I did a test to see if I could go 7 days using a regular wall outlet to charge my Tesla Model 3. Get these updates direct to your inbox at https://teslanomics.co/join
I get this question often – Do I need a high-power wall charger or outlet for my Tesla. Usually, my answer is yes, however since some of you might not be able to install one of these options, I thought I would see what it’s like to go 7 full days without using just a regular 120v wall outlet.
Tesla supplies an adapter for the wall outlet so you don’t need anything extra to make this possible besides an extension cord if the outlet is far from your parking spot.
Side note – I actually did this in Hawaii recently where I ran a 50-foot extension cord from our hotel room to our car across a garden area to charge our Kia Soul EV at night. It worked surprisingly well!
In my situation, I drive a short distance each day to and from work (about 10 miles each way) so the first few days of driving went well. Each morning, using a regular wall outlet, I had a full charge. Then the weekend came…
On the weekend I tend to do a bit more driving with my family so on Saturday I had used over 60 miles of range. At around 3 miles of added range using a regular outlet, it took almost 20 hours of charging the following day to get me back to full.
So if you drove nearly 60 miles each day, this would quickly become unsustainable.
It doesn’t mean however that you need to install something at home. In my test, I came across several convenient public charging options, some free some not, that I chose not to use. If this were my regular situation I would absolutely have used them and not encountered such any of these issues.
So here is my recommendation
If you CAN install a wall charger or NEMA 14-50 outlet, do it.
If you CANNOT install one of these, use a wall outlet overnight, and supplement with public charging options. There are probably more than you think, here are a few places to check:
– EV Match
Last but not least, the Tesla Supercharger network generally offers the fastest and cheapest (next to your home) charging. Depending on where you live this could also be a great option as you’ll save both time and money, plus it’s kinda cool 🙂
You can view a list of Tesla Superchargers here