Electric vehicles are growing in popularity with each passing year. According to Electric Mobility Canada, 2019 sales of electric vehicles were up compared to Q1 of 2018, with Tesla’s Model 3 continuing to be the most popular make. Meanwhile, the CBC reported that zero-emission vehicles such as electric cars are especially popular in British Columbia. With this increased interest in electric vehicles comes new logistical questions from many current and prospective EV owners. One of the most common questions we get at TCA is: “How should I charge my Tesla?” And while Tesla’s supercharger network continues to grow, we feel that any Tesla owner should consider installing a Tesla home charger. But why should you, and how much can you expect a Tesla home charger to cost? We’ll answer those questions and more in today’s post!
Tesla charging options: Can I charge my Tesla at home?
When it comes to charging a Tesla, there are three main options: the mobile connector (or Level 1 charger), the wall charger (Level 2), and the supercharger (Level 3). The first two are home charging options, while Level 3 chargers are typically only seen in industrial settings or within Tesla’s charging network. Here are some details on each:
- Level 1: The mobile connector is the most straightforward. It comes standard with every Tesla vehicle and can be plugged into any ordinary 120-volt outlet, but it offers slow charging speeds of about 8-17 km of range per hour, depending on the car model.
- Level 2: Another home charging option, this is also referred to as a Tesla wall charger, or wall connector. While a Level 1 charger can simply be plugged in out of the box, the Tesla wall charger requires installation by a qualified electrician, but it provides additional power in order to charge your car faster.
- Level 3: This charger isn’t typically seen in home use. These incredibly fast chargers, also known as superchargers, cost at least as much as the car itself, but they can charge a Tesla to 50% battery in about 20 minutes.
Should I install a Tesla wall charger?
The short answer is most likely “yes”—but of course, there’s more to it than that. After all, we understand that the cost of a Tesla wall charger plus installation can add up (and we’ll get to cost in a second). But the convenience of having a Level 2 home charger for your Tesla makes the experience of owning an electric car much better.
Why? Well, let’s take a look at the alternative options. First, there’s the mobile charger that comes with all Tesla electric car models. You might be considering using this as your primary method of charging; however, this is not often recommended. Level 1 chargers can only add around 8-17 kilometres of driving range to your battery per hour, depending on the Tesla model, and that number can be substantially lower in cold temperatures. While this amount of charge can be enough for those who do very little daily driving, it will be too limiting for many. A Level 2 Tesla home charger can charge much faster, adding 48 to 70 km of range per hour of charging.
The other option is utilizing Tesla’s growing network of superchargers. Their coverage is quite good for those driving in Canada and the U.S., but these charging stations are typically intended for longer road trips, and you won’t be able to leave your car there overnight. The convenience of owning a home charger for a Tesla or other electric car is like having a gas station in your home. Rather than frequently visiting gas or charging stations, you simply plug in at night, go to bed, and your car is ready to go by morning.
How much is a Tesla home charger?
The cost of the latest Tesla home charger is about $700 CAD for a Gen 3 wall connector at the time of writing. But there’s a short and long answer when it comes to cost, as well. That’s because a Tesla home charger will also carry an installation cost, which could be higher or lower depending on the capabilities of your home’s electrical panel. Most homes these days have a 200-amp panel already, which should make installation of a Tesla wall charger possible. However, if your home still uses a 100-amp panel, you will first need to have an electrician upgrade your service to at least 200 amps. Additionally, those with a 200-amp panel and a suite may need to upgrade their panel further or add in a demand charge controller.
Should I hire a professional for the installation?
While there is no professional knowledge required for the Level 1 charger, installation of a Level 2 Tesla home charger should only be handled by a qualified and licensed electrician. This is because installing these chargers requires running 240 volts from your breaker panel to your chosen charging location. While 240 volts may not sound like a lot, it’s electrical current that can seriously harm you—and as mentioned above, a Tesla home charger requires your electrical panel to have at least 200 amps of current, more than enough to be lethal. Working on electrical projects yourself is not worth the risk at the best of times, but this is especially true when you need to work directly with your electrical panel.
In finding the right qualified electrician, be sure to find a company with expertise and experience with installing Tesla or other electric car chargers. EV charger installation is a relatively young area of the electrical industry, and newer chargers and electric car makes are constantly hitting the market. That makes it especially important that your chosen electrician is keeping themselves up to date on proper installation of these devices.
TCA Electric: Experts in Tesla Home Charger Installation
Here at TCA, we’ve been installing home EV chargers for years. Whether it’s a Tesla charger or any other model, we’re constantly striving to keep ourselves up to date on the latest devices hitting the market. We’ve already begun installing Tesla’s latest home charger, the Gen 3 Wall Connector, and we’re standing by to help get you the latest in charging technology. We understand the value of increased adoption of electric cars, both for the incredible cost savings and for saving the planet. And we know that when you purchase your Tesla, the last thing you’ll want is any delays or mistakes when it comes to getting your home charger online. TCA is your go-to EV charging expert—so contact us today!