Plugging-In Gets a Bit Easier

Tesla’s new Wall Charger allows greater EV charging convenience in a variety of places.
Tesla Wall Connector

Tesla’s new Wall Charger allows 25% faster charging and greater flexibility when on the road. (Image source: Tesla)

As electric vehicles (EVs) become more popular, some of the inconveniences of finding a place to charge are beginning to sort themselves out. Because Tesla has been in the EV game longer than anyone else, it follows that they have learned a thing or two about what Tesla owners want and need when it comes to putting electrons back into their car’s batteries. Until now, Tesla has offered three charging possibilities. Owners can charge using the Gen2 Mobile connector that is currently delivered with all Tesla vehicles and that is limited to 32 amps (7.7 kW). The Mobile connector can be used at home or on the road. For strictly home charging, owners can install a permanently-mounted hard-wired wall charger. The Tesla version can charge at 48 amps (11.6 kW). Away from home, and particularly when traveling any longer distances, owners can use the Tesla Supercharger system and fast charge at up to 145 kW, allowing a Model S to charge up to 80% of its capacity in 40 minutes, or to add 170 miles of range in about a half an hour of charging.

NEMA 14-50

The Wall charger uses a NEMA 14-50 plug, commonly used in the home for electric ovens and ranges, and often found at campgrounds. (Image source: Tesla)

But, there was still at least one level of convenience that was missing from Tesla’s charging lineup. “We have introduced a new wall-mounted charger for US customers. The unit is designed to plug into an existing NEMA 14-50 (240V) wall outlet, no electrician required, making it easy and convenient to install around the home or office,” Tesla told Design News. The NEMA 14-50 wall outlet is commonly used to power 240-volt electric ranges and ovens in the home. It is also fairly common at camp grounds and thus can provide a high level of convenience when traveling, especially away from areas where the Supercharging system is available. An integrated 24-foot cable allows it to reach a significant distance to provide charging. According to Tesla, “The unit offers a 25% faster charge compared to the Gen 2 Mobile Connector and provides 40 amps (9.6kW) of power for all Model S, Model X and Model 3 Long Range vehicles, and 32 amps (7.7kW) for Model 3 Mid Range and Standard Range.” The Tesla Wall Connector has a list price of $500.

Although this isn’t exactly Earth-shattering news from Tesla, it does indicate how, step-by-step, the convenience of charging electric vehicles is improving. By making it possible to charge at higher rates, at more places, EVs will become an acceptable alternative to a growing number future car buyers.


Senior Editor Kevin Clemens has been writing about energy, automotive, and transportation topics for more than 30 years. He has masters degrees in Materials Engineering and Environmental Education and a doctorate degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in aerodynamics. He has set several world land speed records on electric motorcycles that he built in his workshop.


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