Tesla is ill-prepared for charging the MS in Germany

Tesla is ill-prepared for charging the MS in Germany

Now I have the official statement from Tesla: The mobile connector is 16A only for 3 phases:

11 kW fähiger Universal Mobile Connector, IEC 60309 5 Pin Rot 16A/3-Phase (400 V), oder IEC 60309 3 Pin Blau 32A/Einphasig (240 V) Adapter

So in Germany, you are actually better off with 230V/32A (IEC 60309 3 Pin Blau 32A/Einphasig) giving you 7,36 instead of only 6,4kW. And you don't need a dual charger for that.

The only way to benefit from a dual charger would be if you get either from Tesla a HPC (not available for Germany and I doubt it ever will be because it would have to be very different from the US one with our "Drehstrom" input) or from a vendor like Mennekes a home charger and Type2, 400V 3p+N+PE PP + CP cable that is stationary.

As long as Tesla doesn't offer a 32A / 3 phase mobile connector, on the road 400V/32A outlets just won't give you more than 6,4kW. You can only charge at 12,8kW if a charging station has a build in Type2 plug terminated cable.

That is not what you expect from a 100k€ car with supposedly 22kW dual chargers on board. I hope Tesla learns more about power supply in Germany soon and this stupid issue goes away before my MS is delivered in December.

stealth_mode | July 17, 2013

I am disappointed too!!
I think they should supply a mobile EVSE (Mode 3 20kW, 3pNPPCP 400V@32A) so you could charge off every red CEE 32A-Outlet, so your dual charger is worth it's money.
Otherwise we will have to plunge some 1000-1500EUR for this kind of EVSE.

RZippel | July 17, 2013

I could not agree more. And start to think if it is worth finding out what other than a CEE Plug, a Type2 Plug and a cable is required to make that work (the stuff in the little plastic box of the mobile connector). This seems to be a problem well known to the Roadster community with some "home brew" solutions around.

RZippel | July 17, 2013

Of course that is what you should NOT HAVE TO DO OR EVEN THINK ABOUT Tesla, please! I want to use whatever juice is around.

jkirkebo | July 17, 2013

The math is wrong. 16A 400V three-phase will give you 11kW, not 6.4kW. So with a 32A-16A adapter you'll get 11kW on these charging points.

Can you find many 32A 400V outlets in the wild? Here they are few and far between. The future for public charging points are the Type 2 socket anyway.

You can always buy a 22kW EVSE and put a 32A plug on it to bring along. And someone will probably make a portable one. Check out OpenEVSE, you can do it yourself...

merijn | July 17, 2013

Most public EV charging stations in Europe have Mennekes type 2 sockets. At the moment I think most are 11 kW and some are 22 kW. So if you have a dual charger and buy a separate type 2 charging cable (with a male and a female plug) you can take advantage of all 11 and 22 kW public charging stations.
You only use the Universal Mobile Connector for plugging in to normal household sockets or industrial 'Drehstrom' / 3 phase sockets (blue or red).

RZippel | July 17, 2013

If I agree to P = SQRT(3) * 400 * 16 A * cos(phi) with cos(phi)=1 for a moment (is that really true for a Model S charged with Drehstrom?), that means still that I have to get a wall box of some sort at home with a 32A rated cable and type 2 plug instead of just using regular CEE outlet. Plus another type 2 cable for 300€. And can throw away the mobile connector as useless (600$). Why put that kind of money to the wall everywhere instead of using a cable? The wall boxes will be in the 1000€ range, a CEE 32A socket is 13€...? I fail to see that logic...

But thinking about it I agree your math seems right, the MS chargers will act like heaters I guess.

Thanks for pointing that out.

HenryT2 | July 17, 2013

Of course there are going to be teething problems with adapting a car for international use. Especially from a basically brand new company that's never sold cars outside of the US before. I hope they get this problem sorted out for you ASAP.

shop | July 17, 2013

Did you read the links in this post?

Looks fine to me...

RZippel | July 17, 2013

@shop, I don't get what you want to say. I didn't read it before but read it now. That confirms that because of the unavailability of a mobile connector for 3 phase 32A sockets you can only use type 2 mobile with your own cable and need to install a 1000€ box in your home in addition. Which is exactly my complaint. I don't care about the 1000€ box so much but about the charging networks I can't use like:

And the fact that every outlet needs this expensive box instead of a cable that is just required once. Instead of standardizing type 2 they should have standardized CEE 1-3 phase, 16-32A as the socket (dumb) every car needs to be able to plug into, and the charge points would have been extremely cheap instead of expensive... And Tesla already built everything required to work with a dumb socket into the car in addition, but doesn't use it because of a missing cable.

merijn | July 17, 2013

I tought the type 2 was able to communicate with the car unlike the normal 3 phase CEE. Maybe that's why a higher power can be used (I'm not sure). Anyway, the Mennekes type 2 is the European standard for charging EVs so I don't think you can blame Tesla for using this standard. The only thing I don't like is that Tesla doesn't provide a type 2 cable and you have to buy it yourself (third party). I already bought a 4m en 8m 32A type 2 cable which costed me € 500,- (including shipping and VAT).

merijn | July 17, 2013

And you can still decide to use the UMC with a standard 3 phase CEE socket and charge your car at 11 kW at home. It will still be fully charged over night if empty (approx 8 hours).

Jolanda | July 17, 2013

The problem is not Tesla. Charging a vehicle with 16A 400V 3 fase is the maximum allowed capacity for a non controlled solution.

An EVSE has a lot of added security and is the only allowed solution to go higher than the EU limit.

So please don't be mad at Tesla for following the law. They have to limit to get CE approval.

GeekEV | July 17, 2013

The UMC *is* an EVSE...

Jolanda | July 17, 2013

Yeah, but the connector that feeds it is not an EVSE.

If you make a connectionbox with screw terminals, then you could use the UMC to go to 32A. But effectively you then build a HPWC.

And please do not make a "home brew" solution that can do 32A on a socket. If you disconnect it while it is doing 20kW of loading, you wil get some nice sparks...

RZippel | July 17, 2013

I think I understand the limitations much better now, thanks for all the answers.

I will have to decide now what I install at home, most likely a type 2 station with a detachable cable and will take the cable and UMC on the road...


Jolanda | July 18, 2013

Do you need a full charge in 4 hours at home?

I sleep 8 hours a day (night) and that is more than enough to charge the Model S. So I don't feel the need for a HPWC.

Just my 2 cents...

stealth_mode | July 18, 2013

@ jolanda: I agree for normal use to charge over night you really don't NEED 20 kW- it's all about options though. Having a 32A3p Outlet at home is a matter of few Euro. I can imagine my self needing this kind of speed once in a while.
U don't think it is reasonable for TM to provide a full blown 20 kW EVSE for free ( would be nice though:) but a nice Tesla style type 2 cable to use all the charging spots right away would not be too much expected !

Jolanda | July 18, 2013

If I were responsible for the package at Tesla, I would have included the type 2 charge cable. I would not have included the HPWC.

The type 2 cable is a necessity, but the HPWC is a luxury item. I could not have used it because of limited power suppl yand would then have bought something that I don't need. So I am happy that it is an option.

You can buy the cable at several locations, so that is no problem.

Jackie425 | July 18, 2013

@RZipple: From the Tesla German website - Model S - Technical Data
"(Optional 22kW fähige Zwillingslader erhöht die Kompatibilität der 3 Phasen auf 32 A und die1-Phasen Ladung bis zu 80A)"

Flaninacupboard | July 18, 2013

UMC with a domestic plug is a neccesity, as a final fall back for charging at your house/friends/relatives, especially considering it's very uncommon to have anyhting higher than 13amp sockets in a home (these are sufficient for washers and driers, and electric cookers are always hardwired). Having the blue or red "commando" connectors is a great bonus for all the commercial sites, camping grounds etc where you can blag a sneaky charge, and a good cheap option to put in your garage/driveway for 10kw charging at your home.

The Type2 will be useful if your workplace has it (but I don't think many who buy will need workplace charging to complete their commute...?) or you are parked up somewhere (like a cinema or shopping centre etc) but again, do you need to top up with the range of the S at these places? This will vary by user. More useful will be chademo or SC's, when you're actually -going- somewhere. Some people will want the chademo, some won't.

I understand why of the two they give you the 10kw UMC for charging at your home and your friends/family. If you want to use public 10kw (or 20kw if you buy twin chargers) then £200 for a cable is not a big deal, but it's a waste if you never want it! The car will be expensive enough already.

RZippel | July 18, 2013


Yes, you get a charger without a cable to use it as the mobile connector is limited to 16A.

Tesla asked me to wait a little longer, the HPC and installation packages would be around the corner for germany. I told them I might have a third party type2 wallbox and cable for 32A by then.

But there is no argument that they don't have a 32A charging
solution at this point. Even if they have a charger. But the aftermarket has them already.

tobi_ger | July 18, 2013

Hello Robert,
do you take delivery in the next couple of months in Germany?

RZippel | July 18, 2013


Yes, you get a charger without a cable to use it as the mobile connector is limited to 16A.

Tesla asked me to wait a little longer, the HPC and installation packages would be around the corner for germany. I told them I might have a third party type2 wallbox and cable for 32A by then.

But there is no argument that they don't have a 32A charging
solution at this point. Even if they have a charger. But the aftermarket has them already.

RZippel | July 18, 2013


Yes, December is the plan.


tobi_ger | July 18, 2013

I was already confused about the plethora of different plugs in the US. I hope it will be easier to determine what we can do here in Germany.
Alles Gute :)

RZippel | July 19, 2013

Well, time will tell.

At the moment we can only use CEE outlets up to 16A/11kW. To use the Type2 public infrastructure there is nothing at the moment, so that is closed to the Model S until Tesla at least provides a Type2 Adapter (Plug for the sockets used in wall boxes or public infrastructure). You can't even by aftermarket easily because Type2 at least in Germany usually means cables with a plug (for the wallbox!) and a coupling for the car. The Tesla has a socket so you need a plug on the Tesla side as well. Plug to Plug 32A cables are not standard, but at least Walther e.g. would customize one on request. And you need to pay attention if you buy a wallbox with a fixed cable for the same reason. It will not by default have a plug fitting the Tesla socket but a Type2 coupling fitting most other cars.

Tesla officially reacts like any typical vendor and said: Our clients mostly use 16A CEE sockets and 11kW charging which is enough. That sounds like Bill Gates famous "640 kB ought to be enough for anybody" quote from 81. However, they promised me to release the HPC and installation packages soon, not fixing the lack of a Type2 cable for the road.

I will get an already available 32A aftermarket Type2 wallbox, likely from Mennekes or Walther for my Garage, and a custom Type2 Plug to Plug cable for this and the public Type2 infrastructure in Germany. For all the rest the 16A UMC will have to do. 32A passive is anyway not allowed.

Or Tesla is faster with a solution... ;-)

Alles Gute auch...

RZippel | July 19, 2013

Forget half my last posting, I checked and the MS has a plug and requires a coupling, so the aftermarked standard Type2 cables are fine. And for the missing Type2 Adapter for the UMC there is a technical reason, Tesla can't bypass the electronics in the UMC which is designed for stupid outlets and not Type2 outlets. So that is no option.

Final verdict:

I will get an already available 32A aftermarket Type2 wallbox, likely from Mennekes or Walther for my Garage, and a standard Type2 Plug to Coupling cable for this and the public Type2 infrastructure in Germany. For all the rest the 16A UMC will have to do. 32A passive is anyway not allowed.

Now how can I get my MS earlier ;-) ?

ChristianG | July 19, 2013

Well Tesla should have included the Type 2 charging cable and a CCE 32A -> CCE 16A adapter. True you can't use the 22kwh from the CCE 32A plug and only get 11KWH but at least everyone compares the plugs there are whith the cables they have and know what to plug in. that way we can charge almost everywhere spending 4 houres on the internet to try to figure out what he needs to charge his car

jkirkebo | July 20, 2013

You can make a CEE32A-16A adapter yourself for a few euro. The parts are cheap and easy to source. Just a 32A plug, a 16A socket and 30cm of 5x2.5mm2 rubber cable.

franco.filippi | September 30, 2013

It seems is going to be like that also in Italy and it's frankly unbeleivable. 32A, 400V plugs are standard ones in our country and all around EU, and I can't beleive Tesla didn't take this into account. I can't think I spend around 100k€ and I won't be able to charge the Model S in the shortest time possible, without any technical reason.

pebell | September 30, 2013

I just don't get how Tesla could come up with this, it just fries my mind.

They know that the Mennekes adapter is, by a landslide (say, 95%) the most used connector for charging stations (both public and private) in Europe. In fact, they actually fit EU model of the car itself with this type of connector, with three leds beside it, instead of the "custom" connector with the lovely luminescent ring around it used in the US model.

So now, the cable they supply with the car, obviously, has a Mennekes connector too (on one end, at least) so that it fits to the Mennekes connector in the car.

And now a drum roll please for the type of connector Tesla chose for the OTHER end of the cable. You know, the end that plugs into the charger. The charger, that in 95% of the cases, will have a Mennekes connector JUST LIKE the car..

Err.. It's not a Mennekes connector. It's not any connector I've ever seen. But thank god, they do ship the cable with some adapters. One for a regular power outlet (Schuko). Nice, that means I can charge a few miles per hour in someone's garage that doesn't have any charging infrastructure in place. And the other: CEE16 red. I'm told some industries that use a lot of heavy electric power tools have that kind of connectors on the factory floor. But when I search plugshare or similar sites for public charging infrastructure using that type of connector, I usually draw a complete blank (but will find a plethora of "Mennekes"-equiped chargers).

Now it would stand to reason that they ship a third adapter, a Mennekes adapter, so that the cable they provide still turns in to a standard type 2 mode 3 cable with Mennekes connectors on both ends, right? Nope. But then surely, you can buy that adapter? Nope.

So EU owners need to:

Buy their own third party cable, at easily $500
Carry both cables with the car (or just leave Tesla's original cable at home and store it in the attic, because it is of pretty much zero use)
Open the car door and lean into the car to open and/or unlock the chargeport using the center console EVERY time they plug or unplug the cable, because the neat button on Tesla's cable that does that is not present on the expensive third party cable.

I have known about this for a long time, but now that I actually have the car and am confronted with this on a daily basis, I am just astonished by this huge oversight.

pmeester | February 22, 2014

Hi All that have a positive look on things.

These discussions always end with people that like to complain.

For 20 Euro and 10 minutes time I did indeed make my own connector. It's easy and it does the job, So I can charge at 32A 380V CEE outlets.

Dont' worry, be happy and please don't whine!

Jolinar | February 22, 2014

yes, you can do that, but why the heck does not Tesla do it instead? Also Mennekes adapter as @pebell suggests would be also appreciated. Why Tesla in Europe don't have this really basic items? Elon in recent Q&A said they have some charging issues in Europe. He probably didn't mean this, but we can agree that Tesla should add Mennekes adapter and CEE 32A adapter on the list of charging issues.

The car is great, really, but charging accessories in Europe should be better. Now, we have 3 cables in the car instead of one universal (Mennekes to Mennekes, CEE16/Schuko to Mennekes and CEE32 to Mennekes) and that's sad :(

Captain_Zap | February 22, 2014

Only 3 cables and adapters? I am impressed! Our frunk has a large tub and all that is in it is adapters and cables. I lost count...

Jolinar | February 23, 2014

I don't mind adapters, but the cables. Is it what you want to show to general public? Of course not... EV should be easy to use, not to be bothered about whole lot of useless cables which only take a lot of trunk space. One universal cable with bunch of adapters should be enough.

I am disappointed that Tesla Roadster had UMC (universal mobile connector) capable of 16kW, while Model S has UMC capable of only 11kW. I was hoping that Tesla would be doing progress not the steps backward.

I don't know, maybe some laws and regulations have changed so they can't make UMC capable of 22kW? Ok, I would understand that, but that is not excuse for not providing CEE32 adapter which would be capable of only 16A! In the US Tesla have whole bunch of adapters (8 to be precise), but in the EU only 3? Why?

wn | April 10, 2014

1.: German "Drehstrom" is 3 phase 400v ENERGY:
2.: Because of safety rules in Germany car connectors are Type2
3.: I asked the Munich Dealer and he said, that the regular plug and cable is the Type 2 plug (also called "Mennekes" stecker/plug)
4.: Nearly all public loading stations of Germany have 230V Schuko and 400V Type 2 Plug ins. and also most of them offer the energy without fare.
So What is the problem?

Only at Munich airport I have seen, that there are installed no type 2, but Schuko (220V) and CEE(400V) red connectors! also without fare.
You must pay for parking in Parking lot 20.
But if You go shopping or dining in the airport, take the invoice and go to main information or main parking cashier and You get 5hrs free parking!