Tesla Guide - How do I charge my Tesla properly?
Are you the proud owner of a Tesla, are you considering ordering a Tesla or have you already ordered one? Here you can find out how a Tesla can be charged and what tips there are for conserving the battery or charging it as effectively as possible.
- Basic rules I should follow when charging an electric car.
- How do I charge my Tesla at home?
- How good is the Tesla Wall Connector?
How do I charge my Tesla on the go?
The most critical issue with electric cars is range. In order to get a long range out of an electric car for as long as possible, it is advisable to take into account the correct charging pattern. This protects the battery and the degradation is less compared to frequent fast charging.
We have the following tips for you:
- Only charge more than 90% immediately before the trip and only if it is not otherwise sufficient for the planned trip.
- Below 20% (yellow area) you should not park the electric car without charging possibility.
- Below 7% (red area) you should never leave your electric car overnight as it may discharge.
- An electric car battery feels most comfortable in the range of 20-80%.
- The slower you charge, the better it is for the battery.
If you follow these rules and follow the appropriate charging pattern, your battery will thank you with little degradation. Little by little, however, each battery loses its capacity due to material wear and the discharging and charging of the electrodes.
2. How do I charge my Tesla at home?
At home you can charge your Tesla like any other electric car with a standard household socket or a wall box.
The Schuko (Germany/Austria) or the T13 (Switzerland) charge single-phase with max. 10A. Some households also have an industrial socket (blue, CEE16, single-phase, 16A). These "household methods" protect the car's battery, since the cells are gradually charged due to the low charging capacity of max. 3kW and the battery is not overheated. Of course, there are also some disadvantages:
- High charging losses due to the heating of charging components and the electrical resistance in cables and plugs. The charging losses here are between 15-20%. In the worst case, the socket burns through because it is not sufficiently protected for the long charging cycles.
- The computer in the Tesla is constantly active and this additional energy consumption adds up over the many hours of very slow charging.
- The battery does not get really warm depending on the ambient temperature and is not charged in its optimal temperature range.
- On older Model S and Model X models: High load on the memory module (eMMC). Since the computer is permanently active, the memory chip is also permanently written to.
Charging at a wall box or charging at an AC charging station. Your electric car will feel much more comfortable with these charging options. The gentlest charging speed is in the range between 11 and 16.5 kW. At 12-14 amps, the charging efficiency is higher compared to 16 amps. At 14 amps it should be between 92-94%, at 16 amps it's usually a little less than 90%. So if you have time and can charge in three phases, you should charge with 12 amps instead of 16 amps. However, the supplied UMC2 charger from Tesla, which has been available since 2019, can only do single-phase charging with a maximum of 3.7 kW.
3.How good is the Wall Connector?
In a nutshell: If you are looking for a simple but well-functioning wallbox to charge your Tesla, you will find it at the Tesla Wall Connector. But if you are looking for the full advantages of a modern wallbox for your home, you should also look for better ones as a Tesla owner Look around for alternatives.
What can the connector do?
Tesla's Wall Connector can do what it's supposed to do. With the permanently integrated charging cable 2.6m (Wall Connector Gen. 2) and 7.3m (Wall Connector Gen. 3) and the LED, every Tesla model can be conveniently charged. The wall box is equipped with a type 2 plug and is therefore also suitable for other manufacturers. The charging flap of your Tesla can be opened easily with the push button integrated into the charging handle. Furthermore, the Wall Connector Gen. 3 is equipped with WLAN. On the one hand, this has the advantage that firmware updates are loaded automatically to improve the user experience and introduce new functions, on the other hand that you can connect to the Wall Connector Gen.3 via cell phone or computer. A type A + DC 6 mA residual current circuit breaker (RCD) is installed in the Wall Connector (Gen. 3). The benefit of this protection is that Type B GFCIs are not required when installing Wall Connector Gen3 units. With the Wall Connector (Gen. 3), the app can be used to set whether only Tesla vehicles or also third-party brands are allowed to charge.
What is missing from the connector?
We'll start with the most important disadvantage from our point of view. The Wall Connector Gen. 2) has no access restrictions. From a safety point of view, it is therefore possible for any stranger to charge their electric car with you if the connector is not safe in a garage. So if you own a freely accessible carport or want to use several connectors for a fleet (e.g. company car park), you have to take the risk of unwanted charging by strangers. On the subject of safety, it must also be mentioned that the Wall Connector (Gen. 2) has no integrated DC overvoltage protection. Here we refer to the new Generation 3, which has a built-in residual current circuit breaker, for example. In addition, the Wall Connector (Gen. 2) cannot keep any statistics and saves loading logs. In retrospect, for example, it is not possible to distinguish between different charging processes, electric cars and times. In this context, it should also be mentioned that anyone who wants to integrate a billing system to document the electricity costs of the company car is not served here. The Wall Connector (Gen. 2) costs €399 in Germany, the Wall Connector (Gen. 3) costs €539 in Germany. Everyone has to decide for themselves whether this minimalist charging option is enough for the home. However, we offer good alternatives to the connector in our Shop.
4. How do I charge my Tesla on the go?
Now we come to a charging option that is a key argument for Tesla drivers. The Supercharger network is compatible with Tesla models in Germany and is constantly being expanded, so you don't have to worry about getting stuck on road trips or longer journeys. In the Netherlands, the Supercharger network has already been approved for third-party products. However, the price per kW has been increased significantly compared to the price for Tesla drivers. We assume that Tesla will also open its superchargers to third-party products in other countries in the future. Charging capacities of up to 250kW are no problem for the Model 3, for example. The plug and charge process, in which the SuperCharger communicates directly with the electric car and bills the stored credit card, makes the charging process much easier.The costs for supercharging are relatively cheap (currently €0.45/kWh for Tesla drivers as of 02/2022). There are currently two variants of superchargers. They are referred to as V2 and V3. The only difference is that the V3 Superchargers only have one CCS charging cable installed and the V2 gives you the choice between CCS and Type 2. However, both plugs can be charged quickly. All supercharger locations are stored in the Tesla navigation system. On long-distance journeys, the Tesla navigates you there directly and pre-conditions the battery accordingly. Most supercharger locations also have other fast chargers from other providers, e.g. from ENBW, Fastnet, Allego or IONITY. With these fast chargers, a charging card or app is required to activate the charging station. Plug and charge is currently only possible for a small selection of electric cars. The costs are usually significantly higher compared to Tesla. In principle, there is nothing to be said against fast charging. However, one should try to get a good balance between AC and DC charging. With fast charging, the battery heats up very quickly and is exposed to high temperatures. However, rechargeable batteries do not like it very much when they are exposed to high currents when charging or discharging and at the same time very cold or high temperatures prevail. The battery management system ensures that the temperature is kept within a certain range during charging and that the battery is charged as gently as possible, but this is always only a compromise between charging speed and damage. In addition, the battery capacity is reduced more quickly with frequent fast charging.