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Wife considering getting a Tesla too, one charger enough?

StephanB

The usual suspect
Oct 28, 2019
119
75
NC
Well, the title kinda says it all. We've had a wall charger for my Tesla since day one.

Getting another one installed for my wife won't be cheap because of the copper run it would take. I don't typically charge every day because I don't drive a lot. She won't either.
Planning for a two-car road trip to our beach vacation destination would require some planning. Other than that we mostly travel with one vehicle, her MY presumably.
Anyone else getting by with just one L2 charger at their home for two cars?
 

RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,846
2,499
Durham, NC
Yes. We've been a 2 EV family since 2013, with a variety of combination of EVs.

Our first experience was a 2012 Nissan LEAF (3.3kW charging) and a 2013 LEAF (6.6kW charging). With ranges of 79 and 84 miles respectively, both needed to be charged every night. But the 2013 was recharged within just a couple of hours and I would simply swap the plug before bed. A minor hassle, but not huge. Plus I had the 2012 text me at 9:30 if it was not charging.

Then the 2013 LEAF got traded for a first-gen Volt (40 miles of range, 3.3kW charging). This was where we ran into a problem. The Volt charged REALLY slow. Not only was it 3.3kW, but it ran its cooling system so hard that it took forever to charge. If my wife was late getting home at all, I would have to stay up late to swap plugs, or occasionally I would swap plugs at bedtime and top her off in the morning, or I would drag out the portable EVSE and charge her at 120V overnight. So with this combination, I built a 2-headed "J1772 Hydra" splitter that had two plugs. It could either charge both cars sequentially (one car would wait until the first one finished), or simultaneously--both got half power, which was fine since we had a 7.2kW (30A) host EVSE and each car could only take 15A max anyway. This made life easier.

We then temporarily moved to an apartment and only had access to a single 120V outlet, but even then we managed. Granted, hers being a PHEV meant that if she didn't get a charge it wasn't the end of the world, and I was able to plug in at work, so this is kind of cheating...

But eventually we moved to a new house. I left the host EVSE behind and rebuilt the J1772 splitter into a full J1772 Hydra EVSE (pretty much the same thing, except didn't require a host EVSE). The Volt lease was up and was replaced by a Bolt, and I traded up to a 2016 LEAF with 6.6kW charging. We still took advantage of the dual plugs, but didn't really need them like we did before. Now it was my LEAF that could finish charging in a few hours, and her Bolt didn't need charging every night anyway, so we probably could have gotten by.

Eventually I got a Model 3 and then everything changed. Now we had a car with >300 miles of range and one with ~240 miles of range. Neither had to be charged every night (more like every 4-5 days) We still have two plugs, but could easily get by with one. I normally plug my car in when it gets down to 100 miles of range (humorous, because our first cars didn't have that much range when full!), so if I came home and discovered she was charging that night, I could just wait until the next day no problem. And even if it was a bit more urgent, I could add 40 miles of range (more than a day's worth) in 90 minutes (my EVSE is still only 30A capable, so even slower than a mobile connector, much less a wall connector).

We never take two cars on a trip simultaneously, but even if we did, the planning doesn't seem too onerous to me. Just charge one up two days before and the other the night before, possibly topping off the first before bed, and again in the morning.

Having long range cars makes it easy to share a single plug at home. I would at least try it out before you commit to installing a second one.
 
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Ogre

Active Member
Sep 6, 2021
3,292
21,376
Oregon
Well, the title kinda says it all. We've had a wall charger for my Tesla since day one.

Getting another one installed for my wife won't be cheap because of the copper run it would take. I don't typically charge every day because I don't drive a lot. She won't either.
Planning for a two-car road trip to our beach vacation destination would require some planning. Other than that we mostly travel with one vehicle, her MY presumably.
Anyone else getting by with just one L2 charger at their home for two cars?
You shouldn't need to run more copper.

Add a sub panel and 2 circuits for the Wall Connectors. Then you can configure Load Sharing. If you installed a 40 or 60 amp circuit, that should be plenty for 2 wall connectors. It would still set you back $600 - $1500 depending on whether you hire an electrician or DIY, but that's not bad.

That said, you are probably fine with just one charger. You don't need to top off your car every night. If you have a mobile adaptor, you can keep on car on that plugged into 120v just so it doesn't get vampiric drain and plug the wall connector into the one which needs the full charge.
 
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Unless you both drive over 100mi/day, there is no problem sharing.

We have shared a HPWC since 2018 with no problems. She charges twice a week and I may do 3-4 depending on weekend usage. Even on rare days when we both need to charge on same night, she plugs her M3 when she gets home and it is usually done or close enough before bedtime when I switch the charger.

Biggest issue for many people sharing is the location of the charger and making sure it can reach both cars .
 
I suppose it depends a little on the layout of your garage and chosen location(s) for charger(s). In our case, we have one Tesla Y in the garage, and one Tesla 3 on order. The Wall Connector naturally got located right below the circuit breaker box putting it just at the left rear corner of the model Y. The plan is to stretch the charger cable behind it to charge the model 3.

With our driving patterns, I don't expect it to require any appreciable planning and coordination to get both cars charged when needed. The closest thing I see to a problem is needing to disconnect the charging cable from the 3 after an overnight charge just to let the Y get out, which is a pretty trivial task.

In a pinch, there is a 120V socket just on the wall next to where the 3 will park, and I could definitely operate a mobile connector at super-slow charge rate overnight if needed. Just possibly we might use that trick to leave both cars plugged in on some occasion when we'd be away for weeks at a time.

I have trouble seeing a case where you'd be ahead installing two Wall Connectors unless you have really high daily use (like commuting into Silicon Valley from someplace over a hour away with less absurdly expensive houses).
 

StephanB

The usual suspect
Oct 28, 2019
119
75
NC
Thanks for the great responses. If she gets a MY it will probably have an LFP battery, which means she can charge to 100% the night before, and I can go from 85% to 100% on the morning of travel. When we head to the beach, we travel with 5 people, two cats and a german shepherd. We need both cars! :)
 
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RTPEV

Active Member
Mar 21, 2016
1,846
2,499
Durham, NC
Biggest issue for many people sharing is the location of the charger and making sure it can reach both cars .
Excellent, and very valid point.

In our case I located the 14-50 outlet my EVSE plugs into in the middle of the back wall of the garage. That was when we had two EVs with charge ports near the front of the vehicles. Now both of our vehicles have charge ports near the rear. I have to back in my Model 3 when I want to charge, and my wife just pulls her car (now an ID4) up close to the wall so it barely reaches.

I'm not sure if there would be an ideal spot to locate a shared charger for vehicles that rear charge ports while pulling in the cars forward. A possible solution would be to located the EVSE on the left wall and then always park the car that needed to charge on the left, and the non-charging vehicle on the right. Kinda weird, but I guess it would work, especially if both cars were Teslas. In our situation, the Tesla charge port is on the left rear, but the ID4 is on the right rear. First world problems!
 
I'm not sure if there would be an ideal spot to locate a shared charger for vehicles that rear charge ports while pulling in the cars forward.

If you can locate a UMC or wall charger in between two single doors that's ideal but if you have a double door it's an issue. We have a 3 and Y and share a UMC and we have one double garage door. To be able to get the car parked closer to the charger in and out while the other one is charging I used a tool ballancer and a swivel hook to route the charge cord over the parking spot nearest the charger (also keeps the cord off the floor when not in use).
 

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Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
3,297
2,638
Rancho Cucamonga
Thanks for the great responses. If she gets a MY it will probably have an LFP battery, which means she can charge to 100% the night before, and I can go from 85% to 100% on the morning of travel. When we head to the beach, we travel with 5 people, two cats and a german shepherd. We need both cars! :)
Model X may fit 5 people, 2 cats, and 1 big dog....

When we got our 2nd Tesla, we shared a plug for like 2 months. It wasn't hard to do especially if the plug is long enough to reach both cars. We then decided to get 2nd NEMA 14-15 installed. It was like $500, but it was worth it as we don't have to remember which car is plugged in and which car needs charging for the next day.
 

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