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Tesla EV Charging: A Guide

A Guide to Tesla EV Charging

With the Tesla Model 3 being the best-selling battery electric car in 2021, conjoined with the popularity of Elon Musk’s Tesla empire, there is no surprise that the question ‘How do I charge my Tesla’ is frequently on everyone’s lips.

And we are here to help.

Whether you have a Tesla Model 3, Model S, Model Y, or Model X, you’ll know the ins and outs of Tesla EV charging by the end of this guide.

How to charge your Tesla in public:

1. Public Tesla Charging – Tesla Superchargers (DC Charging)

Dating back to 2012 and with over 35,000 charge points globally, the Tesla Supercharger network is the largest fast-charging network in the world. Not only that, but unsurprisingly, the Supercharger is the fastest way to charge your Tesla with whopping rates of 120kW, 150kW or, in the rare case, 250kW (with the V3 Supercharger).

How? Because Tesla Superchargers use the CCS connector type, which allows you to charge at a higher kW rate using Direct Current (DC) electricity.

If you are searching for a Tesla Supercharger, you’ll find them at motorway service stations. And in its infamous red and white colour combination and unique U-shaped hole, you will be able to spot a Tesla Supercharger from a mile off.

Superchargers are beneficial for charging your Tesla on long-distance journeys or when you need a full charge quickly. However, it is recommended that you do not continuously charge with a Supercharger to protect your EV battery from premature degradation.

2. Public Tesla Charging – Tesla Destination Charging (AC Charging)

Another way to charge your Tesla in public is by using a Tesla Destination charger. Typically charging at a rate of 22kW, 11kW or 7kW, this method of Tesla charging is much slower than the Superchargers.

Tesla Destination chargers are usually found in popular areas like restaurants and car parks. However, due to their slower charging nature, they can also be found in places where people stay overnight, like hotels, B&Bs and resorts.

With this in mind, it’s best to charge at Destination units when out and about or if you need a top-up rather than a full charge.

Whilst the Superchargers have a distinct look with a bright red colour scheme and unique shape, the Tesla destination chargers are much more reserved and discreet. Attached to a wall or post with a white or grey cover, the Tesla Destination chargers look much like a home unit in a smaller, thinner design when compared to the Superchargers.

Image Source: Tesla Website

EV charger on post with black tesla

3. Third-party public chargers

One of the perks of being a Tesla owner is that you can take advantage of the Tesla charging network and use third-party public chargers. That means if you need a top-up but can’t locate a Tesla charge point nearby, you can charge using any available charge points. However, since Tesla electric cars come with the standard Type 2 connector, you should be able to use any public charger you want.

Essentially, Tesla drivers are spoilt for choice.

How to charge your Tesla at home:

Invest in a dedicated home EV charger

Joining the Tesla charging family is the Tesla Wall Connector, their own branded home EV Charger. If you are for one staying on brand, then this is the charger for you. Available in 11kW, you can charge your Tesla at the maximum rate (as long as you have a three-phase electricity supply at home).

Don’t be too hasty in denying alternative Tesla home EV charging options, though, as the Tesla Wall Connector has some drawbacks. Despite its thin, streamlined structure, the unit is comparatively bigger when compared to other home EV chargers on the market. Moreover, even though the Tesla Wall includes the basics, such as the ability to charge your car for one, the biggest pitfall of the Tesla home charger is its lack of smart features.

We recommend installing the Easee One for your home charging solution. Sleek, discreet, and fully packed with sort-after smart charging features, the Easee One is one of the smartest units on the market. And it’s our best-selling home charger. You can even choose between black, white, red, blue and anthracite grey covers, ensuring a matching colour scheme between your charger and your Tesla.

Every home EV charger in our range is compatible with Tesla home charging. However, if you are interested in the Tesla Wall Connector, contact us today at 03333 44 96 99 – as Tesla-approved installers, we are authorised to supply and install Tesla Wall Connector home electric car chargers.

Tesla 3- Pin Plug EV Charging

If you don’t want to invest in a dedicated home EV charger, you can always charge your Tesla with a 3-pin plug. Upon purchase, you’ll likely have received a standard three-pin plug EV charger socket charger in your boot, which you simply plug into your Tesla car and a three-pin plug socket.

But there are several drawbacks to charging your Tesla with a 3-pin plug, including its slow speed. In fact, if you are using a 3-pin plug, you’ll be charging your Tesla with 2.3kW – which is a significantly lower charging rate than a 7kW home EV charger. For example, to fully charge a Tesla Model S, it can take anywhere between 30-40 hours to charge your Tesla with a 3-pin plug charger.

All in all, though, it’s up to you to choose your preferred home EV charging method. However, we would recommend investing in a dedicated home EV charger.

General Tesla EV Charging FAQS:

Where can I find Tesla public chargers?

You can find Tesla public charging locations by using Zap-Map, and filtering by Networks for Tesla chargers – Tesla Destination, Tesla Public Supercharger or Tesla-only Supercharger. Alternatively, you can use the Tesla app, website, or your car’s touchscreen. Simply enter your location, and Tesla chargers in your local area will pop up on the screen.

Are Tesla Charging Stations Free?

Are Tesla Superchargers free?

Unfortunately not. In the past, free Supercharging was available for Tesla owners. But this is no longer the case.

Nowadays, on average, a Tesla Supercharge will set you back 28p per kWh. The bright side is that it’s still cheaper to charge your Tesla at a Supercharger than to fill up with petrol!

Are Tesla Destination chargers free?

Tesla Destination chargers are free to use if you are a customer of the location. For example, if you are a guest at a hotel, you will likely be able to charge for free as a paying customer.

How long does it take to charge a Tesla?

Charging time varies depending on several factors. It depends on which model Tesla you have, what charger you use, and its rate (i.e., a Supercharger would have a significantly lower charging time than a 3-pin plug).

Below are the average charging times for the Tesla Model 3 to give you a rough example.

Tesla Supercharger

On average, Supercharger stations can charge up to 200 miles in fifteen minutes.

Tesla Destinations Chargers, Third-Party Fast Chargers and Home EV Chargers

Tesla Destination chargers, Fast third-party public chargers and dedicated home chargers are typically either 7kW or 22kW. For a full charge, a 7kW charger will take approximately 8-12 hours. On the other hand, using a 22kW Destination charger will take 5-8 hours from empty to fully charged.

Can I charge my Tesla at any EV charge point?/Are Tesla Charging Stations Universal?

Yes, you can charge your Tesla at any EV charging point if the connector type on the charging cable matches the inlet connector on your EV (i.e., Type 2 to Type 2). I wouldn’t worry too much about connector types as Teslas tend to be Type 2 – the most common inlet connector in European countries.

So, don’t feel obliged to top up at a Tesla charging point if there’s a cheaper alternative.

What’s the difference between Tesla charging points and standard charging points?

The clear-cut answer is not a lot. Tesla chargers have some perks for their customers, such as higher charging speeds with the Superchargers. Moreover, their public Tesla chargers also tend to be more reliable than others in the public charging network. Although, the main differences between Tesla charging points and standard EV charging points are branding and exclusivity.

Can I use my Tesla whilst charging?

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that you can’t drive while charging your Tesla, but you can relax inside your vehicle and use its sophisticated technology and wide range of apps to keep you entertained. Watch Netflix, play video games or listen to Spotify during your wait.

Can non-Tesla electric cars use Tesla charging stations?

Yes and no – it depends on where you are in the world.

Until recently, Tesla has kept their branded charging points exclusively for their customers. As of last year and even more so this year, Elon Musk has opened the Tesla charging network to non-Tesla EV drivers in a trial.

The trial was first introduced to the Netherlands last year, but in 2022 Musk opened the trial to most of Europe, including:

·      The UK

·      Spain

·      Belgium

·      Sweden

·      Norway

·      France

·      Austria

·      Denmark

·      Finland

·      Germany

·      Luxembourg

·      Switzerland

·      Iceland

In the UK, there are now 158 Superchargers across 15 sites that allow non-Tesla EVs usage. Find one of these available charging points, download the Tesla App, and you can charge your EV at a Tesla charger.

It’s useful to note that the standard rate of charging for non-Tesla drivers compared to Tesla owners is higher, though.

Tesla Wall Connector Approved Installer

Are you looking to get a Tesla-compatible home charger or Tesla Wall Connector installed? We Power Your Car can sort it for you.

If you are thinking about getting an EV home charger installed, please get in touch with us for helpful and unbiased advice. With a network of vetted engineers across the UK, we can install EV chargers nationwide. Browse our market-leading range of home EV charge points here – all Tesla compatible. Or, if you still don’t know where to start and prefer to speak to someone directly,  call us on 03333 44 96 99, or fill out the contact form below. Our expert customer service team are always happy to help.

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Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.

Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.

Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.

A Surge Protection Device is not included in our standard installation. 

What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.

If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.