Charging With a Tesla Wall Connector vs. NEMA 14-50 Outlet
Tesla regularly makes technological advancements in its fleet of vehicles, along with upgrading the Wall Connectors and charging accessories that power this elite brand of electric vehicles.
Whether you’re sold on the Tesla Wall Connector or searching for alternatives, this post will break down some of the key differences between Tesla’s brand of level 2 EV charger and the more universal NEMA 14-50 outlet.
How to Choose: The Tesla Wall Connector or the NEMA 14-50
Having a Level 2 charging set-up of any kind in your home or business will undoubtedly increase the value of the property. If you’re torn between the Tesla Wall Connector and a 240 volt NEMA 14-50 Outlet, here are a few pros and cons that may help you settle on what will work best for your charging needs and lifestyle.
Tesla Wall Connector Pros and Cons
- The Tesla Wall Connector offers the fastest currently available charging speed for a Tesla at home (charge a Tesla Model 3 Long Range at 44 miles per hour).
- Modern design and clean aesthetic which matches the vehicle – some say having the Wall Connector “completes the owner experience.”
- Tesla now makes a J1772 Wall Connector which can be used to charge ANY brand of EV at home, including a Tesla (with J1772 adapter, which comes standard with your vehicle).
- Customizable faceplate options are available via Tesla, so you can match your charger to your vehicle color.
- If you are moving or plan to sell your home, the Wall Connector can be professionally removed and then re-installed at your new residence.
- Tesla’s software and firmware push automatically on the Wall Connector, thanks to WiFi.
- Using built-in software, the Wall Connector can be assigned to work with your specific vehicle only via VIN assignment.
- If properly installed, the Wall Connector is outdoor-rated and water-resistant. The charger is also hardwired into your electrical panel, making it a more secure option for outdoor charging.
- If needed, the electrical output can be adjusted or dialed back on the Tesla Wall Connector allowing the charger to be appropriate for almost any electrical system.
- WiFi connection makes the remote troubleshooting process much smoother with Tesla’s product experts. In the case of error codes or non-working equipment, they can ping your unit using the IP address and figure out what’s going on more rapidly.
- The unit is priced at $475 (before tax) at the time of this writing, which is a very competitive price compared to other similar Level 2 Chargers of this quality and performance.
- Using software rolled out in 2022, multiple Wall Connectors can be installed on a single circuit (called Load Sharing).
- The Wall Connector comes standard with a 24 foot cable (as opposed to the 20 foot Mobile Connector).
- Does not increase charging speeds for Standard Range Model 3.
- The Tesla wall Connector is not universal. This means it cannot be used to charge non-Tesla vehicles unless you purchase third-party accessories at an additional cost.
- The technology can sometimes be glitchy, requiring troubleshooting and/or making it difficult to get the unit properly commissioned or connected to WiFi.
Pros and Cons of a NEMA 14-50 Outlet
- For a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range, which maxes out at 30 miles per hour of charging speed, the NEMA 14-50 outlet offers the fastest charging rate possible.
- For other models of Tesla, the NEMA 14-50 outlet will charge at a rate of 20-29 mph.
- The NEMA 14-50 Outlet can be universally used as an EV Charging option. Many electric vehicles today come equipped with NEMA 14-50 compatible charging accessories, or these can be purchased separately.
- You can purchase different styles of Adapters to work with the Mobile Connector to work with different outlet patterns.
- The NEMA 14-50 can be a more budget-friendly option than the Wall Connector in some cases IF your car came with a Mobile Connector (20 foot 240-volt charging cable).
- Effective April 28, 2022, the Mobile Connector (20 foot charging cable) is no longer included as a standard accessory with new Tesla vehicle purchases. The Mobile Connector charging kit comes as a bundle with the 20-ft cable, a NEMA 14-50 adapter and a standard 110V adapter to use with any 3-prong outlet. This kit costs $230 (before tax) and for many, it’s an easy jump to upgrade to the Wall Connector ($475) to get the faster charge and all the features of the Wall Connector for not that much more.
- The charging equipment and accessories needed to charge your Tesla with a NEMA outlet have, in recent years, frequently sold out or been harder to obtain.
- This outlet is easily installed incorrectly or with the wrong materials, thus leading to fairly common equipment and outlet failure.
- In the case of an outdoor-rated NEMA 14-50 Outlet for outside charging, your Mobile Connector can be easily unplugged from the outlet and removed or stolen, making it a little less secure than the Wall Connector.
What’s New with the Tesla Wall Connector Gen 3?
The Generation 3 Tesla Wall Connector offers a few impressive upgrades over its predecessor, the Generation 2. These include:
- A thinner cord that’s a little easier to work with
- 24-foot standard cable length (previously 8 and 18-foot options were offered)
- Same charging speeds as the Generation 2 Wall Connector
- 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection for automatic software updates and virtual troubleshooting capabilities if needed
- Software-based load sharing for up to 16 charging devices
- Software-based vehicle assignment
- Software-based unit registration (accessible by Tesla Pros only)
The Gen 3 Wall Connector offers the best charging rate for nearly all models of Tesla, excluding the Model 3 Standard Range. Tesla Model S, X, Y and Long Range 3 owners can add anywhere from 30-44 miles back to their battery in just one hour of charge using the Wall Connector.
If you commute or plan to take road trips in your Tesla, the Gen 3 Wall Connector is a worthy contender to be the charging station in your home. While the upfront costs may feel high, the equipment’s quality and charging speeds justify the price.
If your vehicle isn’t driven as frequently or you make shorter trips (less than 100 miles per day) and don’t need the speed of charge or functionalities offered by the Wall Connector, a NEMA 14-50 is a great option.
Either way, ensure you use a Tesla-certified installer who is trained in Tesla’s installation specifications in order to meet their warranty requirements and ensure a safe, correctly done installation.
NEW in 2022: J1772 Tesla Wall Connector
Tesla brought back the J1772 Wall Connector in Q3 of 2022. At the current price point of $550 (before tax) this charger is still the best value for the technology and aesthetic. In short, this charger looks and functions exactly as the normal Tesla Wall Connector does, but the nozzle fits a J1772 pattern (which is universal to all non-Tesla EVs). If you are a multi-EV brand household you might strongly consider this charger in your home or office.
Get Plugged In! Schedule Your Tesla Wall Connector Installation with Gulfstar Electric
As the leading Tesla-preferred installer in the Tampa Bay area, Gulfstar understands our customers’ questions about electric vehicle charging stations and how to make the right choice for their home, vehicle and electrical system.
The information and technology can be daunting – but we’re here to help. We pride ourselves in offering our expertise and knowledge to every customer without trying to upsell you on services you don’t need. Contact us today and the Gulfstar Electric team will begin the electrical system assessment necessary to make a recommendation for the best electric vehicle charging station in any home or commercial setting. We’d love to help get you plugged in!