Charging your Model 3 is the most important element when considering the purchase of an EV. The question is, what is supplied with your vehicle when you buy it? Let’s take a look at what you receive with your delivery.
The Tesla charger is the actual plug at the wall, and this is not included in the purchase of your Model 3. The Model 3 no longer has a charging cable since April 2022. The cable Level 1 or Level 2 must be purchased as an add-on when ordering your vehicle or can be purchased before delivery.
In this article, we’ll look at what charging options you have available and the cable and charger to purchase which makes the best sense for you.
Buying Your New Model 3
In April 2022, Tesla and Elon Musk decided to no longer include a charging cable with the purchase of a new Model 3. Previously you were supplied with a Mobile Connector – a 20ft cable, a Nema Plug Adaptor (5-15) or (14-50), and a nice bag to place everything in.
This item, either corded or non-corded, now needs to be purchased as an add-on to your online cart.
|Charger||Cost (available in the Tesla Shop)|
|Corded Mobile Connector||$200|
|J1772 Wall Connector||$550|
The cost is quite insignificant in the overall cost of your car, but without a cable, your charging capabilities are limited. The charger itself all depends on your living facilities. But the charger you plug the cable into (at the wall) is not supplied with your Tesla Model 3 either. Depending on the Level of your charger will depend on the installation that you require.
Why is the Cable Not Supplied?
Elon Tweeted on 16 April 2022 that the statistics and feedback that Tesla had received about the charging cable were ‘Usage of the cable was now so low that it seemed wasteful’ and they didn’t feel it was necessary to continue to provide one.
They also advised that you purchase a cable but use the TWC – Tesla Wall Connector or a Supercharger.
It’s not necessarily a cost-effective decision for Tesla, even though it will save them some money, but it’s more to do with the company ethos of reducing excess waste on the planet.
If you have bought a phone recently, you’ll notice that some phone brands have taken the same outlook. You no longer get an adaptor or earphones with your new phone.
The phone companies are supposedly saving the planet, which is good; less packaging and unnecessary accessories are always a positive for the planet. The difference is with a new phone, you are more likely to already have an old smartphone charger or cable that will do the job.
If this is your first EV, you won’t have the means to charge your car the day you bring it home unless you are very organized and have previously purchased a Level 1 cable or installed a Level 2 TWC.
Different Tesla Charging Methods
To charge your Tesla, you have three different options
- Level 1 – Mobile Connector
- Level 2 – TWC (Tesla Wall Connector) / Destination charger
- Level 3 – Supercharger
Level 1 – Mobile Connector
When purchasing your new Model 3 (or before), you must select a charging cable to suit your needs. The mobile connector comes in two options: a corded connection (plug attached) or a non-corded one with two different adaptors.
The Level 1 cable means you can bring your car home and plug it in like an appliance, such as a kettle.
However, the charge rate is incredibly slow at just 3 miles of range per hour, using only 120V. If you have a daily commute of 50 miles – which is quite low – it will take 17 hours to achieve your 50-mile range, so you’re only going to work every second day!
Although not practical to use as a daily charging method, I still think having a mobile connector kit in the trunk is a good idea for unforeseen emergencies.
Level 2 – TWC / Destination Charger
A Level 2 charger works on a higher voltage of 240V which means you get up to 44 miles of range per hour. This is a much more realistic way of charging for most Tesla owners.
The downside to the TWC option is that it’s not a plug-and-play. Not initially, anyway. A qualified electrician must install the TWC. But on the upside, it can be installed before you take delivery of your Model 3.
There is a cost involved with the installation of the TWC between the purchase, and the electrician cost, which can be up to $1000, and the Level 2 option is not suitable for everyone.
If you rent your property, for example, or live in an apartment complex, there may not be the opportunity to have a TWC installed, or you just don’t want to outlay the expense when you might have to move on in six months. It is worth investigating if your property management team will share some or all installation costs.
A destination charger will give the same mileage range as a TWC. Destination chargers are privately owned, usually located at hotel premises, local businesses, and small shopping malls. The use of a destination charger may be limited to customer use only, i.e., you may have to be a hotel resident or a customer at the business premises.
A destination charger might be located half a block from your home, but you can’t assume you can use it without asking permission.
Level 3 – Supercharger
Level 3 chargers are Tesla Superchargers. They charge your car to a 200-mile range in just 15 minutes. This is incredible and suits many apartment dwellers and those with longer commutes.
There is a huge Supercharger network across the States – approximately 3000 -, but it does depend on your location. This means you’re never far from a plug-in. There is a cost, but there is also a cost at home with your TWC or your Level 1, but your charge is almost instant compared to them.
Tesla recommends charging your car daily at home, but this is not always possible or practical. If you haven’t installed a TWC, then a Supercharger might be the only solution to achieve your range.
Although Supercharging is designed to charge a Tesla, if it is your only means of charging, it’s best to set the charge limit to 80%. This will protect the life of the Lithium Ion batteries and reduce long-term degradation.
There are also certain conditions where avoiding Supercharging is recommended, including extreme weather and non-Tesla fast chargers.
Lithium Ion batteries don’t like either extremely hot or extremely cold weather. Very hot temperatures result in your Tesla using Climate Control (AC) to cool the batteries. Supercharging uses DC charging, which is charging at a much higher temperature.
So, on the one hand, you’re cooling the batteries; on the other hand, you’re heating them. This can have a long-term negative effect on Li-Ion.
Extreme cold can also be detrimental. The Li-Ion cells contain ionizing liquid. If they are below temperature and you introduce excessive heat from the Supercharger, this can kill the cells. You must first precondition your Tesla before Supercharging.
This can be easily done by selecting a Supercharger location as your destination on your Sat Nav. When you arrive, your cells will receive a Supercharge at the correct temperature.
Non-Tesla Fast Charger
With more and more car manufacturers going the EV route, there is an even bigger fast charger network to compensate for this.
If a fast charger offers CSS, there’s no reason that it won’t charge your Tesla. However, Tesla recommends that if you are going to fast charge, you should only use a Supercharger.
This is not for a monopoly reason but once again to protect your high-voltage battery. When you plug in, the onboard computers talk to the charger, and the Active Thermal Management kicks in. If your Model 3 can’t detect which type of charger it is plugged into, the ATM might not kick in, and the Li-Ion can overheat and become damaged.
In a world where more and more drivers are considering an EV purchase, the charging network will only grow. We might find that we don’t need to carry a cable with us or that where we live already has a TWC because the previous owner was an EV driver, or that this is your second or third Tesla.
Here are a few common questions folks ask about Teslas:
- Does Tesla Model 3 have a jack?
- Can I use any tires on a Tesla?
- Are Tesla tires all season?
- What to do if Tesla has a flat?
I’ve written a ton on common Tesla issues, which hopefully you won’t ever experience, but if you do, we have you covered with these posts:
Check out the Tesla troubleshooting page for problem Teslas.
Check out the Tesla charging page for common Tesla charging problems.
Check out the Tesla category page for a list of popular Tesla posts.
If you are curious about other EV models, check out the EV FAQ category.
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