Model 3 120 V charging - actual Results ?

Model 3 120 V charging - actual Results ?

Does any of the new owners have actual 120V charging experience? I live in a condo and CANNOT get 240V. A recent trip to the FL store, I was told the model 3 will get 1-3 Mile per hour charging. 3 hours I could probably live with, 1 hour I can not. I live in Southern Florida.

Any actual charging (not theoretical) for 120V charging would be greatly appreciated. Also if you are on 15 or 20 amp breaker.

KP in NPT | 3 oktober 2017

1-3 seems low. Model S is 3-5 (I think) and I've always gotten 4.

I don't think there are any Model 3 owners on this board yet.

Shock | 3 oktober 2017

Some very rough math 120 V at 13 amps is 1.5 kWh. Let's grant 25% loss if efficiency on that is terrible, brings us to 1.17 kWh back into the pack in an hour. Model 3 should do approx 3 miles/kwH, so you'll get 3+ worst case. If it charges faster, and is more efficient you'd be at 4+.

Xerogas | 3 oktober 2017

@stannous2 is an owner in San Diego

Haggy | 3 oktober 2017

Given the Model S gives about 4, and that the Model 3 uses fewer kWh per mile, it should get more range per hour plugged in.

If you have a 20 amp outlet in the garage (the one that looks like a standard outlet but one of the prongs has an extra horizontal part on the slot) then you can get an adapter that might be 33% faster. That's not much if it takes you from 3 to 4, but with the Model 3 it could take it to over 5.

If you drive the US average of 15,000 miles per year, and assume that 10% of that is road trips, that comes out to about 37 miles per day for local driving. More might be on weekdays, but it could be done in 7 hours each night. If you really drive 44 miles each weekday and 39 for the weekend, and could only add 40 miles of range each night, then you'd be plugged in a bit longer on the weekend and it would work out.

It's quite doable, and if you can plug in from 8pm to 8am on some days, that could be 60 miles of range. There might be some days with more driving than most, in which case a supercharger might be an option, or if you end up with only 20 miles of remaining range at the end of a day, have 60 by morning, use 38 of them, and have normal commutes for the rest of the week but can plug in for 12 hours per day to make up for it, it might take a week, especially if you have weekends when the car is in the garage most of the day.

120 v doesn't rule out the practicality. It doesn't guarantee it but it all comes down to your expected usage.

andy.connor.e | 3 oktober 2017


Model S is 3.15-3.45 mils/kWh. Model 3 should be fairly better. Easily 4+ miles/kWh.

andy.connor.e | 3 oktober 2017

Regular household 120V outlets run on a 20A breaker. Some 15A. If you have a 20A breaker, continuous power can only utilize 16A, or 1920W. So after the small losses, probably about 1.7kW. The difference between 15A and 20A is literally 480W.

If you're plugging into a household 120V outlet, Its gonna be slow. REALLY slow. Dont expect a full charge if you leave it plugged in overnight.

Mozart | 3 oktober 2017

Other than the time it takes to charge, is it more efficient to charge with level 1 or level 2. Or does it use the same amount of electricity from the plug? For example, it would take about 10 hours to get 40 miles or range with level 1 and about 1.3 hours to to get 40 miles of range using level 2.

billlake2000 | 3 oktober 2017

"Model S is 3.15-3.45 mils/kWh. Model 3 should be fairly better. Easily 4+ miles/kWh."
Can you explain to me what Model 3 would get higher miles/kWh than a Model S?

Frank99 | 3 oktober 2017

I don't know that anyone has a real answer. There's a lot of speculative answers (looking individually at I2R losses, resistive heating, overhead losses, charger efficiency, etc), but without knowing the efficiency of the charger at various charging rates, and the storage efficiency of the battery chemistry at various charging rates, it'd be tough to come up with an answer. The likely answer, in my opinion, is that within experimental error, they're the same.

billlake2000 | 3 oktober 2017

Arghhhhhh. "what" should be "why". I can't find how to edit my posthole

Frank99 | 3 oktober 2017

Model 3 is a smaller, lighter car than the Model S. In an ICE, you'd guess that it got better mileage - the same is true in the EV world. Being smaller with a similar coefficient of drag, the aerodynamic drag on the Model 3 is less, and being lighter the rolling friction is less.

The Model 3 LR battery is speculated as being about 75 kwh, and it's rated at 310 miles. That's 4.13 miles/kwh.
The Model S100D battery is speculated as being about 98 kwh, and it's rated at 335 miles. That's about 3.4 miles/kwh.

Rocky_H | 3 oktober 2017

@byrned, Quote: "Other than the time it takes to charge, is it more efficient to charge with level 1 or level 2. Or does it use the same amount of electricity from the plug?"

Level 2 is more efficient.

Quote: "For example, it would take about 10 hours to get 40 miles or range with level 1 and about 1.3 hours to to get 40 miles of range using level 2."

And that is why. Just for the charger in the car to run seems to consume about 300-400W. Running that consumption for 10 hours instead of 1.3 hours is a lot of excess energy just being used up in heat that isn't ending up in your battery.

A 120V 15A circuit is about 1,400 Watts to the car. Just the operation of the charger is using up about a third to a fourth of that. If you can get your charging power up to several kilowatts, that 300-400W loss is a much smaller percentage.

andy.connor.e | 3 oktober 2017


Every aspect of Model 3 is smaller than Model S. That means less mass. Also has less electronics and features, which is also less weight. Less weight is less energy used to move it. More aerodynamic, is also less energy to fight wind. I have no official reason to believe this is true, but TMK, 75kWh is the long range model 3 battery? If so, the 310 mile range in a 75kWh battery is 4.3miles/kWh.

andy.connor.e | 3 oktober 2017


The amount of electrical energy used is the same given the 2 scenarios. It all depends to what % charged you fill your car to. If both scenarios - fast charging, and slow charging - you charge your car from 20% to 80%, the amount of energy put into the car (kWh) is the same. One is just taking longer, and there could perhaps be some discrepancies of how much losses there were in the 2 scenarios. But not enough to be significant.

Rocky_H | 3 oktober 2017

@andy.connor, Quote: "The amount of electrical energy used is the same given the 2 scenarios."

No, you're only counting how much energy goes into the battery, which that part would be the same. The efficiency question, though goes to how much is wasted that doesn't go into the battery.

That 300W or so running the charger for 10 or more hours would be 3kWhrs. That's something.

Mozart | 3 oktober 2017

That's the answer i've been looking for. If I have both level 1 and level 2 available, how much less efficient is level 1. For example, if I leave the car plugged-in to level 1 for a month while on vacation, how much more would I be drawing from the grid vs level 2?

andy.connor.e | 4 oktober 2017

All i can tell you is that the efficiency between the LVL 1 & 2 is not enough to really be significant. The charging speed, or how long you're waiting for the full charge is what is most significant. The overall efficiency isnt really much different. There are losses from wire temperature as amperage increases, battery cell temperature as well, so its really not something really too significant to focus on.

ölbrenner | 4 oktober 2017

@ tlheureux: "I live in a condo and CANNOT get 240V".

I live in a condo wired for 120V, and CAN get 240V. Checkout Quick220.

jtcLA | 4 oktober 2017

I have been driving a VW e-Golf for the last 2.5 years, over 20,000 miles, and charging on a 110v (15 amp) outlet 99% of the time. Each hour of charging gives me a consistent 4 miles of range. I live in Los Angeles, so temperatures are moderate year-round. An overnight 12 hours + charging session gives me around 50 miles of range. Since my daily use is around 25 miles, it's rarely been an issue. My recommendation is to keep a small notebook in your car, and write down your odometer reading each morning for a month. That will give you a pretty good idea of what your average usage is. Hope this helps.

Frank99 | 4 oktober 2017

ölbrenner - That's a neat little device. I like it.

It should double the amount of charging power for the OP, or alternatively halve the charging time.

tlheureux | 4 oktober 2017

Thanks for trying to answer the question, but I am considering cancelling my car order without better real information. Given that the store told me that I could only get 1 MPH !!. I do not think I could get away with the quick 220 in my development. Great Idea, but the setup will not work in the garage area and how it needs to work. Would not want to buy the car based on the possibility that I could get it work.

Not sure when they get a car to test drive at the store, if they would plug it in my condo for the evening to see what the actual charging is going to be. Maybe if they know I am going to cancel my order they will.

Rocky_H | 4 oktober 2017

@tlheureux, Quote: "Given that the store told me that I could only get 1 MPH !!."

Well, that is just not true. Store employees honestly know quite a bit less about the car than most owners, especially the community of longtimers here. You will get at least 3 miles per hour of charging from a 120V 15A circuit. If you have access to a 20A circuit, more like 5 mph.

Frank99 | 4 oktober 2017

How accurate do you need, tlheureux? Go to your local Tesla store, and plug one of their demo Model S into a 120V outlet after a test drive. The Miles Per Hour measure that you get will be worse than the Model 3, because the Model 3 goes further on the same amount of energy than the Model S does.

Or, perhaps, you could google "Tesla Model S 120V charge time", and get real owners giving real answers:

Carl Thompson | 4 oktober 2017


A lot of people have given you a lot of good information.

That said you won't be happy trying to keep a Model 3 full on 120v (especially if your going to be running an extension cord from somewhere). Figure out a way to charge faster somewhere. Move if you have to. Or work out a deal to plug in to a 240v socket at work. Or plan to use one of the new city chargers.

ReD eXiLe ms us | 4 oktober 2017

The worst rated version of Model S got 89 MPGe. The best rated was at 104 MPGe. The Model 3 Long Range has 126 MPGe as its rating. That is 41.57% higher efficiency than the worst Model S, 21.15% better than the best Model S. So, as you have been told multiple times by current Tesdla owners, your charging performance with Model 3 using a 120v outlet will be BETTER than they have observed with Model S. Thus, the stated 3-5 MPH of gained range would be instead a range of 3.63-7.08 MPH of gained for Model 3 minimum, and probably more like 6.06-7.08 MPH charging observed.

ölbrenner | 5 oktober 2017

Well I hope the 120V/~12mph condo charging solution I pointed out will help out the more ambitious among us here. Several Tesla owners have used it to great success.

PhillyGal | 5 oktober 2017

I had to do the regular household outlet thing a few times when traveling to my in-laws before there were superchargers on the way and I almost always got 3mph. It's painful enough that we started borrowing an ICE to drive the Tesla to a level 2 charger 15 minutes away, leaving it a few hours and returning once full enough to get us where we needed to go.

PhillyGal | 5 oktober 2017

**That was a Model S. Almost no one here can give you actual Model 3 results.

msmith55 | 10 november 2017

The big unknown is how much power is used for heating the battery before charging can begin, battery temperature must be above 10 C , and 6 kWh maybe required to get there, that requires 3 hrs at 1.5 kw/hr during which no charging can occur! Plugging in immediately can help, as battery will still be warm. The way the BMS works is that if you plug in, the battery will lose 4.5 kW/h until battery is warm enough to accept charging.

ölbrenner | 11 november 2017

Tesla published Model 3 charge rates a while back.

noleaf4me | 11 november 2017

My leaf varies between 3-5 miles of range per hour depending on the state of charge. I'd expect the Model 3 to be in that same range.

Yodrak. | 11 november 2017

"My leaf varies between 3-5 miles of range per hour depending on the state of charge. "

Your Leaf does not have a BMS that heats or cools the battery to keep it within a desired temperature range. A Leaf battery temperature is what it is depending on ambient temperature conditions and whatever heat it generated at last use.

Nothing like a Model 3 or any other Tesla.

tyler.helble | 19 april 2018

Hey all, Model 3 owner here. Driven 1,000 miles and am averaging 281 wh/mile (~3.56 miles per KWH). This is with pretty aggressive driving (80+ on highway, punching it off the line most of the time). If plugged into standard 110 outlet at 1.5 KWH charging that puts you at 5.3 miles/hour. Surprisingly, my BMW i3 also achieved 3.56/miles per KWH. Impressive that the Tesla has the same efficiency considering it weighs way more and can cary more payload and passengers. At any rate, I owned the i3 and charged on 110 for months without any issues.

emerald.chung | 8 maj 2018

I got my model 3 last Saturday. I have 120V/20A breaker. The car is charging 16A or 2kW/hr and it is about 6 miles/hour.

CHD11 | 8 maj 2018

I am currently plugged into a 120V/15A outlet and the Tesla app shows 5 MPH charge rate. It may be rounding up...I was impressed because it shows the efficiency hit isn’t too large compared to 240V.

johnyi | 8 maj 2018

For reference, I just had a P100D loaner plugged in overnight on 20A/120v. Got 58 miles of charge on a half-depleted battery over 12 hours, or 4.8mph (the dash said 4mph). So a M3 should get closer to 6 mph on 20A. But you'll need a 5-20 adapter for your charger, and the right receptacle. Many houses have 20A circuits in the garage/outside but saved a few $$ by putting on 15A receptacles. If your CB is 20A, the circuit can support a 20A receptacle. 20A will also be a bit more efficient than 15A, though not as efficient as 240v.

WardT | 8 maj 2018

I got about 4 mph on my model 3 when charging on a 120V 15 A circuit.

ravisundaramam | 9 maj 2018

@billlake2000 | October 3, 2017 Did you ever ask "Why Honda Civic is giving way more Miles Per Gallon than Ford F150?"

Simple math: 1 kwh = 3.6 million joules or 3.6 mega joules.

gasoline: 42 mega joule/ kg

gasoline density: 0.8 kg / liter

Imperial units: 1 gallon = 3.75 liter (this is one thing I dont remember, always had to look up. everything else is etched in memory since AE 404 Aircraft Piston Engines. )

SilverSurfer | 9 maj 2018

I charged my 3 on a 120V 15 Amp circuit for 2 weeks and I have gotten consistent 5mph. I consider this to be the lowest form of charging, and still... pretty good at 5mph. Temperature inside the garage is a constant 50-60 degrees, not that it would really make a difference while charging.

andrewlee05 | 9 maj 2018

I was getting 5mph on the 120v. Not sure about the amperage. Only charged twice using the 120v.

Ended up installing the NEMA 14-50 plug with 50amp, my electrician kept arguing and said I only needed 30amps for the 14-50 (I told him I needed the plug for a dryer). Outcome was 50amps, even though the charger only draws 32amps. Getting 30mph on NEMA 14-50.

Rocky_H | 9 maj 2018

@andrewlee05, Wow.
Quote: "my electrician kept arguing and said I only needed 30amps for the 14-50 (I told him I needed the plug for a dryer)."

Well...yeah, because you were lying to him and giving him wrong information. Electric dryers always use 30A circuits, so he was trying to give you what you were asking for. A 14-50 outlet is NEVER used for a dryer.

nogasdriver | 9 maj 2018

@ Rocky_H "Well...yeah, because you were lying to him and giving him wrong information. Electric dryers always use 30A circuits, so he was trying to give you what you were asking for. A 14-50 outlet is NEVER used for a dryer."

I think he was trying to avoid the electrician's Tesla Tax.

billlake2000 | 9 maj 2018

I thought 14-50 is like a range/oven, not a dryer. but who puts a range in their garage? anyway, yes, not a bad idea to avoid the bump in price if they think it's for a Tesla. I always say, yes, I hear you, but I'm paying you. Please do it the way I want. Contractors don't like me too much anymore.

Rocky_H | 9 maj 2018

@nogasdriver, Quote: "I think he was trying to avoid the electrician's Tesla Tax."

Yes, obviously, but here's the problem. He said that this is what he told the electrician: (not exact quote)
"I'm putting in an electric dryer. I want a 14-50 outlet."

Those obviously don't jive. So, from the electrician's perspective, which one is the homeowner more likely to be having any clue of what they are talking about? It is probably a given that they actually do know what an electric dryer is, and that they are getting one put in. So the electrician should take that as fact. But do most non-experts know the difference in various names of NEMA outlet types? L6-30, 14-30, TT-30, 6-50, etc. Most people wouldn't have any idea of what these mean. So it's very logical that the electrician would think someone just mixed up the terms 14-30 and 14-50, but does actually know they are getting a dryer if they specifically said that. The fault is totally on the homeowner in this case of being really confusing about what they want.

Rocky_H | 9 maj 2018

Because remember that most of the time, that exact statement would come from some regular person who actually IS getting a dryer. And if the electrician just goes with the 14-50 that they said, then the person will be insanely pissed off when they get the dryer home from Lowe's and discover that they can't plug it in, because the electrician installed the "wrong" kind of outlet instead of explaining to me that it isn't the right one for a dryer.

andrewlee05 | 9 maj 2018

Yes, I was trying to avoid the Tesla tax. I didn't say he did a bad job, just had a hard time convincing him. At the Tesla store, I was quoted a minimum of $800 for installation when I asked the Tesla Sales person about ball park figures and my electrician charged me a fraction of that. Can't say how much since it was way below what I was expecting.

leo33 | 9 maj 2018

Glad it worked out. For others who want to avoid the Tesla tax you can say the 50A 14-50 is for charging a used Leaf that you plan to buy when you save up enough money.

ravisundaramam | 9 maj 2018

@andrewlee05 | May 9, 2018: I am paying Tesla $1000,

For that money, I get job done up to code, conduits, municipal inspection and a four year warranty. Jobs involves about 125 feet of line from the main panel in the basement, some under the rafters probably without conduit and some 50 feet on the wall outside with conduits. They said the sub panel I already have in the garage is underpowered.

Best of all, they can't blame the electrician for something going wrong with the car or charging.

Rocky_H | 9 maj 2018

@andrewlee05, Quote: "Yes, I was trying to avoid the Tesla tax. I didn't say he did a bad job, just had a hard time convincing him"

Right, because what you were trying to "convince" him of didn't make any sense, and as an expert, he knew that. A dryer doesn't use a 14-50 outlet.

ddd | 10 maj 2018

Folks - stop with the 14-50 connector already. Just install a 6-50 and get the $35 adapter plug from Tesla. Problem solved. Tell the electrician that you are using the 6-50 for a pottery kiln and an ARC welder. Or if you really want to shine them on, a TIG welder.

There is zero reason to use a 14-50 outlet for car charging. A 6-50 has the same load rating as a 14-50, but without the neutral.

The only reason a dryer uses a 14-30 connector is so it can have internal 110 volt components, like the light and electronics, without using an expensive and heavy transformer. A 14-50 has a neutral so two high-current 110 volt circuits can be used, such as in an RV. Your Tesla don't care about no neutral.