How to Charge a Tesla Car At Home | Helpful Tips on How To, Costs, FAQs

Benefits of Charging a Tesla at Home

Charging your Tesla at home is both safe and convenient. Thanks to Tesla’s user-friendly home charging options and solutions, setting up a home charging station is an uncomplicated process.

Tesla owners — even those who live in condos and apartments — plug in their electric vehicles to wall connectors and enjoy their evenings as their cars charge. 

There are three main benefits to charging your car at home versus at a Tesla Supercharger.

  • Convenience — When charging at home, you plug in your E.V. and retire for the night as your car fills up on electric juice.
  • Cost efficiency — Installing a home charging station, in the long run, is less expensive than charging at Tesla Superchargers.
  • Safety — Depending on your car’s charge level, topping up your car at a Tesla Supercharger can take a while. Therefore, charging your E.V. at home reduces the risk of crimes such as mugging, hijacking, or car vandalism. 

How Much Does a Tesla Increase Your Electric Bill?

That all depends on your daily Tesla E.V. recharge needs and your electricity supplier’s rates. 

Depending on the location, incentives such as time-of-use — reduced/discounted — electricity rates and rebates from utility providers are available for E.V. owners who charge at home. 

With all this considered, compared to a gas guzzler, an electric car is still more cost-effective.

Besides, if you live in an area with a hot climate and high power rates, you can always install Tesla solar panels to reduce your electricity bill.

Cost to Install

How Much Does It Cost To Install a Tesla Charging Station At Home?                            

A Tesla charging station’s installation expenses depend on several variables — the unit’s cost, labor, equipment, structural updates, etc. 

For instance, to install home charging equipment, you need to consider:

  • Garage outlet upgrade — $500 – $1,500.
  • Electrician’s labor charges — $50 – $100 per hour.
  • 100-amp wall connection — $150 – $350.
  • Wi-Fi — $100 – $200.
  • Wiring installation — $6 – $8 per foot. 

The U.S. Department of Energy provides electric car owners with a tax credit of 30% — or $1,000 reimbursement — of the home installation cost through the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit.

The incentive does not cover permit or inspection fees.

How To Charge a Tesla at Home

tesla miles of range per hour, charging equipment that helps get more miles of range per hour

The method you use to charge your Tesla with depends on whether you’re using a wall connector or a mobile connector.

Step-by-Step Method: How To Charge a Tesla Model 3 at Home 

Mobile Connector Method:

  1. Inspect the mobile connector (M.C.) for damage before each use.
  2. Join the M.C. and the adapter together.
  3. Plug in the M.C.’s adapter into the outlet. Insert the adapter fully into the socket.
  4. Attach the M.C. to your Tesla Model 3.
  5. Allow the E.V. to gain 3-5 miles an hour.
  6. Unplug and remove the M.C. cable in the morning. Place the M.C. in the car’s trunk so that you can top it up later on in the day.

Tesla Wall Connector Method:

  1. Inspect the wall connector (W.C.) for damage before each use.
  2. Lift the charging handle and unhook it from the W.C.
  3. Press the handles button to open your Tesla’s charging port door.
  4. Plug the W.C.’s handle into your E.V., and charging will begin. Check your Tesla’s touchscreen to verify that your battery is charging.
  5. Leave it for a few hours to charge.
  6. Unplug, wrap the cord around the W.C., and hook the handle onto the latch. 

In both methods, Tesla’s charging port will light up with different colors, indicating the various stages of the charging process.    

How Long Does It Take To Charge a Tesla at Home? 

The time spent charging a Tesla at home depends on some things, specifically:

  • Tesla model and version.
  • Type of charger used.
  • Battery level before charging. 

Tesla provides a mobile connector as part of the standard equipment that comes with every Tesla Model.

A mobile connector has an adaptor that allows you to plug your Tesla into a common household outlet and provides medium to low charging speeds. 

Tesla recommends using a wall connector and the recommended amp circuit breaker to achieve optimal home charging speeds. A wall connector provides a maximum of 44 miles of range for every hour of charge.

According to Solar Review, assuming a drained battery, with a:

  • NEMA 5-15 charger — Your Tesla will take between four to eight days to achieve maximum battery charge.
  • NEMA 14-50 charger — Your Tesla will take between 9 to 22 hours to achieve maximum battery charge.
  • Tesla wall connector — Your Tesla will take six to fifteen hours to charge fully. 

How Long Does It Take To Charge a Tesla Model 3 at Home? 

Tesla’s Model 3 range (and its versions) charges faster than all the other Tesla models because of its small battery.

Tesla Model 3 Home Charging Duration
Home Charging OptionStandard Range PlusPerformanceLong Range
NEMA 5-153.6 days4.4 days4.9 days
NEMA 14-508.8 hours10.5 hours11.8 hours
Wall connector8.8 hours7.2 hours8.02 hours

According to the U.S. Census Bureau the average American’s commute — from home to work — is usually 26.1 minutes. Therefore, a Tesla owner who commutes a similar distance only needs to top-up their Tesla Model 3 for around:

  • 10 hours with a NEMA 5-15.
  • 1 hour with a NEMA 14-50.
  • 40 minutes with a Tesla wall connector.

How Often Should I Charge My Tesla?

Tesla recommends home charging your E.V. to achieve 90% battery charge, their recommended daily range bracket. To maintain power levels throughout the day, top-up your car at your:

  • Workplace — Some companies are providing convenient charging stations for employee use.
  • Destination — Public locations like gyms, supermarkets, and city-center parking zones have charging stations.
  • Tesla Supercharger Stations — Recharge your car rapidly while en route to your final destination.

Should I Wait For the Battery to Fully Deplete Before Charging?

No, you shouldn’t. Tesla’s batteries contain lithium-ion, so there’s no memory effect. Therefore, your car’s battery doesn’t need to run out of charge for you to recharge it.

Should You Charge Your Tesla Every Day?

Tesla recommends frequent charging. You wouldn’t want your car to stall on the highway during a long-distance trip because you neglected to charge it!           

Make use of the electric car charging options and ecosystem in your region and charge your car at every opportune moment. 

Is It Bad to Charge Your Tesla Every Night?

No, it’s not bad. Daytime peak electric supply prices apply in some markets, meaning that charging at night will provide you with savings due to lower off-peak utility costs.

Tesla’s safety features allow for frequent charging — including daily nighttime charging at home.  

Feel free to keep your car at full charge, especially when traveling a long distance.                              

Cost for Tesla Home Charger 

When installing a home charger and home charging station, use Tesla-approved electricians and genuine equipment purchased from a Tesla Service Center.

How Much Is a Tesla Home Charger?

  • Tesla wall connector — $500.
  • Tesla mobile connector — $275.
  • Our top pickMUSTART TravelMaster level 2 Portable E.V. Charger — $389.                  
  • Best valuePRIMECOM level 2 E.V. Charger — $269.

How Much Is a Tesla Home Charging Station?

  • E.V. charging station — Installation fees only — $400 to $1,700.
  • Level 2 home charger + installation fees — $750 to $2,600 (av. total cost).
  • Average Tesla charger installation costs — $500 to $1,200.

How Much Does a Tesla Home Battery Cost?                                

Solar Powered Tesla Powerwall (home use) — $9,600 to $15,600 (battery + installation fees).

How Much Does It Cost To Charge a Tesla at Home?

Utility rates vary from one area to another, and charging costs vary from one Tesla Model to another. 

Calculating how much you’ll spend charging a Tesla at home is fairly straightforward.

For example: 

If you receive a $100 power bill at the end of the month for using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, that means that each kWh costs $0.10.

With that figure in mind, Kelly Blue Book calculates that charging a Tesla at home costs $25 – $33 per month, assuming that 3 – 4 driving miles range equal one kilowatt-hour.

Doubling the monthly electricity rate from $0.10 to $0.20 means that your Tesla’s recharging cost will be $50 – $66 per month.

In comparison, the average gas car does around $100 per month for 1,000 miles. 

The U.S Department of Energy’s annual “fuel” cost estimations are as follows:

Ultimately, in the United States, because electric power is less expensive than gas, you save money when you own an E.V. Your choice to drive an E.V. — a commendable choice — also reduces your carbon footprint.                                   

Plug in and wake up bright and early in the morning to a fully charged Tesla!

Charging away from home? Check out our guide on Level 1 vs. Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations.

Featured Image by Pixabay from Ben_Kerckx

Michael Schuck

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