Supercharger vs. home charger?

Supercharger vs. home charger?

I live 3 minutes away from a local supercharger. My Tesla S 70D is coming in about a month. Single charger. I drive only about 200 miles per week on average. Do I really need a home charger? Can I use the Supercharger and just "fill up" (don't shoot me for using a gas term) to 80% like I would get on a home charge. I would not get the 100% Supercharger charge unless taking a trip. My home is currently receiving 100amp service and would need to be upgraded to 200amp + a new breaker panel, breakers and the EV charger.


EVRider | 20 marzo 2016

Tesla would say yes, you should charge at home. Some people have nowhere to install a home charger, but you do. Not wanting to spend the money isn't an excuse. :-).

Besides that, I think you would find that charging at home is a lot more convenient than using the Supercharger.

ian.cohen | 20 marzo 2016

Not to concerned about the cost as the government rebate and Tesla referral fee covers the cost. I was thinking more along the lines that you would not instal a gas pump at your home when the station is around the corner.

I agree that plugging in at home then sleeping through the charging time is more time efficient.

SamO | 20 marzo 2016


Not having the ABILITY to charge at home is not efficient. Your local Supercharger could go down for service (yes this has happened) or be full with travelers (this happens sometimes as well) may leave you in a pinch.

Always install some type of home charging for those "what if" moments.

ian.cohen | 20 marzo 2016

Thank you very much for the feedback. Wasn't thinking about downtime for servicing or everyone charging up for a long weekend. Will go ahead and get the home unit. Was just wondering if anyone had gone this route.

SamO | 20 marzo 2016


Elon Musk shared this customer story on Twitter this morning about living in Brooklyn with on-street parking and no home charging.

I have a few friends that live in condo's and the HOA won't let them install charging so they use the local Supercharger and Destination Chargers that Tesla places at hotels, restaurants and attractions.

He hasn't had a problem so far. There are many charging resources. Having one at home is just another great option for when the zombies come for the brains.

petero | 20 marzo 2016

Ian. Yes, you do need a home charger and you should use it. Save the superchargers for long trip recharging – that was the intended use. Having a Nema 14-50, 50 amp will easily charge your Model S overnight. Besides you strike me as someone who values his time higher than waiting around for an available supercharger and then the 45 minutes to charge to save $10.

Don't be a mooch. One day you will bedistance driving and may not appreciate the chargers tied up

efudman | 20 marzo 2016

This is why the early superchargers were installed in locations unlikely to be populated by Tesla owners. Superchargers are to facilitate long distance travel, not to save you on your electric bill. You should install a 14-50 outlet at home and plug in every night. If there was an iPhone charging station a few minutes from you, you would stil plug in your phone at home every night, wouldn't you?

SamO | 20 marzo 2016


Shame based charging network . . .hmmmm. Not sure that's effective, long term.


Even early on, Superchargers were placed in cities without good parking.


"We’re putting Superchargers in cities, not just between cities. And this is obviously important in places like, you know, Beijing, Shanghai, London, San Francisco, New York, where at times people may have a challenge with having a fixed parking space. It’s more like some of those people don’t have a definitive parking space. And they might have street parking or something, you know. London is particularly tricky one; where there’s – it’s got lot of high-end neighborhoods just have street parking."

Everyone should install charging at home, when possible. Then when your parents get their Teslas and your in-laws and kids and friends from college come to visit, you can offer them some electrons just like you'd offer them a hot beverage.


Dwdnjck@ca | 20 marzo 2016

What is really important here is having good food within walking distance of the supercharger. If you have to wait in the car, charge at home.

ian.cohen | 21 marzo 2016

That seals it - there aren't good eateries near the Supercharger - although there is a rub and tug advertising around the corner - haha - I can see my wife asking me why I need to charge the car so often:).

milesbb | 21 marzo 2016

It is very likely you can install a 240 volt 20 amp circuit without upgrading your service. Gets you about 10 miles per hour. This would easily keep up with your normal driving, plus gives you the convenience of having the car preheated or charged to 100% when you leave home. If you ever need a quick turn-a-round the supercharger is right there to quickly charge you up.

jordanrichard | 21 marzo 2016

Ok, I just don't get it!!. The charger is built into the car. There is no "charger" that needs to be installed in one's home. You need an electrical outlet in your garage be it 120 or 240, but not a charger. With the miles the OP drives per week, s simple 120 outlet will suffice if he/she plugs in every night. I am going out on a limb here, but I bet there is a 120 outlet already in the garage.

Remnant | 21 marzo 2016

@ jordanrichard (March 21, 2016)

<< The charger is built into the car. There is no "charger" that needs to be installed in one's home. >>

The built-in charger includes a rectifier, which changes AC to DC.

The CHAdeMO protocol supplies DC directly to the battery, at 3Φ, 400 V, 63 A.

Quick Charge Power of San Diego plans to offer Chademo retrofits for the second generation Toyota RAV4 EV and the Mercedes B-Class starting in 2015. As of December 15, 2015, the CHAdeMO Association web site states that there are 5,960 CHAdeMO chargers installed in Japan, 2,755 in Europe, 1,386 in the USA, and 55 elsewhere.


jordanrichard | 21 marzo 2016

Remnant, my remarks are geared to those who keep thinking there is a need to install a charger in their garages.

I don't know what CHAdeMO has anything to do with that.

DTsea | 21 marzo 2016

Nobody has a chademo at home.

Jordanrichard is right on. A regular 110v outlet will more than suffice for 200 miles a week. 30 miles a day takes 10 hours on a 110V outlet.

ian.cohen | 21 marzo 2016

Well I might need to go that route (110v) since I have just been informed by the city that the maximum upgrade they can offer to my home is 125amp service. My demand load calculation is already over that anyhow.I don't have a garage but there is an outlet right where I park my car. If I find it is not satisfactory then perhaps the 220v 20 amp service is option #2.

My electrician is talking about adding a manual load shed switch ($1200) that will disconnect one of the larger items like my wall oven, and transfer the power supply to the charger when required. There is an automatic one but much pricier ($3500). But I don't plan on cooking much between 10pm and 7am anyway.

Sorry if I contributed to the "charger" misnomer. Just the "fax" officer, just the "fax".

Tesla-David | 22 marzo 2016

Superchargers are primarily designed for road trips and you should install a charger at your home. At a minimum you can get by charging from a 110V outlet as @DTsea mentioned. We have utilized 110V outlets recently on trips to charge our MS at hotels without EV chargers, and were able to charge up our MS fully, even though the rate of charge is only 2-3 miles/hour.

ST70 | 23 marzo 2016

@ian.cohen- just use'll get 50 miles of charge in 12 you'll have to plug in 4 times a week

frankviaje | 23 marzo 2016

Elon Musk has made it clear that the Superchargers are intended for long distance travel, and that Tesla owners who use them for local charging are simply freeloaders. Pretty sad. I could pick up a free apple at the local fruit stand when no one is looking, but that does not make it right.

SamO | 24 marzo 2016

Except where Elon Musk said locals can use Superchargers.


jordanrichard | 25 marzo 2016

frankviaje, that is not what Elon said. By paraphrasing his words, you change the whole intent of what he said/meant.

He did not call anyone freeloaders. He said people who are "locals", using superchargers as their primary charging source are not being cool. The intent is for helping those on road trips. If one is returning from a road trip/long distance drive and has to stop at a charger 10 miles form their house, distance wise I suppose you could call that a "local", but it falls within the intent of the superchargers.

Hi_Tech | 25 marzo 2016

@IanCohen - I think you've already shown enough self control by going to figure out the limits and asking the group here for advice, etc. To me it doesn't look like you are one of those people who'd park your car at the SC and keep it there long time. That causes the issues, which I don't believe you will be doing.
In my opinion, you should leverage your 120v outlet normally every time you are home, but if you don't have enough charge, then hit the SC on your way out. Simple as that.

Don't worry about all of this that much. Get your car, have fun, be a good Tesla-citizen, and HAVE FUN! :-)

Dithermaster | 25 marzo 2016

For you short distance per day, start by using 120V at home. It charges at 3 mph.
If that's not enough, either get a NEMA 14-50 installed or some other 240V outlet and use that.
Both of these cases you'll be using the UMC that comes with the car.

ian.cohen | 25 marzo 2016

Thanks so much @HiteshBhatt, @Dithermaster and the rest of my supporters. Trying to be a good Tesla citizen> No intention to abuse anyones opportunity to Supercharge when needed or make use of the SC when not appropriate. Cannot wait for my car to arrive and neither can all my friends and family who have started taking chits like at a deli counter for their turn to drive.

ernie | 26 marzo 2016

Don't forget there is the 115v 20 amp adapter that will give you more MPH charging. The difference is 12 amps vs 16 amps.;_ylt=AwrTcXoV4_ZWzysAJw4unIl...

ernie | 26 marzo 2016

The adapter can be obtained from Tesla Parts. Good idea to have for the road also for "just in case". 20 amp outlets are usually found in utility rooms, kitchens and often one in the garage. Whenever possible even the 20 amp 230v outlet will give you 16 amps at 230v, way faster than the 12 amps out of most 115 outlets.

Marty1234 | 27 marzo 2016

I recall an article stating tesla batteries were holding there charging capacity longer when recharged to 100% every night. May be worth looking into.

jordanrichard | 28 marzo 2016

Marty1234, was that article in the National Inquirer? Tesla says flat out to only do a 100% when absolutely needed for long distance travel. One just needs to look at the charging screen in the car. Up to 90% is considered "Daily" and 100% is for Trips.

PhillyGal | 28 marzo 2016

@ian - Just to add, when we got our Model S, we only had 100 amp service at home. We charged overnight so there was never a washer/dryer, microwave or hair dryer on at the same time. (It was also winter, so no air conditioning.) We never had a single breaker trip.And that was the 220v outlet pushing out the max our single charger Model S would take. Which is plenty fast for overnight charging. In our case 1-2 hours is all it takes to replenish most days.

6 months later we upgraded our service just because we were installing solar panels and lumped it all in. Our set up is the NEMA 14-50, so it's definitely possible you can still have a nice charge (~29 miles per hour) with your current power.

But I also totally agree that you could probably slow charge (I often get 4 miles per hour) from now until the winter months when you use more juice. This is especially true if you are home 10-12 hours on most days.

ian.cohen | 30 marzo 2016

Thanks very much PhillyGal. I think that fits with my situation. Delivery is between April 2-16th. Getting very excited.

jafo | 31 marzo 2016

Put a 14-50 NEMA in your garage, expect 40 amps, after a while you'll just see things differently.

It's massively convenient having the juice plug at home and I feel using the superchargers is giving in to the old gas station way of thinking... although I can charge at work, so I just live in a world where it costs almost nothing to charge at home and exactly nothing to charge while I'm pretending to work.

Basically free operational cost of transport.