No more stops at the gas station!
Having a Model 3 means that you never have to stop at a service station for gasoline or diesel. Electric vehicles have a number of sources where they can charge. Since charging stations are not as plentiful as gasoline stations, being prepared to charge your Model 3 will take some planning and preparation.
Charging at Home
Before you get your Model 3, it’s a good idea to have a charging solution ready at your house. Your Model 3 will come with a Mobile Connector, sometimes referred to as a UMC. The Mobile Connector allows you to charge from a 120 volt AC standard outlet, or from a 240 volt AC 50 amp outlet that has a NEMA 14-50 receptacle. The 120 volt outlet will give you about 3 miles of range per hour, which is not much. Charging from the 240 volt outlet at the maximum power of the Mobile Connector (32 amps) should give you around 28 miles of range per hour. If you drive more than 20 miles a day, you need something more than a 120 volt outlet from which to charge. If you plan to use the Mobile Connector as your home charging solution, you will need to have an electrician install a NEMA 14-50 receptacle, if you don’t already have one.
Another option is to have a Tesla Wall Connector installed where you will park your Model 3. The advantage of having the Wall Connector is that it is a dedicated charging station for you at your house. You don’t have to take the Mobile Connector out each time you charge. Also, if you have the appropriate wiring in your house, you could charge your Model 3 faster than with the Mobile Connector. The on-board charger in the Model 3 will accept a maximum of 48 amps. At 40 amps, you can get about 37 miles per hour of range while charging.
Tesla Superchargers are the Tesla owners’ filling station. If you are taking a road trip, it’s likely you will be using a Supercharger along your route. You probably already know that, unlike for the Model S and X, supercharging for the Model 3 is not free. When you use a Supercharger in California, your Tesla account will be billed at $0.26 per kWh. That’s still way cheaper than the cost of gasoline for the same amount of travel.
For charging options where there are no Superchargers available, check out PlugShare.com. Your Model 3 comes with a J1772 adapter, which will allow you to connect to most non-Tesla Level 2 charging stations. Another third-party option would be DC Fast Charging (sometimes referred to as Level 3). Unfortunately, as of July 2018, the Model 3 does not yet support fast charging from any charger other than a Tesla Supercharger. Once third-party fast charging is enabled, you will need a CHAdeMO adapter in order to use third-party DC fast chargers.
Additional Level 2 Charging Sources
Tesla sells a number of outlet adapters for use with the Mobile Connector. There are a number of power sources that you could use to charge your Model 3. RV parks frequently have 240 volt AC receptacles. The supplied NEMA 14-50 adapter in your Mobile Connector Bundle might work in this situation. What if you can’t park within the Mobile Connector cord distance?
A good item to have at your disposal would be a heavy duty NEMA 14-50 extension cord. Try a search for Parkworld 692217 RV 50A NEMA 14-50 Extension Cord 25′ at Amazon.com.
You might find yourself in a situation where you have a 30 amp dryer outlet available to you. You will need an adapter for the standard NEMA 10-30 receptacle for most dryer outlets. Tesla sells a NEMA 10-30 adapter for use with the Mobile Connector. The Tesla adapter is only useful if you don’t need an extension cord to reach the dryer outlet. You can buy a third-party NEMA 14-50 to 10-30 adapter that will work with or without a NEMA 14-50 extension cord connected to the Mobile Connector. For an example of such an adapter, you can search AC WORKS Electric Vehicle charging Adapter for Tesla use (30Amp 10-30P 3-Prong Dryer to Tesla) at Amazon.com.
Another standard 240 volt AC outlet, that might be found in a home, is the NEMA 14-30. This is the outlet that is found on many gasoline generators. You can find an example of this adapter by searching AC Connectors [RVL14301450] RV Generator Adapter NEMA L14-30P 30Amp 4Prong Generator Locking Plug to RV/ EV /Rande NEMA 14-50R 50Amp 125/250Volt Female Connector at Amazon.com.
By spending about $200 for an extension cord and a couple of additional adapters, you will be prepared to charge your Model 3 under most circumstances. If you have other charging ideas, feel free to share them with us. Just send us a message.