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Preparing for your Model S: Selecting outlet, Solar City, etc.

bonnie

I play a nice person on twitter.
Feb 6, 2011
16,429
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Columbia River Gorge
Ah! Good idea, I didn't think about that. I have very little experience with electronics, which is interesting because I work with computers. I will have to look into that, thank you.

That's what I use for my Roadster - plenty of time to fully charge while I sleep, even when I come home with a low SOC (state of charge - you'll see that acronym a lot on this forum). Added benefit, when we did a small music event here, the various musicians were thrilled to have the outlet for powering amps, etc.
 
That's what I use for my Roadster - plenty of time to fully charge while I sleep, even when I come home with a low SOC (state of charge - you'll see that acronym a lot on this forum). Added benefit, when we did a small music event here, the various musicians were thrilled to have the outlet for powering amps, etc.

Nice! Yeah I plan on installing solar panels as well so I may have to look into the possibility of it charging my car. Though I most likely will restrict it to my houses energy as I don't think it would be able to handle both.
 
Ah! Good idea, I didn't think about that. I have very little experience with electronics, which is interesting because I work with computers. I will have to look into that, thank you.

I'm expecting the cost to install 14-50 in my garage to be no more than $200 based on what others have said and I don't think it will require a new breaker box.
 
I'm expecting the cost to install 14-50 in my garage to be no more than $200 based on what others have said and I don't think it will require a new breaker box.

The cost is not substantial.

I received two quotes to upgrade the interior electric with a new 100 amp subpanel, a 40 ft conduit to our detached garage, a 100 amp garage subpanel, and NEMA 14-50 plug (50 amp) for about $1700.

The plug alone is inexpensive.


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I'm expecting the cost to install 14-50 in my garage to be no more than $200 based on what others have said and I don't think it will require a new breaker box.

Well running copper a good distance can be expensive. But if your plug is near your breaker panel it shouldn't be that costly. Wire will probably be at least half their material cost (even if your plug is about 10' from your breaker panel.
 
Well running copper a good distance can be expensive. But if your plug is near your breaker panel it shouldn't be that costly. Wire will probably be at least half their material cost (even if your plug is about 10' from your breaker panel.
Yes, copper is expensive!

I needed 20m (60ft) of 5x 6mm2 cable to my garage, that was EUR 400,00 worth of cable! That's excluding the extra breaker and other materials.
 
Well running copper a good distance can be expensive. But if your plug is near your breaker panel it shouldn't be that costly. Wire will probably be at least half their material cost (even if your plug is about 10' from your breaker panel.

Yep, my installation was closer to $700 - but I had the plug installed in the garage about as far away from the breaker box as possible. I'm just that way.

Seriously, it's in the perfect spot for me - center column between the two garage doors. I can easily plug in my Roadster no matter which side I park on, back in or pull in. And easily reached by people parking outside (or musicians needing the outlet).
 
I see Tesla is recommending the wall mounted connector vs the mobile connector if your daily commute round trip is over 80 miles. The 80 miles seems low given the mobile connector can charge 31 miles/hour and most utilities offer low rates for at least 5 hours of off peak charging. I would like to know why 80 miles was chosen vs 100 or even higher.
 
I have a Nema 10-50 plug in my garage. I don't see that on the new charging page (which btw I find very helpful). I am guessing I need an electrician to convert it to a Nema 14-50?

Yes...they'll have to rewire it I believe. NEMA 10-50 is a three wire (hot-hot-neutral) and isn't grounded. NEMA 14-50 is four wire (hot-hot-neutral-ground). I believe there is a 10-30 adapter for the Roadster, possibly Model S.
 
I see Tesla is recommending the wall mounted connector vs the mobile connector if your daily commute round trip is over 80 miles. The 80 miles seems low given the mobile connector can charge 31 miles/hour and most utilities offer low rates for at least 5 hours of off peak charging. I would like to know why 80 miles was chosen vs 100 or even higher.

I hope it's not faux pax to answer one's own post; however the site now shows over 100 miles daily round trip commute as Tesla's recommendation to install the wall mounted connector. That mileage makes a lot more sense.
 
So I was excited to call Solar City to ask them about setting up my HPC, and possibly getting solar panels on my roof (after all, I live in the "Sunshine" State). I went on their website and under "States" it lists the places Solar City operates. Here is the complete list:

Arizona
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Hawaii
Massachusetts
Maryland
New Jersey
New York
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Texas
Washington D.C.

Is it just me, or does this list seem small? What percentage of reservation holders actually live in states where Solar City has operations? And, even if technically they list "Texas", do they do everywhere in Texas, or are they just in one or two big cities?

I'm curious to hear what others in non-Solar City states plan to do -- I will probably look for my own electrician because it seems like all Solar City would be able to do for me would be to refer me to someone in Florida, and I'd have no idea how they'd select someone.
 
And, even if technically they list "Texas", do they do everywhere in Texas, or are they just in one or two big cities?.

I don't know about the small towns in Texas, but I called them to see what they would do. In Texas you have two options:

1. Pay the entire 20 year lease up front.

2. Purchase the equipment. (No one does this with Solar City as far as I know).

So for me pay $8000+ to save 40% of my $150 to $250 electric bill didn't seem worth it. I'm not sweating the coal because I have the wind power option (even though it's somewhat of a scam).
 
I don't know about the small towns in Texas, but I called them to see what they would do. In Texas you have two options:

1. Pay the entire 20 year lease up front.

2. Purchase the equipment. (No one does this with Solar City as far as I know).

So for me pay $8000+ to save 40% of my $150 to $250 electric bill didn't seem worth it. I'm not sweating the coal because I have the wind power option (even though it's somewhat of a scam).

That works out to about a 7% return on your $8000. Better if electric rates rise over the next 20 years. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me these days.
 
That works out to about a 7% return on your $8000. Better if electric rates rise over the next 20 years. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me these days.

But that's also about 9% of the amount I need to purchase the Model S. I was hoping that there would be a pay as you go or with a smaller amount down. The Solar City website indicates they have plans like that, so that was the expectation that was set. Those plans aren't available in Texas.
 
Just entered into a contract with SolarCity to get a NEMA 14-50 outlet installed in my garage. As my main panel is 100A-capable and is neatly located on the outside of the garage wall where I need the outlet to be, SolarCity deemed it a simple enough install that'd not require a main panel upgrade. The cost is $450. Had I needed a main panel upgrade, it'd have been $2,650!

The whole process was straightforward:
- Sent an email to [email protected] and got a call back from a rep who took down some initial info including about which Model S battery pack I'm going for and estimated car delivery date (I said early November).
- The rep then sent out a simple fill-in-PDF survey that asked some questions about the install location, the main panel and the sub-panel.
- I returned the filled-in survey by email along with pictures of the panels, the 100A breaker switch and the garage itself.
- At a time of my choosing, had a followup call with a specialist who had reviewed the survey and the pictures. We talked about daily commute distances and agreed that a 14-50 rather than an HPWC was good enough or me. The specialist gave me the cost estimates on the phone and followed up with an agreement by email (for an install without upgrading the main panel) that I could e-sign. This agreement had estimated install date ranges that are about 3 weeks out as of today.
 
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