“What’s the best charger for my Tesla?” is a question we get a lot. While the obvious answer may be Tesla’s proprietary Wall Connector, we recommend getting a universal charger for your home instead.
When you’re looking to install the best EV charger for your Tesla, functionality is vital. While the Tesla Wall Connector works great with a Tesla, that’s also its main limitation. Tesla uses a proprietary connector for charging. This may not sound like an issue until you realize that all other EVs use a universal connector, the J1772.
As more car manufacturers begin making EVs or improve their offerings, it’s increasingly likely that current Tesla owners may choose a different EV in the future. There are also plenty of families with more than one car, and many may choose other electric options like Rivian, Volvo, Lucid, or Volkswagen, in addition to a Tesla going forward.
Finally, friends and family visiting with different makes of EV will need to charge their cars if they’re staying for several days. In all of these scenarios installing a Tesla Wall Connector will prevent you from charging any other brand of EV. With a universal charger you can charge both.
At this point you may be wondering about the different connectors. As mentioned earlier, Teslas use a proprietary connector while all other EVs use the J1772, also known as a J plug. So won’t a universal charger with the J1772 not fit the Tesla? Tesla recognizes that using a proprietary connector can limit their customers charging options and they solve this problem by including an adapter with every Tesla. The adapter easily snaps onto a J1772 connector and can be left on the charger if you don’t want to deal with the extra hassle of putting it on and taking it off each time you charge your Tesla. This means you can use the same charger for Tesla and a different make of EV, making life easier and saving on the cost of installing a second charger. Getting a universal EV charger installed for your Tesla also offers several other advantages.
We really like the added flexibility that comes with a long cable on an EV charger. The Tesla Wall Connector comes in two different cable lengths: 8.5 feet or 18 feet. The 8.5 foot cable is too short. It means you’ll always have to park with your Tesla’s charge port as close to the charger as possible. For example, if you generally pull straight into your garage and have set up your charger accordingly, you wouldn’t be able to reverse in and still access the charger. An 18 foot cable is better, but longer options like the Chargepoint Home Flex’s 23 foot cable are ideal. In addition to offering a more functional cable length, Chargepoint is the market leader for EV charger durability. As the only charging provider with an advanced in-house test facility, they place a lot of focus on ensuring their chargers are built to last.
We believe EVs are here to stay so it makes sense to get a charger that will work perfectly for many years to come. Now let’s turn our attention to speed.
We know speed is of the utmost importance to many customers. While almost all Level 2 EV chargers can fully charge electric vehicles (EVs) overnight, it makes sense to want the fastest option. The Tesla Wall Connector offers charging speeds up to 11.5kW. This is among the fastest options available, but by no means exclusive to the Tesla Wall Connector. Chargepoint’s Home Flex can also provide 11.5kW and other brands are launching even faster chargers. This means you’re not sacrificing charging speeds by choosing a universal charger over the Tesla Wall Connector. And in case you were wondering, there is no loss of speed when using Tesla’s included SAE J1772 charging adapter. The SAE J1772 charging adapter supports charging speeds up to 19.2kW. All of this is to say that you don’t need to worry about slower charging speeds with a universal charger. The best Tesla charger also needs to offer great connected features.
The best charger for your Tesla should allow for remote control via your phone. Fortunately, many universal chargers have this covered. Sticking with the Chargepoint Home Flex, many of the controls Tesla owners have with a Wall Connector remain identical. The Tesla app communicates directly with the car not the charger, so using a universal charger does not change much. For example, most universal charges still allow you to set a maximum charge level to minimize your Tesla’s battery degradation. Your Tesla will know when it reaches that point and will then stop accepting more power from the charger. You can still check your Tesla app for other features too, like checking the current charge level, or remotely stopping the charge.
You do also have the option of adjusting charger settings. Many of the best chargers for Teslas, like the Chargepoint Home Flex, allow you to set a desired charging window. This means you can plug your car in when you get home, but it won’t start charging until a specified time later in the evening. This is useful if your power utility provider offers discounted rates overnight. If you’re not sure what your power company offers, the Chargepoint app is for you. You just need to enter your utility provider’s name and the app can automatically set the charging window to the time with the cheapest rates. All in, you don’t lose anything by using a universal charger; in fact, there are some additional benefits.
Best Tesla Charger
Taken together, the additional functionality, equivalent speed, and practical connected features makes a universal charger the best home charger for a Tesla. Regardless of your choice, be it a Chargepoint Home Flex, a Wallbox Pulsar Plus, an Enel Juicebox, or even the proprietary Tesla Wall Connector, we’re here to get you set up. Contact us if you’re looking for the best Tesla charger for your home and you’re located in the greater Washington DC area.