What is Your Tesla Electric Car Charging Personality?

Tesla Vehicle Charging

Deciding to purchase a Tesla or any other electric vehicle means you have to start thinking about external and internal charging solutions so you can keep your vehicle ready to roll.

External networks are growing fast, and apps for ChargePoint, PlugShare, or ChargeHub can help you find a wide variety of slow to fast charger locations and even free charging options.

We can’t forget the Tesla Supercharger network either. That’s great if you are out and about to top off or feel comfortable using it for your primary charging.

If you would like to charge for free at any Tesla Supercharger location and purchase your Tesla using my referral link, we will both get 1,000 free supercharger miles. Thank you and you’re welcome.

Steve Rhode © 2020

Home charging solutions for Tesla vehicles range from included with the car to more advanced for an extra cost.

Before you can decide which charging option makes the most sense for you, you have to first understand what your charging personality is.

Electric Vehicle Charging Personalities

Charging Planner – You are very detailed oriented and love to structure your life and schedule. Accomplishing goals is very important to you and you are unlikely to let anything get in the way of your planned 20-minute charging station visit later in the day. You love to plan your route so that the charging station is always on the right side of the road.

Charging Artist – You prefer to stop and smell the roses or enjoy the beauty of a sunset or more time with a good friend than rush to a vehicle charging station. For you, flexibility and alternative solutions are what you appreciate. No need to be on a fixed schedule if you can avoid that or something better comes up.

Charging Couch Potato – You prefer to take the easy way in life and avoid schedules, plans, and responsibilities if you don’t feel like it. The best device in your home is any remote control or automated switch.

Charging Homebody – No matter how badly you have to go to the bathroom while you are out, you’d rather return home to use your own bathroom or sleep in your own bed. Comfort begins at home and you prefer to pull in, plugin, and be home.

Charging Gambler – If you are a risk-taker and either enjoy increasing the chances of winning big or losing big then you will enjoy the thrill of squeezing every last mile out of your car battery before you charge.

Which Charging Personality Are You?

I have friends that are the ultimate planners. Some friends will actually work on planning a vacation for four months and develop an itinerary they will place in a three-ring binder with an agenda for each day of the trip with activities scheduled out by the hour. You know that type of person is a Charging Planner.

They will find no problem or trouble with mapping out their driving to stop at the most appropriate vehicle charger based on the forecast status of the vehicle battery and speed of the charging station.

They will find enjoyment in waking up 30 minutes early on a Tuesday to head to a Tesla Supercharger location that is on the same side of the road they will be traveling on to a dental appointment. Kudos to them but that’s not me.

I’m more of a mix of personalities. A little artist, couch potato, and homebody. I’d rather spend time planning a solution that when put into action will be easy to implement, without thinking, and require little scheduling to use.

I’d much rather go home and bum around the house and let the car charging almost be on autopilot. Well, actually, it can be on autopilot by enabling the car charging schedule to only charge when the electricity rates are the lowest. My electric company gives me a 20% rate reduction overnight.

Tesla Home Charge Options

There are three primary home charging options:

Tesla Mobile Connector Using Any Wall Outlet – Your Tesla was delivered with a Mobile Connector that allowed you to use a regular 120 volt home outlet to plug it into. At 120 volts and 15 amps, you will get 3-5 miles for each hour of charge.

Tesla Mobile Connector Using a Special Outlet – Using that same charger that came with your vehicle, you can use a more custom power solution that might require an electrical line run by an electrician and a specific outlet installed at the end for the special adapter to plug into. Those that opt for this solution have a 240-volt line with a 30 amp breaker run to a NEMA 14-50 outlet.

The cost of this solution will involve a small charge for the outlet itself, a varying charge for the more expensive electric cable needed based on distance from the electrical panel, the time for the electrician to install the line and outlet, and an additional adapter to use with the Tesla Mobile Connector.

This option will allow you to charge between 20 to 30 miles of range for each hour of charge.

For me, the underlying problem with the Tesla Mobile Connector solution is that I know the charger supplied by Tesla would be left in my garage and if I ever needed it for some reason while I was out, it would not be there for me to use. The idea that I would unplug it every time I went out and put it in the car is laughable. I also could not imagine only traveling with the J1772 charging adapter to use other networks.

Tesla Wall Connector – The more permanent solution is to install a permanently mounted charger on the wall at home. This device will give you 30-44 miles of range per hour of charging.

Tesla Wall Connector – Steve Rhode © 2020

At first glance, the $500 Tesla Wall Connector seems like a huge investment. But is it really?

2020 Tax Bonus – For people that purchased residential charging equipment in 2020, are eligible for a tax credit of up to $1,000.

If you’ve already decided you are unlikely to pack up your Mobile Connector every time you leave home and put it in the car, then you will need to purchase a second unit if you don’t want charging or range anxiety.

The portable Mobile Connectors run $275 plus $35 for the NEMA 14-50 connector you’d need for the one you are leaving home.

Both the Wall Connector and 14-50 Mobile Connector solution use a similar higher cost wire and higher rated circuit breaker. Both will most likely be installed by an electrician unless you think you’ve got the skill.

So I determined the difference in cost was approximately $190 to have a dedicated Wall Connector installed with an 18-foot cord instead of getting the second charger to leave in the car.

My Total Cost of Installation

Wall Connector – $538 (Including Tax)

Electrician – $350

Electrical Supplies – $283 (Needed 90′ of Special Wire)

Total – $1,1371

The Tesla Wall Connector comes with some other features as well.

  • WiFi – It connects with your WiFi network to provide notifications and firmware updates. Tesla states that connecting a Wall Connector to a WiFi network “enables it to receive over-the-air firmware updates, remote diagnostics, and usage data tracking capability.” We all know what a great job Tesla does with rolling out new features so it will be exciting to watch what they have in store for the Wall Connector.
  • Add Additional Adapters – This might not be a feature many will use but if you add a second charger for another vehicle the Wall Connectors will communicate between them and balance the electrical load. Who knows, maybe there is a second Tesla in your future.

What Solution Will Work Best for You?

There are some other considerations when selecting the best home charger for your personality and situation.

Supplied Tesla Mobile Connector

The Mobile Connector that came with the car might make sense if your charging personality allows you to feel comfortable using it and any of the following situations apply.

  • Do You Rent? – Installing something permanent might not be possible or practical in a temporary residence.
  • Will, Your Daily, Travels Easily Fit in One Charge? – If most of your daily travels will be short and never put you at risk of running low, then charging away from home is not a major worry.
  • Not a Big Tripper – Maybe you will only take long drives occasionally, and unplugging the Mobile Connector that came with the car is such an infrequent event that it is not a problem at all.
  • You’ve Got Time – You might have plenty of time at home each day for the slower Mobile Connector to fill the battery. Speed of charge is not important to you.

Installed Tesla Wall Connector

If you self-identify as a charging artist, couch potato, or homebody then the Wall Connector might be for you.

If you plan to stay where you live, or your landlord will pay to install the Wall Connector, you prefer fast charging, downloading future updates to charger software to increase your charger’s functionality, or you want an easy and solid plug-and-play solution; then the Wall Connector might be the best option for you.

Tesla Supercharger Network

There is a special subset of Tesla owners that rely exclusively on Tesla Supercharger locations. One example is someone who lives in an apartment building and has no place to plug in a Tesla Mobile Connecter and does not drive that far daily. In that case, an occasional visit to a Tesla Supercharger can be the best option.

A convenient Tesla Supercharger location that has shopping and other needed stores within walking distance can be perfect if you only need an occasional 20-minute visit to top off. Steve Rhode – © 2020

If you would like to charge for free at any Tesla Supercharger location and purchase your Tesla using my referral link, we will both get 1,000 free supercharger miles. Thank you and you’re welcome.

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