Roadster charging in Europe

Roadster charging in Europe

Hello all Europe Roadster owners. I ask you, because this website doesn't give any info about European charging systems: What kind of connectors European Roadster allow? What about three-phase? Currents, voltages, plugs?

That latest blog shows two pictures where Roadster is apparently connected to standard 400V@32A three-phase connector. Is that standard mobile charger equipment?

Kevin Sharpe | 11/11/2010

70A 240V Single Phase is the maximum supported by the Roadster. See here for more details;

Timo | 12/11/2010

That is US Roadster. There is no info about European charging systems anywhere in the site. Voltages, amps, plugs, all missing. That is why I'm asking this from the European Roadster owners.

That recent blog clearly shows that that blue Roadster is attached to 400V32A three-phase outlet. I want to find out if that is standard equipment.

Kevin Sharpe | 12/11/2010

I'm a European Roadster owner and can confirm that it's basically the same as the US;

No three phase support

70A 240V maxiumm when using the HPC

32A 240V maximum when using the UMC

16A 240V maximum when using the SMC

I don't know what blog picture your looking at but bet it's the 32A 240V single phase blue "commando socket".

The Tesla Motors Club website has a lot of technical discussion about Roadster charging;

Timo | 12/11/2010

That blog that is most recent as now. "". As far as I can tell those are standard red 400V 3P+N+E 6h connectors.

Now that I checked the blog there is an answer to my question "Timo - Yes this is standard 3-phase 32A connector. It is connected to an MC 240 and will draw 30A on phase L1. Alfred Link to picture of those plugs:".

So it is connected to 3-phase connector, but is using only one phase of it.

Kevin Sharpe | 12/11/2010

My understanding is that three phase is rarely available in the US and therefore it's very unlikely that we will see US designed cars supporting it in the near future. Remember that the connector defined in the US 'standard' (J1772) does not even have a three phase option.

Talkredius | 29/11/2010

But it might be possible, that we get a DC-Charger which transfers e.g. 3 x 400 V @ 16~ to 560 V DC @30A or 375 V DC @50A.
My guess is not for the Roadster but for the Model S.

Anonymous | 21/01/2011

A friend of mine is getting his Roadster 2.5 in a few weeks (The Netherlands) and we are thinking about charging at higher Amps.

This week our office has been expanded from 1x 35A to 3x40A, but that's all we can get, so we can charge his Roadster now at 30A.

But 3-phase is really what you get here, I have never seen a home nor a regular (smaller) office with a breaker of 90 Amps.

Our public charging infrastructure has been build for 3-phase charging too, it output 3x16A or some will output 3x32A.

Will that be his max in Europe? 30A charging or even 16A charging on most of the places?

That is going to be the standard in Europe, it supports up to 3x63A, but will most of the time be limited to 16A or 32A.

Any hints how to charge the roadster on 3-phases?

Timo | 22/01/2011

You can't. Three-phase is just plain not supported. You can connect to standard three-phase connector with mobile charger, but only one phase is being used.

Anonymous | 22/01/2011

Thanks Timo, that was what I expected as a answer. We'll have to hope then that there will be a lot of 32A 3-phase charging sites so we can charge at 1-phase 30A.

Timo | 22/01/2011

It is actually a bit odd that three-phase is not supported because engine in that car is three-phase electric engine and it has regenerative braking capability so there is electronics to convert high variable power 3-phase current to DC already installed (and DC to AC). Pretty much all that is missing is connector.

Maybe it is just that car-end US-standard connector that is missing that possibility. I hope that Model S will have three-phase charging possibility. That would make Europe full of high power chargers without even trying to create any charging infrastructure. I bet nearly every gas-station and roadside restaurant has at least one three-phase connector already installed in outer wall. You would only need to ask if you could charge your car there to get it full in couple of hours from near-empty (depends of battery size, how empty it really is and max current, 400V@32A three phase would be around 22kW power).

Anonymous | 22/01/2011

Yes, I thought so. I hoped there was something that could do the job. Hopefully Tesla will someday bring out a kit which enables the Roadster to do 3-phase charging.

The Model S (which I reserved) should do 3-phase charging, otherwise i'll cancel my order, but I don't expect it to be missing, even the Nissan Leaf has 3-phase charging.

And 3x16A is very common in Europe, almost every gas station in Holland has it installed somewhere around the pumps or on a outer wall. 3x32A is not that common, but can be found.

Nevertheless, 3x16A is still 11kW of power. Expecting the Model S to do around 200wH/KM you would get 55km of charging per hour on just 3x16A.

While the page is in Dutch, it should be understandable for foreign users:

Those are the charging stations which are installed in The Netherlands around the country.

The high power stations will even support 3x32A and 3x63A, but those will be limited to specific places.

For the Model S those are sufficient (if it supports 3-phase charging), but for the Roadster you would only get 1x16A, which is rather slow.

Brian H | 27/01/2011

A little hint about English: I notice often that European English speakers love to use the word "possibility" where it doesn't belong.

It does not mean "capacity", "option", "opportunity", "ability", etc. Think of it as a statistics term: it refers to the likelihood of existence or occurrence of something being somewhat greater than zero. "Will you buy a Roadster?" "That's a possibility." "There's no possibility I can afford it before next year, though." For higher likelihoods, "probability" is used.

Timo | 27/01/2011

Well, I'm not English speaker. European, yes, but not English speaker. You can expect me to write funny every now and then.

jkirkebo | 30/01/2011


The Leaf does not support 3-phase charging. It has a 3.3kW charger so at 230V it will draw less than 16A. Thus no need for 3-phase until they supply a bigger charger and then swap the J1772 plug for a Mennekes plug in Europe.

Anonymous | 31/01/2011

jkirkebo: You are right, the fast-charging port is indeed a DC charging port where you need an external charger. My bad!

VolkerP | 03/02/2011

Well guys,

I even asked my sales rep about 3 phase charging. He cited a statement from JB Straubel that the J1772 was limited to 1 phase due to weight and cost limitations by the US car industry.

Using 3 phase service instead of 1 phase still means, you get 400V instead of 240V. This is because 240V is between every phase (L1, L2, L3) and center pole, but you have 400V between every pair of L1-L2, L2-L3, or L3-L1. In short, 3 phase same current is just 70% more miles per hour.

I'd like to have my Model S with Mennekes 3 phase, of course, and TESLA should offer an upgrade kit for european roadster owners that enables 3 phase charging. That would be a cool job for their mobile service rangers!

dpeilow | 05/02/2011

Weight and cost limitations eh?

I've held both and the Mennekes is definitely the lighter and more compact of the two plug types. I bet you for the same power level it's also cheaper (doesn't need expensive high power contacts at 22 kW).

One of the main reasons Nikola Tesla invented three phase was to reduce the weight of metal conductor required for a given amount of power. With the current price of copper, that has to be an advantage for the cost of EVSE. I think the US car industry was wrong to stay single phase only when they had the opportunity to start with a clean sheet of paper.

By the way, possibility is also a synonym for capability. I say that as a European English speaker :-/

Anonymous | 06/02/2011

I just finished our EU charging infrastructure (32A) for our Roadster, wrote a little blogpost about it:

I also read there is a third party who creates DC CHAdeMO chargers:

That might work in the future if Tesla doesn't come up with something.

Steve | 06/02/2011

The US car industry gave too much weight to the fact that US residences have only single-phase power available. Plus, the design was influenced too much by the primary target application being plug-in hybrids with small batteries. That is why the J1772 charge stations being produced and installed now in the US are only 30A.

dsm363 | 06/02/2011

Yeah. I think having only 30A charging stations is almost a waste of time (not completely as it's better than nothing of course). The standard supports up to 80A I believe so this would have made them much more useful for travelers.

eberhard | 06/02/2011

I dont understand, why the industry wants something new, not better even worse by ignoring existing standard. i have since 20 year a 400V/32A socket in my garage. I can find them everywhere around.
I only can charge at 7kW, but I could do 3 times better at 22kW which is much better then 240V/70A.
For that I would need not HPC or other special cable only the existing CEE socket. But must say, the Meenekes plug is nicer and handier. Any 400V/32A socket can easily changed to that with low cost.
The BRUS 22kW 3-phase 400V/32A only weights 12kg. I think TESLA can do it better, not only on Model S. Maybe as an upgrade for the Roadster.

Anonymous | 06/02/2011

I fully agree on that eberhard, but it seems to be a difference between the US and Europe. As European we are used to 3-phase, where the US seems to stick with 1-phase.

Brian H | 07/02/2011

Only among yourselves. Here's a full list of synonyms:

1. feasibility, likelihood, plausibility, potentiality, practicability, workableness a debate about the possibility of political reform
2. likelihood, chance, risk, odds, prospect, liability, hazard, probability There is still a possibility of unrest in the country.
3. option, choice, alternative, solution, bet (informal), course of action, recourse There were several possibilities open to the manufacturers.
4. (often plural) potential, promise, prospects, talent, capabilities, potentiality This situation has great possibilities.
"Probable impossibilities are to be preferred to improbable possibilities" [Aristotle Poetics]

Note #4; it's a very specialized use, in the sense of options and potential to be exploited. Euros tend to say things like "He has the possibility to lift his own weight at arm's length." To a fluent English speaker, that means he has the chance to demonstrate his strength, or some such silliness.

If you're not talking to fellow misusers and abusers of the word in Yerpe, I strongly advise you to avoid it altogether. ;)

searcher | 08/02/2011

Brianh, With all due respect{and I really mean it,ha}. Let's keep it international and not be so hard on our international friends. I think they are doing a very good job of communicating and all seem somwhat void of sarcasm, hmmm. Although I will give you credit for getting me a notch better in my communicatios. Never had blogged or posted and couldn't get the hang of the paragraph thing. Brianh you have got to be an english professor of some stripe, are you? My electronics friend is a former english professor I tried to get him to come on the site but he says he doesn't know that much about cars, I told him that doesn't matter, after all what does the BS really mean in our degrees.

searcher | 08/02/2011

typo, communications not communicatios

Brian H | 13/02/2011

Editor of online computer tech articles for a few years.
My bottom line is that sloppy writing and vocabulary puts heavy onus on the reader to guess what you "really" meant. It's ignorant and arrogant at the same time.

searcher | 13/02/2011

BrianH, Now I see why you hold everybodies "feet to the fire" on writing etc. Makes sense. I am nominating myself as most improved poster, what do you think. Althogh now that I am proof reading and send messege still spot misspelled words and it frustrating. Still give our international people credit they do much better than USA guys do as most of us couldn't communicate at all in their language. Yes suppose sarcasim and arrogance is something many of us have to watch as I can look back at some of my old post and how sarcastic and arrogant they seem. And to, sarcasim coupled with arrogance is worse than ignorance and arrogance because the sarcastic person knows better.

Timo | 13/02/2011

Use browser proofreading. FF has quite a good one, it doesn't understand all the words and it has no understanding of the grammar, but I get 99% of my typos noticed by it.

Ad van der Meer | 13/02/2011

The last 6 comments are great examples why I stopped reading most posts at this forum. You're waisting my time! I feel more than 50% of all post are nitpicking and getting personal without adding anything to the topic.
I can deal with an ignorant question or silly answer, but I'm done here...

Kevin Sharpe | 14/02/2011

Ad van der Meer I must admit that this forum could do with some serious moderation... I do find myself skimming through pages of 'dross'.

I think the Tesla Motors Club has a perfect balance IMO.

searcher | 14/02/2011

Ad van der Mer, Sorry you feel that way. But since my post were among the last six post, feel compelled to comment. I am not a techno and I don't know much about EV's but I have learned a lot, especially form the two other people in the last six post. Don't know of any who have contributed more actual technical input than timo or BrianH because I anticipate they love the EV's and Tesla's. Just read back through the posts and you will see what I am talking about. As for me since I don't know any techno stuff I am just sort of the proverbial "man in the street" surely you have room for discussion that doesn't always pertain to just the "nuts and bolt's" and highly technical aspects of the cars. This might get kind of tedious and booooring to some at times, just a nice mix of technical stuff and up to date infor for potential buyers and owners, some "knock down drag out technical arguments{ complete with probably some offensive personal stuff thrown in} along with a little humor at times and even antedotes{sp} about various experiences of people who post is extremely interesting to me. As this gives the site a human dimension and I ask you what is really more interesting than fellow human beings. Wish you would reconsider and stick around because I have read some of your post and they were very interesting and informative.

dsm363 | 17/02/2011

Can we at least try and keep the Roadster forum here for Roadster owners, people thinking about getting the Roadster or even people interested in learning about the Roadster? The 'submit ideas' thread should be the official dumping ground for all the other stuff.

searcher | 17/02/2011

Yes dsm363, request granted. I will start with question. Since Roadsters are such good looking sporty cars will Tesla continue to make and innovate with them even as they move into the Model S and Bluestar era?

Vawlkus | 18/02/2011

Yes, although they haven't quite said how.

I believe the current plan is to use up the existing "skateboard" platforms from Lexus, then, after the Model S is under way, use the Model S platform to design, or maybe adapt, a new Roadster chassis.

Brian H | 18/02/2011

Well, there'll be a complete reworking of the Roadster, anyway. Seems to me the S platform is a bit large for a Roadster?

dsm363 | 19/02/2011

The new Roadster will likely be a much bigger car and more like a Porsche with two small, not that useful back seats is my guess.

Timo | 19/02/2011

Talking about Porsche, it is a rear-engine car with excellent front aerodynamics which obviously can be made even better tweaking rear end. I think Porsche would have been better model for Roadster than Lotus, but I guess early Tesla didn't have much choice in that matter.

Because of that my fear was that Porsche goes in competition with Tesla, because in my eyes it is the only company with resources, experience and basic useful design to beat Roadster. They didn't.

Now Tesla have their own factory and some experience how to build such thing in mass production, so better Roadster is more than likely to be produced in less time than it take to design and make Model S. Other dinosaur-companies are falling back in this particular technological bandwagon. They need to play catchup later, and that is a good thing for Tesla.

Brian H | 20/02/2011

Now, Timo. You know Elon's dream is to inspire as many copy-cats and competitors as possible in order to Save The World Faster!

Timo | 20/02/2011

Best way to inspire such thing is to show them that if you don't do what I'm doing you will be out of business pretty soon. Works like charm.

Brian H | 20/02/2011

Elon is much nicer and more co-operative than that.


Brian H | 20/02/2011

Jeez, I just observed noticed the huge increase in allowed tags below under the comments box. I'm not 'nuff of an HTML 'spert to know what a third of them are!

Looks like overkill. Why would you need 6 levels of headings? And images! Let's see:

Brian H | 20/02/2011

Hm! The img worked, but ul made a paragraph break.

eberhard | 13/03/2011

Today i checked the annual report and found, that Tesla already delivered 3-phase charger to Daimler for the A-Class E-Zell. Its only 400V/16A 3-phase with 11kW (3h for 38kWh pack). A vienna rectifier works on 3-phase 32A is much better, is very compact an lightweight compared to 80A 277V single-phase. JB Straubel promised to me 3-phase charging for Model S.

Niko | 17/03/2011

In Europe a Control Pilot signal will also be required. Does anyone know whether the current production vehicles can be upgraded to support this?

Anonymous | 18/03/2011

What I've read on the Pilot Signal is the same, you would have to connect the right wires, but a Roadster uses the same pilot signal as the European and US charging stations.