Could I use only the 120V wall charger, if I drive 25 miles per day?

Could I use only the 120V wall charger, if I drive 25 miles per day?

I'm thinking about getting a Tesla, but I rent, so I don't want to install a charger. I only drive about 25 miles per day, (a few days a month maybe 100 or more)

Do you think I could get away with only the 120V slow charge? I do live in LA, and could use highpowered station sometimes.

Does anyone else only use the 120V?

cloroxbb | 1 July 2013

Well 25 miles would require 8+ hours to recharge. If you have enough time, then you'll be alright.

Bighorn | 1 July 2013

Presumably you'd start with a full battery, so even if you run a slight deficit during the work week, you'd have no problem getting back to a full charge on weekends. You'd be fine just using 50% capacity and doing overnight charges.

cloroxbb | 1 July 2013

I would imagine that the weekend is where she would want to drive MORE rather than having it plugged in all day/night...

cloroxbb | 1 July 2013

she = he/she

negarholger | 1 July 2013

I was using the first month 120 V only and I was driving 20-25 miles a day during the week. If you are 10+ hours at home then that should not be a problem. However the MS makes you drive more because it so much fun. See if you have public charger nearby where you could hang out read a book or similar. ( I had a free city J1772 about 3 miles away in walking distance to my favorite shopping center, but never I used it )

hamer | 2 July 2013

The question may (or may not) indicate a misconception:

"I'm thinking about getting a Tesla, but I rent, so I don't want to install a charger."

You do not have to install a charger. The charger is in the car. You only need to install a 240 volt 50 ampere receptacle for your car to plug into. Depending on the capacity of your current electrical box, and how far it is from where you need to receptacle to charge the car, You could probably do it yourself (if you knew what you were doing) for parts costing at most perhaps $50-80 (the box, the NEMA 14-50 receptical, some 6 gauge wire, a 50 amp breaker, and some joint compound and tape to repair the wall after you run the line).

An electrician who does not want to rip you off can probably do it in an hour or so at a total cost of a couple of hundred dollars.

mlnewman1 | 2 July 2013

I have a similar situation - work from home several days a week. For now I've chosen NOT to put in higher-amp socket in my garage as I just don't need it. I'm charged up to 100% (well, 80% technically) each morning with a standard 110/10-amp plug.


TI Sailor | 2 July 2013

As a landlord-owner, I would definitely NOT want a tenant installing a 240V 50A circuit on my property to charge his/her EV, especially if an electrician didn't do it and it didn't have proper permits, etc. If a fire broke out, regardless of cause, it's highly likely insurance would not cover any losses. OTOH, if a tenant asked permission and went the proper route as I described -and- my insurance company didn't object, I wouldn't have a problem.

That said, I also believe 120V might suffice if circumstances were as @cloroxbb, @Bighorn and @minewman stated.

gill_sans | 4 July 2013

@TI Sailor Thank you for your informative post. We're also renting and planning to get an electrician to first check out our breaker box and electrical situation and second install a NEMA 14-50 outlet for us, with our landlord's approval of course. A properly installed NEMA 14-50 might actually increase the value of the rental property, assuming electric vehicles become more popular in coming years.

L8MDL | 5 July 2013

I don't understand why anyone would buy a $100k car to save ONE gallon of gas per day. But then I don't understand nuclear physics, either.

Brian H | 5 July 2013

You assume the purpose is the savings. What if it's just the joy of use and possession?

TomasT | 5 July 2013

@ letmeehan I drive mine around 40 miles every day and charge it at home every night on a 110v. It works fine. Every morning the car has a full charge (12 hours charging). In the cases that I end up driving more than 40 miles in one day, I make up for it by charging it more time on weekends.
If you drove around 45-50 miles or more every single day, I would then recommend to get the 240v, that would be to much for a 110v.

TomasT | 5 July 2013

L8MDL Most of us like the car for the technology, the luxurious feel, the ridiculous speed, top of the line handling, beautiful design, and last but not least, concern for the environment (like you called it, saving one gallon of gas every day.)

On that last one alone, I was spending $400/month on gas and instead I'm now paying $40/month in electricity. That's a pretty decent savings that helps to make this car a lot more affordable than it seems.

That said, I suspect your question wasn't really out of curiosity, it sounds more like you're trying to provoke and create some noise on this forum.

L8MDL | 6 July 2013

Brian - how much "enjoyment" can you get from a 25 mile drive each day. Must live a really slow life...

L8MDL | 6 July 2013

Tomas - if you're spending $400+ on gas you are certainly driving more than 20 minutes a day!

Mel. | 7 July 2013

L8MDL, how many miles do you have on your model S ?

mallynb | 8 July 2013

You don't need to install a charger. The car has one on board. Analyze your usage as described above. One suggestion not mentioned so far. Plug it in to 120V at your destination.

L8MDL | 10 July 2013

Mel - I drive a Vette, hence the moniker. Trying to justify a Tesla but right now the nearest SuperCharger is over 600 miles away, making it a "no deal" for my current needs. Love the conversations here, though!

Mel. | 11 July 2013

L8MDL, are you thinking of buying the 2014 corvette. I have a 2006 and might trade for the new model. I really prefer to drive my Tesla, but I have always had a corvette.