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I have ordered a Tesla for delivery in January and am wondering how to charge it when at home. Tesla tell me that most of their customers buy the Tesla Wall Connector for £438. But the car comes with a 6 metre Tesla Mobile Connector cable and when used with a blue connector that can charge at a rate of 7.4 kW or 22 mph.

Yet according to Home charging installation that is exactly the same as I would get out of their wall connector.

So what's the advantage of the wall connector ? Why not just get a blue industrial socket to hook up with my single phase supply and save me £400 ?
 

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Why not just get a blue industrial socket to hook up with my single phase supply and save me £400 ?
That's what I do and it has worked fine for the past 7 months. The UMC spends its life plugged in at home - I only carry it with me if I know I'm going to use it, since the CHAdeMO adaptor is my preferred method of non-supercharger charging away from home.
 

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Have you thought about applying for the electric nation trial? You get a free smart charger and they want some big battery cars to test their demand response systems. You have to be in western powers catchment area.
Cheers
 

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Tesla really should offer a free tethered charger on the OLEV grant scheme. Goodness Nissan and Renault do and their cars cost a fraction of a Tesla!
 

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The only real advantage of the wall connector or other charging point is that the UMC can then live in the car as a back-up option. I've used mine a few times to charge from a 32A 3 Phase socket and also a 3-pin where available and out of handy range of a Supercharger so it's proved useful. I also have to charge outdoors at home and I was a little concerned that leaving the UMC exposed to the elements might cause premature failure so I went for an untethered Rolec with a 10m lead - means it can reach any part of our drive!
 

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I believe there are electrics in the Wall Connector and they must be doing something, but what ?
The WC (currently £398/£438 depending on cable length) and the UMC (currently supplied "free" with the car) both contain essentially the same major functions:
  • A means to communicate with the car, confirming that the plug is firmly seated, that the earth is intact, and for the WC/UMC to tell the car how much power it is allowed to draw - preventing overload of the circuit it is connected to.
  • A contactor to disconnect all power from the free end of the cable while you are handling it (power is only turned on after the above comms is established, so it's safe if you drop it in a puddle for example).
  • A sensitive RCD as a safety measure of last resort.
  • A Tesla-specific button on the end of the cable to save you the effort of reaching for the keyfob to open the chargeport.
So if you get a 32A commando socket installed and plug your UMC into it on day 1 and never unplug it, there's no difference between the two. Note as an aside that there are special wiring regulations applicable to EV charging, and these apply just the same for installing a WC or installing a commando socket that you intend to use for charging.

So you save the £400 if you don't want a portable charging solution to carry round with you. Otherwise as has been said already it's mainly a trade-off between the nuisance of packing up the UMC to take with you every day, or the risk of forgetting it on the one day you do happen to need it if you only take it on special occasions.

A couple more minor considerations, one practical, one philosophical:
  • If you are using your UMC as your everyday charging solution, you are in trouble if it ever breaks down. If you mainly use a WC, then you've always got the option of plugging into a 13A socket in an emergency. This isn't entirely far-fetched- the connectors and wiring are being stressed by being plugged/unplugged daily and will eventually wear out. Probably the WC has a longer service life but I can't prove that.
  • For widespread EV adoption, we need charging to be simple and foolproof. Dedicated chargepoints such as the Tesla WC or generic ones from other manufacturers (which will also charge your Tesla) meet this objective: they are clearly identifiable as being suitable for charging and if the plug fits it "just works". Commando sockets don't - while you may know that your particular socket was specially installed for charging and so is safe and suitable to use, that can't be said of all similar sockets elsewhere. As early adopters we put up with the fact that we need to learn about this stuff, but installing more commando sockets is going in the wrong direction for establishing EV infrastructure for the future.
The Tesla WC ought to be available on the OLEV grant scheme - which would make it about the same installed cost as installing just a commando socket - and it would then be a no-brainer. Unfortunately nobody seems to have registered it yet. I intend to bend Tesla's ear about this.

In the meantime, you could consider getting a generic chargepoint under the OLEV scheme - it won't have the Tesla button on the connector, but otherwise will be satisfactory for Tesla charging.
 
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