Charging Your Tesla Model 3: Three Tips from an EV Driver

At last, the long-awaited Tesla Model 3 all-electric vehicle is in production, bringing Tesla’s longer range, power, peace of mind and spaciousness to the masses for the first time. By July 28, we’ll know the final details about the more affordable Tesla, and the first 30 reservation holders will be behind the wheel of their Model 3.

Tesla expects to produce 1,500 cars per month in September and 20,000 a month by December, beginning to chip away at the vehicle’s enormous reservation list. If you, like me, are among the approximately 400,000 dedicated fans who already pre-ordered a Model 3, you’re probably anxiously waiting to put one in your garage. (I’ve already cleared a spot for mine.)

With 215 miles of promised range and MSRP starting at $35,000, this car has generated incredible enthusiasm. I’ve talked about the Model 3 with lots of friends, co-workers here at ChargePoint, my former colleagues at Nissan and even total strangers. Everyone agrees the Model 3 release is an important milestone and reminder that we’ve fully entered the era of EVs.

Whether you have a reservation (did I mention I do?) or are just curious about this breakthrough EV, here are three things you need to know about charging the Model 3.

1. Top Off Everywhere to Go Anywhere

Getting behind the wheel of the Model 3 might be the first time you drive electric. From my own experience with my BMW i3 and Nissan LEAF, driving electric completely changes the way you refuel, for the better. EVs are convenient to top off anytime they’re parked: in your garage, at the office and at stores.

Outside of work, I do a lot of my charging while I’m at Nordstrom, which is not always good for my wallet (I’m thankful I still save on gas). Unlike how you may fill up your gas car once a week, you will charge the Model 3 every day: at home, at work and around town. Since it will, like other cars, be parked about 95% of the time, you’ll have time to add range while the car is sitting, unused.

It’s easy to charge at all kinds of Level 2 charging stations, which will add about 25 miles of Range Per Hour to your Tesla. All you need to do is use an adapter like this Model S driver. If you plug your Model 3 into a Level 2 charger at work, for example, you can get a full charge in about eight hours. If you’re like me, you’ll love leaving work to a fully charged car and never having to go to the gas station again.

We’ve been doing this for a long time. The first Tesla Roadster charged on ChargePoint in 2009, and Tesla drivers were creating their own adapters before Tesla distributed them.*

Plugging into a wall outlet will add about 4 miles of Range Per Hour to your Tesla Model 3. This can be okay if you’re parked for a long time, but is just too slow to help you make the most of your 215-mile battery. And that’s a big part of why you waited for this car, right?

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