Options other than HPWC for fast charging.

Options other than HPWC for fast charging.

First of all let me start by thanking all on this board. I have frequented this forum after placing my order last month and I have obtained a world of information. I have a delivery date for mid June.

As the subject line suggests, is there a cheaper option out there for faster home charging than the HPWC? Are there 70 or 80A options that someone here has used and found optimal?

I have the dual chargers.

Thank you! | May 10, 2014

Not exactly what you're asking for, but the cheaper option is a NEMA 14-50 plug and using the mobile connector. You'll be limited to 40A, but it may be all you need. With a recharge time of 6-8 hours from fully depleted battery, a charge at night will always have a full charge when you leave in the morning. It's also very rare you'll have a fully depleted charge - more likely you'll only need a few hours to "fill up".

Now if you expect to do some long driving at home, return home depleted, and charge for a few hours and leave again on some longer errands, you may want the 80A HPWC. I've never needed this myself, and I have a lowly MS60.

My best suggestion is try it for a month to see if you need the HPWC or not. You may be surprised that it's really not necessary.

On a big plus for the HPWC, it's nice to have an attached charging cable, and keep the mobile cable in the car at all times. I rarely carry it, and on one 400 mile (each way) trip forgot it. Didn't slow me down, as Superchargers kept me going, but added some risk I would prefer not to have.

AmpedRealtor | May 10, 2014

@ django,

There is one J1772 charger made by Clipper Creek that would satisfy your quest, although I have not used it:

It's also almost twice the price of a HPWC.

Bighorn | May 10, 2014

I think consensus is that HPWC is fairly economical if you must charge at more than 40A. Also eliminates the need for any adapters/extra connections.

FlyA4 | May 10, 2014

Just about to have my MS delivered. I had the HPWC installed about a month ago. I may not need that speed often, but the charger looks clean and elegant on the wall. That was enough for me to purchase. If I knew how to attach a picture I would.

django | May 10, 2014

Thanks for all the replies. So I guess my best bet is an HPWC.

Would love to see your setup!

AmpedRealtor | May 10, 2014

It would be nice if Tesla or a third party made a J1772 nozzle adapter for the HPWC. This would allow us to use it with other EVs.

redacted | May 10, 2014

@django, you're right. HPWC is the cheapest 20kW charger by far (the field for them is pretty thin too) as the UMC is probably the cheapest 10kW charger. Funny, coming from Tesla.

django | May 10, 2014

I ran across 'OpenEVSE' which I thought was cool, but you guys have me convinced!

django | May 10, 2014

@redacted: True dat!

Roamer@AZ USA | May 10, 2014

django, You will likely find that a 50 amp RV type outlet is all you need.

I had other chargers when we got our Tesla's and quit using them pretty quickly. When you plug in every time you pull in, the Tesla system is just way more convenient.

django | May 10, 2014

Roamer, what chargers did you try when you got the car?

Roamer@AZ USA | May 10, 2014

I had two Blink chargers we used on Nissan Leafs. The blinks were put in under the ECOtality program. 50 amp with 40 amp output. The 1772 connectors were a pain and I switched to the UMC within a few weeks. So much easier to just push a button on the charge cord to open the charge door and only need one hand free to plug and unplug. With the adapter it takes two hands and is not a single effortless motion. We plug in both cars multiple times a day and the little extra steps add up to irritation. The Tesla cords are a fast two second plug in.

I have to admit I have two HPWC's still sitting in boxers I plan to install someday. In over 30,000 combined miles, on two cars, I have yet to run into a situation where we needed faster charging.

With the super chargers building out on the routes I primarily drive I would be tempted today to go with a single charger and UMC only. Super Chargers don't use the onboard car chargers and in my part of the world, Arizona, there are very few public chargers that go above 40 amp output. So at this point I have never used the dual chargers.

Roamer@AZ USA | May 10, 2014

Ooops I lied. I have used the dual chargers at the Tesla Service Centers in Las Vegas and San Diego. Got ahead of myself and forgot about HPWC at Tesla locations. That and some destinations are starting to put in HPWCs so the dual chargers in the car do get used. Sorry, senility creeping in.

Roamer@AZ USA | May 10, 2014

Don't mean to ramble on but when I ordered my first car in the fall of 2012 I was totally confused about dual chargers and HPWC. I just ordered it all and thought I would figure out what worked later. I don't recall even being aware back then that super chargers would exist. So I rambled a little to provide what I have learned since. As they say everyone's situation will be different.

All that said I would not even consider any other home charger than the Tesla equipment. It just works effortlessly with the car. Complicate other parts of your life but keep it simple with the charge cords. The Tesla cords are so simple to use and so fast. One hand and done, two seconds max.

Nuts4MS | May 10, 2014

I found a HPWC for sale a while back from a former owner (never used still in box) and installed it in place of my 14/50 and upgraded the breaker to 70amps vice 50 and am getting 41 mph. More than I need for my daily driving but it's nice to have the extra charging speed.

negarholger | May 10, 2014

I Iike the HPWC - hardwired without any adapters... safest solution. Planning to do the same as Nuts4MS.

shop | May 10, 2014

Yeah, the Tesla UMC and the HPWC are actually the cheapest 40A and 80A EVSEs out there by a far margin. There is a 60A Juicebox for about the same price as a UMC, but the build quality is iffy (I have a juicebox installed at my barn for occasional use), and then you'd have a J1772 handle and need the adapter instead of a nice Tesla end.

TMC Canuck | May 10, 2014

Clipper Creek has a 48 amp unit for $899 - the HCS-60. My daughter has a Leaf (which only charges at 16 amps) but I bought the HCS-60 for the Leaf so I will have a backup if the UMC fails. You hook it up to a 60 amp supply and it actually charges my Model S at 50 amps.

"I Iike the HPWC - hardwired without any adapters... safest solution. Planning to do the same as Nuts4MS."

Charging at 40 amps with an approved adapter is safer than charging at 80 amps without an adapter. Not as fast, of course, but safer. However, both the UMC and HPWC are safe if used correctly.

negarholger | May 10, 2014

@TMC Canuck - if used correctly both are safe. But 4 high power plug connections are more likely to fail then zero.

Roamer@AZ USA | May 10, 2014

Kleist. It is my opinion that adapter failures were likely poorly wired outlets that transferred heat to the plug in adapter. If you wire something wrong or overload it it will have a failure potential. A high power wall connector attached to undersized wire will also create a fire hazard.

But your point that each connection creates another potential failure point is a basic reliability engineering design factor and your point is very valid in any system.

Tesla has nothing to gain blaming customers and has chosen to make the adapter design more robust. Smart solution.

negarholger | May 10, 2014

@Roamer - you are correct. For me a hardwired connection is just the better solution. A 14-50 plug was never designed to be plugged in and out lets say 500 times (= less then 2 years at daily use ). I bought a second UMC for my home and a third for the in-laws, and both do not get unplugged at all. HPWC for my home is next on my list...

negarholger | May 10, 2014

Btw - I like the approach Tesla is now taking in China... sending an electrician to the customer before building the car. They should have done it in the US and Europe too, but that is learning. I had the utility engineer out at my house before I even ordered the car to check out my electrical system... not everybody has that foresight ( my utility actually recommends that service for new EV owners ).

tga | May 11, 2014

"A 14-50 plug was never designed to be plugged in and out lets say 500 times (= less then 2 years at daily use )"

We hear this all the time, but is there any actual proof of this beyond internet rumor and hearsay? I did a quick search but didn't find anything.

Yes, in a residential situation (electric range or dryer) a 14-30 or -50 may not be cycled much at all (except move-in/-out), but they are used daily at RV parks...

Kmcrae | May 11, 2014

No regrets getting the HPWC and dual charger. The HPWC is svelte and attractive, and the ability to collect ~58 miles per hour charging is helpful.For example, when you neglect to pre-charge well before a trip (esp if you keep he car at a lower SOC day-to-day), or go to your HPWC for a short stint before heading out.

Certainly not required, but when you need it it can be helpful.

django | May 11, 2014

@Roamer: I don't think this is rambling cause this gives me a good idea about the chargers available and why the HPWC is superior to them.

@shop: Is there a possibility of getting a photo of your setup of the 'Juicebox'?

I think I am now leaning towards the UMC and then see if I need the HPWC in the future once I get a feel of whether I need to use the dual chargers a lot (My commute daily may surpass over 200 miles a day occasionally).

Roamer@AZ USA | May 11, 2014

@kleist, Not sure why you would unplug the UMC so often. Mine stay plugged in and I only unplug the car. If I am going out of town I will unplug one and stow it in the Frunk.

@tga, I agree that the 14-50 RV plugs are used all over America at RV parks plugging in RV's every day. They can handle plugging and unplugging a UMC. That said if you are wasting time coiling your cord and putting it in the car every day you should buy a HPWC or a spare UMC to keep in the car. Maybe Tesla could come out with a cheaper UMC that has a hard wired 14-50 plug for long term home use or even a simple no plug cord that can be hard wired in the electrical box. Maybe more choices just cause confussion and inventory complexity.

All that said I have never experienced a problem with a UMC and we use two of them multiple times a day. Not sure why you would unplug them. They draw no power when not in use and left plugged in.

Roamer@AZ USA | May 11, 2014

The Tesla UMC, so easy even a 1 1/2 year old can do it

He can't get out of the car and to the cord fast enough. Even knows how to push the button to open the charge door.

All done with adult supervision but he can do the entire process and loves seeing the green LED come on. Usually get a nice hand clap and smile when he is done. Try that with a gas pump.

Best grand kid ever......

Roamer@AZ USA | May 11, 2014

Pretty good driver also. One of his first word was Tesla so he could tell me he wanted to go to the garage and change every setting on the flat panel. Who says this car is complicated. My grandson can operate the flat panel and loves to open the pano.

We start them young here.

django | May 11, 2014

That's great! Nice color btw!

sbeggs | May 11, 2014

@Roamer, cute!

SUN 2 DRV | May 12, 2014

I'd recommend getting the HPWC at least to benefit from its hardwired connection and built in strain relief... even if you connect it to just a 50 amp circuit.

RFD | May 12, 2014

It is my opinion that adapter failures were likely poorly wired outlets that transferred heat to the plug in adapter. If you wire something wrong or overload it it will have a failure potential. A high power wall connector attached to undersized wire will also create a fire hazard.
You may be right, but I think it is more likely that the problem is with the connection between the UMC and the 14-50 adapter. If you remove the adapter from the UMC and the 14-50 adapter, you can see that the blades for the 14-50 plug are much larger than the two current conducting pins of the UMC (the two largest ones).
This seems to be where the excess heat is being generated and where the adapters are showing heat damage. In at least one case, Tesla sent an electrician to investigate, and he concluded that the problem was with the connector, not the 14-50 outlet installation.
I understand that the latest redesign of the adapter has more robust materials that can withstand higher temperatures. Time will tell if this will be sufficient.
Personally I use a HPWC at home (I have not heard of any problems wit fire with these.) For my UMC, I have applied a small amount of conductive grease (grease containing finely ground silver) to the power conducting pins of the UMC in an effort the keep the resistance of these contacts to a minimum.

Red Sage ca us | May 13, 2014

Roamer: I guess we know who's getting Granddad's car when they graduate from high school, eh? Kids are little learning machines. It's what they do best. All you gotta do is let them. ;-)

Rocky_H | May 13, 2014

I just have the UMC, and I don't unplug it much at all since I would only go out of town a couple times a year maybe. I got one of the cable holders mounted on the wall to keep it coiled there. I like the precautionary idea I heard from someone else, though, that you don't have to run it at max current. I have mine turned down to 32A just to give it extra margin for not creating much heat and pushing the thresholds.

django | May 13, 2014

Had the Nema 14-50 installed. Still thinking about the HPWC.... How easy is it to convert the plug point to the wall charger? I installed a 80 amp breaker...

ir | May 13, 2014

@django: "How easy is it to convert the plug point to the wall charger? I installed a 80 amp breaker..."

Is the wiring rated to handle the 80A continuous load? If so, you can easily replace the 14-50 with the HPWC.

You also mentioned already installing an 80A breaker. Hopefully not on the 14-50 circuit! That would be against code and dangerous because 14-50 is meant for 50A and that 80A breaker would not trip when 50A is exceeded, frying / setting fire to something plugged in to it.

django | May 13, 2014

No the way the electrician explaine is that he has a 40 A breaker to the plug point and another one just in case I decide to upgrade.... Now I am worried!

Roamer@AZ USA | May 13, 2014

Django, sounds like you had an electrician that was thinking ahead. Rare in this world. As long as you have a breaker rated for the outlet (40 amp ) and proper wire size you have nothing to worry about.

django | May 14, 2014

Thanks, definitely makes me feel better.

Brian H | May 14, 2014

Yeah, it's a form of overkill, just in case. Nice foresight.

TFMethane | May 14, 2014

Here is a thread over at TMC of some guys that are modifying the Universal Mobile Connector to have a J1772 plug.

It turns out that the Tesla UMC is the best/only mobile EV charge adapter available in the US.

The J1772 adapter is ugly, but the poster on the thread was using it to charge his Rav4 EV, which uses Tesla hardware but didn't come with a mobile charger. (It had to charge off house current... no wonder nobody bought it and Toyota pulled the plug).

In principle, one of these guys could convert your HPWC to J1772 if you had a need for such a thing. Otherwise, I don't think there is a cheaper 80 AMP charging station on the market. | May 14, 2014

django - To be clearer - a 14-50 plug is rated for 40 amps continuous, and should be connected to a 50 amp breaker and appropriate wiring for 50 amps.

The HPWC can be set to handle between 40 and 80 amps continuous (with 80 amps typically desired). At 80 amps continuous current, the breaker should be 100 amps and related wiring for 100 amps.

In the USA the idea is you could have a short peak up to the breaker's rating, which is fine, but a continuous load is limited to 80% of the breaker's rating.

In Europe it's handled differently, so these rules do not apply there.

django | May 15, 2014

Let me talk to the electrician and get back to y'all. Unfortunately I am not very good at this lol!

J.T. | May 15, 2014

@Roamer Great pic!! Bu white seats with grandkids all about!! You're even braver than mathew98 who got his car in red over his wife's strong objections.

Roamer@AZ USA | May 15, 2014

JT, Grand kids and little dogs. I went light gray after years of black. I find I love the lighter brighter feel inside the car. The leather seems to clean up and holds up pretty well. In the end it's a tool that performs a task. I take care of my cars but I also use and enjoy them. You should have seen the air suspension level the back with 500 lbs of bagged concrete mix in the back. Not totally crazy though, the all weather mats are great.

django | May 16, 2014

I checked and it is a 50 amp breaker with the ability to draw 40 amps. He has also installed another 50 amp breaker just in case. Sorry for the mis-information before.

Thanks to all for the help!

hamer | May 16, 2014

@Roamer: are you talking about your hair?

_thierrY | May 16, 2014

@TFMethane : are you aware of any UMC-to-J1772 adapter existing? That would be more flexible (and less hearth-breaking) than cutting and replacing the UMC connector?

(I guess founding a UMC receptacle would be the hardest part of such a project)

Lessmog | May 16, 2014

Reminiscent of Simon&Garfunkel:
"They call me Baby Driver,
and once upon a pair of wheels,
hit the road and I'm go-o-one!
What's my number?"
Roamer | 11 maj, 2014

Pretty good driver also. One of his first word was Tesla so he could tell me he wanted to go to the garage and change every setting on the flat panel. Who says this car is complicated. My grandson can operate the flat panel and loves to open the pano.

We start them young here.
Yes, my grandkids ARE grown up.