Cost to have electrician install HPWC?

Cost to have electrician install HPWC?

I am taking delivery Nov/Dec. Solar City contacted me and said they do not serve my area (SW FL)
They have referred me to a local electrician, Mr. Electric, in Cape Coral, FL
I am curious as to what others are getting for estimates for installation of the HPWC. If you could share I would appreciate it!
Would be helpful to know what others are getting; I will post my estimate after I get it.

dtesla | September 5, 2012

The HPWC can consume lots of amps. So you may need a new sub-panel and/or heavy up on the house power service from your power Co. Or you existing home may have service and sub-panel that can handle the HPWC.

So best case is around $600 and worst cast is about $4000. Mr. Electric can tell you for sure.

I needed both. The heavy up (from 200 amp to 400 amp service) cost me $2,700. The new sub-panel cost was rolled up in the cost of a home addition (so I can't help you there).

Michael Emrich | September 5, 2012

Hey Bill,

I'm Sig #1,267 and live in Cape Coral. I'm very interested in the quote you might receive from Mr. Electric for the installation of the HPWC. But I assume that I have to upgrade my electric service from 200 to 400 Amp too.

jbunn | September 5, 2012

I don't want to be a buzz kill, but folks that are considering this, might want to consider very carefully. I do my own electrical, and I have surplus material and a sub panel in the garage already. I will probably put in a dedicated 120VAC 20 Amp circut, but that's it. For the 12 hours a day the car sits in the driveway M-F, that's enough to get back 40 miles. On the days when I work from home, I don't need the car much, so nearly double that. And when the wife takes the car to work she has L2 at market rate, so she'll come home with a full "tank" anyway.

The HPWC is a cool alien artifact, but it's not essential unless you plan on driving very long distances everyday with no charging at your destination, and are ordering your car with twin chargers. Realisticly, the HPWC is going to sit idle 90+ percent of the time, and that's not a good use of capital.

bfranks273 | September 5, 2012

For the Roadster HPC I was charged about 1600. Stayed with the 200 amp panel. All the cost was having to run very heavy wire through finished basement ceiling from the rear to the front where the garage is.

blurry_eyed | September 5, 2012

jbunn has a good point, you may not need the HPWC from the aspect of rapid charging. Best to analyze your own driving patterns and see if you need the high amp charging rate it can provide.

That being said, you can still get the HPWC if you want something that is convenient and looks nice in your garage even if you don't need the faster charge rate that it can provide over a standard NEMA 14-50 plug. I'm getting a HPWC and am only going to run it at 40 amps because I don't want to get into a massive electrical upgrade. I could have just bought another UMC at much less cost than an HPWC, but I was willing to pay the premium to have something that looks a bit nicer than the UMC hanging off my garage wall(in my opinion). My HPWC won't charge at a rate any faster than a standard NEMA 14-50 connection, but I didn't have to pay extra to upgrade my electrical to handle the HPWC.

Also FYI - when I talked to Solar City last week about my install, they indicated that the HPWC probably won't be available until the last part of October (they inferred that Tesla was still waiting for UL certification on the HPWC). But for any Model S owners who get the car before the HPWC is available, they indicated that Tesla would make sure there was some viable charging solution in place for them when their car arrives.

I'm still hopeful that I'll get my car in early October, so they seemed to indicate that they would install the NEMA 14-50 plug and then come back and install the HWPC when it was available.

stevenmaifert | September 5, 2012

jbunn is quite correct about the HPWC. Also, a NEMA 14-50 circuit can recharge a completely depleted 85kWh single charger Model S in about 9.5 hours per the Tesla calculator. Probably more than fast enough for most owners. It will be for me.

A local electrician installed my NEMA 14-50 circuit last Friday for $285. I thought that was very reasonable. Nothing fancy... it was a short cable run from my main 200 Amp power panel to a stud mounted receptacle in the garage. No permitting required. The workman told me they have also done wall mounted HPCs. If you live in the San Diego area and are interested in a referral, drop me an email:

pilotSteve | September 5, 2012

Email from my Tesla rep yesterday confirmed HPWC not shipping due to UL certification not yet received.

Cost me $970 to run about 60' of #2 (very heavy gauge copper) wire thru garage ceiling down the wall to a box. 240V/100A breaker so I can use the full 80A charge rate.

pilotSteve | September 5, 2012

Note: the $970 cost was for a local electrical contractor to do the full install plus materials, not DYI.

Drdon220 | September 5, 2012

I just installed my NEMA 14-50 with the help of a friend. I had to run wires about 25 ft to the receptacle location. Total cost was $250 (the wire was about half the cost, other parts included the NEMA 14-50 receptacle, 2 breaker doublers, and the 50amp circuit at the breaker box). I had one quote for $1400 from an electrician and a $750 quote from Solar City which I thought was pretty close to fair for hiring someone to do the work.

jed-99aggie | September 5, 2012

Copying over my post from TMC.

Had an electrician out yesterday. SolarCity does not operate in Houston, so their recommended partner Mr. Electric was out for the quote.

Electrician confirmed that my existing main panel had ample feed and capacity for a NEMA 14-50 outlet. With the main feed lines inside the box, it may even be possible to support the HPC if I was interested (unconfirmed was if the wire from the meter back to the transformer was heavy enough). If not sufficient, it would require digging and laying new wire all the way back to the transformer (the ballpark quote was $3100 in case anyone wants a comparison).

My job seemed fairly straightforward. To install the NEMA 14-50 on the opposite wall of my garage, on the pillar between two garage doors (~30' run 6 AWG) and the 50AMP breaker I was quoted $640. There was possibly some conduit, two access panels for in-wall access, as well and roughly 2 hours of labor.

I recall reading a few jobs posted here in the <$300 range. Was your wire run that much shorter, say just a few feet? Was the wire run done completely inside the wall or did you have the job completed with conduit?

Has anyone else found any other points of consideration in selecting the location of the outlet? Between the two garage doors seems like one of the most flexible locations.

Thanks for your thoughts and continued input.

Sudre_ | September 5, 2012

A #3 is good for a 100 amp panel. A #3 can handle 115 amps. The HPWC only draws 80 amps so the continuous load for that will not be an issue.

I just finished installing a 100amp panel in my detached garage to power two 14-50 outlets for the Model S and my wife's future smaller BEV (she likes small cars).

As far as upgrading from a 200 amp panel to a 400 amp panel..... I brought the logging equipment home from work one day and hooked it up. The only time I ever drew anything near 180 amps was when I purposely turned every single electrical item on in the house at the same time.... including but not limited to the oven on self clean, cook top, dryer, A/C and electric space heaters... and the 100 amp electric instant hot water heater. Things don't really draw what they say they do for the most part. The inrush startup current is usually high but comes down quickly.
The Model S will continuously draw the rated amps. I would imagine that if you have a 200 amps panel and an all electric house you will get by just fine with a 200 amp panel as long as you start your charging after dinner has been prepared. If you have gas appliances you have no problem.

I was thinking about getting a current relay and setting it to shut down the charging circuit for an hour if the total household current draw exceeded 150 amps. I don't know what that would do to the car so for now it is just a thought.

Teoatawki | September 5, 2012

I'm looking at around $2K because my 200A main panel is extremely full. Recommended solution is to install a new box and move lightly loaded circuits into the new box to make room for a 100A and a 50A breaker. On the same post between 2 garage doors I want to mount the HPC on the inside and a 14-50 on the outside to offer charging in my driveway and plug in my RV occasionally.

It's practically all labor, mostly the moving of a bucketload of 15A circuits to the new box.

William Jones | September 6, 2012

Wow! This absolutely amazes me. I had an open double pole on my main breaker and bought a SquareD 50 amp breaker switch. 40 feet of 6 ga. triple was about $125. Plate, double box, and 14/50 NEMA brought the total to $175. Electrician charged me $181 to run and rough-in/finish the box.

The outlet is in the ceiling, so there was no problem running the wire or installing the box.

Now, he was here doing a bathroom remodel wiring for me, so it may have been a higher service call than the $181, but that puts me shy of $350 for the whole thing. Granted, I haven't plugged my car into it yet, so if I repost to this thread from work and tell you my house burned down - well - then you get what you paid for.


Brian H | September 6, 2012

Sounds like doing "Telsa upgrades" is gonna be a booming biz for sparksters!

Bill Tracey | September 6, 2012

Hi Bill- Cape Coral been there many times have friends in the Cape, I had Mr Electric come up to my house that I am building in THE VILLAGES, they did a site survey, I told them I also wanted a dedicated 100 amp service for the HPWC, they said it wasn't necessary my 200amp was plenty, their price to hook up the HPWC
$1105.00 tax included
Good Luck
Bill Tracey SIG #559

Robert22 | September 6, 2012

Anyone know if using the dual on-board chargers with the HPWC depletes battery life faster than using a single charger with a NEMA 14-50?

TheAustin | September 7, 2012

Solar City gave me an initial quote of $650 to install the HPWC...I'm guessing it was on the low end (the saw that most installations run between $500-$1,500) because, conveniently, my electric panel is almost directly behind where I want my HPWC installed. They do however say that they can't finalize the quote until they come out and inspect the panel/box and confirm it's output availability.

Teoatawki | September 7, 2012


There has been no indication that using the HPWC with the dual chargers will in any way diminish your battery pack.

On the other hand, the supercharger floods the battery with the DC output from 10 chargers, and they recommend doing that infrequently to maximize battery pack life. There is a huge difference in magnitude between the two, so I am not worried about using my HPWC. I will probably set the default charging rate at home to 40 or 50 amps, just because 99% of the time, I know I'll be home long enough for the charge to complete at the lower rate.

archibaldcrane | September 11, 2012

I'm in a possibly different situation than most Model S/Roadster drivers - the house I bought in December has an old 70 amp panel from the 1960's, and much of the house still has original wiring from the 30's. The house doesn't have central A/C so the 70 amps have been sufficient for our electrical needs at the present (modern washer/gas dryer/2 LCD tvs/window AC unit/dishwasher) but obviously even just installing a 14-50 plug in the garage is going to require an upgrade.

Now, my question is this: I may very well be installing central AC in the future as well. If I'm making the upgrade anyway (and getting a $2000 rebate from LADWP related to installing the plug for the Model S) should I just jump up to 200 amps, which for my 1400 sq. foot house should still be fine for central air + a 14-50 plug in the garage - or if I'm making the upgrade should I just go all out for the 400 amp panel to future-proof myself?

Obviously this is more a question for an electrician, but without the HPWC is a 400 amp panel completely superfluous? What's the price difference in installation of a 200 vs. 400?

Ron5 | September 11, 2012

Here in SE Florida, I found a licensed electrician who took the time to research the car, and by the time he came to my house he knew exactly what it needed. The price is lower than Mr. Electric, and I have a problem with them not calling me back after having called them. The name of the company is Others Electic, Inc., and the owner's name is Joseph. His e-mail is jlmyers82 at hotmail. I'm not sure if he'll be willing to go to SW Florida or not, but it's worth a try.

My house has two 150 amp boxes, so it's a pretty simple job.

Teoatawki | September 11, 2012


My house is approximately 3x your square footage with 2 central air conditioner systems. When the electrician came out and evaluated our whole house load he came up with 110A, so we don't have to upgrade our 200A service to add an HPWC and a 14-50 outlet. I'd say 200A is plenty of service even if you do want to add an HPWC and central air.

JoeFee | September 11, 2012

Mine is about $1000

archibaldcrane | September 11, 2012

Thanks Teoatawki, very helpful. I'm sure a 200 amp panel will suit just fine for my house.

jkirkebo | September 12, 2012

I'm just curious about one thing, not being that familiar with US distribution systems:

When you have a 100A panel, is that 100A@240V for a total of 24kW ? Or is is 100A@120V for a total of 12kW ?

ReeceWeb | September 12, 2012

@ jkirkebo: Nearly all residential power in the US is distributed as 240VAC. We also get a neutral line which allows us to use the 240V as a pair of 120V circuits, each 180° out-of-phase.

jkirkebo | September 12, 2012

Yeah, I know that. I just wondered if that means that 100A service is 24kW ? (sounds like it) Because 200A sounds like a lot at 48kW, as we generally can't get more than 63A 3-phase 230V over here (which is ~25kW). This is usually more than enough, even with everything being electric (we don't have distributed gas and most every dryer/range/oven is electric). We also heat our house & water on electric alone, and the 25kW is more than enough for two buildings (2350 sqft combined) and two households. Including charging the Leaf and the forthcoming Model S. And 400A ? Seriously, 96kW ?

Many houses here have panels as low as 35A 230V single phase, ~8kW. Even 25A 230V exists, at 5.75kW...

ReeceWeb | September 12, 2012

You are correct: when a US residence has a 100A service, that is rated at 240V, so 24kW.
Sorry for not actually answering your question the first time around ;)

60A @ 240V was (and probably still is) quite common in the US. I think newer construction tends to use 100A to 200A service now. When I remodeled my home a few years ago, I upgraded the 60A service to 200A in anticipation of charging an electric car eventually.

Timo | September 12, 2012

@jkirkebo "enough" is very flexible concept. I use only about 2000kWh in a whole year so 2000/365/24 = 0.2kW average consumption and I suspect biggest amount of that is my now ancient computer. I do have district heating though (for both water and heat). I'm cheap in that way :-)

If I ever get an electric car (meaning government throws "green" party away) I would at least quintuple my electric bill, probably more.

(If you wonder why green party is against EV:s, they aren't. They are against all cars, everybody should walk to work and if you happen to live outside of walking distance, move closer....resisting temptation to rant further....done).

docdac | September 12, 2012

I had an electrician install two NEMA 14-50 outlets in my 3 car garage, allowing me to park in any of the 3 stalls without anyone running over the cable. (I put the outlets near the garage door openings - one on the wall, one on the short exterior wall between large and small garage door). The two outlets are on the same circuit, so obviously only one can be used at a time. He routed about 100 ft of 6 G four conductor copper wire from my breaker box (50 A breaker), fished wiring though basement ceiling to the garage, then up into the garage attic, then down to the two outlets. No subpanel, but there is a junction box. Total cost: $950 incl. tax. I thought that was fair.

Liz G | September 12, 2012

My house is now Tesla ready. Got my solar panel installation completed this week and while they were at it had them install my NEMA 14–50 plug in the garage.

For any one in the St. Louis area would highly recommend this company, J. BATHE electric. Am very happy with the job they did installing my solar panels. Apparently, they've had 3 months of solar panel training and 6 weeks of electric vehicle training. So they understand the needs of both and how to set the systems up correctly.

kidheme | September 12, 2012

Hey Liz G! I'm in Clayton and I think we are pretty close in reservation number (I'm P2636). Planning a NEMA 14-50 receptacle in the garage as well. Just had an electrician who has done some other work for us look at the installation --about a 60 foot run from the circuit breaker box through a finished basement-- and I'm awaiting his bid. Was there anything special about the install for you or was most of their expertise for the solar panels? Our guy is definitely an electric car virgin.

Liz G | September 13, 2012

They do need to check that your main box can handle the load. If it can't they may need to change it. Our house was built 7 years ago. So we were fine.

Cindy.holland | September 15, 2012

In reading this thread, I don't see anyone mention that their plug will be outdoors as mine will have to be since I do not have a garage. Can anyone tell me what I need to do for an outdoor line? I like the look of the HPWC but don't need the fast charging. Thanks!

dahtye | September 15, 2012

Cindy, you'll need the electrician to install a weatherproof cover on the receptacle (the part that's on the wall). This will keep debris and water out of the receptacle.

One of my receptacles will be outside (the one near the front of the house). I have a normal AC (15amp, 110v) receptacle in my backyard that has a weather cover.

The cover has a spring that keeps it closed unless it's in use.

Cindy.holland | September 15, 2012

Thanks dahtye! I know that these plugs are required to be GFCI but since I will plugged in during times it will be raining, do you think the "cover" will protect the connection between plug and cord enough? I worry about trying to plug in when I get home on rainy nights.

Brian H | September 15, 2012


In the rain? Two words: ZAP!! AaiieeEE!!
Kidding. No current flows until a good connection is detected.

jerry3 | September 15, 2012

The HWPC is rated for outdoor use according to Tesla's website. It should have all the covers required.

dahtye | September 17, 2012

Cindy, as long as you don't get your finger close to the electrical contacts you should be fine. If you touch the electrical contact while plugging into the NEMA 14-50 (or any other electrical socket) there's a good chance of serious injury - especially in the rain. Keep your hand and finger at least half an inch from each contact and you'll be fine. The only difference between this connector and the standard in house wall connector is the voltage between two of the contacts is 240V (instead of 120V). The voltage to ground is the same as a standard electrical in home socket. This socket/receptacle has the capability of higher current, which means once electrical contact it made, much more electricity will flow than in a normal in home socket.

Casual water or rain on the receptacle will be fine (I don't expect the 240V differential to cause arcing between contacts). Also, as Brian H mentions, no current flows until the Tesla cable senses the proper voltage (i.e the plug is fully plugged into the receptacle). This will prevent slight "arcing" when plugging in.

The cover is mainly meant to reduce weather degradation when the receptacle is not being used. When a plug is plugged into the receptacle, some weather degradation can occur. But the act of plugging and unplugging will normally wipe the contacts of any weather related oxidation on the contacts.

Perhaps, over time you might want to change out the receptacle - maybe 10 to 15 years, depending on how much you use the receptacle and whether it is sheltered or not (south facing is worst for weather exposure than north facing).

I suggeest asking the questions to your electrician who installs the receptacle.

Timo | September 17, 2012

Casual water or rain on the receptacle will be fine (I don't expect the 240V differential to cause arcing between contacts

240V is enough to arc if there is enough water. Not to you, just between the contacts and that would immediately vaporise all the water between them so it's just a spark. For that reason connector should be somewhat sheltered from water.

It's not dangerous as long as you don't try to use it practically underwater, here in Europe we have 240V as common single phase voltage and I have used outside connectors to plug my block heater on pretty much every year. I haven't heard anyone getting electrocuted using those as long as you respect the voltage.

On side note: how do you "touch the electrical contact while plugging"? Unless connector is broken I don't see that as possibility. Not familiar with NEMA 14-50 connector though, so maybe it is possible there. Looking at the pictures it looks like NEMA connectors are a lot less protected than their European counterparts.

Brian H | September 17, 2012

Pure water isn't a very good conductor anyway; it needs dissolved helper ions like salt. So licking the connector to clean it is not advised.

Teoatawki | September 18, 2012

The HPWC is as safe as an electrical connector can be in the rain, since no current is permitted to flow until the connector is fully inserted into the charge port and handshake signals between the car and the HPWC confirm safety.

The NEMA 14-50 is a little dicier in the rain, but you should have a weatherproof box installed over your outlet to keep it dry, and always connect to the charge port last. This prevents current draw and possible arcing at the 14-50.

Brian H | September 18, 2012

Sounds like a consideration when deciding what to install, if not "under cover".

Teoatawki | September 18, 2012

For maximum safety, yes.

OTOH, I have not been shocked connecting my RV to a 14-50, even in pouring rain ankle deep in water. Not my preference, and I was extra careful. The outlet was housed in a weatherproof box, so it was dry (for certain values of dry.)

Brian H | September 18, 2012

Evidently, the values of dry were within the set of non-fatal numbers.


Teoatawki | September 18, 2012

Yeah, how dry can anything be when the humidity is around 100%?

Mark.Brisbane | September 18, 2012

If you can get away with it you are better off sticking with a slower charging option at lower voltage. The faster you charge your batteries the more you heat them up and faster their life degrades. I am garaging my car and I plan to use most of the night to charge on a 240V (in Australia our wiring is all 240V) off peak circuit (20A max I think).
This will be plenty to keep the car charged up.

Mark E | September 18, 2012

@Mark.Brisbane: me too - although if I can do 32A I will. (in Sydney)

MandL | September 18, 2012

The power in my townhouse comes into the garage on the ground floor where the main cut-off is, and then up to the fourth floor (going by US counting/ground is floor 1) to the main electrical box.

Is it possible that an electrician can put in a box after the main cut off, feed a 14-50 outlet for the Model S from there, then continue up to the breaker panel for the rest of the house? Or am I going to have to pay them to run cable all the way back down?

kafahsholtz | September 18, 2012

I live in Kirkland WA. Had to build/convert a 2 car carport to 3 car garage, don't ask how much that is costing.

But the electrical bill to wire the whole thing came in at under $2k, with 2 100 AMP 240 volt outlets on either side of the 2 car bay. Once the S is paid for, we anticipate adding another (X or whatever is available then). That also included 10 110 outlets, light switches, 5 lighting options and a new box. Also running a 20 foot wire from the house, underground conduit, etc. The electrcian obtained the permit, though that was extra.


stevenmaifert | September 18, 2012

@MandL - Do you own the panel on the ground floor that you call the "main cut-off", or is that a community cut-off for you and adjacent townhomes? If you own the panel and it is of sufficient amperage, you can have an electrician run the line for the NEMA 14-50 from that. If it is a community cut-off it gets more complicated. Assuming you have an association, you would have to get their okay to have a separately metered sub-panel installed off the main from which the line for the NEMA 14-50 can be run.