winter here in Chicago I would be super happy :D
 
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AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
9,410
11,296
San Diego
So it sounds like that spec sheet is perhaps out of date considering the 2021 range changes?

Maybe; I don’t remember the historical values in this table. It could just be updated to reflect the value for the Performance, which would be the “slowest” (actually exactly the same, of course).
 

AlanSubie4Life

Efficiency Obsessed Member
Oct 22, 2018
9,410
11,296
San Diego
Now if someone could wave a magic wand to get the actual rated 210.5Wh/mi in the winter here in Chicago I would be super happy

Haha. Yeah. That's a slightly tricky topic - you need to get 210.5Wh/mi to get the EPA range without using the buffer. Or you can get 220Wh/mi (the actual rating) and use the entire buffer, and get the EPA range (which is what Tesla did for their EPA test).

Using the buffer would be very stressful and not recommended, of course.

But likely it'll be tough sledding in Chicago in winter with either number.
 

Saturday

Member
Jul 3, 2020
204
193
Maine
Question- have you experienced snow yet this season? The charger is fully weatherproof right? How does it operate when snow falls on it? You just brush the snow off and good to go?
 

variable

Member
Dec 16, 2020
28
31
Chicago, IL
Question- have you experienced snow yet this season? The charger is fully weatherproof right? How does it operate when snow falls on it? You just brush the snow off and good to go?

From what I've read on the various forums, it's fully weatherproof. Tesla says it's approved for indoor and outdoor install. I think the only weather related recommendation is to not leave the charger end under water or snow.
 
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lisainwichita

New Member
Dec 29, 2020
1
0
Wichita, Ks.
Hi guys. I'm a new Tesla 3 owner and I have a stupid question. We haven't purchased a wall connector, but do have a 220 outlet. We purchased an adapter and are currently using the charging cable that was supplied with the car. I realize that this isn't the intent of this cable, but don't know what to use otherwise.
 

Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,045
950
Massachusetts
I realize that this isn't the intent of this cable, but don't know what to use otherwise.

That cable(and the UMC itself) is fine for use forever, only caveat being to keep the block you plug into the wall covered and off the ground. I don't think its weather-rated. The handle/cable you plug into your car is fine outside. If you are going to do it forever, get a bracket for the indoor unit (or set it on a shelf) so its not dangling by the adapter cord. They tend to work themselves out, probably due to heating/cooling of conductors.
 
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garth_angst

Member
Mar 30, 2019
339
125
long island
Hi guys. I'm a new Tesla 3 owner and I have a stupid question. We haven't purchased a wall connector, but do have a 220 outlet. We purchased an adapter and are currently using the charging cable that was supplied with the car. I realize that this isn't the intent of this cable, but don't know what to use otherwise.

That IS the intent of the cable. It's best though not to unplug it after every use because of wear and tear.. In that case, keep it always plugged in the outlet and either purchase another UMC for your car or get a wall connector. This has been debated to death, but the price difference is not that much between another UMC and wall connector in the end (although you do have the outlet already, so you wouldn't be paying for a high end outlet, unless yours is not high end - a low quality Home Depot outlet is not recommended).
A friend of mine has been using the UMC since March 2019 with no issue. He keeps is plugged in all the time in his garage.
 

chewychiu

Member
Jan 13, 2021
71
27
Long Island, NY
I’m super stoked about getting an outlet installed outside and adding a charger this week. I’m going with Juicebox40 as that’s one of the chargers my electric company has a rebate available for buying it. Can’t wait to say goodbye to 6mi per hour charging.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,108
7,099
Boise, ID
Hi guys. I'm a new Tesla 3 owner and I have a stupid question. We haven't purchased a wall connector, but do have a 220 outlet. We purchased an adapter and are currently using the charging cable that was supplied with the car. I realize that this isn't the intent of this cable, but don't know what to use otherwise.
Um...whaaa? Why would you think that is not the intended use of that cable? Tesla sells adapters for it so you can plug into outlets and charge the car.
I’ve used my UMC exclusively for 4+ years outside. 100,000+ miles of range added. That’s precisely the intent of the device.
I've been using my original mobile charge cable for almost 7 years now and never used a wall connector or secondary mobile charging cable. My cable just stays plugged in and hanging on my garage wall.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
1,525
1,009
Syracuse, NY
Hi guys. I'm a new Tesla 3 owner and I have a stupid question. We haven't purchased a wall connector, but do have a 220 outlet. We purchased an adapter and are currently using the charging cable that was supplied with the car. I realize that this isn't the intent of this cable, but don't know what to use otherwise.

You can continue to use the mobile charging cable like that. However, I would not constantly unplug and replug the cable in to your wall socket. The issue is not the mobile connector, the problem is your home wall socket. Depending on how robust your wall socket is, over time, wires get loose inside the socket from unplugging and replugging and fires start.

This have been mentioned in the other threads. If you can, just leave the mobile connector plugged in at home full time.
 
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Shelburne

Member
Mar 9, 2021
81
58
Shelburne Falls, MA
Hi guys. I'm a new Tesla 3 owner and I have a stupid question. We haven't purchased a wall connector, but do have a 220 outlet. We purchased an adapter and are currently using the charging cable that was supplied with the car. I realize that this isn't the intent of this cable, but don't know what to use otherwise.
I had a dedicated 240 volt, 50 amp line installed, with an all-weather receptacle mounted on the outside of the house about 6 feet from where I park my 2020 LR M3. We don't have a garage. The total cost of installation was $200. The compatible Nema plug cost about $35. I plug the mobile connector that came with the car into this setup, which charges the car at the rate of 32 miles of charge per hour. If you need to charge faster than that, by all means pay the extra $500 for the Tesla wall connector. But otherwise, in my opinion, the Tesla wall connector isn't needed and is just a waste of money. Of course, when going on a long trip, you do have to remember to take your mobile connector with you, unless you know you can rely on superchargers.
 

garth_angst

Member
Mar 30, 2019
339
125
long island
I had a dedicated 240 volt, 50 amp line installed, with an all-weather receptacle mounted on the outside of the house about 6 feet from where I park my 2020 LR M3. We don't have a garage. The total cost of installation was $200. The compatible Nema plug cost about $35. I plug the mobile connector that came with the car into this setup, which charges the car at the rate of 32 miles of charge per hour. If you need to charge faster than that, by all means pay the extra $500 for the Tesla wall connector. But otherwise, in my opinion, the Tesla wall connector isn't needed and is just a waste of money. Of course, when going on a long trip, you do have to remember to take your mobile connector with you, unless you know you can rely on superchargers.
Do you leave the 14-50 adapter plugged into the outlet all the time and just plug the mobile connector into that or do you unplug from the outlet each time. If so, that's a lot of wear and tear on the outlet.
 

afty

Member
Mar 13, 2019
120
139
Bay Area, CA
Do you leave the 14-50 adapter plugged into the outlet all the time and just plug the mobile connector into that or do you unplug from the outlet each time. If so, that's a lot of wear and tear on the outlet.
What’s the concern with wear on the outlet? Is it a safety issue, or just that it’ll wear out?
 

Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,045
950
Massachusetts
What’s the concern with wear on the outlet? Is it a safety issue, or just that it’ll wear out?
Yes and yes. "Wear out" on an outlet means "get a worse connection" and "get a worse connection" when carrying lots of current for a long time means "call the fire department from the front yard wrapped in a blanket while watching your house burn down", assuming your smoke detectors get you out of bed in time.

In truth, if you are plugging the UMC directly into the 14-50 its probably not THAT much of a safety issue because the UMC monitors the temperature of its plug and is designed to turn down/off power if it sees more warmth than is expected.
 
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