Charging Your Tesla Model 3 With Just A Wall Outlet – Is It Possible?


In which we explore some charging possibilities for your Tesla Model 3.

When purchasing an electric vehicle, the biggest worry for approximately 99% of the would-be owner base is range. Right? Or maybe it’s some charging concern. Like charging at home perhaps?

We all live in different areas with different supercharging and/or public charging options available. To most, the readily available power source in your garage warrants the question: can you drive your Tesla Model 3 with charging from just your wall outlet? The short answer is yes. But there’s more to it. With different usages and commutes undertaken by owners each day, we’ll be concentrating on the median value that represents most Model 3 owners.

The daily commute

Let’s say your daily commute is some 50 miles (80 kilometers). This represents a value of a distance from Long Beach to Downtown LA, Yonkers to Brooklyn, or for example, Starnberg to Munich. All of these represent routes that are easily trekked every day, they represent a healthy commute distance for upper-mid-level house incomes and a stable daily commute that doesn’t change in mileage or road gradient in any significant way. To most, this will be the maximum daily commute they undertake, while many will not travel nearly as far.

Tesla Model 3 LA to Las Vegas on a single charge (source: Larry Benjamin)


Potential Charging Setup Issues

As witnessed in the video below, the main problem for most users will be the hardware itself. First, the Model 3 comes with a short charging cable. Yes, you can always use a power cord extension line or purchase the longer, Tesla Motors authorized cable, but it’s doable even with the short, OEM Model 3 charging cable. We’re going by the belief you have your own garage and that you can access your power socket without any issues. While you may have to back up your Model 3 to give it a more accessible charging angle, this shouldn’t be a problem thanks to the Model 3’s rear parking camera setup.

Once plugged in, the main issue you’ll most certainly encounter is the quality of your garage’s home wiring setup. For some, finding the right socket will be the first obstacle that they need to overcome. After this is set and you have a stable power source charging your vehicle, the issues are seemingly all gone.

What You “Need To Know” Before Buying A Home Charging Station


Charging times

While some say that connecting your Tesla Model 3 to a standard 110v plug is as practical as refilling a gas car’s tank with an eye dropper, it is doable. Called “trickle charging”, the Level 1 charging uses the standard 110/120V electric outlet. Used by most home electronics, this setup gives you at least 2 miles of Tesla range per hour of charging (and as many as 4 miles) depending on a myriad of variables. This means that on an average, a Tesla Model 3 will get a bare minimum of 25 miles (40 kilometers) of range with a single, 12 hour night charge.

While this is only half of the commute range mentioned above, you’re basing your figures off of a fully charged Model 3 to begin with. A full charge for a Model 3 gives you a range of 270+ miles and you’re essentially only topping off each night. While it would take you a full four days of charging on a 120V plug to fully charge the car, if divided into a complete work week, that relates to a rather good minimum 125 miles of added range, just based off your overnight home charging – per week.

Will It Be Enough?

As with most things in life, it depends. If you’re using your home charger and topping off every possible night, plugging in your vehicle every time you get home, you will easily be able to do your daily commute for an entire week. However, using a home plug solution with at least two visits to a supercharger weekly will make things a lot easier. Naturally, you won’t be using your Model 3 just for the daily commute, as that car is fun to drive and you’ll definitely want to drive it more. In the end, it all comes down to personal preferences, organization and character. But, you can most certainly pull it off.

The Good, The Bad And The Funny

The best aspect of home charging is that there’s no extra cost. After all, every Tesla owner gets the 110/120V home adapter with their vehicle and home outlets, well, they come with your home. That means you can charge your Tesla Model 3 with a standard 120V residential outlet with a trickle charging adapter without any issues. But there’s a reason why its nicknamed “trickle charging”. On the other hand, for most users, the Time-Of-Use (TOU) rates will mean lower charging costs if their Regulated Price Plan is set up to the 7 PM – 7 AM off-peak hours.

The bad is clearly, the charging time.

The funny is the way we use our appliances. As Model 3 owners, most users will find themselves in a place where they plug in their smartphone, laptop and now, their car, in order to meet the demand for their power usage the next day. With more and more cars going electric, most of us will hit that panic mode where we forgot to plug in one of our devices after a long day and now, that one device may actually be the “appliance” that takes you to work the next day.

Tesla Model 3 at Destination Charging



Yes, charging your Model 3 – as you will see from the video below – is fully doable with just your regular 110/120V (or 220V in Europe) socket. However, the price of installing Level 2 charging is not that high and it allows you a lot faster charge times. Even in the United States, the most electrical in-house wiring is split into two directions: the 110V for lighting, small appliances and similar, followed by 240V for stoves, ovens and similar household items. With a Level 2 charger, you’ll easily be able to charge between 9-52 miles of range per hour. The number varies greatly due to the maximum power output of the charger, maximum power intake of your Tesla and the maximum current capacity of your electrical panel.

But, even with the lowest number available, you’re still getting close to 120 miles of range with a single overnight charge, almost completely negating the need to visit a Supercharger in most driving situations. If you’re a Model 3 owner or a Model S owner that has to pay for Supercharging access and your home/building comes with Time-Of-Use (TOU) rates, the upgrade to Level 2 charging seems like a no-brainer.

What about a Supercharger at home? While there are persistent rumors of a secret home SuperCharger built in San Diego, there aren’t any home Superchargers. Why? The price of installing that much-dedicated electricity to your home equals a purchase of another Tesla Model S for the same amount of money.

Thanks to Ben Sullins from Teslanomics, you can see what a real-life showcase of Model 3 home charging looks like. Press play below and find whether home charging is a feasible solution for your situation.

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85 Comments on "Charging Your Tesla Model 3 With Just A Wall Outlet – Is It Possible?"

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I have a friend with a Tesla Model X who, despite having L2 at home, charges it almost exclusively via L1. The reason is that he has an off-grid solar charged battery bank and drives so little during the week that he can keep the Model X charged from free, renewable energy. On days where he drives a bit further, he can usually catch back up over a few days of L1 charging. His wife recently got a Model 3, not sure if they can charge both cars off of solar L1.

“I have a friend” which automatically raises eyebrows, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt…Whether ones solar produced renewal energy powers their individual vehicle or if those electrons go back to the grid, what’s the difference?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Conversion loss?

Some people have the weird idea that charging from the grid isn’t 100% green because the grid power is a mix of clean and dirty sources. However what’s really important is the total amount of solar power generated, so it’s kind of irrelevant.

Thank you!

It gets rather tiresome seeing EV bashers claim that electricity “isn’t really green” if your home is connected to the grid. If your solar power hookup is offsetting the amount of power your PEV (Plug-in EV) uses, then it’s entirely appropriate to call it “green” electricity. The fact that you may have offset the power generation from the night, when the PEV is charged, to the daytime, when the sun shines, is irrelevant. It’s even irrelevant if you have to draw more power from the grid than you supply on cloudy days, so long as your average annual energy balance is positive — adding more energy to the grid than you have to take out to charge the BEV.

The point is that if it’s a positive energy balance, then your home generated enough energy during the year to charge your PEV without burning any fossil fuel to do so! And even if you fall somewhat below that mark, you’re still more “green” than most other people driving cars, even if they’re driving BEVs.

Go green; Go Tesla!

Your question has meaningful logical basis, but what you may not realize is this: More than a tiny proportion of EV drivers not only want to achieve a “greener” fuel choice, but they want also to have assurance and the ability to demonstrate that their marginal personal transportation mile comes to them emissions-free. The view may be a bit myopic regarding their own tailpipe emissions, but being an adopter of a low market share product such as EVs is likely to have to do with something more than the usual things that drive consumer choices regarding vehicle expenditures/purchases. Perhaps a bit of myopy isn’t a problem.

“Used by most home electronics, this setup gives you approximately 2 miles of Tesla range per hour of charging. This means that on an average, a Tesla Model 3 will get about 25 miles (40 kilometers) of range with a single, 12 hour night charge.”

This is incorrect. I primarily charge my Model 3 on 120V (actually 119V / 12A), which provides approximately 4.5 miles of range per hour charging. Typically this is reported by the car as 5 miles per hour.

Tesla claims a lower 3 mile/hour rate for the NEMA 5-15 adapter. I suspect this is pessimistic for cases where the supply voltage is lower – I also purchased a 10-30 adapter and found that it can reliably supply 25 miles/hour.

My typical commuting needs are approximately 250 rated miles per week, which can be met provided that the car is plugged in 30% of the time. This has proven to be achievable but somewhat marginal – access to a 240V charging source if needed (dryer plug or commercial EVSE) is useful.

This matches my experience. I’ve been driving my Model 3 for about six weeks now and charging exclusively on 120V (waiting to install a 14-50 outlet when I have an electrician out to install an inverter in a month or so). It’s never charged at less than 4 miles of range per hour.

Thanks for your post. I’ve never heard of any lower rate than 4 miles per hour for a bev in USA. Our first leaf in 2012 with a 3.3kw on board charger got 4 miles of range per hour via L1 charging. We didn’t get L2 charging installed at our house till a couple years ago when we were driving a 2013 leaf and a 2016 soul EV.
Now we have two L2 chargers and two L1 chargers avaialble for our four plug ins and those plug ins of visiting family, friends and air b n b guests.

It should be more than 2 mph charging. 120v charging on my C-max is at 1400 watts. M3 should be about the same (or more). So if you get say 1.2 kwh net per hour into the battery, that should be about 4 mph. How do you come up with only 2 mph? Is it from Tesla “vampire losses”?

Agreed. My volt charges overnight on L1: 45 range in 12 hours= 3.75mph

I charge my Model 3 on 120V, and I get 4mph as you expected. I think the article just made some faulty assumptions.

In the 1950s, the US middle class adopted electric potable hot water. That meant running a new 220 service, the same as required for an EV. In the 70s, middle America began replacing oil furnaces with heat pumps in the moderate climate zones requiring a similar new circuit. Central air was added in other cases. Electric dryers were added requiring the same 220 voltage. Why does wiring a house for the same circuit require such attention when it comes to an EV? I enjoyed the article as it really serves as an educational piece. I personally put 50,000 electric miles on a 110V outlet with our Chevy Volt almost to say I did and to make the awareness that I could charge fully during sleeping hours. I have since added a MyEnergi Zappi level 2 charge to maximize solar output with my reserved Model 3. As a minimum, I think all new construction should be required to run a least the conduit which cost pennies for a new construction project. The same should apply to any new parking lot. Just put the conduit in place. Sometimes it will be placed in the wrong areas, but the times it works out… Read more »

Welcome, Vanja. He’s really doing a great job. Lots of information in the article!

Some municipalities are doing just that….iniating new building codes where assuming L2 charging stations will be installed either as part of the new structure or at some time in the future.

The problem arises is that all those previous century electrical devices are often still in use and there is only so much power avaialble from an old 100 amp electrical panel in homes built many decades ago. Those homes with 200 amp panels likely have less of a problem.
About 13 years ago we had a major addition to our home and decided to upgrade our old 100 amp panel to 400 amps. We did this because we had already installed solar PV panels a few years earlier but wanted to have more PV installed as well as be ready for charging our future evs. Of course we have been converting all of our appliances, devices and vehicles to electrical but still have the stovetop and hot water system to upgrade to electric in the near future. We have had two L2 charging stations installed also with no problem.

400 amp electric and stove top hot water? Different strokes for different folks. Now me, I have a Swedish Sauna, 8 x 10 hot tub with 7 1/2 horsepower worth of pumps, 5500 watt heater (not hooking up the gas boiler until the warranty runs out on the tub 24 months from now), 2 evs (of which one is currently in the car hospital) that are driven much more than the typical average (each well over 50 miles per day), central air conditioning, 2 refrigerator/freezers plus 1 gargantuan freezer, as well as all the other appliances one would consider necessary in a modern house, such as washer/dryer, dishwasher, disposer. Plenty of counter top kitchen appliances, 3 horsepower home made electric 2 stage snow blower, 5 horsepower electric pressure washer, etc, all running fine off the home’s original 100 amp service. Plus 38 solar panels to make the electric bill go down to $17 a month for the billing charge.

Now me, I’d get automatic hot water first, even though I like electric things obviously, but hey, to each his own.

“Why does wiring a house for the same circuit require such attention when it comes to an EV?”

Because charging an EV requires a continuous draw of power which is often near the max — or even exceeding the maximum — of what a typical residential housing circuit is built for, especially in older houses. Other power draws do not draw that level of power continuously for hours, so that can be a serious fire hazard, depending on the rating of the circuit.

Those concerned about safety should have a licensed electrician check out the circuit they’ll be using for charging a plug-in EV, even if that’s only L1 charging. And it should be an isolated circuit with nothing else plugged in; a circult which doesn’t have to provide power to anything else while charging the EV.


On top of what others have pointed out, you also have the fact that up to now when EV’s are coming around, there really was no need for 220V circuits in a garage in the vast majority of cases. I know at least in my neck of the woods and surrounding midwest, garages may only have one or two 110V circuits for maybe lights, a garage door opener, and a few sockets for stuff like power tool battery chargers and the like.

It is also somewhat costly and sometimes difficult to retrofit an additional 220V circuit even for an attached garage depending on where your main circuit panel is at. Now if you happen to have a long range EV and use a lot of that range on a daily basis, potentially above what you could realistically get back overnight on a 110V L1, it is likely going to be a necessity. But this is one of those things I believe one would be sure to take into account ahead of time before an EV and/or house purchase.

Hi Mark…. I’m surprised it took till the mid 50’s in your area of the country to get hot water. In my area it was the 10’s at the latest, since there is nothing quite as painful as a cold bath or shower in the wintertime, but then at 33 degrees the water is at least 40 degrees colder, and there was much greater incentive for the ‘modern family’ to do something about it. Electricity was so expensive at that time that there were almost no electrics – being fired around here by initially coal, and then oil and later gas. Electrics are showing up in some apartments where extra cheap construction does not allow much plumbing, and it is much cheaper to throw in an electric under the sink or closet and let the tenant worry about the electric bill since recent state law changes force new apartments to have individual tenant metering. I’m sure my utility lobbied for this change since they charge $17 to read the electric and $21 to read the gas meter, which they do by driving a car down the street and pick up 300 readings at a time. Your point about insisting on… Read more »

I get about 5 miles of range per hour of charging with the Chevy Volt, Think City EV, Nissan Leaf, etc. I am skeptical of the assertion that the model 3 only gets 2 miles of range per hour of charging at 120 V. These are numbers for the early Mini E or Tesla Roadster that were inefficient at 120 V. Are you sure you have the current limit set at the maximum 12 amps?

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Charging that long on L1 is just plain nutts.
There’s a loss and the longer your charge time the more loss you have.
Invest in an L2 ASAP.
Go collect plastic bottles and aluminum cans (like I did) for a few weeks at parks after sporting events recycle till you have enough for a real L2.

Alternatively you can send your slow L1 to somewhere and get it upgraded to operate/autosense both 120VAC & 240VAC…

Meh….it works. Not ideal but there are people with a 120V outlet available who can’t install a 240V charger since it is a communal parking lot at an apartment complex or condo.

It’s the same loss on 120V as it is 240V. And on the Model 3, it is not as much as some people make it out to be. But even then, the phatom power loss has to be recovered no matter what.

That is unlikely to be true. When you charge there is a greater vampire loss – significantly. So if you charge in 2 hours vs 12 hours, the charging equipment is awake for 10 extra hours.

I don’t have a 3, so I could be wrong. But certainly the S and Leaf operate this way.

I live in an apartment complex so I have no choice but to charge on L1 in my garage. It does the job and I can top off when I need to, usually once a week or so. Plus I don’t pay for the electricity in my garage so it’s essentially free for me, I can’t complain!

I also raised an eyebrow over the 2 miles/charging hour detail. Source?

For my 2018 Leaf SV during non-heating and minimal AC season, I get almost exactly 6 miles per hour of 120v charging with the Nissan-supplied cord set. During heating or AC conditions, obviously somewhat less.

Also, why is this article Tesla specific? We’re talking about miles driven/day, kWh of charging, etc.

My Model S gets 3 miles of range per hour on 120. 80% of a 15A breaker is 12A * 110 V = 1.3 KW or about 3-4 miles of range per hour. But my actual miles gained per hour is closer to 3. Model 3 should be getting at least 4 miles/hour

Right. A larger car like the Model S is probably close to 3, but the Model 3 and others like the LEAF are definitely 4 or so.

The difference in efficiency (strictly miles/kwh) between an S and a Leaf is less than 10%. 104 v 112 mpge.
The difference between 3 and 4 is 33% or 25%.

So there really isn’t that big of a difference. Unless the overhead on 120V is significantly higher with the S and my experience is that it isn’t.

Our model 3 came with the charge cord and 3 adapters. It can go in 120 or 240. Many have a dryer close by and can use a dryer buddy switch that will connect the Tesla or washer as needed with a little indicator light too. They you don’t have to plug and unplug the dryer and car. 240 at 30 amps is plenty for most days.
There are also many public destination chargers for Tesla and of course all the public free J-1772 ports There are more all the time. The Tesla Urban Super Chargers also seem to be showing up all over.

The Dryer Buddy seems like a good idea if you can’t get an election to install a dedicated plug, such as in a rental.

Quoting charge rates as miles per hour is dubious. The L1 charger will deliver 1440w (120vx12a). Some of that will be wasted in conversions & battery conditioning. So, call it an average of 1.3kw. How far can one expect to get on 1.3kwh? It’s very dependent on the car, climate, and driving style.

The author’s quote for an “average daily commute distance” is completely off. A little Googling reveals that there *are* published numbers for this distance: the typical commute in most American metro areas is 12 miles or less.

Of course there are people who travel longer. But the vast majority commute far, far less than 50 miles/day. Hence, for the vast majority of drivers – if they must commute by car/carpool (wherever the system is reasonable, transit is still the best option, environmentally and economically) – trickle charging is perfectly sufficient, regardless of how large their battery-pack is, or whether their EV happens to have a Tesla logo on it.

Clarification: it’s 12 miles one way, so ~25 miles round-trip. The vast majority of American commuters travel less than that, and in most other countries commute distances are even shorter (and commute patterns are more transit-dominated anyway).

Sorry, but the average American commute distance is nearly 40 miles. Whatever source you are using is wrong.

But then, so is claiming that the average person will get only 2 miles added per hour of L1 charging with the Model 3. An article published at InsideEVs should be better informed.

No I think the 40 miles is wrong. I believe the number is like 90% are 40 or less. So average is certainly less than 40. I have 4 miles to go this morning.

But you really need to clarify average. Are we counting NYC subway riders? – probably not.

In my metro, 20 miles one direction is a relatively long distance commute. Lots of people do it but it isn’t average by a long shot.

He says “Let’s say,” so his intention was to provide an example. I’ll reword for clarity. Thank you.

Let’s say that a lot of people don’t live in LA and the commutes are much better. When “let’s say” are read by some people (namely press) that translates into facts and headlines.

I edited the piece to better reflect what he was trying to convey. Thank you for everyone’s input.

Is that auto commute or whole commute like mass transit, because in NYC when I lived there my subway commute was 16 miles RT

I have charged my Tesla Model 3 from a NEMA 5-15 wall socket ( at 12 amps) multiple times when visiting friends. The car always reported 5 miles of range per hour. That would be consistent with a energy consumption of 250 w/mile and a fill rate of 1.25 kW.

I have heard that in freezing conditions, however, a Tesla charging on 120V may barely charge much overnight due to energy demands for battery conditioning hogging most of the 120V feed. I suppose that may be true for other EVs as well, but Tesla’s are known to be power hungry even when “off”.

I was charging my Bolt EV and Volt using a single 120V charging cord till I got my 32A outlet installed at my new house. I was running a charging deficit trying to keep both cars charged (if I charged the Volt fully, the Bolt was driven enough each day where the charge level slowly decreased each day as it couldn’t be charged fast enough before it was taken out the next day).
You could *probably* survive charging on 120V if a single long-range BEV was your only EV, but trying to keep multiple EVs charged (one being a BEV)…forget about it unless both cars are driven less than 50 miles a day combined.

Sure, it’s possible. It all depends on your driving schedule. If you drive less than 80 miles or to work (round trip) then as long as you plug in when you get home every night, it works just fine.

I wouldn’t recommend it since having a nice L2 charger is convenient. But many people do fine on 120V.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous

Or if you’re savy enough like some die hard EV’ers, find the sockets of the 2 legs of the 240VAC in the garage or from the house and wire them for 240VAC.

Yes, I’ve done that before also!!!!


Vanja, your statement that a Tesla would only get 2.5 miles of AER per hour of charging is probably incorrect, unless the 3 is a secret energy glut. My Gen 1 Volt gets almost 5 miles per hour of charging at 12 amps. I generally am home for 10 hours a night and I have never seen a less than fully charged pack in the morning. I am pretty sure that the 3 will get right around 5 miles per hour of charging (it is closer to 4.8 most days, so round it up to 5) on a 120 plug, which will work for a 3 owner 99% of the time, if they drive 12,000 miles a year/1000 miles a month or average around 40 miles on most week days. If you drive around 12,000 miles a year, most nights a 120 outlet will completely top off your pack, if you have driven less than 50 or 60 miles and are home for 11-12 hours. But even if you drive 150 miles one day and come home with just 60 miles left in the pack, you will still have 110 or 120 miles of AER in the pack in the… Read more »

That’s terrible, my 2012 Volt gets 45 miles of AER on 8 hrs

Understanding that the true figure should be about 4 miles of range per hour of charging, and that MOST people are home in the evening and leave around 12 hours later for work, makes it easy to see that most nights most people will gain 40-50 miles of range with L1 charging. On the nights you don’t quite get that, you dig into the large buffer the battery gives you. Then, you’re probably home 1/2 of the weekend, and can fully catch up. You’d have to average 50 miles x 365 days = 18,250 miles/year before L1 really becomes a problem for your typical “commute to work during the week, do a few errands and fun things on weekends” type of American lifestyle. I’m at 35,000 miles on my Volt now, and the vast majority has been accomplished on L1. Furthermore, having an L2 would not have given me many more miles. It DOES depend on your lifestyle of course. Someone who drives over 50-60 miles a day, or someone who only comes home at 10pm to crash into bed and leave at 6am night after night perhaps while working two jobs, or someone who regularly takes 200 mile trips… Read more »

Brian – you should have written the article. I am not sure why he plugs in rather horrible assumptions. 12 hours is certainly a good average for most people as is 5 mph. So you could even say 60 miles average per night.

Sure some nights you get home at 9 and leave at 6 but I suspect that is not anywhere near average. I got home at 6 last night and will be gone at 7 this morning. But heck some days I get home at 5 and leave at 8 – a crazy home trapped 15 hours.

For most people, this is enough. For the edge cases, a supercharger is there. Probably a monthly or twice monthly chore rather than twice a week like the article suggests. Our local SC is at a Target.

I have lived with a 120V during transitions. I did fine most of the time once I ran an extension cord inside so each car could use 120 simulataneously. Otherwise, 2 cars sharing 120V was bad. Sometimes I had to leave car at an L2 for a few hours – even took an Uber home from there once.

Rather than continuing to reply to a bunch of comments, let me clarify here. The title of the article includes “Is it possible?” Of course, if we use the max of 5 miles/h and a very short commute, the article wouldn’t even be necessary. So, looking at worst-case scenarios (people that can’t charge as fast or don’t have decent current, drive their Tesla like they stole it, live in an area with really cold weather, and have a very long commute), can the Model 3 pull it off?

If we look at it from those perspectives (since we are all about EV adoption and making people realize that even in the worst of situations, it’s still doable). The answer to the article is yes. It would be a huge YES in the best-case circumstances, but even in the case of more difficult situations, it’s still yes, which is super-positive. I reworded some areas of the article to better reflect what direction Vanja was taking and to make it more clear. Thank you all for your input!

The edit… ‘(and as many as 4) depending on a myriad of variables’’ is a great additional clarification to the article. It’s practically the main metric out there.

Thanks, Brandon.

Well, the edit is certainly an improvement. But if the average is 4 miles of range added per hour with L1 charging, then the article should say so. Implying that 2 miles of range per hour is the norm suggests that the Model 3 charges far slower than average, which is highly misleading. You can see just how misleading it is from the several comments here expressing surprise that the TM3 charges much slower than their Leaf or Bolt EV or whatever.

General gist: in Europe we have a great advantage with our electricity infrastructure:
– Our 220/240V system already is already twice as high, providing more charge per hour with up to 3~3.7kW (on13/16 amp fuses) supply.

– Additionally, virtually all households have access to 400V at home, thus allowing for even higher charging speeds up to 9~11kW (on 13/16 amp fuses) supply. Most households are on a 16 amp fuse in the places I know, so 3.7 / 11kW are available, depending on how they are willing to connect.

I’d say that anyone with a total commute under 200km and access to a private parking spot (around 60% of people in many countries, actually) will only need to supercharge on long distance trips and maybe trickle charge on the occasional long afternoon at the mall on the weekend. And in many countries, EV juice is actually free/subsidised. This makes a great case for using EVs in the countryside rather then in urban areas as many automakers advertise.

US based article. No one has 400V here.
The main issue is for people in rental situations

Your statement does not apply in general to the UK, – yes it is true that certain large homes there have 230Y/400 service, but smaller homes (or even entire subdivisions) only have access to 230 volts, as seen by the “CONSUMER UNIT” of the continually laughing FULLY CHARGED host, as an example. (ROBERT LLEWELLYN) Seeing as he’s an actor, writer, and producer from way back, I wouldn’t think you would consider he lives in neither a ‘poor’ house, nor neighborhood.

True, It is unlike North America, in that here, only the very largest ESTATES have polyphase service.

Meh! Just install a NEMA 14-50 plug and use the UMC provided with the car instead. You’ll get 7 to 8 kw of power.

An honest electrician can do the job for <$400 if the wire run to the install location is rather simple and 30' or less, and the panel has room for a 50 amp breaker. Permits and inspections will cost extra however.

Quick220? Would give you double the charge speed if you find two 120v outlets that are on different circuits.

My Leaf gets 4mph charging on L1 at home. One of our favorite parks has a free L2. Between those 2 plugs, we’ve always had more electricity than miles to drive. Granted, we don’t road trip in it.

Yeah this article and all these comments just goes to show what I’ve always said – Any Tesla product is much less efficient at 110-120 volts. Other ev’s as the comments indicate, get more miles per hour.

Absolutely untrue. The article uses terrible assumptions and you are wrong. Leaf and S owner who has charged on 120V.

Efficiency is efficiency and there is 10% spread between the Leaf and S. The 3 is more efficient than the Leaf.

Its YOU who are making the assumptions. I have VERIFIED on the Tesla website of all places that you take a 30% hit by charging on 120 volts – made even worse than the estimator assumes since most distant garages would not be able to maintain 120 volts at the car inlet at a 12 ampere draw. 110 would be more like it. Interestingly, currently the Tesla website ASSUMES you are ‘of course’ purchasing the HPWC (wallbox), and makes no mention of 120 volts at all, they’ve taken the ‘unflattering’ rate out of the ‘estimator’ and don’t even include the standard charging cord at either 120 or 240. I noticed the same 30% hit with my Tesla Roadster, and also from the brochures for the RAV4EV – which showed much improved efficiency for ANY 200-250 volt charging rate, but the same 30% hit for 120 volt operation. As mentioned, in most home situations it would be a bit worse. The car had Tesla electronics. The GM cars also take a hit – but tests I’ve done show 94% at 12 amperes, and 84% at 8 amperes while charging from a reasonably stout AWG #12 (20 ampere – 50 foot long)… Read more »

“Called ‘trickle charging’, the Level 1 charging uses the standard 110/120V electric outlet.”

No. Just no. That is very far from what “trickle charging” actually means. Trickle charging is very low-power charging, like your desktop computer uses when it’s asleep, or what your PEV (Plug-in EV) might draw if it was left plugged in but not driven, for long-term storage.

Calling L1 charging “trickle charging” is just creating confusion.


I’d say trickle charging is any charging that takes LONGER than 8 hours. Therefore ANY so called “Level 2” charging of the the Bolt ev, or Jag I-Pace is trickle charging. Also on any laptop I’ve seen, the charging function is independent of whether the laptop is on or off. If on, the draw from the power pack is simply added to whatever the battery feels like taking, until about 85% SOC when most charging systems start ‘pulse width modulating’ the charging draw (rapidly turning the battery charger on and off). Since it takes 3 whole days to charge a BOLT or presumably a week (assuming the North American version can charge at 120) for the Jag I-Pace – that is definitely trickle charging in anyone’s book but yours.. In fact, it is YOU who are mistaken and “Adding to the Confusion” when saying that EV’s are ‘trickle charging’ when ‘left plugged in but not driven’. When they are not charging they are not charging, period. Most ev’s wake up once a day or once a week to confirm the desired storage level, charge at whatever is available, and then shut down completely.

Totally negative votes for a factual commentary, compared to totally positive votes for someone who doesn’t know anything, and only ‘Contribution’ here is to insult many people. Great voting system here.

“While there are persistent rumors of a secret home SuperCharger built in San Diego, there aren’t any home Superchargers.”

That’s at best a misleading statement. I don’t know if anyone has an actual Tesla-installed Supercharger at their residence — it would need a power hookup significantly more powerful than a typical single family house — but there are certainly privately owned Superchargers installed by Tesla.

Here’s an article about a privately owned 12-stall Supercharger station:

This article is below par for InsideEVs. In addition to errors of terminology (calling a L1 charger a “trickle charger”) and fact (there are indeed several privately owned Tesla Superchargers), the article fails to mention one very important factor in depending on L1 charging for a BEV:

L1 charging will indeed be sufficient for many who live in mild climates, such as most of California. But those who live where it really gets cold on some winter nights will likely need a L2 charger. Some people who own BEVs report that the battery heater can draw so much power that an L1 charger isn’t sufficient to charge the car enough to replace the energy used in a daily commute. Of course, that also depends on how far your commute is. If it’s rather short, then you may be able to get away with it even in regions where it often gets down below freezing at night.

The phrase “Your mileage may vary” applies to EV charging, too!

Except most people charge in a garage.
The problem with 120V is that it is done on trips (at least for me it has) and then you are often outside. I still have not had a problem getting 3-4 mph but it was not very cold.
Garages might not be insulated or heated but they are still warmer than ambient. My last garage I kept track of a lot and it stayed 50 when it was 20 outside. Big (might I even say Huge) difference.

Hey – do L2 absolutely. But for renters, you can live without. Particularly with a local SC.

I would expect that people in really cold climates have some insulation in the garage but perhaps not. I am building right now and am considering just some cheap batts in the garage.

EV ownership is still less common where it gets really cold (in the US). And EV ownership without a garage where it gets really cold is just not that common. And then EV ownership, no garage, rental situation, gets really cold is probably not a great idea in 2018.

Elon Musk has said in the past he does not want ‘the locals’ to use or hog SuperChargers. They are for long distance driving only, and he should know.

I find it perfectly acceptable to call 120V charging “trickle” charging. Yes, the original term is used when describing slowly charging a 12V battery, but times have changed with the advent of EVs. When 120V charging a 200+ mile EV, it basically is trickle charging, as you can almost count the electrons as they flow into the car it is charging so slow.

It’s not always about hardcore EV fans and correct terminology. We are also talking to the masses here. It makes sense to them and is understandable. It’s much the same as calling and EVSE a charger. We have to use words and concepts that will make those unfamiliar with EVs understand what we are trying to point out.

Why listen to what Pushi says? He has no personal familiarity with EV’s, (or laptop computers so it seems), and makes more mistakes than all others here combined. Of course he criticizes others’ statements rather than coming up with factual information since he has precious little of that.

The article should point out that Tesla’s come with a charge cord capable of both 120 V and 240 V outlets, with a 240 V plug included. If 120 V charging is not enough to keep up with your average daily mileage, or you have a short time window for off-peak electric rates, inastalling a standard 240 V outlet can be done for reasonable cost in most homes. The cost does depend on the distance to your electrical panel and the ampacity of the new circuit. If a 50 Amp circuit is too expensive to install, Tesla sells inexpensive adapters for 30 A, 20 A, and 15 A 240 V outlets.


PS. And, please stop with all of the “110 V” crap already. North America has been converted to 120 V for over 50 years now.

Yep. Should have linked back to this article posted just a few days ago at least. 😉
Tesla really does make good products. It’s just the leadership and fanbase that tarnishes its name.

“Stop the 110 volt crap”. Another big expert. Tell me what the voltage to the car is of an ev charging at an L1, 12 ampere rate in a typically distant detached garage with the plain old Nema 5-15 wall receptacle. Anything over 105 is great. Even a relatively beefy #12 AWG feed to the garage over a 100 foot run would drop over 7 volts at 12 ampere draw. So even with 120 volts at the house panel, now we are down to a bit less than 113 at the outlet. IF the ‘run’ to the house was the more typical AWG #14, you’d be less than 110 already. Measuring the voltage prior to charging the car is nonsensical. GM ‘occasional use cords’ typically have 18 feet of #AWG 16, lowering the voltage to the car still more. The voltage at the ‘point of demarcation’ (the point where ownership between the utility and myself changes) at my personal home, is 122 volts in mild weather, and occasionally goes down to 104 volts on August 1st with nothing on in the house. due to 5 BIG reasons of incompetency by the Utility due to all the air conditioners running off… Read more »

Pushi either gets 4 negative votes or else he gets the SuperDope to vote with him.

An annoyance with charging from 120V is that there is not enough power to run the cabin pre-heat or pre-cooling with running the battery down somewhat. I learned this when I first bought my Leaf and charged off of 120V for a few months.
I had an electrician install two 240V/50A circuits in the garage. L2 is much nicer and faster to charge, definitely worth it for me.

Thank you I’ve learned a lot. I’ve had my model 3 only five weeks, and since I routinely drive very little I think this could work!