UK Query

UK Query

As someone relatively new to the electric car world, I am curious:

How do I charge this at home? I mean, do I need to buy something in addition to the car to allow me to charge it, or will it simply plug into a standard UK house socket?

How much does it cost to recharge? Again, what is the equivalent charging rate (is it like powering 50 100W bulbs for ten hours or is it like charging an iPhone)?

How/what do you service and how often?

I need to commute to London monthly which is nearly 300 miles away, can it do this or would I be pushing it?

I currently drive a top-end BMW diesel and am looking to buy something fairly soon but am nervous about distance as I live beyond the boondocks. We have electricity here, but little else! For example: nearest train - 50 miles, nearest city - 50 miles, bus service - 4 times per day but not to any city. No mobile phone coverage, limited internet (yep, it's paradise).

I have driven the i3 and am not exactly enamoured and the i8 looks good, but is useless for a family and is more hybrid than electric. Nothing else has any distance beyond city travel and I want to dump the infernal combustion engine if possible.

Sorry if this is all a bit boring to the experienced users, but this is very new to me here and before I go for test drives etc, I would like to know some of the practicalities.

Thanks in advance.

Jolinar | May 1, 2014

well, everything can be found on this web, but basics are:

- you can charge it from standard socket, but it will be quite slow.
But if you have 3-phase socket at your garage, it will make charging much faster 4/8 hours from empty to full (depends on your breakers and if you have Dual charger in the car).

- for a full charge it costs about the same as 110 100W bulbs for 8 hours

- 300 miles on one charge is too much when driven normally, car can do it but you'd need to drive conservatively. Much better would be if you have SuperCharger half way to your destination.

Jolinar | May 1, 2014

the cost sounds bad, but its not when you compare it to the gasoline/diesel bills :-) | May 1, 2014

Regular service requirements are minimal - the manufacturer would like to see the car annually at a Service Center, but it's optional. It's not like a petrol-burner, where bad things can happen if you don't change the oil and oil filter at intervals.

Right now the only UK store and service center are in the London area but they are promised for the Manchester and Birmingham areas in the by-and-by. The first Tesla Supercharge in the UK is reportedly set for north of London, specifically, South Mimms.

DTsea | May 1, 2014

Cost depends on power price. Figure on 3 miles/5 km per kWh.

biff | May 1, 2014

My understanding is as follows:-

I'm told that each Kwh of battery gets you about 3 miles of range.

You can charge at home, but in the UK you are unlikely to have 3 phase available at home so the max charging rate will be about 7kW per hour or about 20 miles range per hour of charging. If you do it overnight on economy seven then it will cost about 6p per kWh or 2p per mile.

It's not recommended to use your normal socket to charge at home, but you can get a dedicated circuit installed free by british gas for a 3Kw circuit or about £100 for a 7Kw circuit.

If you charge at a public charging station a lot of them are free!
There are many types and options for public charging.

AC charging uses the charger in your Model S, and with a single charger in the MS the max you can get is just over 11kW or about 34 miles per hour of charge.
If you pay extra for the dual charger then you can double that to 22kW or 68 miles in an hour.

DC charging, if/when Tesla roll out the superchargers in the UK then you can get 90kW+.

There are also hundreds of Chademo chargers in the UK that you will be able to use if/when Tesla makes an adaptor available, which are DC but only about 50kW but that is still around 150 miles of range in an hour of charging.

I don't have my model S yet, but the above is my understanding of charging.

TeoTeslaFan | May 1, 2014


Cheers from London.

Quote: "How do I charge this at home?."

You can charge at home every night to top up the battery. This doesn't harm the battery and is the recommended way.

Quote: "I mean, do I need to buy something in addition to the car to allow me to charge it, or will it simply plug into a standard UK house socket?"

You don't need to buy anything. The chargers are built into the car and the car comes with a cable that you can plug into a standard socket.

The numbers given above are not the case for the UK. In the U.S. standard plugs are not very suitable because they have 110 Volt, 12 Amp power. That provides 3 miles charge per hour. So in 10 hours you would get 30 miles. Not very good but could be enough for modest drivers.

In the UK standard plugs are 240 Volt, 13 Amp and you get 8 miles per hour. In 10 hours overnight charging you would get 80 miles charge from a standard plug. This is perfectly fine for many drivers.

However the good news is, in the UK the government offers free home charging stations that are 240V and 16amp. With those you get slightly more. It is 10 miles per hour or 100 miles charge in 10 hours.

You can contact British Gas to have these installed:

Furthermore, you can upgrade the British Gas charger to 240V and 32 Amp for only £99. British Gas says if there were no guvernment subsidies this would normally cost you £1000.

With the 32Amp charger you will get 21 miles per hour. It would take 12 to fully charge 265 miles on an empty battery. However it is not good for battery life to completely drain the battery. So normally you would already have some charge in it when you start charging. It is also not recommended to fully charge it every day. Usually you charge to 90% but ocassianally for long trips 100% charge is fine.

When you order the car make sure you get the double chargers or your charging speeds will be slow and supercharging will be a pain too. These chargers are build inside the car and rerofitting them afterwards is expensive. You don't want to buy a Model S with a single charger on board.

Quote: "How much does it cost to recharge?"

Of peak charging rates are £0.11 per kWh. Here is the Tesla charge calculator for the UK. It is country specific.

The U.S. calculator version is here:

The UK calculator shows the standard 240V 13A plug and the 240V 16A free British Gas station and it also shows the 240V 32A £99.00 British Gas fast charger upgrade. Enter £0.11 for kilowatt hours which is off peak rate. Off peak rates are 20 hours per day.

A full charge (265 miles) would cost you £10.20. If you drive 30 miles a day that would costs £1.16 per day or £34.80 monthly.

Quote: "I need to commute to London monthly which is nearly 300 miles away, can it do this or would I be pushing it?"
That would be pushing it. It is technically possible to drive 300 miles if you limit your speed to 55 mph but that wouldn't be practical or enjoyable.

Tesla is building a Supercharger Network in the UK. The first station is about to open in North London in Potters Bar on the M25. The Superchargers in Europe are slightly faster at 135 kW and it would take you 18 minutes for a half charge. Superchargers will be free to use with the Model S for the lifetime of the car.

General info about supoerchargers can be found here:

The following website has the latest information about supercharges. Everybody in this forum knowns about this website. Zoom out from the U.S and zoom in to the UK to the first supercharger location:

You can call Tesla London store for latest info on planned Supercharger and service station locations.

By the way, Tesla Model S in the U.S has a custom plug and you need an adapter (comes with the car) to charge at non-Tesla public charging stations. But in Europe the Model S comes with a standard type 2 plug (also known as mennekes plug) and you don't need an adapter.

This site shows public charging station locations in the UK:

TeoTeslaFan | May 1, 2014

I need to make a correction about dual chargers. I said without them supercharging or home charging would be slow but that's not correct.

Tesla Superchargers bypass the on board chargers and feed DC to the battery. Therefore supercharging won't be affected even if you don't have dual chargers.

Also on this page it says up to 29 miles per hour charging the single charger is sufficient. So even if you have the upgraded British Gas station it provides 21 miles per hour. So that won't be affected either.

However type 2 public charging would be affected. With a single charger you will be limited to 29 miles per hour. With dual chargers with some of the type 2 chargers you can get 39 miles per hour and if it becomes faster in the future, the dual chargers can handle up to 58 miles per hour. So I think dual chargers are a good idea. For example if you were to stay at a hotel, they would have type 2 chargers.

420weblazeit | May 20, 2014

Where on earth do you even buy a Tesla in the UK from? I've seen a few cars with Dutch license plates riding around Barkingside (my town) which is NOWHERE near the nearest Point of "Interest", one stopped near a pub.

I'm hoping to get a job license soon and start working at their London place, but how does a UK purchaser get one?

Can I get one from The Netherlands and then drive it to the UK? Would the UI be in English? Would the 3G and Navigation work?

holidayday | May 20, 2014

420weblazeit. "Where on earth do you even buy a Tesla in the UK from?"

Model S with right hand drive are being delivered June 7.

Have you tried to see if the cars are available to order?

(each region/country should have their own version of the website.)

TeoTeslaFan | May 20, 2014


Of course you order it here on this website.

On the top of this page click on 'Model S' and then click 'Order'. If you don't see the UK version, at the bottom change region.

Here is a direct link to the UK page:

Contact London store if you have questions or to arrange a test drive. Here are the contact details:

420weblazeit | June 14, 2014

Teo_ and holidayday, thank you so much!

I was close to recommending one of my friends to buy a Tesla from the US, big mistake

3G and navigation wouldn't work ;)

Phew, thanks a lot!