Prepping garage for electric charging

Prepping garage for electric charging

Since I have 1.5 years to do this, I'm wondering how those of you who are in the same boat wiring your 220V service to charge the Model 3?

So far, I have this on my buy list: NEMA 14-50 receptacle, 220V 50A 2-pole circuit breaker, #6 AWG copper wire (or larger if greater than 150 feet, 3/4" EMT conduit

paul | 24. Mai 2016

I just had the NEMA 14-50 receptacle installed. Now all I need is a M3 to go with it!

mntlvr23 | 24. Mai 2016

Prepping the garage also means finally clearing out all the crap from it, so I can finally park a car in it.

Badbot | 24. Mai 2016

My plan is to get bids from local electricians for a NEMA 14-50 without telling them why I want it.
I expect $200-300 will be the low bid.

By not telling them why, I hope to avoid gouging.

dsvick | 24. Mai 2016

I've got a friend who is an electrician, I'm hoping to get away with it for little more than pizza and beer (the beer would be after).

Obi Wan | 24. Mai 2016

In Ontario, we have a gov't rebate of up to $500 for each of EVSE and installation. I have a 40 amp L2 in my garage with a 25' cord, that'll charge my other EV in the driveway.

PV_Dave @US-PA | 24. Mai 2016

@mntlvr23: Yeah, my 2nd charging station cost a fortune! Most of the cost was the storage shed for all the stuff that was preventing a car from pulling in.

gavinmcc | 24. Mai 2016

Adding one to my garage in the next month or two...can't hurt to do it early (I can use it for my electric motorcycle till the car comes in).

jbunn | 24. Mai 2016


That won't help, really. I'll give you my take as a professional.

1) Call Local. Any kind of workman has to factor in his transit time. If you're an hour away, he's got 4 hours into your job by the time he comes out for a bid, then comes back for the work. Someone needs to pay for that. Try a zip code search in your browser to get tradesmen in your area.

2) Be Specific. If you called me, and said "I need a NEMA 14-50 receptacle located 10 feet from the main fuse panel in my garage. I want it in metal conduit, and I have space in my fusebox for the breaker.", then I know everything I need. Pictures help. Allot.

3) Limit your bids. Assuming you have number 2 above, and perhaps some good pictures, you may be able to get an estimate on the phone. Note, an estimate is NOT a quote. A tight quote requires he pad for any unforeseen issues (like having to bore through a concrete wall). As a professional, I am fine with hiring on a time and materials basis. And I prefer to work that way. I allows me to complete the project at the least cost to the client, while giving me risk protection.

4) Keep it quick. We loose our shirts on small jobs, and many guys don't like to do them at all. Keep the process short. If I like the guy on the phone, tell him you're prepared to let him do on the spot. That way he makes one trip.

Hope that helps

mntlvr23 | 24. Mai 2016

I have already solicited 3 bid via email. I was very specific regarding how far the electrical panel was from the garage (very close) and sent photos of my box showing that I thought that I had adequate expansion slots (they agreed, to the extent they could via email). I did mention it was for a Tesla (and I am in Northern VA, suburb of DC, and above average housing and cost of living). My quotes were: $600, $1,200, and much higher.

@jbunn - would it cut the % of cost much if I bought the supplies and ran the wiring and conduit - and they only needed to fuss with the panel and make connections at each end.

@PV Dave - lol, we just finally emptied a storage unit from a move 3 years ago. $100/month for junk we don't use.

croman | 24. Mai 2016

$300 for electrician to install NEMA 6-50 plug. 15 minutes for me to mount the bracket for my L2 (7.2kwh) charger and plug it in. Saves me hours on my L1 charger.

veloaudio | 24. Mai 2016

I plan to find a local electrician through the Tesla search:

jordanrichard | 24. Mai 2016

I think by now with all the talk in the news about EVs, that anyone asking for a 14-50 outlet to be put in their garage, is obviously for an EV. Though I agree that un fortunately there are those that will jack up the price if you tell them which EV it is.

Cowbell | 24. Mai 2016

I got one bid for $5500 to upgrade my main panel to 200 amps and run a new 50 amp circuit to the garage. I got another bid for $1200 to run 30' of wire from one side of the garage to the other and use the existing 30 amp dryer circuit to power it. Those are Silicon Valley prices.

zakeeus | 24. Mai 2016

I just did mine. Paid $295 to have a 14-50 directly below the panel in the garage. I recommend using home advisor to find an electrician in your area.

Linemanap | 24. Mai 2016

I'm glad I know how to do all this stuff myself im going to upgrade my main disconnect to 320amp add a 200amp panel and run 4 awg to the garage should be less then 400 dollars and take about 5 hours

vp09 | 24. Mai 2016

Great advice from all.

I paid $1750 for 2 Nema 14-50 240 volt 50 amp outlets installed, and some motion-detector lights out front.

I provided the 2 outlets, which were $8 each at Home Depot.

There might be a U.S. federal tax credit or deduction for installing home electric car recharging infrastructure. I don't know.

Badbot | 24. Mai 2016


Thanks for the advice.

My #2 panel in on outside of garage.
plug needs to be inside directly behind or 6 inches to the left of panel.
plywood backboard behind Ele. and cable panels.
Half of breaker slots are unused.

What would the permit for a job like this cost? parts? labor?

jsanford | 24. Mai 2016

We just switched our range from electric to gas, so have an available 220 circuit to repurpose. Hoping to do it this year for the rebate.

CraigW | 24. Mai 2016

I installed a 14-50 plug myself three years ago and have had absolutely no problems. As long as you have the required two sections of your box to support the 40amps there is positively nothing unique about any of this.

jbunn | 24. Mai 2016


I did one for another Tesla owner that looked like yours. The receptacle distance was 4 inches from the service panel. You'll need to account for about 3 more feet of wire inside the panel, and another foot at the receptacle, therefore plan on about 5 feet of wire, one 50 amp breaker, a few inches of rigid conduit, two offset conduit connectors (metal), a metal two gang outlet box, a nema 14-50 R, and a cover plate. You'll also need a few drywall anchors or screws to secure the box to the wall. Parts should be well under 75 bucks. Time is less than two hours.

Regarding the permit process, it varies by location. Some places don't require a permit for swapping out your electrical panel. Other locations require one for adding a charger. Homeowners can almost always apply for their own permits. The permitting process is not to be feared. The inspector is there to make sure your job is installed correctly. That is all. All electricians and smart handymen and handymams can pass inspection in one shot. If you come across a person that rolls their eyes, or tries to talk you out of a permit, keep looking for a different electrician.

Let me know if you have any more questions.

jbunn | 24. Mai 2016


Geeze, I'm in your area. If that's the kind of pricing you're getting, we should talk...

eandmjep | 24. Mai 2016

I have a 100 amp barely used service (LED lighting plus a Garage door 3-5 amps total usage) already in My garage. bought 50' of wire. Pulled it in about 2 hours. (some drilling and finagling required) Popped in a 50 amp and plan on purchasing the Newly reduced Wall connector for installation setup to pull 40 amps.

Not sue if I want the 8' or 24' cord. Should provide adequate charging times overnight. about $145 in supplies. Now I just need to get the Wall connector. My state offers 30% credit for installation of EV charging setup but only through 2016 so I will get the Wall charger before the end of the year. Eventually I may have to upgrade my service because I see in my future owning more than one EV/Tesla (Curious what the Pickup Truck will offer)

veloaudio | 25. Mai 2016

Has anyone used the $1,000 US tax credit for charging equipment?

Cowbell | 25. Mai 2016

I bought 50' of 10/3 Romex, a 14-30 outlet, etc. for $80. I'm going to repurpose the dryer circuit myself.

jordanrichard | 25. Mai 2016

I don't know that an outlet is considered "charging equipment". What make it "charging" is your mind is that is what you are looking to use it for. The outlet in of itself is not a charger and it certainly could be used for anything else like welding equipment. Now a HPWC, that is strictly for an EV.

jbunn | 25. Mai 2016


You'll need 10/3 WG which stands for With Ground. It's a 4 conductor wire. Two hot, one neutral, and one ground.

I think 10 gauge is a bit light for a 50 foot run. You're not going to want to pull more than 25 amps on that circuit. Since you are going to run new wire, why not go all in, and put in a Nema 14-50, which is the standard Included Tesla plug? You'd use an 8 or a 6 copper, depending on insulation. Your ground wire can be one size smaller.

Also, if you are going to run romex, you'll need to run it in the wall. You can't just staple it to the finished wall like you can with conduit.

Questions? Let me know.

ann | 25. Mai 2016

@mntlvr23, I'm also in NoVa and am having a wall charger installed on Friday for the 2013 Model S that I picked up two weeks ago. (Will likely trade that in on the Model 3 I reserved.) We "interviewed" three different contractors, and although two of them had a clue (one did not), the contractor that Tesla recommended (on their web site) was *much* more competent than the other two, and slightly cheaper. We have a lot of work to do, because our fuse box (literally fuses) has to be replaced, and we are having other work done, so our quote would be much higher than yours, but if you want to know who we chose, shoot me an email ( I'm not sure if it's acceptable to recommend specific contractors here.

tommyalexandersb | 25. Mai 2016

I had a tesla recommended electrician come by. He gave me a rough estimate of $900-$1,100 to install a tesla wall charger (I would have bought the wall charger myself of course). Without going into too much fetal, mine wasn't as simple as most people's installation, and I was expecting it to be more expensive than that.

After he came by, he called me and said he had spoken with tesla. Tesla told him that the charging specifications were not yet available for the model 3, and he was advised not to install it.

Although I think it's fairly safe to assume a nema 14-50 would work, I don't want to risk installing too soon. I know they're taking pre orders for wireless chargers for the S right now, and it's possible that the 3 will be wireless as well. And if it's not too much more expensive, I would choose wireless over plugging in, if both are options.

adias.angel | 25. Mai 2016

@veloaudio Thanks for pointing out the tax credit! I just read through form 8911 and it's instructions. The part that seems a little hazy to me is because of these two lines:

"Qualified alternative fuel vehicle refueling property is any property (other than a building or its structural components)"

"To recharge an electric vehicle, but only if the recharging property is located at the point where the vehicle is recharged."

So it is only the physical hardware or the install/lines also. If sounds like it's the whole installation as well.

adias.angel | 25. Mai 2016

@tommyalexandersb That's disappointing. :(

np4499 | 25. Mai 2016

Thanks everyone for replying to the topic I posted. It's interesting to see the wide array of responses that I wouldn't have even thought of myself. Some examples are: tax credit (IRS Form 8911_, possibility for wireless charging, repurposing the dryer power, range of received bids, and even Tesla not officially approving the NEMA 14-50 receptacle for a Model 3!

I'm so glad I asked and appreciate it. I can feel the enthusiasm in these forums as we all anticipate taking delivery of our Model 3.

Cowbell | 25. Mai 2016

I only need to use 30', but I had to buy a 50' roll. I got the 4 conductor Romex. My garage is unfinished so I'm running the Romex through the rafters. I'll only pull 24 amps on the circuit to leave a margin of safety.

Badbot | 25. Mai 2016


I think you can use the charging specifications for the S as the 3 will have smaller batteries.

veloaudio | 25. Mai 2016

@adias.angel No problem, I saw the link to the IRS on Tesla's Incentives web page. I plan to purchase a Tesla HPWC and have it installed this year in order to get the tax credit before it expires. Too bad it will be a year+ before I'll plug my M3 into it.

warren_tran | 25. Mai 2016


Where did you get the idea that NEMA 14-50 would not work for Model 3?

Those are pretty standard plug in receptacle and they still sell UMC for that so I can't see any reason why Tesla would not support that for Model 3.

Frank99 | 25. Mai 2016

@warentt - "I can't see any reason...".
I think that's where we are today with the Model 3. Tesla hasn't said what they'll support for charging and are actively discouraging electricians from installing Model 3 specific chargers as a result, but I agree with you and can't imagine they wouldn't continue with the 14-50 as the "standard" charging cable. But that's purely my opinion, and not a published specification of Tesla Motors, Inc.

I have an electrician coming out next week to quote a charging outlet for me - but I've told him I'm not doing the work until Tesla publishes their official charging information. Normally I'd do this myself, but all the other circuits I've added myself have left my breaker box pretty danged full (and just how many duplex breakers are allowed in a box, after all?). If I need to upgrade the box, I'll pay him to do it - too much of a PITA for me at the moment.

I'm really tempted by the wireless charging pad that got posted here in another thread. I've gone all-in on wireless charging for my family's phones, and just love not having to mess around with charging cables. I'd love the concept of backing the car into the garage, and walking away knowing that it'd be charged when I came out next.

Haggy | 25. Mai 2016

I don't know why Tesla would say they don't yet have the specs for the Model 3. Many people will have a Model S and a Model 3. The cars will use the same connectors. They have to design it so that the same wall units will work or nobody would be able to use a destination charger. I can't see them designing it in a way that somebody with an existing mobile connector could plug it into a Model 3 instead of a Model S and that it won't work. I can't see them switching to a different wall outlet, or those who already have a 14-50 outlet and no more room in the breaker box, who expect to be able to use their existing charger, won't have a way to charge.

tommyalexandersb | 25. Mai 2016

@Haggy I agree with you, but because the tesla electrician adviced me against installing a nema 14-50 outlet at this time, it makes me think there might be a better option on its way. Who knows, but it made me decide to wait.

bj | 25. Mai 2016

I currently have a Leaf and ICE in my double garage, and charge the Leaf at 10A using the supplied EVSE and standard 15A wall socket. But prior to my model 3 arriving, I want to install a dedicated L2 charger or better. But I'd like a single unit with two charging cables on it so I can do both cars at once if needed. I don't know if such a beast exists. It could have two J1772 guns on it and I'd just use the adaptor for the Tesla.

I'm in a 230V country and my house has 3-phase power.

Big1matt | 26. Mai 2016

Which would you recommend, a Nema 14-50, or HPWC.

topher | 26. Mai 2016

It sounds stupid to de-authorize NEMA 14-50 as a usable outlet for charging. The only thing that makes sense (to me) of Tesla's hesitation in recommending it, would be if they envision the possibility of a higher wattage plug being usable with the Model ≡.

Thank you kindly.

Linemanap | 26. Mai 2016

So wireless charging now hate to see what the losses are on that 20 30% vs direct charging? Won't be saving the earth like that.

PhillyGal | 26. Mai 2016

@Big1matt - It's a matter of preference.

We use the NEMA 14-50 for our Model S because we are a lot more price sensitive than a lot of Model S owners and the HPWC was $1,000 at the time. It went to $750 later but our 14-50 charging solution was working perfectly so no need. Now the HPWC is down even lower so it's tempting but again, our 14-50 works fine.

The upside of the HPWC is that it looks great and that you can then keep your UMC in the car rather than having to pack it up for road trips.

One really good tip someone gave me is that since the 14-50 is not the type of outlet that's intended to have something plug in and out a ton of times, spend the $40 or so on a second 14-50 adapter for your UMC. That way your UMC is what's getting unplugged rather than the outlet itself because you'll leave that adapter plugged into the 14-50 outlet.

Of course I haven't done so myself yet. But I intend to.

Side bar: for Model S, you are able to upgrade to duel chargers, which accepts twice the charge rate. If you need/want that, you need a HPWC because that spits out twice the juice.

PhillyGal | 26. Mai 2016

dual... and a whole lot of hard-to-read sentences. My apologies.

np4499 | 26. Mai 2016

@ warrentt | May 25, 2016

I never said I got the idea that NEMA 14-50 wouldn't work. Read my post again. All I was saying was that I was shocked to read about from @tommyalexandersb | May 25, 2016 post.

Like you, I also agree it's an indstry standard mating receptacle.

SUN 2 DRV | 26. Mai 2016

My advice is to skip the 14-50 and just install a Wall Connector. Hardwired is much better than multiple sets of plug and adapter connections. Then you can just leave the UMC in the car for when you travel.

SUN 2 DRV | 26. Mai 2016

"One really good tip someone gave me is that since the 14-50 is not the type of outlet that's intended to have something plug in and out a ton of times, spend the $40 or so on a second 14-50 adapter for your UMC. That way your UMC is what's getting unplugged rather than the outlet itself because you'll leave that adapter plugged into the 14-50 outlet."

OMG that is a terrible idea. Yes it saves wear on the 14-50 contacts, but it INCREASES wear on the much smaller adapter contacts. That's exactly where the poor connections have occurred and where the adapters have melted!!!!!!!!!!

Please people, just hardwire a wall Connector and then you won't have ANY type of plug and connector in the high power circuit except the one at the side of the car.

warren_tran | 26. Mai 2016

Did you read any of the previous post? Even Tesla haven't recommend to install Wall Charger. We don't even know what is the approved method of charging at this point beside the Supercharger capability.

SUN 2 DRV | 26. Mai 2016

Yes, I read it. And I'm betting that the car connector doesn't change within a given geography. If the US based Superchargers are going to continue to use the current connector and be compatible with the Model 3, then it's exceedingly likely that the Model 3 will use the same connector on the car.

I agree that most of what anyone is saying about the Model 3 is pure speculation, and that many of the things we take as a given haven't been decided by Tesla yet.

If someone wants to invest in charging infrastructure before Tesla has made their official Model 3 recommendation, then I'd place my bet on the Wall Connector as the best candidate. After all they did just update it with intelligent capability to SHARE power from a single circuit across multiple cars. To me it's obvious this was driven by the upcoming need to support households adding a Model 3 to another Tesla model.

Big1matt | 26. Mai 2016

Thanks alot @phillygal, that does help alot.