Is Tesla's Gen 3 Wall connector better than the Gen 2? Should you get one?

If you're thinking about getting a Tesla Gen 3 wall connector, you'll want to check out our comprehensive video review above. We not only go over the installation and commissioning procedure, explain the differences from the Gen 2 model, talk about the features and adapters you may want, but we also put the unit to our cable deep freeze test to see how well it fares in the cold weather. 

After all that, we offer our 5-star rating and then explain why you might not even need to get one to charge your Tesla at home. 

Tesla Gen 3 Wall connector unboxed

The Gen 3 wall connector has been available for about ten months now and can be ordered directly from Tesla's website for $500. That's a reasonable price for a high-powered, 48-amp EVSE, especially since it's a WiFI connected smart-charger.

Comparable 48-amp smart chargers like the Enel-X JuiceBox ($639.00) and ChargePoint Home Flex ($699.00) both cost considerably more.

However, the smart-charging features on those units actually work, while Tesla has yet to enable the features promised by the Gen 3 wall connector, and that has to be taken into consideration. The Gen 3 wall connector has been available for nearly a year now, and it's anyone's guess when Tesla will actually make the promised features available for use. Like Tesla's vehicles, the unit can accept over-the-air updates, so activating the features will happen automatically and remotely. 

Tesla Gen 3 Wall connector

One weak point we found in the Gen 3 wall connector is its cable. We like that it's thin and easy to work with in warm temperatures, but when it's exposed to prolonged cold temperatures, it becomes very stiff and unmanageable. The unit is NEMA-3 rated, so it is safe to use outdoors. However, users that live in some of the northern states or Canada may not find the cable very manageable in the winter months. 

Video highlights:

  • @0:53 Changes from Gen 2 Wall Connector
  • @1:50 Charging speed in Miles Per Hour
  • @3:45 Cable length
  • @5:45 WiFi Features (future)
  • @10:05 Installation
  • @12:22 Commissioning
  • @14:43 Cable Deep Freeze test
  • @17:37 Connectors & Adapters
  • @21:27 Why You Probably Don't Need a Wall Connector
  • @29:30 ChargerRater scoring
  • @37:30 Final 5-Star Rating

We also take issue with the fact that Tesla shortened the length of the cable. Tesla used to offer a 24-foot cable on the Gen 2 wall connector, but the longest cable you can get on the Gen 3 is 18 feet. If you do get a Gen 3 wall connector, be very careful where you mount the unit, making sure the cable will reach any position the chargeport may be in your garage, especially if you have a 2 or 3-car garage.

Most quality EV wall chargers come with cables that are more than 20-feet long, and many of the top brands have cables that are 23 to 25 feet long. 

Unlike the mobile connector that is supplied with every Tesla vehicle, the Gen 3 wall connector isn't available in a plug-in version, as Tesla advises hard-wired installations only. The mobile connector is actually a very good unit, and many Tesla customers will find it more than adequate for their daily home charging needs. We think it's a good idea to try using the mobile connector for a while first before rushing out to get a wall connector when you get a Tesla. 

We gave the Gen 3 Tesla wall connector a score of 4.45 stars out of 5 and believe it's a pretty good value compared to other brands at only $500. Once Tesla unlocks the smart-charging features promised, it will be an even better deal. When that happens, we'll assemble a new video to go over the new features in-depth. 

So check out the review and let us know what you think in the comment section below.