We recently had the pleasure of speaking with a new Tesla owner. He was expecting to take delivery of his new vehicle soon and was trying to decide on his charging infrastructure.
We talked about an L1 charger that he could buy from the manufacturer vs. going for an L2 charger. Of course, there is a price difference, but the customer was convinced that with a small upgrade in the charging cable, the L1 charger could save him money and charge at L2 speeds. So, his decision came to down the price. We get it. There is nothing wrong with having the price of an item be the reason you buy the product, assuming all things are equal. But if you regret that decision later, having realized that you made false assumptions, what’s the point?
Here Is What They Don’t Tell You:
1. The pre-cool and pre-heat features available in your car are best when connected to a charger. However, the Level 1 charger will not work. So, if you must use your car battery to pre-heat or pre-cool your car because all you have at home is the L1 charger you are going to get less range from your car batteries! This means longer charging times with the L1 charger that is already slow.
2. The L1 charger with the use of an adaptor can deliver up to the L2 output of 7-9kWh. But they run hotter, they may need to be carried in the car as a backup, requiring additional inconvenience, and 50% of the installation cost of the L2 connection, the Nema 14-50 plug, for your L1 charger is the electrical cable to your electrical panel. The Nema14-50 cable can’t be used if you want to upgrade your charger from a 40amp to a 48amp unit. You’ll need to install a new cable. But if you are a Tesla owner that has a car that can quickly charge, installing a charger that delivers 50% or your car’s charging rate may be a waste of money.
Note, that these nuances are not specific to Tesla vehicles and apply to all EVs and chargers.
There are several other things you can only learn from having an EV so we welcome your opinion.
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