2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: Charging at Home With a NEMA 14-50 Outlet

November 22, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

Last month we posted an update on our 2013 Tesla Model S about charging at an RV park. Basically, we used the Model S's included charge cord adapter to connect and recharge from a NEMA 14-50 receptacle, which is a four-prong, 240-volt outlet (yeah, pretty much a dryer outlet).

In the update Dan Edmunds wrote after successfully charging our Model S at the RV park, "You could even have an electrician install a 240V, 50-amp NEMA 14-50 receptacle in your garage instead of paying a grand or more for an SAE-compliant Level 2 charge station."

Well, I just happen to have exactly that setup at my house.

The NEMA 14-50 in my garage came about when the house was built a few years ago. I asked the builder if they could install a 240-volt outlet. It could be used for a clothes dryer, but my thinking was that it could come in handy some day for home-charger pre-wiring or actual electric car charging. Finally, some three and half years later, it finally did with the Model S.

2013 Tesla Model S

I did have to confirm that outlet's fuse breaker was rated for 50 amps, which it is. But other than that, the process was super easy. I just connected the four-prong adapter to the Tesla's charge cable, plugged it into the wall, and then plugged the cable into the car. The car immediately started taking a charge.

It's a fast charge, too. As Dan also noted in that RV update, the NEMA 14-50, because it's rated at 50 amps, flows more power than the typical Level 2 charge station. Using this setup in my house, I can recharge 29 miles worth of range per hour of charging.

I suspect the typical Model S owner would still want to have the Tesla's High Power Wall Connector installed given that it charges even more quickly and allows true tracking of energy consumption. But I think it's pretty cool that I'm one of the few members on our editorial team that can charge the Model S at my own house with 240-volt power.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 11,797 miles

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