Is the Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector Worth It?
There are many EV chargers on the market these days to help you power your Tesla at home, but if you’re looking to save money or upgrade from an older system, then you need to know your options for electric vehicle charging. This article will seek to answer a fundamental Tesla charging question - is the Tesla home charger worth it?
Alternatives to a Tesla Home Charger
Every new Tesla comes standard with a NEMA 5-15 adapter 120V socket. The 14-50 adapter is no longer included in the purchase of a Model 3, but it is only a $35 purchase.
The 5-15 model will allow you to plug into standard 3-prong home outlets, but it’s for on the go or overnight at home, charging at only 2-4 miles of range per hour. While that might be great in an emergency or if you don’t drive too often, 16-24 miles of range for an overnight charge is insufficient for most people.
By comparison, the included NEMA 14-50 plug is far quicker at charging, typically taking only 10-12 hours to fill your battery from 0 to 100%. The disadvantage to the 14-50 is that it requires a 240 volt outlet, which is usually used for household appliances such as clothes dryers.
This means you will need to install a dedicated circuit and outlet for the 14-50 plug, unless you have one already installed close enough to where you park your Tesla. If you do end up needing to install a new outlet, the adapter may be free but the electrician and wiring a 240V outlet can be costly.
Installing a 240V plug can cost even more if you do not have an open spot in your circuit breaker. A new breaker box can cost around $1400 to $3000. The costs can fluctuate depending on the wiring range and the placement of the box from the current circuit breaker box.
How Much Does a Tesla Home Charger Cost?
The fastest home charging option for Tesla owners is to install an official Tesla Wall Connector.
This requires installing a dedicated, high amperage circuit in the home’s main circuit box and wiring the Wall Connector directly into the dedicated line instead of using an outlet plug.
Both the older Gen 2 and newer Gen 3 Wall Connectors retail for around $500.
Although Wall Connectors require direct installation into a home’s wiring they do have superior charging performance. Using a 60-amp circuit breaker, the Gen 2 or Gen 3 can charge a Tesla Model 3 at a rate of 44 miles of range per hour.
Unfortunately, some models are limited in their charging capacity and cannot take full advantage of these fast charging times. For example, the standard range Model 3 maxes out on a 40-amp circuit breaker at 30 miles of range per hour.
Tesla Home Charger Calculator: Is It Worth It?
Gen 2 vs Gen 3 Tesla Home Charger
While it’s clear that the Tesla wall connector offers the quickest charging short of the public Tesla Supercharger stations, the Gen 3 also offers some significant upgrades from the Gen 2 wall connector.
Power cord – The cord is thinner and easier to work with.
Max amps – The Gen 3 puts out a max of 48 amps compared to 80 amps from the Gen 2. The Gen 3 uses a maximum 60-amp circuit breaker, whereas the Gen 2 uses a maximum 100-amp circuit breaker. However, the more efficient Gen 3 offers the same charging speeds as the Gen 2.
New Features of Gen 3
The Gen 3 has built-in 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, allowing for remote configuration of the wall charger to take full advantage of whatever amperage circuit you run it on. It also allows for intelligent load sharing for up to 16 charging devices. Wi-Fi also means the charger benefits from Tesla’s typical online firmware updates.
Should You Invest in the Gen 3 Tesla Home Charger?
If you need to drive your car frequently, the Gen 3 Tesla home charger offers the best at home charging-rate. Not only can you fully power up your car overnight, but you can also charge over 80 miles on the car in under two hours’ time.
Just keep in mind, this wall connector will not work out of the box. It needs to be hardwired into your home and will require a junction box put into the wall, which may require an electrician.
The exact price depends if you have an available port in your circuit box and if so, then the cost is determined by how many feet of wire you need to install to the charger’s location.
However, there is some financial relief with federal tax credits available that offer up to $1000 credit to help encourage at-home charging stations and the purchase of EV vehicles.
It’s important to note that each state’s tax credits differ and might not cover the full costs of the project. Ultimately, the Gen 3 Tesla Home Charger is worth it because of its reliably fast charging speed, the WiFi mobile remote ability, and its sleek aesthetic.
Final Verdict on the Tesla Home Charger
If you are considering investing in the Gen 3 Charger, and you are interested in exactly how much you save and spend on every charge, you can use the free Optiwatt application to do the personalized math for you.
Optiwatt monitors your at-home Tesla charging costs and gas savings using your exact utility rates and local gas prices.
Also, if you'd like to learn more about how much charging will cost you, check out the article: How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Tesla.