Charging at home is central to your ownership experience–it will be your primary method of charging your car and starting each day with a full tank is one of the perks of EV ownership.
The first thing to do is find a good electrician–ideally you want someone who is licensed and has experience installing EV chargers. Tesla offers a Find an Electrician webpage, but some owners have reported exorbitant pricing through this service, so be aware. Other places for references for electricians includes under the Resources tab on our site and though sites like Yelp. If you don’t have a strong lead on an electrician have two or three come out and offer quotes. The electrician will give you three important pieces of info:
If you already have a favorite electrician that might not be up to speed on EVSE installation, refer him/her to NEC Article 625.
When it comes to charging equipment, or EVSE, you basically have the three options described below. I will discuss the max charging speed for each option–your actual charging speed will depend on how much capacity your electrician says you have. I am only going to discuss 240V options. Sure you can charge your car off a standard 110V outlet, but, unless you only put a few miles on your car each week, it’s not a practical solution. Your electrician will need the info provided below to provide you with a complete installation quote.
You car comes with a Universal Mobile Connector, so this is the least expensive option and reportedly the most popular option amongst Tesla owners. This setup will charge you car at up to 40A or 29 miles of range per hour and for most owners, this is enough to fully charge their cars overnight. Some owners will buy a second UMC specifically for home charging so they don’t accidentally leave their charging cable at home. Info for your electrician.
This is Tesla’s hard-wired EVSE. It will charge you car at up to 80A for older Model S or 72A for refreshed Model S and all Model X. which works out to about 50 miles of range per hour. Some owners need faster charging and are willing to pay for the extra speed, while other owners like the fact that is it hard-wired, or simply like the aesthetics better than the outlet/UMC option. If you have more than one Tesla, you can network HPWCs so they will intelligently share a single circuit. If you go this route for the speed, make sure you have purchased the on-board charger upgrade for your car, or if you have an older Model S, you should make sure you have the second onboard charger installed. Info for your electrician.
You are not limited to Tesla-branded charging options. There are a number of reputable companies on the market, like Clipper Creek, for example, that make EVSEs that will work with your Tesla and the included J1772 adapter (more info on what that is in the next section). If you have EVs from different manufacturers, this is often a good approach, especially if you do not need the speed of the Tesla HPWC.
Here is a handy chart, courtesy of Tesla, that sums up your options.
Call your utility for a couple of reasons:
Now is also a good time to consider rooftop solar if you don’t already have it. As with anything else, shop around. In the past Tesla and Solar City have had cross-promo deals, now they are under one roof (see what I did there), its always worth checking with them to see if they have any deals.