What is the Best Way to Charge a Tesla at Home?

Casey Donahue
Casey Donahue
April 29, 2022
What is the Best Way to Charge a Tesla at Home?

Charging a Tesla at home is the fastest and most efficient way to ensure your Tesla is at its best before every trip. You can charge it quickly or slowly, depending on the system or level of charger that you’re using. 

‍Whether through a 120-volt home outlet providing around two miles of range per hour or a Tesla Wall Connector offering close to 45 miles per hour, Tesla home charging offers convenience depending on your driving needs and preferences. 

Here is a look at how to charge a Tesla at home and the surrounding charging, from time to cost. 

How Long Does It Take to Charge a Tesla at Home?

Before charging your Tesla, you first need to find out how long it will take to install your home charging station to facilitate charging. 

According to Tesla, it takes several hours to properly install home charging equipment, with more elaborate installation jobs taking two days. 

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The exact time for charging depends on the type of connector you’re using to charge your Tesla. Charging speeds also depend on the Tesla model you’re using and the available power supply within the home. 

How Much Does It Cost to Charge a Tesla at Home Per Month?

According to Forbes, charging a Tesla at home costs anywhere between $25 and $33 monthly, while other reports mark the home charging costs monthly at around $50. 

Charging costs will vary depending on the time you drive your Tesla daily and your local electric rates. 

Can You Charge a Tesla if You Live in An Apartment or a Condo?

By ‘home’ in this case, we’re not just referencing standard homes. Increasingly, apartments and condos are mandated to provide means allowing electric vehicle charging.

If you live in a condo or apartment complex, you might be able to capture incentives to alleviate charging costs at federal, state, or local levels. 

Tesla also encourages drivers to request their apartments or condos to facilitate electric vehicle charging. Ensure that you have secured approval from the building manager before installing charging hardware for your Tesla. 

Can You Use a Wall Plug to Charge Your Tesla?

You can use a standard three-prong outlet to charge your Tesla. All Tesla models are equipped with standard wall plug chargers, allowing for the slow charging of Tesla until they reach full charge. 

However, the 110-volt (NEMA 5-15) outlet it’s not the most efficient way to charge your Tesla. 

Using standard 110-volt  outlets, Tesla drivers may have to wait up to four days for the electric vehicle to fully charge before driving it at will. Additionally, using Level 1 charging with a 110-volt outlet has negligible effects on battery life and efficiency. 

If you are patient enough to wait for a full charge and don’t intend to travel far, then using your home or garage to charge your electric vehicle will come in handy. Also known as trickle charging, it uses the same principle as rechargers for gas-powered car batteries. 

You will need an extension cord with a fitting wire gauge to properly charge a Tesla from the wall. However, small gauge cords get very hot when excessive power load. Additionally, the gauges can cause resistance, slowing the charge time for Teslas. If you choose a wire gauge for charging purposes, you should use a 12-gauge extension cord for a 15-amp current and a 10-gauge cord for 20-amp charging. 

Level 2 Charging is the Best Way to Charge Your Tesla

When wondering how to charge a Tesla at home, look no further than Level 2 charging as your primary option. Tesla highly recommends that drivers of their electric vehicles use Level 2 chargers when charging their Teslas at home, leveraging 240-volt outlets that provide significantly more range and efficiency than their Level 1 counterparts. 

With Level 2 chargers, Tesla drivers can wait between five and 30 hours to charge their Teslas, depending on the model used. Additionally, Level 2 chargers give Tesla drivers a range of 15-35 miles per hour when fully charged. 

With 240-volt chargers, Tesla drivers have a greater energy pipeline and can charge their cars 15 times faster than 110-volt chargers. Level 2 chargers use electrical circuits similar to those consistently used by electrically-powered washing/drying machines. 

Tesla Wall Connector

Of all the potential Level 2 chargers for Tesla drivers, the most recommended one that Tesla pushes to drivers who wonder how to charge a Tesla at home is the Tesla Wall Connector. 

The Wall Connector is a smart charger that is Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled by a smartphone. 

Using the wall connector, you can plug in your vehicle overnight and start charging the next day. It is compatible with Model S, X, Y, and 3 Teslas and provides up to 44 miles of range per hour with a full charge. 

‍The Wall Connector also adapts to most home electrical systems using customizable power levels on different circuit breakers. The Wall Connector is a 24-foot cable and is flexible enough to be used in homes, apartments, and condos without issue. 

Another smart app that could be useful for tesla owners is Optiwatt. It automatically loads your electricity rate schedule based on your utility provider and home address. This means you can see how much it will cost to charge your Tesla at different speeds and get tips on optimizing your charging experience.

The Wi-Fi connectivity allows drivers to receive over-the-air firmware updates, plus remote diagnostic access and user data tracking. The firmware updates give Tesla drivers real-time features, improving the overall driving experience. 

For households that need to charge multiple Teslas at the same time but don’t have enough power to leverage different power circuits, the Wall Connector facilitates power-sharing. Up to four Wall Connectors can share power from one circuit while ensuring each Tesla is fully charged. 

Tesla Wall Connectors can also be used for indoor or outdoor mounting thanks to their flexibility and lightweight designs. 

How Much Does it Cost to Install a Tesla Level 2 Home Charger? 

Installation costs vary based on the installation for home charging and the electrical system being used. 

Installing a Tesla Level 2 charger in your garage will cost anywhere from $1,000 to $7,000, including up to $500 for the charger itself and the rest being installation costs, depending on the home’s power capacity and the state of the wiring. 

The regional variation affects the costs as, in some areas, electricians will charge more based on regional rates. Installation costs will be higher or lower depending on how much wiring you need to complete the home charging station installation. 

Installation costs are not required when opting for power-sharing. 

Why Level 2 Charging is the Best Home Charging Method

Level 2 charging is how to charge a Tesla at home because it prevents Tesla drivers from relying on supercharging to power their Tesla. 

While supercharging, or Level 3 charging, is the fastest way to charge a Tesla and gives you the most range, it can also be detrimental to your electric vehicle’s battery over time if you rely on it too much. 

Level 2 charging for Teslas also allows Tesla drivers to reap financial benefits, receiving time-of-use discounts from electrical utility providers, particularly for overnight charging. The self-charging upgrade accompanying Level 2 chargers are also good to use. 

Level 2 electric vehicle chargers depend on three main facts when judging how quickly they can charge Teslas. 

‍First, there is the maximum power output of the Level 2 charger as different chargers pull various electrical currents through the 240-volt electrical circuit. Level 2 chargers can deliver anywhere from 3.3 to 17.2 KW of power while charging. 

Then, there is the maximum intake of the Tesla, which can be between 11.5 and 17.2 kW, depending on the Tesla model you own. 

Also, the electrical panel capacity is a factor. The electrical panel in your home can likely withstand the draw of 100 or 200-amps of electrical current. 

However, when charging at the maximum intake on a 240-volt circuit, you might need to upgrade your electrical panel to a 400-amp panel. 

How Quick is Quick Enough for Charging Your Tesla at Home 

Ideal Tesla home chargers help drivers recoup their daily driving range within hours and fully recharge Tesla batteries overnight when they arrive home on a low charge, like returning from an extended trip. Also, it helps if you don’t have to make a major electrical upgrade to facilitate the Tesla home charger. 

If you drive 37 miles daily, for example, a Tesla charger that delivers up to 30 miles of range per hour when charged is the right one for you. Also, an empty 1000 kW battery can be fully charged overnight thanks to Tesla home chargers. 

Tesla charging from home offers a lot of conveniences, with Level 2 charging providing the best quality and battery efficiency to maximize range. For Tesla drivers interested in-home charging, installing a Level 2 charger is your most viable and cost-effective option.

Fuel your savings. Spend 70% or less with every charge!

Casey Donahue
Casey Donahue

Serial entrepreneur. Founder of Optiwatt. Pushing us towards a greener, cheaper, faster future.

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