Level 1 Charging

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#1
Picking up our M3 tomorrow, I was talking to our local delivery specialist in Rockville MD about not yet having a second L2 charger for it. He suggested that maybe we could get by on a level 1 in the meantime as the M3 will do 5 or 6 mph charging at 120 V.

IF that's true, 6 mph charging would 50%-100% faster than the 3-4 mph for the MS and would open up new charging possibilities. My 55 mile round trip commute would become easily rechargeable overnight. And it will lessen any remaining destination charging range anxiety during road trips.

For current model 3 owners: Have you tried level 1 charging and if so, what rates are you getting? I wonder if the L1 charging cost efficiency is any better for M3 than for the S or X? I'll post my own experience after getting some miles under our belt.
 

garsh

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#2
I get about 5mph in my Leaf when L1 charging. Model 3 efficiency appears to be similar, so 5-6 mph sounds reasonable.

I had nothing but L1 charging at home for the first 5 years I owned the car, and I managed to get by. As you said, it was enough to get a good charge overnight. The problem was when I wanted to make several trips in a day - there wasn't enough time between trips to charge the car back up. Now, that's a big problem in a Leaf, but probably much less of a problem in a car with a 300-mile range. :)

I think you'd be fine doing this temporarily, but make plans to install a 240v outlet.
 

Russell

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#3
Picking up our M3 tomorrow, I was talking to our local delivery specialist in Rockville MD about not yet having a second L2 charger for it. He suggested that maybe we could get by on a level 1 in the meantime as the M3 will do 5 or 6 mph charging at 120 V.

IF that's true, 6 mph charging would 50%-100% faster than the 3-4 mph for the MS and would open up new charging possibilities. My 55 mile round trip commute would become easily rechargeable overnight. And it will lessen any remaining destination charging range anxiety during road trips.

For current model 3 owners: Have you tried level 1 charging and if so, what rates are you getting? I wonder if the L1 charging cost efficiency is any better for M3 than for the S or X? I'll post my own experience after getting some miles under our belt.
It charges 5mph. If you charge for 12hours a night, you’ll mostly break even with your commute. If you don’t drive much on the weekend, you can build up some extra to accommodate for errands and so on during the week.
 

Brokedoc

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#4
If in a pinch (or on the cheap) you can check out plugshare - I'm not sure if Tesla includes the J1772 adapter with the Model 3 but many places like Nissan or BMW dealers have these outlets for free. I've heard some places that give you dirty looks or say it's for their cars only but if you're nice and buy them donuts and point out that you will move if ever another car wants to charge, they usually don't care.

https://shop.tesla.com/us/en/produc...-j1772-charging-adapter.html?sku=1067348-00-A
 

Dan Detweiler

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#5
For what it's worth...Level 1 charging is a viable, if not ideal, method of regular charging. I have been charging my Volt on Level 1 for 5 years and it has been fine. Granted my daily round trip commute is about 16 miles but with a little planning it certainly can be done. Especially with the much larger battery of the 3 and the ability to save up electrons on the weekend.

Dan
 

RandyS

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#7
I'm getting 5 mph if I charge at Level 1.

Another thing I'll mention...If you're going to be charging for 12 hours a day at 12 amps on a 120v receptacle, please check out the connections to make sure that they're tight. There are some receptacles with "Back-stab" connections held with springs that loosen over time. I would suggest buying a commercial grade replacement receptacle and install it using the side screw terminals to ensure that you have a good connection while charging...
 

Bokonon

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#8
Picking up our M3 tomorrow, I was talking to our local delivery specialist in Rockville MD about not yet having a second L2 charger for it. He suggested that maybe we could get by on a level 1 in the meantime as the M3 will do 5 or 6 mph charging at 120 V.

IF that's true, 6 mph charging would 50%-100% faster than the 3-4 mph for the MS and would open up new charging possibilities. My 55 mile round trip commute would become easily rechargeable overnight. And it will lessen any remaining destination charging range anxiety during road trips.
One thing to keep in mind is that the "5-6 mph" under discussion here (and I would expect it to be much closer to 5 mph with charging losses factored in) only applies to the warmer months of the year. In the winter, it will be a lot closer to 3 mph. I say this as someone who now has 6 years of experience charging an EV at Level 1 during a New England winter.

For reference, charging at a nominal 120V / 12 amps:
  • My first-generation Volt reliably recovered about 4 mph in the summer, and about 3 mph in the winter.
  • My e-Golf (which has a rated efficiency ~20% higher than the first-gen Volt) typically recovers 5 mph in the summer and about 3.5 mph in the winter.
Based on those two data points, I'd expect the Model 3 (which has a rated efficiency ~10% higher than the e-Golf) to recover about 5.5 mph in the summer and just under 4 mph in the winter. YMMV, of course, depending on actual charging amperage. But that said, I do find Tesla's stated 120V charging rates for the Model 3 (3 mph at 12 amps and 4 mph at 16 amps) to be on the pessimistic side.

The other thing to keep in mind is that, over time, charging at 240V pays for itself due to its significantly greater efficiency. I'll see if I can dig up the post, but I remember doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation last year that suggested I'd recover the cost of installing a NEMA 14-50 outlet after only 2 years of ownership driving 10K miles/year. (Which, given that I'm on year 6 of driving electric, begs the question of why I haven't done that already. :))
 

garsh

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#9
The other thing to keep in mind is that, over time, charging at 240V pays for itself due to its significantly greater efficiency. I'll see if I can dig up the post, but I remember doing a back-of-the-envelope calculation last year that suggested I'd recover the cost of installing a NEMA 14-50 outlet after only 2 years of ownership driving 10K miles/year. (Which, given that I'm on year 6 of driving electric, begs the question of why I haven't done that already. :))
I performed that same calculation, and discovered that the energy savings wouldn't come anywhere close to covering the cost of an install. ;)
But the faster charging is definitely worth it for convenience.
 

Bokonon

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#10
I performed that same calculation, and discovered that the energy savings wouldn't come anywhere close to covering the cost of an install. ;)
But the faster charging is definitely worth it for convenience.
Yeah, IIRC, that calculation assumed fully-loaded electric rates of $0.22/kWh (welcome to eastern Massachusetts! :eek:), so that might have had something to do with it... :)

It also did not take into account the cost of a Level 2 EVSE, which Tesla gives you for free, but which you must purchase otherwise, which adds another year or two to the payback period.
 

NOGA$4ME

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#11
So your situation may not make this practical, but you did say you did not have a "second" L2 charger for it, implying that you have a "first" L2 charger for another Tesla (or other EV, but I suspect Tesla is a good assumption here).

Like others have said, you are probably going to do fine with just the L1 charging on the Model 3, but if it gets tight, or if you are worried, and assuming you aren't running the battery down significantly daily on your "first" Tesla, why couldn't you charge Tesla 1 on L2 and the Model 3 on L1 on the first day, and then flip it the next day? You'd surely have a full (or as full as you want to get it) battery on the day you charged with the L2, and even if it wasn't quite "full" on the other day, you'd still have plenty of range. In fact it's likely you could get by with the single L2 altogether.

My wife and I successfully charged both her Volt and my LEAF from a single 120V outlet that we didn't have exclusive access to (the parking spots we could reach the outlet from were sometimes taken) while we were temporarily in an apartment while our house was being built. Now okay, she always had gas as a backup, we were both very close to work, and I could charge at work, but we did make do. And I'll reiterate what @Bokonon said, the Volt is a pretty damn slow charger!
 
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#12
First, we picked up our M3 this afternoon and are thrilled! Still getting used to the dark space behind the steering wheel where the dashboard was supposed to be. Even driving in suburbs traffic, I can tell the handling is something special. Extremely tight, extremely precise. And I love the smaller (than the S) steering wheel.

For charging, I'm going to start out with one L1 (primarily for the 3) and one L2 (for the S). I'm thinking of upgrading the L1 circuit to NEMA 5-20...


which should give another 25% increase in charging rate (20A instead of 15A). I should charge my commute range easily on the L1 circuit and then use L2 when needed. Thanks @RandyS for the suggestion about the sockets.

If that doesn't turn out to be a good long-term solution, then I'll consider upgrading to a second L2 charger.

I'll update with actual MPH when I actually plug the car into a charger.
  • @Bokonon, I appreciate your caution about slower charging in winter. That may affect the decision to go to L2. It's been a cold winter so far.
  • @mig, the quick220 product is interesting-- 220V at 15A. Do the losses through the convertor make up for the increased efficiency of 220 vs 110?
 

Runt8

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#13
Another option, since you already have L2 charging for your S, is to use the circuit sharing feature of the Tesla wall connector. In some scenarios it could end up being a more cost effective solution than running a new circuit from the electrical panel. Multiple wall connectors can be installed on the same circuit, and they are able to talk to each other and schedule charging without overloading the breaker.
 

NOGA$4ME

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#14
First, we picked up our M3 this afternoon and are thrilled! Still getting used to the dark space behind the steering wheel where the dashboard was supposed to be. Even driving in suburbs traffic, I can tell the handling is something special. Extremely tight, extremely precise. And I love the smaller (than the S) steering wheel.

For charging, I'm going to start out with one L1 (primarily for the 3) and one L2 (for the S). I'm thinking of upgrading the L1 circuit to NEMA 5-20...


which should give another 25% increase in charging rate (20A instead of 15A). I should charge my commute range easily on the L1 circuit and then use L2 when needed. Thanks @RandyS for the suggestion about the sockets.

If that doesn't turn out to be a good long-term solution, then I'll consider upgrading to a second L2 charger.

I'll update with actual MPH when I actually plug the car into a charger.
  • @Bokonon, I appreciate your caution about slower charging in winter. That may affect the decision to go to L2. It's been a cold winter so far.
  • @mig, the quick220 product is interesting-- 220V at 15A. Do the losses through the convertor make up for the increased efficiency of 220 vs 110?
The 220 "converter" simply takes the hot leg from one circuit and combines it with the hot leg from a second (but opposite polarity) circuit, so there is literally no loss other than IR drop across what is probably an extension cord to get to the second outlet. And the efficiency gain of 220 vs 110 should be fairly noticeable (not really speaking from actual experience with Tesla, but from other EVs).
 

Runt8

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#15
The 220 "converter" simply takes the hot leg from one circuit and combines it with the hot leg from a second (but opposite polarity) circuit, so there is literally no loss other than IR drop across what is probably an extension cord to get to the second outlet. And the efficiency gain of 220 vs 110 should be fairly noticeable (not really speaking from actual experience with Tesla, but from other EVs).
I looked in to this at my house and my parents house, and we weren’t able to find two outlets on separate phases close enough to each other and the garage to make it a practical solution. The closest we got was one outlet in the garage, and a 30’ extension cord through the door into the bathroom. Workable in a pinch but not a great solution permanent solution.

Talking to my contractor friend, it’s very common to run all the garage outlets on a single circuit. He said he’s seen a few houses with a separate garage circuit for a freezer but other than that it’s fairly uncommon.
 

mig

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#16
I looked in to this at my house and my parents house, and we weren’t able to find two outlets on separate phases close enough to each other and the garage to make it a practical solution. The closest we got was one outlet in the garage, and a 30’ extension cord through the door into the bathroom. Workable in a pinch but not a great solution permanent solution.

Talking to my contractor friend, it’s very common to run all the garage outlets on a single circuit. He said he’s seen a few houses with a separate garage circuit for a freezer but other than that it’s fairly uncommon.
Ah, bummer. I like the idea of "circuit sharing" the Tesla wall connector as suggested. That is cool tech.

Sometimes in garages set up as a workshop every other other outlet is a separate circuit so you can run multiple power tools at the same time. (and sometimes you are lucky that they are on opposite legs)
 

Runt8

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#17
Ah, bummer. I like the idea of "circuit sharing" the Tesla wall connector as suggested. That is cool tech.

Sometimes in garages set up as a workshop every other other outlet is a separate circuit so you can run multiple power tools at the same time. (and sometimes you are lucky that they are on opposite legs)
I agree, the wall connectors are pretty sweet. Hard to swallow having to buy two of them at the same time though if you don’t have one already installed for your S (although still cheaper than having to increase the size of your panel, or, god forbid, get additional service).

Having outlets set up that way would be nice - if the wires are already run it’s normally fairly easy to swap the breakers to put them on separate phases if they aren’t already. Although I would guess that a garage that’s set up for a workshop would also have 240 installed already.
 

garsh

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#18
I looked in to this at my house and my parents house, and we weren’t able to find two outlets on separate phases close enough to each other and the garage to make it a practical solution... Talking to my contractor friend, it’s very common to run all the garage outlets on a single circuit.
That is true, but I'd like to suggest one more thing before you give up.

Find a circuit breaker that controls at least one outlet in the garage. Turn it off. Then go around and test all of the outlets in the garage. If they are all off, then you've confirmed that they're all on the same circuit. But if you find at least one other outlet that still has power, then you've found a separate circuit!

At that point, it wouldn't be very hard to simply swap that circuit breaker's position in the panel with the breaker just above or below it to put it on the other phase. Breaker panels are arranged to swap phases at each position, that way a 240v breaker just has to be twice as wide so that it uses two slots.
 

NOGA$4ME

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#19
That is true, but I'd like to suggest one more thing before you give up.

Find a circuit breaker that controls at least one outlet in the garage. Turn it off. Then go around and test all of the outlets in the garage. If they are all off, then you've confirmed that they're all on the same circuit. But if you find at least one other outlet that still has power, then you've found a separate circuit!

At that point, it wouldn't be very hard to simply swap that circuit breaker's position in the panel with the breaker just above or below it to put it on the other phase. Breaker panels are arranged to swap phases at each position, that way a 240v breaker just has to be twice as wide so that it uses two slots.
I actually have multiple outlets in my current garage (on the same circuit though), but previously I only had one. I suspect you'll probably have more luck finding a garage outlet and an outdoor outlet that are on different circuits, if that is physically an option (although in my last home the single garage outlet was on the same circuit as the outside outlets!)

While certainly a unique solution, and potentially useful if you do travel to other houses that don't have 240V outlets, at the end of the day if you are just planning on using this at home, it's probably easiest to just bite the bullet and install another 240V outlet in the garage (unless your panel is full).
 

jsmay311

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#20
One thing to keep in mind is that the "5-6 mph" under discussion here (and I would expect it to be much closer to 5 mph with charging losses factored in) only applies to the warmer months of the year. In the winter, it will be a lot closer to 3 mph. I say this as someone who now has 6 years of experience charging an EV at Level 1 during a New England winter.
Good point. And now that I think about it, the Model 3 is likely to see a bigger "cold weather" charging deficit than other EVs that have a dedicated battery heater since the Model 3 motor housing will lose more of its heat to the environment when it heats up to act as a battery heater than a dedicated battery heater would. And since slower and longer charging means more heat loss, this deficit would be greatest at slower charging rates.