Shortage of qualified electricians to install home chargers?

Shortage of qualified electricians to install home chargers?

Okay, here's the scenario... Tesla says M3's will start to be delivered in mass on (enter date here...)
For all the people who are not current Tesla owners, they will need a home charger installed.
The dealer offers to set up an appointment for you with one of their qualified electricians; Says the first available appointment is in 3 weeks!
I'm just wondering if there will be a run on Chargers & the electricians that install them? The pickup process for a M3 may be 5 minutes (Grin) but it takes hours to install the 220 circuit & charger.
The electricians will be lucky to do 2 homes a day.

minervo.florida | 23. März 2017

No need for chargers, just install the nema 14-50 outlet in your garage. See Tesla website for details.
I had 2 different electricians install 2 ports for our cars and it was $100 each plus parts. $400 total for each one. Took about 1 hour for each one, my panel is in the garage, yours could vary a lot depending how far away the panel is.

markr7 | 23. März 2017

Question: With "Just" using the Nema 14-50 outlet, do you lose some of the "Tricks" available with using a dedicated Tesla charger? e.g. Start charge @ 2:00 AM, Ability to check state of charge, etc through APP
Or, Is this done through the Tesla itself?

SamO | 23. März 2017

Just charge on 110/120v.

Every house has about 75 outlets, all of which will perform yeoman's work in charging by adding 40-60 miles every evening between return from work and the next days departure.

If that is not sufficient, 14-50 will add 30-40 miles/hour of range.

If that isn't sufficient, choose the dual charging option for 60-80 miles/hour of range.

All Tesla functionality is available from any plug/charger.

jordanrichard | 23. März 2017

markr7, all of those things you listed are either on the phone app or on the car's screen. There are no "dedicated Tesla chargers" in a home. you just need ANY standard 120v outlet or ideally a 14-50 outlet. There will be no run on 14-50 outlets or the standard copper wiring needed. If you are thinking of the HPWC, that is not a charger. The letter "C" stands for connector. High Power Wall Connector.

KP in NPT | 23. März 2017

"Question: With "Just" using the Nema 14-50 outlet, do you lose some of the "Tricks" available with using a dedicated Tesla charger? "

the only difference is convenience. Besides possible faster charge depending on the circuit you choose (50/100A) The HPWC also means the cord is on the wall, as opposed to you having to take it out of the car to use (assuming you don't leave it in the garage except for when going on long trips.)

We just have a 14-50. But we will likely upgrade to the HPWC when we add our Model 3 - not for a faster charge since it's still 50A, but because it's easier than dragging the cord out of the trunk. We don't have a garage.

Plus it looks nicer. When we bought our Model S, the HPWC was much more expensive than it is now. But still, it's not money you need to spend. A 14-50 is perfectly fine.

Carl Thompson | 23. März 2017

I already have a 240V "charger" with a SAE J1772 connector installed in my garage. Will I be able to use that with a Tesla? I assume I need an adapter?


Couldn't you just leave the cord for the 14-50 plugged in and use it the same way as the HPWC?


SUN 2 DRV | 23. März 2017

Carl: The MS and MX come with a J1772 to Tesla adapter. I assume the M3 will likely come with one too. They're also available for purchase on the Tesla web site.

KP in NPT | 23. März 2017

@Carl, we could, but we don't have a garage. Our car is parked in our parking space next to our house and the plug is mounted in a weatherproof box on our shed (which is the forward boundary of our spot.) so It wouldn't be secure.

stevenmaifert | 23. März 2017

Shortage? The HPWC or NEMA 14-50 receptacle can be installed by any licensed electrician. It doesn't require special expertise. Check your Yellow Pages or if there is an IBEW union hall in your locale, give them a call. It took the electrician about an hour to install my NEMA 14-50.

PhillyGal | 23. März 2017

@SamO is correct that a 110/120 would work for most but I'd like to add that if you do charg at the higher rate (the famous NEMA 14-50 outlet, for example), it will be more efficient and thus cost you less cents per mile you drive.

Also, you certainly don't want to come home from a long trip on E and have to wait 50 hours for it to be full again.

SamO | 23. März 2017


Agreed. And there are Superchargers and Destination Charging and Work and ChargePoint.

But since the OP was "worried" about a lack of electricians, I was simply pointing out that every house has a veritable plethora of Tesla EV charging "stations" available without any need for worry.

SUN 2 DRV | 23. März 2017

Philly +1: It's all about the average charge rate vs the peak charge rate.

On average, 110V is likely sufficient.... but also consider the fastest charge rate you'll likely need/want. For me it was worth investing in an HPWC and a 100 amp circuit. Most days a small circuit would have been sufficient, but sometimes I need a faster charge... it give me more freedom to have my car waiting for me rather than me waiting for my car to be charged.

It's just like internet speeds.... we all want the fastest instantaneous response, but our bandwidth requirements averaged over the whole day are pretty minimal. So consider the PEAK charge rate you'll want to have available.

dsvick | 23. März 2017


You don't have to use a Tesla qualified electrician, you can use any electrician you feel comfortable with (assuming they need to be on file with your city). Also, if you think that electricians will be busier as more model 3s get produced, go ahead and hire an electrician now and get your outlet installed, that way that part of it is done and is one less thing to worry about.

stevenmaifert | 23. März 2017

dsvick makes a good point. Get the electrical work done before you take delivery.

Something else to determine NOW, is if the current electrical service to your home is adequate to support the addition of an EV charger. The NEMA 14-50 for the UMC requires a 50A circuit, and the HPWC can require up to a 100A circuit, depending on the variable output setting you choose. Open the door to your home's circuit breaker panel and see what rating is stamped on the main breaker. If it's 100A (common in older homes) there is a good chance you will need an electrical service upgrade (like I did) to support the additional load of the EV charger, and that can be expensive. Code requirements in some locales require the HPWC to be installed on a 100A circuit even if you intend to use one of the lower output settings.

Octagondd | 23. März 2017

What is the lowest amperage level you can charge a Model S at? My Chevy Spark can charge at 8amps 120V for about 1.4kW of power. This works when I charge at home(rental) since the circuit is old and has a 15amp breaker and is also the same circuit as the lights in the house. (I realize this is not optimal). I mostly charge at work, but just curious what the lowest setting for charge rate is on the Model S.

Octagondd | 23. März 2017

Sorry not 8 amps. 12 amps at 120V for about 1.4kW.

Coastal Cruiser. | 23. März 2017

I was going to say why not get fitted for whatever fixture you will be using now, but that got mentioned. I am building an off-grid solar array to charge my M3... it's the first solar system I've built on my own... and was just thinking yesterday how nice it would be to have an electricians degree under my bolt. Lots and lots of electrician jargon and knowledge comes into play even on the "low" voltage side.

It's a shame one can't just download the skills they need like in The Matrix.

getsolarizednow | 23. März 2017

According to Tesla the M3 will have an on board charger so all you need is the NEMA 14-50 and you're good to go. It's not a big deal to install in your garage.

stevenmaifert | 23. März 2017

@Octagondd - My UMC is rated 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz, up to 40A. There is no minimum amperage specified. The Tesla supplied adapter will let it charge off a standard house 120V 12A circuit. Slow, but it works.

stevenmaifert | 23. März 2017

@getsolarizednow - Just to be clear. The M3 will have an on board charger but you still need an EVSE that "connects" the AC power source to the car's on board charger. The hardwired HPW"C" and portable UM"C" perform that function. They are often referred to as chargers, but they are really interfacing devices.

Rocky_H | 23. März 2017

To actually answer @Octagondd's question, the screen interface in the car will let you turn the charging amps down to 5, and I think that's as low as it will go.

The initial question is making a bad assumption. I'm concurring with several other people's points. Being an electrician is qualification enough. It's just putting an appliance on a 240V circuit. There isn't special training needed beyond regular electrical installing.

Octagondd | 23. März 2017

Thanks Steven and Rocky. I have to set it to 12 amps or less or the circuit will trip and I don't want the fire hazard anyways. It helps to know I can set the amperage level. Only very occasional use.

melinda.v | 23. März 2017

OP - also remember, depending on the economy in your area, if things are going well and construction is going on, most electricians will be scheduling appointments out 3 or 4 weeks anyway. It's not specifically that the Tesla Authorized ones are busy doing nothing but installing Tesla WCs and 14-50 outlets (that would be just a tiny fraction of their jobs), it's just how long it takes to get into their schedule, especially for a small job like this.

Red Sage ca us | 23. März 2017

I know at least three guys that can do such an installation. This is not a problem at all.

Badbot | 23. März 2017

I expect to do it my self.
I'm not a electrician but I have installed a 200 amp service panel without killing my self.
surface mount 14-50 and 2 feet of cable and drill 1 hole in plywood backboard.

Haggy | 24. März 2017

I have a Model S and an NEMA 14-50. The only difference I see is...none. I don't put the cable in the car when I'm not charging, so when I charge, I see a cable that looks just like the one that comes with a wall connector. I could put in a higher capacity breaker and a wall connector, and have something that is capable of charging the car faster. The only issue there is that it won't make a bit of difference unless I add a second on board charger to the car. But I've never had a situation where charging faster at home would have made a difference.

I might install a couple of wall connectors and increase the amperage when I get the Model 3, but only because I can daisy chain the connectors and end up with the same power level on each that I have now for one car.

Getting back to the original question, a "qualified electrician" would be any licensed electrician.

Red Sage ca us | 01. April 2017

Haggy is correct.