– Ben Martens

Tesla Home Charging

Before we decided to order the Model Y, I spent a lot of time researching the charging options to understand what kind of work would need to be done in our garage.

Teslas come with a mobile charger which fits in a small bag. It has a standard 110v plug adapter and a 20 foot cable. On the Model Y, that’s good for about ~3 hours of range per hour. That’s not something that you can rely on for regular usage, but in a pinch, you could use it to get enough juice to make it to a regular charging station.

When we had the transfer switch installed for our generator, I had the electrician add a 220v 20 amp breaker for the table saw. That circuit will give us ~14 miles of range per hour. That’s probably the minimum I would be comfortable with, but it’s easily a workable situation. Our typical daily usage will be around 80 miles per day and we are done driving around 4pm in the afternoon. So by 10pm we would have already recovered what we used during the day. My current plan is to install the NEMA 6-20 receptacle between two of the garage doors and have a hanger there for the cord. The only downside to this plan is that it will be on the same circuit as the table saw. Ideally the Tesla would have a dedicated circuit, but for now, my plan is to disconnect the charger when I’m woodworking.

If that gets annoying, the next option is to have an electrician come out and install a subpanel. Our current panel is so full that we cannot fit another 220 breaker. The subpanel would give me room to add a 50amp line with a NEMA 14-50 receptacle. That would bump us up to 29 miles of charging per hour.

It’s tempting to do the subpanel now. 1) There are some federal and Washington state tax breaks for installing home charging equipment. 2) It opens up the possibility of some other things I want to add to our panel like a whole house surge protector and per circuit usage monitoring. 3) It would be good to have at resale time. But for now it’s a chunk of money that can wait until we have the Tesla in the garage and decide that we need it.

There’s one other home charging option and that is the Tesla Wall Connector. It’s a dedicated Tesla charger and, when connected to a 60amp circuit, it will provide 42 miles of charging to the Model Y per hour. That charger maxes out at about 48-kW. For comparison, a Tesla super charger peaks at 250-kW which results in 150 miles of range in about 15 minutes. If we somehow forget to charge up the car and don’t have enough juice to get through our day, we’re less than 3 miles from the nearest supercharger.

So for today, all I’ve done is order the NEMA 6-20 charge adapter. They have been out of stock for months but recently became available. I ordered one already to make sure I’m not stuck when the Model Y finally arrives. I will need to run some cable and add the new receptacle too but that will be a fun project as we prepare for the arrival of our new car next summer.