With a flood of automotive industry marketing tactics and electrical figures, confusion abounds when it comes to plug-in vehicle charging. That’s where Effortless Electric comes in; we simplify the confusion and identify exactly what EV buyers and their homes need for the fastest, safest home charging experience available. We often hear, “Can I have a Supercharger installed at home?” While the short answer is no, you cannot have a Supercharger, you can have a very fast EV charger installed at home!
4 Reasons Why the Tesla Supercharger Isn’t for Home Use
To start off, it’s necessary to understand exactly what a Supercharger is. Superchargers are Tesla’s version of a high-speed, direct current (DC) Level 3 charger, replenishing roughly 300 miles of range in about an hour. That’s fast! Comparatively, installed home charging systems are typically Level 2 and use alternating current (AC), replenishing that same 300 mile range in about 8 hours, which is plenty fast for daily use. To learn more about the different EV charger levels click here.
Although the idea of installing a Level 3 Supercharger at home may sound appealing due to its impressive speed, there are many reasons it’s neither possible nor practical.
First, the installation may be the most restrictive aspect to having a Supercharger (or any Level 3 charger for that matter) at home. Residential homes generally do not have the required electrical service to power Level 3 chargers, and many county codes will not permit the high voltage electrical service in residences. In rare cases where counties do permit high voltage service, installation time will be greatly increased due to the added complexity of upgrading the service and installing a transformer. These additional services are once again prohibitively expensive, likely adding tens of thousands of dollars to the total cost of the installation.
Second, using a Supercharger frequently can degrade the battery. There are a lot of factors that drive this degradation but in simple terms, charging at up to 250kW with Tesla’s V3 Superchargers means the batteries are experiencing greater heating, ultimately leading to reduced maximum charge capacity. Occasional supercharging won’t cause noticeable degradation and allows for longer range road trips. However, consistent supercharging, as would be the case with one installed at home, certainly has a significant negative impact on battery health. Tesla goes so far as to permanently restrict their cars to slower charging speeds if they supercharge too many times. This restriction won’t pose much of a problem for daily driving but for longer road trips stopping to recharge will take slightly longer.
Third, the Supercharger hardware is incredibly expensive. Although Tesla doesn’t list a price on their website, there are some cases where companies have purchased them. In one such case, the Superchargers Tesla sold were not their most powerful variant but still cost almost as much as a Model S, which starts at $75,000. Level 3 charging hardware starts around $20,000+ before factoring in the cost of installation and additional electrical work.
Finally, if you’ve made it this far and still think a Supercharger is right for your home, there’s one last major hurdle. Tesla does not officially sell their Superchargers. To buy one you would have to convince them to make an exception for you. Why go through all that trouble when you can charge to 100% overnight with a much more practical Level 2 charger?
Here’s Why Level 2 EV Chargers Are Right For You
Unlike Superchargers (and other Level 3 chargers), Level 2 chargers are intended for daily use. This means that with a Level 2 charger, you can plug your car in whenever you want without having to worry about significant battery degradation. If you have a Level 2 charger at home, you can effectively keep your car optimally charged even though the actual charging speed is slower than a Supercharger. It’s easy to get caught up in charging speed minutiae and forget that maintaining a properly charged battery is what really matters.
Level 2 chargers are also much more practical in terms of both price and installation. Though not cheap, they are much less expensive than Level 3 chargers. The cost for the hardware plus installation typically runs in the $2,000-3,000 range. The installation process can be completed in a day’s work, and usually does not require adding service from the electric utility as most homes’ electrical supply is more than adequate to power a Level 2 charger.
Finally, Level 2 chargers are readily available and you don’t need to jump through hoops to buy one. That said, the process of selecting a charger, getting bids from electricians, and researching government and power company rebates and incentives is time consuming and complicated. That’s why we offer a simple, all-inclusive package that does the work for you. To get an estimate for your home, contact us here.
While we recommend going with the universal charger included in our all-inclusive packages, which is compatible with Teslas (using an adapter included with all new Teslas), for customers that desire a Tesla branded charger, we are happy to install the Level 2 Tesla Wall Connector.