Charging with 110v outlet as primary charger

Charging with 110v outlet as primary charger

I will be receiving my MS in the coming few weeks. Since I rent my house and will be moving in the next six months I may use a 110v outlet as my primary charging source for the near future. Are there any MS owners out there who do this? If so are there any guidelines / precautions I should know about? Thanks.

Superliner | 19. Februar 2013

If you live in proximity to available Level II charging or have it available @ work you might be okay by just topping off at home and doing the bulk of your charging at either of those. It could be doable if you need to tide over until your living arrangements change.

rterry | 19. Februar 2013

expect about 3mi/hr so your commute would have to be @36 miles or less round trip if you can't recharge at work...

ckanuga | 19. Februar 2013

I use 110 as my primary charger and it works fine.
My commute is just 28 miles so haven't had any issues.

agiangone | 19. Februar 2013

I have a 44 mile commute and I'm planning to charge from 9 to 7 to take advantage of the off peak rates and then top off if needed on weekends.

Brian H | 19. Februar 2013

top off with longer 110, or 240?

jat | 19. Februar 2013

Recharging 0-91% (a full standard charge) will take about 53 hours, so you won't ever be able to fully use the battery. Even if you can recover your normal usage, you will have trouble recharging after any unexpected driving, plus it seems a shame to have an 85kWh Model S and only drive it 25mi/day :).

It really isn't that expensive to have a 240V outlet installed if you can at all.

agiangone | 19. Februar 2013


Yes I meant with the same 110.


Agreed, eventually the 14-50 is coming but it'll be a couple of months. BTW it is not going to be an 85KWh only a 40

Jvaret | 19. Februar 2013

I am planning to install a 240v outlet but since getting my S-60 last week have been just using a standard outlet with no problems, getting 3-4 miles per hour of charge. Should be fine for anyone without a long commute.

If you take a big road trip you may want to top off at a public level 2 charger (see the plugshare and recargo mobile apps) or a supercharger.

jat | 19. Februar 2013

@agiangone - ok, a 40kWh makes more sense, as you can do a full charge in about a day.

rockyb | 19. Februar 2013

I am a 1 week old owner and still relying on my 110v outlet until I am convinced otherwise. I have a question on maximizing MS battery longevity. Is there any detriment to battery longevity if a MS consistently maintains a charge that varies between 45-65% charge capacity over a span of years, versus a battery that maintains a charge that varies between 65-85% of capacity? Because I am relying on a 110v outlet, I find that I can only maintain the former range of charge, but want to make sure this does not adversely affect battery life over the long run.

jat | 19. Februar 2013

@rockyb - I doubt it. Generally it is staying at too low a charge or too full a charge for a period of time that causes problems.

Leofingal | 19. Februar 2013

Agree with jat, as long as you're not running down to near zero a lot, being in that mid range state of charge shouldn't be bad. "trickle" charging with 110 won't hurt the battery at all either, so as long as you don't get range anxiety, I wouldn't be overly concerned. Just plug in to your 110 as often as you can. If it gets cold, I think you might not get the full 3 miles/hour either as it might get used up with holding the battery temp, but if you're in a garage I think that will be OK.

rockyb | 19. Februar 2013

Thanks guys. The speed of these responses tells me I am not the only one in love with my new toy. Is it wrong to dream about a car?

Bennett R. | 21. Februar 2013

After I got my car, the charger did not fit in the outlet I had installed a couple weeks earlier. It turns out the electrician accidentally used a Nema 14-30 instead of 14-50. My experience was also a charge of about 3 miles per hour.

wbrown01 | 23. Februar 2013

A 110, what do you drive 2 days a week? Thats a joke

Getting Amped Again | 23. Februar 2013

I live in a condo, charge on 110V (fortunately work from home so I get 20 hours of charging a day), and repay the HOA using this:

My advice to anyone considering 110V charging is "have a backup plan." For me, it's a free SemaConnect unit a few miles away, and some ChargePoint units at the local mall. If you get below about 20F (guessing) I think you get zero miles of range added per hour - you just end up keeping your battery warm, and with lower temperatures you might even LOSE range.

Charging on 110V in a locale where you get long, cold winters is practically impossible IMO, unless your garage stays fairly warm.

EarlyAdopter | 23. Februar 2013

I drive 30 to 40 miles a day and have been just fine with charging at 120V. I recover 40 miles overnight.

On the weekends if I run the battery down to 0 I just plug in Sunday night. Come Monday morning I have 40 miles, enough to make it to work and back.

I can Level 2 charge at work. That is, so long as the chargers aren't all hogged by Leaf's, as is usually the case. But I've only done that twice out of novelty.

At some point I'll probably put in a NEMA 14-50. But 5 weeks of having the car so far and I haven't felt a pressing need.

francisco | 24. März 2019

If your commute is less than 50 miles a day, it is totally doable.
Check my experience and the numbers:

Bighorn | 25. März 2019

I met a new 3 owner at a supercharger last week who was told by someone at Tesla that 120V charging was bad for the car, so he was supercharging instead of using his 120V outlet while waiting on his 240V line. Never came across that admonition before.

NKYTA | 25. März 2019

It is definitely less efficient, but bad for the car?!?

MJP.75D | 25. März 2019

I’ve been charging my ‘16 MS for 3 years mostly on 120 at home — most recent range charge (December 2018) netted 253 miles (down 2.3% from new).... Yes, it’s slow (4mi/hr) but nets me 50 miles on an overnight charge which is more than enough for my daily needs. The 6 mile reduction from new would seem to be better than average. YMMV but hard to support the notion that 3 years of charging like this has hurt my battery. Time will tell, I suppose.

Bighorn | 25. März 2019

I was just plugged in for 36 hours at a friend’s place, so I’m just reporting from the field:)

NKYTA | 25. März 2019

Yeah, four years ago Thanksgiving we plugged in for a long weekend in Tahoe on 120V. With cold, we got just under 3 miles per hour of rated range.

RAR | 25. März 2019

I had a dumpster in my driveway for several months. I used a 120V 20A outlet and an extension cord rated for 13A continuous duty. I got 4 miles added range for each hour I was plugged in. No problems at all.

Haggy | 25. März 2019

I can't see why 120V charging should be bad for the car. The question is why you'd want to.

Some people have legitimate reasons. For some people, like my brother, his panel couldn't handle it. But it could handle two 20A breakers. So he added an NEMA 6-20, which gives him 15 mph with a Model 3 and would give 11 with an S. If you can handle only two 15A breakers (unlikely that you could do that but not handle two 20A) then a 6-15 would still give 7 mph with an S, which is slow but workable for those who don't drive much. With a Model 3, it would give 11, and 88 miles overnight is not bad.

jeremy_zifchock | 26. März 2019

good to remember, that even if you run your battery down during the week, if you're not doing the long commute on the weekend, you can refill it over Saturday and Sunday. Example: My commute is 50 miles round trip, M-F. I plug the car in from 6:45 PM to 6:45 AM at 3-4 mi/hr for a total of ~40 miles charge, so I lose 10 miles of charge each day. On Weekends, I only drive about 30 miles per day, and I charge for more hours, so my net each week is a full charge. Of course any travel uses a SC.

Sam_S | 26. März 2019

Most of us have TOU electric service so we don’t want to be charging during peak hours...only during off peak and why we need faster charging speeds.

Yodrak. | 26. März 2019

"Most of us have TOU electric service ..."

Are we sure about that? Or are there some unidentified qualifiers for who "us" is?

murphyS90D | 27. März 2019

I don't have TOU service in PA. The cost is the same all day, every day.

Bighorn | 27. März 2019

A few states started introduced TOU pricing last year

Most people geographically are not on a TOU agreement.

jlackey1948 | 27. März 2019

There are no superchargers near where I live so I use 100 exclusively. I get 4 miles range per hour.

Corp | 28. März 2019

We’re renting and the landlord is allowing me to use the detached garage where there is a 110v outlet. Running a thicker wire out there to support 240v would require ripping up cement and isn’t worth it so I went with 110v charging.

I also don’t drive that much so the 4mph I get recharging is fine.

itsnice2be | 23. November 2019

If my Tesla P3D is going to sit for several weeks, will it do any harm to just keep it plugged in to 120V and if I do that, what % should I keep the battery charged to? I'm thinking ahead for when I get my CyberTruck since I only have one Tesla Wall Connector.

Darthamerica | 23. November 2019

If you charge to 90%, you could let it sit for 1-2 months with no issue. Unless you're taking a roadtrip everyday in the Cybertruck, you could always just skip a night of charging it to recharge the P3D as well. Doesn't seem like you need to worry about this...

Darthamerica | 23. November 2019

...but to answer your question directly, no harm. Keep it between 60-80%.

wfal | 23. November 2019

I'm retired and my 2016 MS 75D "MacOnWheels" does just fine on 120V charging. It's just like a cellphone, you get home and plug it in. For optimum battery life I'll refer you to a conversation between Elon and BJ where they said that the battery life is best between 50-60%. I have my level set to 50% and my 133 miles does me just fine. I did try out a local supercharger and set it to 80% and a road trip where I set it to 100%.