High Power Wall Connector Is Up and Running - 2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

2013 Tesla Model S Long-Term Road Test

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2013 Tesla Model S: High Power Wall Connector Is Up and Running

September 13, 2013

2013 Tesla Model S

As of last week, our Tesla HPWC (High Power Wall Connector) is finally up and running. And it's fast. It can send electricity into our 2013 Tesla Model S's battery some 2.7 times faster than standard Level 2 charging equipment. That's because it's built to draw 80 amps through a 100-amp circuit instead of the usual 30 amps through a 40-amp breaker.

2013 Tesla Model S

This screen grab from the iPhone app tells the tale. The figure on the left is telling us that power is being delivered at 48 mph, as in 48 miles of driving for every hour on the plug. Our ChargePoint Level 2 station is good for 18 mph.

That works out to 5.5 hours to fill an empty 85 kWh Model S battery instead of 14 or 15 hours. Our typical half-full battery will only take 2 or 3 hours to fill instead of 7 or 8, so now everyone who takes a turn behind the wheel will head home with a full battery, even if they leave early after the car arrives late.

It's worth pointing out the voltage readout, which shows 199 volts instead of the 240 volts you might expect. Our electrician tells me this is due to the natural of electrical service in commercial buildings, which tends to be 208V 3-phase instead of the 240V single-phase that's more typical of residential power panels. A HPWC should deliver 58 mph in a home installation with a full 240 volts (and 100 amps) behind it.

2013 Tesla Model S

Our main circuit breakers are in a locked electrical closet some distance away, so a comically large power-disconnect panel was needed. And it positively dwarfs the sleek HPWC unit.

The smaller white box was my idea. Home charging equipment like the Tesla HPWC typically lack a readout of the number of kWh dispensed, but I needed to know how much electricity we're really using (read: paying for). After all, a gas pump with no "gallons" readout is pretty much worthless. The little box contains a digital meter I bought from EKM Metering. I'll go into more detail on that nifty little device at a future date.

Yes, it has taken us some time to get here, too much time. But now it's done, and we're ready to make the most of it.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 8,500 miles


  • gslippy gslippy Posts:

    Very nice installation. I suggest you keep it there for the Model X and Model E you'll eventually test. :) Interesting that my Leaf also charges at 18 mph on my Level 2 at home.

  • ghills ghills Posts:


  • vincentev vincentev Posts:

    How much did this installation cost? I would love to know what the monthly charge is, the installation of the 200V and the connection box. In the Netherlands you pay $150/month to get this powerfull connection, installation is $250 and the box is $2000. Electricity is 0.30ct/kwh Vincent Everts Tesla driver Amsterdam http://tesladriving.nl

  • cotak cotak Posts:

    Has Edmunds considered (as you guys have had 3 electric cars now and I think you'll likely get the i3 and i8 as well) reviewing the energy efficiency of electrics cars? I mean are the watts drawn during charging effectively going into watts coming out when driven? Or are large percentage of it wasted in the charging process?

  • Better late than never, I guess. I'm thinking you'll be kicking yourselves for going without it this long.

  • mayhemm mayhemm Posts:

    @ misterfusion I don't think they had a choice. The HPWC was back-ordered for several months, then Tesla was having trouble with them blowing fuses left and right, so Edmunds (wisely, IMO) waited for that issue to be resolved before going ahead with the

  • evjuice evjuice Posts:

    If you had true 220/240V line it would be good for up to 62 MPHc instead of your measly 48MHc. Charge from empty would be 4H and some change.

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