Skip expensive home charging

Skip expensive home charging

It costs about $1,000 to upgrade electrical and install a Tesla Wall Connector in my garage. Based on posts in this and other forums, reviewing the Supercharger network, examining charger locations in the PlugShare and ChargePoint apps and personally inspecting several charging locations, I have determined that the $1,000 cost is not warranted.

Living in Central Florida, I get the benefit of having numerous Destination Chargers, soon to be 3 Supercharger locations and a local government that has installed free chargers throughout Orange County, Florida. The newest SC will be installed in downtown Orlando, 1/2 mile from work. With our tourist based economy here in the land of Walt Disney World, Universal and Sea World, it is easy to use a free Destination Chargers.

Bottom line is that if I have to pay 13 cents/kwh for electricity at home, why not skip the $1,000 cost for a Wall Connector and pay Tesla 13 cents/kwh to use a SC. Yes Tesla may charge a small fee for SC access but I suspect it will be minimal at best. In between I can use free chargers, albeit slower charging rates, throughout the County.

Has anybody else looked into this money saving option? Do you think I should spend the $1,000, and if so, why?

AJPHL | 13. Juli 2017

You don't need a wall connector, it just gives you the fastest available home charging:

Alvin27 | 13. Juli 2017

Good luck waiting in line during the high season. The tourists will find it cheaper to bring their families in self driving cars then to fly. Everything will change.

cquail | 13. Juli 2017

I thought everyone in Florida put up solar panels and generated their own electricity.

bj | 13. Juli 2017

How much is your time worth? At $100/hr it only takes 10 hours of wasted non-home-charging time to put you in the red.

mntlvr23 | 13. Juli 2017

@AJPHL @bj +1

Efontana | 13. Juli 2017

How far do you drive each day?

Shock | 13. Juli 2017

Saving a grand so that you can no longer charge at home and have to instead manage and play around at public chargers is a very bad idea. I invite you to try it and after a few days you'll be calling the electrician to get it installed at home.

dyefrog | 13. Juli 2017

Ree Club;
Check your local utility for rebates and incentives. Quick google search I found this.
"Gulf Power offers rebates of $750 to residential customers for the purchase of EVSE."

minervo.florida | 13. Juli 2017

The convienence of charging at home is priceless.

Imagine having to charge your cell phone everywhere but home.

Rajkrishnan9 | 13. Juli 2017

bad idea I had to do it initially while waiting for the installation was glad to start charging in my garage asap

Randkthorn | 13. Juli 2017

I can't imagine forgoing the utility and luxury of always having a full charge every morning. I had a NEMA 14-50 installed in my house very inexpensively when the house was built. But even looking at it as an expense, at around $1000 if you amortize that against gas savings it will soon be paid for.

Scuffers | 13. Juli 2017

OK, as somebody from the UK, what's the mechanics to using the SC network for a car that does not have free access?

Reef Club | 13. Juli 2017

In response, I drive 32 miles round trip each day. Duke Energy and Orange County have no incentives for home chargers. Many of the free chargers are not in tourist corridors. I agree it is more convenient to have a faster charge capability than a standard wall outlet, but I still have to pay for the electricity. I figure 30 minutes or less at the nearby/soon to be built Super Charger, once a week, supplemented by slow charging at home, will do the job. Tesla knows that many of the future Model 3 owners do not have access to home chargers (e.g. Millennials living in apartments). I suspect that is why they are building a Super Charger in downtown Orlando. I also surmise they will make it a pleasant destination. Only time will tell.

virgored | 13. Juli 2017

@Reef Club
If you have the infrastructure near you then go for it, But most will not have that option

Tesla will allow a 1000 miles of free supercharging then will charge, so for most of us in the UK the @Reef Club option is a non goer

mattfog | 13. Juli 2017

SC mechanics no different; drive in and plug in. Unconfirmed, but hopefully M3 will benefit from same free 400kwh annual SC allowance (approx. 1k miles). If free allowance used up within the year, you then pay per kwh used, billed through your 'My Tesla' account. Free allowance does not roll-over. £ per Kwh is not much more expensive than the average paid for home use.

Rajkrishnan9 | 13. Juli 2017

I drive 140 miles round trip (3-4hrs) wife 100 (2-3hrs) will never have time to be visiting a sc on a daily basis
the days we forget to plug in is hell (rush to sc on way to work) day ruined.

Rajkrishnan9 | 13. Juli 2017

wish tesla would sell a(n automated) sc for homes :-)

gar1116 | 13. Juli 2017

Although it is slow, why not plug into your 110V line at home?

bp | 13. Juli 2017

Charging overnight at home vs. visiting a supercharger is a trade-off of installation expense vs. the amount of time spent each week waiting at a supercharger (to first get access to the charger and then wait for the charging to complete).

Unlike an ICE, even though the superchargers are much faster than home charging, it will typically take 15-30 minutes of charging time (and could be much longer if you let the charge drop closer to 0% and/or you try to charge above 80%).

For most people, daily driving is going to be less than 100-150 miles. Even with a 30A outlet (what is typically run for a dryer outlet), you should be able to get a full charge overnight. While installing a 50A or higher circuit will charge faster, in most cases, at least for typical daily driving, you don't need to charge that quickly, and can save $$ on installation by installing a lower A circuit.

For our S P85 (with dual chargers, running up to 80A), we installed a 100A circuit and an HPWC. In the 4.5 years we've had the car, we only really needed to charge at the full 80A a few times, and that was when we were leaving for a road trip, and before Tesla started installing superchargers.

When our S 100D arrived, we only ordered the standard 48A charger - and put it on the HPWC, dialed down to 48A. We moved the S P85 to a 50A circuit and dialed it down to 32A (to keep the total load at no more than 80A), and we haven't had any need to charge the P85 faster.

After driving a Model S since early 2013, I've saved a lot of my time, by not having to take the car somewhere to charge. And I'm not sure we'd be as interested in having two electric cars if we had to plan to spend 30+ minutes each week to drive to a supercharger, wait for a charger to free up and then wait for the charger...

It's great to know each morning that when we leave the house - we have a full charge - and never worry about having enough charge to drive around town, no matter how much driving we'll have that day.

gavinmcc | 13. Juli 2017

I wouldn't count the destination chargers...usually you have to be paying guest of the hotel to use them...


TNTesla | 13. Juli 2017

This is the absolute definition of "Penny Wise, Pound Foolish"

How much is your time worth?

MarylandS85 | 13. Juli 2017

According to Tesla’s web site, Florida residents who exceed their annual Supercharging quota will pay $0.13 per kWh. This is comparable to charging at home. For the OP, if you’re looking for maximum cost savings:
1) Supercharge until you hit your annual quota.
2) Destination charge for free whenever possible.
3) When you no longer have free Supercharging for that year, charge using your usual home outlets if destination charging isn’t adequate for you. For many people, this is a hassle, but it seems you drive too little for it to matter for you. On a Model 3, you should accrue about 4 miles of range per hour charged. Keep in mind, however, that if you park outdoors and it’s very hot, you may lose range just by having your car sit there in the heat. This is because the car will use power to cool the battery periodically. It’s worse in cold weather climate winters, but that shouldn’t be an issue for you in FL.

And if, as many others suggest, you end up finding this a hassle, install a NEMA 10-50 outlet at home. I myself love the convenience of charging at home and wouldn’t trade it for a few extra bucks a month.

Scuffers | 13. Juli 2017

@virgored & @mattfog

thanks, just what I was looking for.

PhillyGal | 13. Juli 2017

That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.

Kidding aside it would be foolish to forego the utter joy and convenience of home charging when you have the space for it. You don't need a $500 HPWC, you need a $9 NEMA 14-50 outlet. You also don't need your garage drywall to be perfect and re-painted. I paid someone 50 bucks to install mine right next to my panel and skipped the whole fixing the wall thing.

Madatgascar | 13. Juli 2017

What @PhillyGal said. This is all we did, and it's fine for 2 Tesla's.

Personally I predict the urban SCs will be overwhelmed when the Model 3 comes out in numbers, since so many urban Model 3 owners will live in apartments or condos and have no other options.

Iwantmy3 | 13. Juli 2017

Reef Club,
Charging at home is one of the best features of driving an EV. You never have to stop for gas, you never need to waste your time thinking about where and when to "fuel". The one time cost would allow you to enjoy that benefit for as long as you are living in that house and will add to the value of the house at resale.

The idea of going to a supercharger or destination charger will get old very fast. Keep in mind that the cost of "fuel" is likely to be less then $.03/mile. Much less then gas.

Reef Club | 13. Juli 2017

Thanks for comments....looking forward to getting my Model 3 and finding out for myself if I can get along without the added expense of upgrading my home charging options.

Sam_S | 13. Juli 2017

If you pay/paid $1000 for a NEMA 14-50 outlet you got ripped off.

elephant in a bottle | 13. Juli 2017

You should have a charger at home if you are capable of doing that. It's just the ethical thing to do.

If you want to save your benjamins and perhaps gain more, wait for the Tesla Network.

MN_EV_Driver | 13. Juli 2017

I concur with PhillyGal. The NEMA 14-50 outlet is the way to go. Takes 3 seconds to plug in when you get home. Never need to charge away from home, except on trips.

steveg1701 | 13. Juli 2017

First I've heard of an upcoming downtown Orlando SC, great news! Anybody know exactly where its going to be?

SamO | 13. Juli 2017

@elephant in a bottle,

Every Tesla sold since 2012 has a charger BUILT INTO THE CAR.

All you need is a plug.

It has literally nothing to do with ethics.

Reef Club can plug into any outlet and get 50 miles of range per 24 hours. That's (hypothetical maximum of)18,250 miles per year.

And then there are 1000 Superchargers.

And then there are 10,000 Destination Chargers.

And so it goes . . .

Ehninger1212 | 13. Juli 2017

Sure you can do that if you like.

But your losing one of the major benefits of owning an EV. I wouldn't want to have to go somewhere every time I need to charge my phone or laptop. Even if the phone or laptop was cheaper without the charger.

Also you don't need the $1000 wall charger. For example I have access to a nema 10-30, not ideal but it's already in my garage. So I'm just gonna buy and aftermarket adapter and I'm off to the races. heck, depending on your commute you can plug into a standard wall socket!

Ehninger1212 | 13. Juli 2017

*wall connector

Right SamO the actual charger is in the car.

SamO | 13. Juli 2017


Charging at home is awesome. I recommend it to anyone with:

1. Electricity
2. A home

But if you don't have access to electricity where you live (apartment dweller, condo, boat, cardboard box down by the river) then there is:

1. Public charging
2. Destination Charging
3. Supercharging

Where I live, most of the nicer hotels, wineries and resorts have destination charging. I expect that to continue to be (and become) the norm throughout the country.

elephant in a bottle | 13. Juli 2017


We'll eventually get there when SCs and dest chargers become ubiquitous. But at this time , they are best used for long distance travellers or those who are not capable of charging at their homes.

You brought up a good point , he can still trickle charge at his home using standard outlets. He may not most get off peak rates though. Probably gonna cost him more than using a SC.

Azred50 | 13. Juli 2017

Tesla acknowledged that Supercharging every day is likely bad for your battery health. I charge mine nice and slow in my garage in the middle of the night when Phoenix cools off all the way to 90 degrees! If you can afford the car, you can afford its "fuel," which for me is about half the cost of my gas sipping hybrid. Next to liars, cheapskates are the worst.

PhillyGal | 13. Juli 2017

@ReefClub - Since you've already made up your mind, I'd like to kindly ask you to delete this thread. Superchargers, while fine for those with no options at home, are definitely not intended for those that just don't feel like charging at home and I think it's best that others don't follow suit. It will be terrible if someone is traveling for many hours, a tired and weary family (crying children, uncomfortable elderly, etc) has to wait to charge because you couldn't be bothered to spend a few bucks at home to charge your AT LEAST $35,000 car.

SamO | 13. Juli 2017


We’re putting Superchargers in cities, not just between cities. And this is obviously important in places like, you know, Beijing, Shanghai, London, San Francisco, New York, where at times people may have a challenge with having a fixed parking space. It’s more like some of those people don’t have a definitive parking space. And they might have street parking or something, you know. London is particularly tricky one; where there’s – it’s got lot of high-end neighborhoods just have street parking.

"So most millennials living in apartments rather than homes, what can we do to make it easier to own and charge a Tesla without a garage, so we are establishing supercharging locations a lot more in city, supercharging locations and there will be a little lower power. But in between a high-power supercharger which is optimized for long distance trips, but more powered than would typically be found in a home garage, so wherever the car is being parked, whether it’s the apartment or work or somewhere in between, we are going to make sure that there is a place to charge your car, even if you live in an apartment. So it’s important to have a system that load levels the power. So that they don’t have to build a new substation just to supply the apartment building. And so that’s one of the things that’s prices are being implemented, but no question, WE NEED TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM FOR APARTMENTS, NOT JUST HOMES." [Emphasis added]

We need to embrace the ecosystem. Not discourage people.

SamO | 13. Juli 2017

Sorry. Both of those are quotes from Elon Musk. And "abuse" is overstaying a charge. Which was fixed with Idle fees.

Rutrow | 13. Juli 2017

Yes SamO, but OP has a garage but wants to save a few dollars by not installing a 14-50 and tie up a SuperCharger instead. Needlessly making the charging infrastructure problem worse.

PhillyGal | 13. Juli 2017

@SamO - I totally agree with you (even though you stated a fact, not an opinion.)

This poster has a garage and literally doesn't feel like spending money to add an outlet at home. I don't at all think that was the spirit of Elon's update.

SamO | 13. Juli 2017


So what? Elon says he is providing charging at homes, offices, destinations. Period. I don't care where this guy THINKS he's going to charge. Truth is he'll want to charge at home as soon as reality hits. Laziness wins out over cost, in aggregate.


This poster doesn't have to spend money on an outlet. Reality meets road soon.

Pay for a Supercharge. Or pay at home. Or get free charging when you have dinner. Laziness rules. Soon it will give Tesla an opportunity to sell him solar roof and backup batteries, dropping his home cost.

"Tesla has two choices:

1. Build more spots and embrace that they are replacing an entire ecosystem with all the challenges and benefits that come with that system, or

2. Change the deal for future owners in a transparent way so that people know what to expect with regard to "local" charging, including taxis, apartment dwellers and frequent long commuters.

I vote for #1 as it accelerates the advent of sustainable transportation." - SamO 10 June 2015

stammit | 13. Juli 2017

Slightly off topic, but we're considering one of the Tesla roofs when they become available in barrel tile (required by HOA). We will likely have our 3 before the roof is available, so should we invest in the powerwall now, or wait for the roof?

SamO | 13. Juli 2017

Let me boil down my philosophy:

1. Be positive. Encourage people to charge at home. It also helps because then they'll be able to offering charging to visiting guests.

2. It will work out. If you don't have home charging you can use the many resources provided by Tesla, including Superchargers, Destination Charging, and other resources such as PlugShare and other inferior networks.

3. Support Tesla. Tesla has announced building 30,000 Superchargers (spots) as over then next 2.5 years. And an equal number of Destination Chargers. Be polite, share spots, charge when nobody else is present. It goes faster and is a lot easier i.e. in your own self-interest.

4. Don't police. People will charge where they want, when they want. That includes Supercharging. I've never run across anyone that wanted to Supercharge after waiting in a long line.

5. Almost solved. Level 4 Self Driving cars will allow automatic plug/unplug and shuffling charging cars.

SamO | 13. Juli 2017


Have Tesla come out and give you a quote. At minimum, they can put you on the wait list for your preferred tile and backup system.

Bluesday Afternoon | 13. Juli 2017

I don't have an issue with Reef Club using the Superchargers at 2:00 am in the dead of night. Just be respectful and do not ever interfere with traveling Tesla's. If half of the Superchargers are still available when you plug in then, in my view, why not. Also, stay with your car while charging and unplug if 3/4 of the stalls are taken.

Do I believe all Tesla owners would play by these rules? Not a chance! So, my strong recommendation is Reef Club should be sleeping in bed at 2:00 am while his garaged Tesla charges.

PhillyGal | 13. Juli 2017

@SamO - As always, perfectly put. You're one of the best posters we have here because you are able to use logic, facts and fair opinions to dispute someone else's post.

I don't want to discourage the OP from doing whatever it is that he/she wants to do, but I don't think it's appropriate to broadcast that "Hey folks, I'm too cheap to install a charger at home so I'm going to utilize public space" and give others that idea. No, we shouldn't police. No, superchargers are not just for long distance. But no, we also should not be encouraging people to buy a fairly expensive car and try to save peanuts at home by taking advantage of Tesla's generous and game-changing charging infrastructure. (And yes, it is my STRONG opinion that someone just not feeling like charging at home who has the capability to is taking advantage.)

SamO | 13. Juli 2017


Thanks for the compliment.

But I'm confused. OP wrote "Bottom line is that if I have to pay 13 cents/kwh for electricity at home, why not skip the $1,000 cost for a Wall Connector and pay Tesla 13 cents/kwh to use a SC. Yes Tesla may charge a small fee for SC access but I suspect it will be minimal at best. In between I can use free chargers, albeit slower charging rates, throughout the County."

He's not saving anything except installing a Wall Connector.

Iwantmy3 | 13. Juli 2017

He is only saving the cost of a wall connector which would become a permanent fixture for his home charging all of his future cars. If he sells, it will be a selling point for any future EV owning purchaser. It seems like a small price to pay compared to the convenience it would provide and the overall cost of the car in general.