Need Opinions: HPHC Option for Traveling/Use at Public Charging Stations

Need Opinions: HPHC Option for Traveling/Use at Public Charging Stations

We are getting ready to push the BUILD IT button for our P85. We don't think we will need the HPHC option for everyday changing but one advisor suggested if we plan to travel to out of the way places we might want this option to use at Public Charging Stations. Any opinions?

Atlantis | August 5, 2013

The HPHC has 2 pieces, the HPWC (the wall connector) and the twin charger which is inside the car.
This twin charger is useful when going out (not the wall connector) as it enables charging 62Mi per hour.
But that would be the case only if the charging station provides higher than 40A power, which is rare in North America, but more common in Europe.
For 30A or less chargers, your twin charger will not be used anyways, and you will get a normal charge of 15-30 Mi per hour (assuming 220V)

shop | August 5, 2013

It depends where you live. In California, there are/will be enough superchargers such that you probably wouldn't need dual chargers in the car. Also, there aren't as many 70 amp chargers around. In other parts of the country the equation is different.

negarholger | August 5, 2013

If you plan to travel the sun highway in Canada - like me - it would help a lot.

how27udo | August 5, 2013

Agreed, if you travel it does give peace of mind in the event that there are no superchargers around. Typically, at this stage, most chargers won't make use of the twin chargers. But that will be changing quite rapidly. Future proof the car by getting the dual chargers. Doing it after the fact will not only cost you double the price but will leave you potentially in situations.

earlyretirement | August 5, 2013

I agree the dual charger totally makes sense. This type of thing I'd assume will be more expensive later to upgrade.

KendallPB | August 5, 2013

I've taken advantage of the twins in my car on a weekend trip, at a lunch stop where the hotel had a 70 amp charger. Some Tesla stores/galleries have HPWCs that owners may use. (And of course, there may be owners that let you use their chargers. ;-)

But if you don't need/want the HPWC, then it's a tougher sell. I ordered both, but I'm glad I had the option to get one and/or the other. If you're under new pricing, then you have to get both or neither. It's tough to advise you, not knowing your situation. I expect over-40-amp chargers to become more commonplace over time, but who knows how long the timeframe will be--but I saw getting both as being part future-proofing, part short-term planning, and part planning that we may replace our other car with a Tesla as well (in which case, faster home charging would be useful--we work different shifts but have some overlap).

Anyway, like I said--tough to advise without knowing more.

KendallPB | August 5, 2013

P.S. I meant to say, for road trips...well, if you plan to travel where there are Superchargers--and as the network build out more--well, the need for twin chargers goes down, doesn't it. In theory.

Jolinar | August 6, 2013

TwinCharger is definitely good option for Europe, maybe not so great in the US.
Don't know much about HPWC, I think it's too expensive for just hanging on the wall :-) Well, that's probably why they joined these 2 options into one with new the pricing.

dortor | August 6, 2013

Superchargers = doesn't matter how car is configured - they don't use on board chargers

Twin Chargers = only matters if the charging station is > 40 amps (rare today - maybe different in future)

HPWC = configurable from 40 amps to 100 amps - depends on home charger setup - twin chargers are only a benefit if your home can handle > 40 amps

Mobile Charger = limited to maximum 40 AMPS - twin chargers play no role

the most common charger I run into when out and about is a Chargepoint/Blink J1772 charger @ 30 amps (18 mph/charge rate)…twin chargers are not used.

jat | August 6, 2013

Note that even in the long-term plan, the Superchargers are basically going to target interstates between cities. If you need to go off that path, you may wish for a higher-current charging option. The other major point is to recover the charge used in commuting before heading out of town on a trip, though if you are going where there are (or will be Superchargers), that becomes less important. Finally, I didn't want to pack/unpack the UMC all the time yet I wanted to keep it in the car, so for me the option was between the HPWC and a second UMC, so the cost difference was small enough the other factors won out. I am very happy to have my HPWC and I have already used the dual chargers away from home (coming back from taking my car to the track, I charged at another Model S owner's HPWC).

KendallPB | August 6, 2013

@dortor: Not sure what you mean by "mobile charger"--if you mean the UMC, the cable can handle over 40 amps (if you have the twin chargers). If you mean something else...not sure what you're saying in that line (but the rest of what you wrote is a mostly-good summary, leaving out that Tesla stores and service stations have HPWCs that are sometimes available to Model S owners).

tes-s | August 7, 2013

Is the UMC the cable that comes with the car? I was not aware it could handle more than 40amps. What would I have to install at my house to be able to use that cable to charge at 60 or 70 amps with my twin-charger equiped MS?

jat | August 8, 2013

@KendallPB - no, the UMC can only supply 40A max (on a 50A+ circuit).

KendallPB | August 9, 2013

@jat: Oh, I'm an idiot. I got the J1772 adapter confused with the UMC. (blush) Sorry, @dortor.

jat | August 9, 2013

@tes-s - you can get a J1772-compatible EVSE and charge at up to 72A from it, but the HPWC would be a better idea in that case.

mrspaghetti | August 9, 2013

I believe all Tesla stores have HPWCs, so you will miss out on the opportunity to get a quick charge from them on road trips without the twins.

I am 3146 | August 9, 2013

Superchargers are going to be between destinations. Dual Chargers come in handy if you are driving to a destination, need to commute in that area, stay for a short while. As more and more 70AMP universal chargers make it on the market, you won't have to sit and charge for as long. The dual chargers will effectively cut your charge town in half while away from home. Dual chargers with the HPWC at home is a big convenience. You come home plug in and don't have to worry about taking the UMC with you. Also, the HPWC does not need the 100 amp feed but if you have the 100 amp feed and dual charger, you can charge quickly at home if you were out all day and had dinner plans. Also, if there is a bad storm coming, you can up the amperage, charge faster and be ready to go if the power should cut out.

Donato | August 9, 2013

A question regarding charging.

I plan to have a MS in Feb, 14 and a 240AC 14-30 or 14-50 outlet in the garage. I plan to use #3AWG wire so I can change to the High Power Unit/Cable. I've verified my 200 amp box has the room and capability to accept a 100 amp breaker.

Anyone see a problem with this plan?

Many thanks,


jat | August 9, 2013

I got my car before the HPWC was available, so I had the electrician run breaker/wire for the HPWC and put a 14-50 outlet on it. Then, when my HPWC arrived, he took out the 14-50 and installed the HPWC. If you have the option, you may want to get a 6-50 outlet installed instead (which doesn't require a neutral wire) and buy a $45 adapter to use it with the car instead, as it will save you a good bit of money on wiring. (I used #0 Al instead of copper).

I don't know why you would put in a 14-30 instead of a 14-50 if you are running #3 wire.

Donato | August 9, 2013, many thanks for your comments; I mentioned the 14-30 just because it was a 240 vac outlet. My goal is to end up with a HPWC and a 240 VAC outlet. The outlet being available for any ev travler in need.

I'm leaning toward copper wire for the lead will be about 30 feet and would rather not be forced to use anti oxidation goop on the connections. Or, is gooping still used? I'm 82 and it has been many years since I've done any house wiring.

Vancouver, WA

mrspaghetti | August 9, 2013

@Donato: getting the Model S @ 82 - good for you!

I'm pretty sure "goop" isn't used anymore, and copper is standard.

jat | August 9, 2013

@Donato - yes, if you connect Al and Cu conductors, you have to use anti-oxidant. It isn't a big deal, and virtually all service conductors coming into your house are Al -- a 100A line to the HPWC is the same size as service conductors for a typical mobile home, for example.

Note that most EVs don't currently have the capability to plug into an arbitrary 240V outlet. You can get it, such as using to upgrade your LEAF EVSE, but aside from Tesla owners you are likely to find very few that could use it, and the Tesla owners would rather use the HPWC anyway. It's very generous to do that, but for it to be useful to most current EV drivers it would probably need to be J1772.

Also, if you want to have both, you will need a 100A breaker and a 50A (or 30A for a dryer plug) breaker, or if you don't care about using them fully at the same time (for example, I have an HPWC for the Model S and a J1772 EVSE for my wife's LEAF, but I can't run the HPWC at 80A at the same time as charging the LEAF), you could have a 100A subpanel and in there have 100A to the HPWC and 50A to the 14-50 outlet.