Does Tesla Make The Best Value EVSE For Non-Tesla Owners?

JUN 22 2018 BY BRIAN R 32

Best Value Charging Station For a Non-Tesla owner may be a . . . Tesla Charging Station? What?!

[Author’s note: I know that 240V residential “charging stations” are actually EVSEs (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) that aren’t actually charging stations, and the charging equipment all resides inside the cars, but I used the term “charging station” in the title so casual readers didn’t get confused about what an EVSE is.]

For a new EV owner looking to upgrade from the stock 120V charging cord that came with their vehicle, it may be daunting trying to figure out what kind of 240V EVSE would be best to buy. There are dozens of companies out there that offer 240V EVSEs of varying power ratings, cord lengths, plug types (and the choice between a plug-in or hardwire version).

Several companies have made a name in the EV world for making quality products, one such company being Clipper Creek. When I purchased my 2012 Chevy Volt, I had a Clipper Creek LCS-25 (made in the USA btw) installed at my home soon after, and for the next 4 years, it performed flawlessly charging my ’12 Volt, along with plug-ins that have come and gone (’13 C-Max Energi, ’16 Spark EV, ’17 Gen 2 Volt) and my 2017 Bolt EV without fail. While I charged my Bolt EV with the LCS-25 for over 18 months, the unit was only rated for a max 4.8 kW charge rate (4.5 kW in real world observations), and once I purchased a new house with a garage, I decided it was time to upgrade to a unit that could take advantage of the Bolt’s advertised 7.2 kW charge rate. I sold off my trusty LCS-25 and looked to purchase a replacement.

I thought about simply upgrading to a 32-amp Clipper Creek unit that would support 7.2 kW charge rates, but wanted to see if I could find something a little cheaper than $565 (but still UL-rated and made by a reputable company). One night I was browsing one of the Tesla owner forums and came across a thread about the new Tesla mobile connector that came with the Model 3. The Tesla Gen 2 Mobile Connector (Gen 2 MC) was a 32-amp unit (perfectly matches the Bolt’s peak 32-amp specs) that came with both 120V and 240V adapters, was portable, and best of all was only $300! It was literally the cheapest UL-rated (no thanks knockoff Chinese made EVSEs) 240V EVSE on the market that could also charge on 120V. Only one problem though: I didn’t own a Tesla.

 

Tesla Gen 2 Mobile Connector

Fortunately for me, I already had a device (JDapter Stub, a $239 Tesla-to-J1772 adapter sold by QuickChargePower) that could be used to allow my Bolt (and pretty much any other EV) to charge from a Tesla, non-Supercharger charging station. Or in my case, a Tesla Gen 2 MC. Because I already had the JDapter Stub, all I needed to do was purchase the Tesla unit and have a 240V NEMA 14-50 outlet installed in my garage. At $300, the Tesla Gen 2 MC was the best bang for the buck 32A EVSE out there! Who’d a thunk a Tesla product could end up being the most economical?

 

JDapter Stub from QuickChargePower

As an added bonus, the Tesla Gen 2 MC comes with a 120V adapter along with the 240V NEMA 14-50 adapter and can be used to charge from a regular 120V household outlet as well. It is a very versatile, compact unit that can be used for home charging as well as on the road charging as a portable 240V EVSE.

The electrician finally showed up to my house and installed the NEMA 14-50 outlet required to use the Gen 2 MC. I plugged it into the outlet, then plugged my JDapter Stub into the Tesla plug end, and voila! My Volt and Bolt now had access to L2, 7.2 kW/32-amp charging once again at my home! What makes this deal even better is the state of Maryland offers a 40% rebate of the cost of a new EVSE. Since the Tesla MC cost $300, 40% of that is $120. But since I sold my old Clipper Creek LCS-25 for $200, and will receive the $120 rebate check from the state of Maryland, the cost of upgrading from a 20-amp EVSE to the 32-amp Tesla one was -$20…or $20 in my pocket! #winning

Tesla Gen 2 MC plugged into NEMA 14-50 outlet

JDapter Stub + Tesla MC charging my Volt

In the event I go on a road trip in my Bolt, the Tesla MC + JDapter Stub combo gives me more options for on-the-road charging. Many campgrounds have 14-50 outlets that can be accessed, and of course, 120V trickle charging is always an option, albeit extremely slow. The JDapter Stub opens up even more charging points, as otherwise inaccessible Tesla destination charging stations also become available as charging options. I never thought I would ever be writing a glowing blog post about a Tesla product, but the Gen 2 MC (with assist from the JDapter) is really a nice option for those EV owners looking for a low-cost, portable dual 120/240V EVSE.

An EV owner of a plug-in that can only charge at ~3.3 kW (Volts for example) can probably find cheaper options for 3.3-3.6 kW charging (such as the Gen 2 Volt/Bolt’s stock charging cord which can be used for 240V charging with an adapter), but for a non-Tesla BEV owner that can charge at a rate of at least 6.6 kW, such as a Bolt EV or Leaf owner, the Tesla Gen 2 MC + JDapter Stub combo is a charging solution that should be considered. And is almost a no-brainer if you already own a JDapter Stub.

P.S. for those of you looking to duplicate my setup, make sure your electrician runs wire for a 50-amp circuit. While only a 40-amp circuit is required for use of a 32-amp device like the Tesla Gen 2 MC, a NEMA 14-50 outlet is supposed to be wired for 50-amps, so while you could get away with running wire for 40-amps, you wouldn’t want to fall into any permit issues if an inspector finds a 50-amp outlet wired for only 40-amps. Pay the few extra bucks and get the proper 50-amp wiring installed.

*Editor’s note: This article was originally published on bro1999’s blog.

Categories: Charging, Chevrolet, Tesla

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32 Comments on "Does Tesla Make The Best Value EVSE For Non-Tesla Owners?"

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David Murray

It’s certainly a good value. But I think the best value is often overlooked.. and that’s using the portable unit that comes with your car on 240V. Sure, not all models are compatible. In fact, I wish we had a proper list of which units are or are not 240V compatible and pictures of those units so that we can be sure before plugging in our units to 240V and potentially frying them. For example, I’ve been using the unit I got with my Gen-2 Volt on 240V for over a year now without issue. I believe the same unit ships with the Bolt and even some BMWs. I’ve heard the Fiat 500e unit can do 240V but haven’t been able to verify.

I realize these units won’t provide a full level 2 experience since they still work at 12 amps. But it’s still twice as fast as 110V and also avoids needing to constantly tell you car to do 12 amps instead of 8, such as the Volt. I would imagine 240v at 12amps is absolutely plenty for most people’s daily driving needs, especially for those that use a PHEV.

WXY11

Looking at he label the provided EVSE for the gen2 Leaf is good for 6.6kw and it includes a NEMA 14-50 adapter. Nothing else needed, but a NEMA 14-50 receptacle.

BTW I also run a gen2 Volt EVSE on 240vac. If plugged into the Leaf it indicates 3.6kw, or 15a. I disagree that PHEV need less. The range is so short and charging is so slow, that cripples the usability. It’s not uncommon that the Leaf is the preferred car because the Volt takes too long get any significant range in the battery.

James G

That is only on the high end leaf trim (SL?). The others come with a 12A (or 16A?) unit

Lausbub
menorman

Nissan now sells/includes one with the new Leaf too. It includes a NEMA 14-50 plug and an adapter for regular 120V, so that’s a big savings right there, though I’m not sure if it has all the fanciness like others (e.g. ChargePoint Home).

CCIE

If you include the cost of the JDapter, the economics get questionable. But, it is fairly easy to replace the Tesla plug with a standard J1772 plug.

Mark

I had the exact same thought reading this. He really needed to point out how much that JDapter stub costs. Funny that last I checked it was nearly the same cost as that Tesla mobile charger.

Harold T

JDapter $239 +tax and Shipping perhaps, + $300 for Tesla EVSE, So $540 which is $25 savings over a clipper creek HCS-40 hardwire.

Sustainable2020

Yes, but he can charge at any non supercharger Tesla charging station now…there are thousands of those in the USA and towing and often there are no other non Tesla charging stations next to them

bro1999

I did point it out.
And even including the JDapter cost, the Tesla Gen 2 UMC/JDapter combo is still cheaper than the equivalent Clipper Creek HCS-40P ($539 vs $589)

David Murray

Yeah.. The only way this argument makes a lot of sense is if you were already planning to buy the JDapter anyway. Then I could see it making sense.

Robert Weekley

He also said that he had the JDapter Stup purchased previously, and if you were buying it new, the economics for the upgrade aspect would not be quite as good, but still better!

He also did not mention, or I did not notice, if he lists his home charger on PlugShare! If he did / does, he could list it as a J1772, &/or as a Tesla, &/or as a NEMA 14-50!

So, while he might not have the absolutely Cheapest Charging Ootion, I think it is the Most Versatile Collection, and definitely expands the usability of the Bolt EV by 25% to 50% or higher, than how it comes cinfugured and supplied by GM! Maybe even Doubles the Usability Potential!

That he shared and Inside EVs did, should be considered a win!

Even more versatile, if available, but I think more miney, might be the Model S / Model X Tesla Mobile Cord, as it has More Adapters it can be used with!

xcat

There’s also evseupgrade.com

CDAVIS

Lol

bro1999,
You only live once… stop teasing yourself with all the Tesla foreplay… trade the Bolt for a Tesla!

You deserve a Tesla on the other side of your Tesla Gen 2 Mobile Connector.

Clive

I wonder if he was the thumbs down lol

bro1999

Nope!

SparkEV

Even if wanted to trade for a Tesla, 3 isn’t available. If he didn’t reserve early, he could be looking at 2 or 3 years of waiting. I doubt he wants to drive enormous land-yachts like S and X. The real tease is Tesla, hurry the hell up already.

bro1999

Land yacht Model S wouldn’t even fit in my garage. Literally. Even the Bolt is a tight fit.

Tech01x

The Gen2 Mobile Connector also has extra cost adapters for a variety of receptacles:

https://shop.tesla.com/us/en/product/vehicle-accessories/model-s_x_3-gen-2-nema-adapters.html

Each adapter is $35 and those with dryer outlets can use the 14-30 or 10-30 as appropriate.

Jason France

Not sure the model 3 mobile connector is actually UL listed, you might want to check the label. Mine isn’t.

bro1999

It is.
“The Tesla Mobile Connector is a UL Approved EV charging station that can charge your electric vehicle up to seven times faster. The second generation mobile connector has a max output of 32 amps when using the 14-50 adapter.”
https://smartchargeamerica.com/electric-car-chargers/home/tesla-model-s-x-3-gen-2-mobile-connector-bundle/

Bill Howland

Underwriter’s Laboratories never ever has approved anything. The best thing they do is “LIST” something, although they have Classified and recognized pigeon-holes now also. But they are not even the ‘de Facto’ stamp they used to be since the wallbox I purchased was “UL Classified”, and it still overheated due to an incompetant design.

EVShopper

Not really that great of bargain unless you already have or are planning to get the jdapter.

Jon

Further, when you upgrade to the Model 3 or Model Y you are good to go !

bro1999

For those that may do that, yes.

Bill Howland
Couple of thoughts on Bro1999’s article. Yes you could do worse than the way he did it. But is Tesla the cheapest? Only if you need to go way over 32 amperes. The 32 ampere Chinese stuff is in the $400 range and its pretty good quality. If you have a PHEV (or old Leaf or I-Miev) , then the $200 Duosida stuff is excellent. While Not UL anything, it surely should be since it runs stone cold, has an effective AWG #13 cord running at 16 amperes, and has a stout Nema 6-20 compatible attachment plug, WITH SCREWS so that you can change it out should you want to in the future. The cords are 800 volt heavy water resistant rubber. I also picked up a home made 32 ampere EVSE with 50 ampere j1772 and 50 ampere contactor for $269 – but those are not continually available. I’m not sure what the current Tesla product is – but it can’t be “UL-Rated”. They have UL recognized, classified, and listed, of which “LISTED” was the only thing they had for their first 50 years. UL never (used to anyway) APPROVE anything. They simply would LIST a product if it… Read more »
Bill Howland

Bro1999 said, “…P.S. for those of you looking to duplicate my setup, make sure your electrician runs wire for a 50-amp circuit. While only a 40-amp circuit is required for use of a 32-amp device like the Tesla Gen 2 MC, a NEMA 14-50 outlet is supposed to be wired for 50-amps, so while you could get away with running wire for 40-amps, you wouldn’t want to fall into any permit issues if an inspector finds a 50-amp outlet wired for only 40-amps. Pay the few extra bucks and get the proper 50-amp wiring installed.”.

Definitely not true – and any dopey inspector who tells you that can be easily challenged with any copy of NFPA #70 (NEC). A Nema 14-50 is good for 35, 40, 45, or 50 ampere branch circuits, with the car charging facility running at 28, 32, 36, or 40 amperes or less, respectively.

bro1999

Yeah, I was told recently 40 amp breaker and appropriate gauge wire is fine for a NEMA 14-50. Though then you have to be careful not to plug a 50 amp device into the 14-50. A person assuming the outlet can take a 50A welder or something will end up blowing the circuit.
Much easier just wire a 50A circuit breaker. Probably barely costs more than a 40A wiring setup, unless the wire run is insanely long.

Bill Howland

Welders are variable loads, usually intermittent, and all except the newest are non-sinusoidal, – when I was a kid I used a ’50 amp’ welder (225 amp lincoln) at some what less than the maximum – and since its an intermittent load having it on a 30 ampere breaker as well as room lighting and fans also on this breaker never tripped it.

The point of my statement is there are plenty of existing installations with 35 and 40 ampere circuits going to household ranges with usually 10-50 (3 prong) 125/250 ’50 ampere’ range outlets. This is because the standard ’30 inch’ 4 burner household range and over ‘cooker’ with a 12 kw or less nameplate rating may be assumed to legally only require 8 kw, since it is recognized that all 4 burners will not be on high at the same time. This typical household range only legally requires 33 1/3 ampers, and 35 ampere overcurrent protection, but must be used with a 50 ampere receptacle since the next smallest receptacle at 30 amperes is not large enough.

bro1999

Maybe the article should be retitled “most versatile EVSE setup”. Tesla MC+ JDapter can charge in all kinds of scenarios (home L2/on the road L2/campground L2/Tesla destination station/120V home or away). It’s a jack of all trades…. except for Supercharging. 😉

Bob Wilson

I went with a Chinese, KHONS, adjustable 12-32A, 120-240VAC EVSE, $379. I added an adapter, 120VAC NEMA 5-20 to NEMA 14-50, $49.

Adjustable current, allows using 12A for an older 15A house line or 16A on a 20A line. It also allows 24A for dryer circuits and 32A for our NEMA 14-50 circuit.

Source: https://www.evseadapters.com

bro1999

I’m very wary about cheap Chinese made stuff. Buy a cheap Chinese phone and it dies? Ok whatever.
Buy a cheap Chinese EVSE and it burns your house down? Slightly different.