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New to this EV World! Charging advice needed!

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by jeffdom1978, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. jeffdom1978

    jeffdom1978 Member

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    Hi all!
    I have always wanted a MS since they came out but living in Chicago area, I need an AWD vehicle. The price tag of the AWD models were always just too rich for my blood. I happened to stumble upon a news article last month and noticed they made AWD standard and sucked me in. I ordered my MS75D March 12th and have a June delivery. Maybe late May :)

    The next thing I started to think about was charging. I typically drive about 280-320 miles a week.

    I may have the most expensive and labor intensive charging dilemma yet. We just finished our basement last fall and our electrical box is completely opposite end of the house than where the garage is. I wish I knew I was buying a MS then! Since all our appliances are gas, we dont have many 240v options nearby. I just had an electrician out yesterday to quote installing a Nema 14-50 outlet in the garage or something more than standard outlet. Basically I have two options.

    1. Run a new pipe with 6 gauge wire from box to the garage through the basement, approx 85 foot run, involves tearing out all ceiling drywall and more. Quote came in at $1,850 (plus hiring drywallers to fix and re-paint)

    2. The other option was to go outside and dig a trench around the house through my front lawn and then into the garage going underneath paver walkway and boring through brick to get into the garage. Aprox 150 foot run. This option was $3,100.00 :eek:

    So after hearing this and reading through countless threads about charging, I am debating this "temporary" solution to see how it goes.

    My plan is to update the outlet and breaker in the garage to only be used for charging at 15amp 120v. The next thing I am going to do is have the electrician install a 50amp Nema 14-50 general purpose outlet in the basement, the farthest he can go without having to tear any drywall down. This would cost about $300. Next I was going to buy a high quality 50 ft 240v 50amp RV extension cord to run basically up the stairs and into the garage. This would allow me to charge at the highest rate for times when I need to go further. I've read mixed reports on using extension cords, but from what I can tell as long as you use a very high quality one, the onboard charger shouldn't be able to tell the difference, I'm hoping?

    I probably will eventually cave and spend the money on running a dedicated outlet to the garage but I figured I should try this first. The other thing I could do is install a gas heater in the garage to keep it warmer during the cold spells we have in the winter. I have a gas line thats easily available to tap into near the garage so this may also be something I may consider. I know cold is the enemy with these cars.

    Any advice or comments welcome!
    -Jeff
     
  2. GatorGuy

    GatorGuy Member

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    You're going to get 3 miles per hour charging with the 110 outlet. That likely won't work with your 320 miles per week.

    Do you have any level 2 chargers nearby?
     
  3. Krash

    Krash Data Technician

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    You might get 4mi/hr charging on 20A. Many older homes have wiring that would support upgrading just the outlet. I have yet to install a wall charger myself. Any chance you can charge at work on 110v?
     
  4. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    See the monster charging FAQ link in my sig, but I second not using 120 charging long term. If you are going to be in the house for a while, the 14-50 may be a good investment, even paying for the basement install.

    Also see here for excellent extension cords and adapters: NEMA 14-50 Adapters for EVs
     
  5. Boourns

    Boourns Active Member

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    It sucks, but I would shell out the $1850 and just do the permanent solution. You really don't want the stress of worrying about 110 charging. And the extension cord thing also seems like a hassle. Plus that cord isn't going to be cheap. IMO, the long-term, hassle free solution is worth the money.
     
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  6. GabeX

    GabeX Member

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    • Informative x 1
  7. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 100D 2020.36.3.1

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    There's always the possibility that the tax credit could be extended through 2018 and you might get 30% back on that $1850 install when you file your taxes next year.
     
  8. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the others, you’re going to need/want a permanent solution. Furthermore, since you’re already looking at a significant cost, I would strongly consider the idea of future-proofing yourself a bit and putting 4 or even 2 gauge wire in that conduit. The wire isn’t cheap per se, but shouldn’t add dramatic cost to the overall project.
     
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  9. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Well-Known Member

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    Here’s something to maybe consider, depending on what your garage outlet situation is. Can you check how many regular outlets are around your garage and what circuits they are on? Are they shared with outlets on the other side of a wall in another room in your house?

    Here’s why: Wire thickness is rated for the current it can handle. But that same wire that carries 15 amps can be either 120V or 240V, depending on how you connect it on either end—the wire won’t care. So, if you have an existing line for one 5-15 outlet, or maybe two, where you could give up the other one, you may be able to repurpose that existing wire run to switch it to a 240V circuit for very cheap, which slightly more than doubles your charge rate. If you can get that 240V circuit somehow, even if it’s just 15 or 20 amps, that is quite a useful charging level still for overnight use.

    As to your idea about putting the 14-50 in the basement and using it as needed, you drive so much that the 120V outlet isn’t going to keep up very well, so you’ll need to use that 50A extension often, and you’ll be leaving that door to your garage open for the cord to run through a lot. (Install a pet door maybe to run the cord through, to hold back the loss of your house heat?) Anyway, if you want to get a 14-50 extension, I don’t recommend a full RV cord. It’s got an additional thick Neutral wire the Tesla charging doesn’t need, and for 50 feet that makes it really bulky and heavy and a pain in the butt. I have a 30 foot one, and it’s irritating. I would recommend this one instead.

    Heavy-duty NEMA 14-50R extension cord for RVs, EVs, etc., 50 ft.

    It just has the two hots and the ground wire, so it’s thinner and more flexible.
     
  10. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    Just consider installing a NEMA 14-50 outlet or Wall Connector as part of the price of the car.
     
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  11. jeffdom1978

    jeffdom1978 Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I have alot to think about. I may also consider installing a 50amp outlet at my office, where I lease the building but I could park within 20 feet of where the electrical panel is, just have to figure out how to run the cable through the back door somehow.. Doggy door... Haha time to get creative!
     
  12. davewill

    davewill Active Member

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    If you're having it installed, just have it installed outside within reach of your parking space.

    As far as at home, since you're having to do so much drywall work, you might consider running bigger wire and putting a subpanel in the garage, then wiring your 14-50 from that. That way, if you get a second EV or decide you want still faster charging, or want to have a home shop, you'll have capacity there and won't have to tear the basement up again.
     
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  13. adamtc4

    adamtc4 Member

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    I would honestly get a couple of other quotes. I live in Northern VA and had my electrician install a Nema 14-50 to the front of my house. (our panel is in the corner of the basement furthest from the front of the house where it was installed. He just ran it through our basement and out the cinder block. $400. Also do not tell them it is for a TESLA. Tell them you want to add an RV outlet to the front of your house because you have in-laws that stay with you. If they hear Tesla, the quote goes up by about 100%.
     
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  14. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Well-Known Member

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    Oh heck yes! @jeffdom1978 This is probably the easiest thing of all. Take a look at the pictures of this outlet install of this Plugshare site:
    PlugShare - Find Electric Vehicle Charging Locations Near You
    It's a dentist's office in Twin Falls, Idaho. The dentist there had gotten a Tesla before the Supercharger network got built out on that interstate, and he had installed a 14-50 outlet on the outside brick wall of the building with a closing weather-proof cover. He used it to charge his car there during work sometimes, but posted it on Plugshare so people could use it in evenings and weekends.

    That sounds like the easiest thing for you, if you can put an outdoor 14-50 outlet on a business building where you're authorized to do that. I'm not saying you need to advertise sharing it, but just that that type of installation would be easy for your use. You can even use little mini-padlocks on those outlet covers if you want to secure it.
     
  15. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    I've had a similar issue. I had an electrician install the 14-50 at a place where it was reasonably priced, then I ran an extension cord to my garage. I made the extension myself and used bigger wires than is was required by code. This way I had minimal voltage drop. It worked great and didn't get warm in any way.The UMC cable got warm, but not my extension. I moved so I don't use it any more. I still have the cable. It's 30 feet. DM me if you are interested.
     
  16. Electric700

    Electric700 Active Member

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  17. FlyinLow

    FlyinLow Enjoy the journey

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    Have you decided what to do yet?

    If living in the house with no plans to move it makes sense to bite the bullet and put in a High Power Wall Connector (HPWC) and leave your portable cord in the car for contingencies.

    So, 320 miles a week? That is 64 miles per day. At 3 mi per hour you would need to charge for 21 hours a day...not possible on 110V if you're driving at all.

    With a device like a Quick 220 you will get 8 mph and it will take about 8 hours to put in 64 miles.

    I'm in the same boat, but I don't plan on staying in my house for more than a year or so, and wanted a charging solution. I'm going to check my outlets to make sure they are out of phase, then look for GFIs and give the Quick 220 a try.

    For now I charge on 110V when the car is home. I use public J1772 Chargers and Tesla SuCs when out driving or on a trip away from the local area.
     
  18. SMAlset

    SMAlset Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much in agreement with the above. I would go the NEMA 14-50 route at home and be done with it. I assume you will keep your car for a while and whether you stay in your home or sell it down the road it will be a feature any buyer who has or gets an EV will be happy to have. Most people just want to move in and not do any remodeling or electrical work. The 14-50 is univeral use regardless of car type. We installed a 14-50 and it's so darn easy to just plug in anytime of day or night when you need to and get enough charge in a few hours. We have a 75D and for example we started our charging the other day with 55 miles showing on our display at 10pm. We charge to 80% and it finished at 3:53am with battery at 200mi. The charger is on a 50amp breaker. I know my husband usually sets the car's charging amp setting lower than normal for a slower charge rate unless he's in a hurry to leave sooner. I seriously don't think you want to run an extension cord that could get damaged, chewed on by animals or someday overheat. The NEMA 14-50 will be the safest way to go for the least amount of money. I really don't think you want to rely on having to drive to your office for several hours every time you need to charge and you don't want to run the cord out a window or something like that.

    As someone said it's possible they will extend the credit for installation for EV charging another year so you might be able to recoup the installation. We likely won't qualify for it since we usually get wacked with ATM and will have our Federal EV tax credit for 2017. When seeking quotes or applying for a building permit for the electrical work, just say it's for an EV charger. No need to mention Tesla, which info does typically in our area get published with the permits issued by the city for the month (if that matters to you).
     
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  19. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Well-Known Member

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    o_O It's the person's office.... Where he works every day.... He isn't going to have to drive there for no reason just to fill up his car.
     
  20. SMAlset

    SMAlset Well-Known Member

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    #20 SMAlset, Apr 2, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2018
    I saw that before I posted. There have been times when my husband drove our car home from the office like on a Friday and we ran a number of errands, out to dinner, etc an ended having close to 20% SOC left on Sunday morning. I can't imagine not being able to simply charge at home overnight and instead have to drive to work to charge or go to some Supercharger just to do Sunday things and have enough SOC to drive back to work on Monday. Unexpected stuff comes up and you need to take off.

    Here's another example. What do you do when your off for holiday? My husband's office gives them close to 2 weeks sometimes (depending on how the weekends fall) off at the end of the year. I'm just saying we'd be among that group that would rather spend the dollars to have anytime charging at home instead of arranging our life around trips to the office. And remembering during those times you don't need to be at work, you're looking at maybe Level 2 charging times driving there just to charge. I get that there are owners who don't have an option of charging at home due to apartment living and you have to be willing to make charging part of your routine as a result. Not everyone lives close to a Supercharger for a 30-40 minute charge. If you have a garage that you can install a charging option even if it's just a NEMA 14-50, I feel the convenience outweighs the cost unless you are looking at literally thousands of dollars to run the electrical. I'd definitely get a few quotes from qualified electricians as prices can vary and have a NEMA 14-50 installed in the garage or worse case even somehow on the outside of the house with a weatherproof box near the driveway if that's a less expensive alternative.

    BTW we don't know what part of Chicago OP lives but I do know the Supercharger network is expanding there so may be that could be a temporary solution for him. He even admitted that he will probably spend the money at some point so why jump through hoops for longer than you need to.
     

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