The big deal with EVs is charging. We ordered a T3 and sprung for the extended range, something we haven’t regretted. But we have been through several phases when it comes to charging.
First, this was intended to be my wife’s car and not for a daily commute. We figured we could get by on 110V in out garage. That added about 4 or 5 miles of range per hour of charging. Basically you keep it plugged in all night and whenever you are home. Also, the plug wasn’t in a convenient spot, so we had an extension cord and you would have to step over it. Not terrible, but not ideal, either.
We decided to supplement this with ChargePoint, a commercial charger that happened to have chargers in the garage where I parked for work. For $25 for 4 months you got unlimited charging. The plan was that I would take the wife’s car once a week or so and top it off. And I would even get a better parking place out of the deal.
The ChargePoint gave 24 miles of range per hour of charge. Which was awesome compared to our garage 110V plug. For a while this was ok. Then I began talking to a friend at work with an older Model S who had a charger put in at his house. Required extra wiring but he was getting (I forget exactly) but something way better than ChargePoint, which surprised me. I (secretly) wanted one, but wasn’t keen on the expense.
Our daughter was going to college about 100 miles away and this put the Tesla 3 just out of range for a round trip. We figured we could use ChargePoint there to get a small boost to make sure we got home. The first time we found a sad little charger at a library that gave us enough of a boost after an hour or two to get us home without the dreaded Range Anxiety.
The next trip we found a charger at a Hilton across from where we were having dinner. We were Hilton Honors members and the desk clerk let us charge up, even though we weren’t guests for that night.
It was a revelation.
I could watch the T3 charge on the app while we had lunch. Almost a mile a minute. By the time we were done with lunch we were almost topped off. I knew there was no going back.
We got home and I called the electrician who did my pal’s Model S charger. Our electric service came in on the other side of the house and we would have to run a new wire up to the attic across to the other side of house, back down and into the garage. It was gonna be about $2k, but there were some rebates from the power company involved. We went for it. One of the best purchases I have ever made. We get about 45 miles of range for every hour of charge.
It has totally changed the way we used the Tesla. No more worrying in the back of my mind about scheduling the next charge. It is now (literally) more convenient than a regular car, since you don’t have to go to the gas station and fill up. A few times a week, just grab the charger (which is about two feet from the charge port of the car) and plug it in.
On two other recent trips (Waco to the north and San Marcos to the south) we checked out the Superchargers. These are crazy fast. Over 100 miles of charge per hour of plug in. I would count on these for a longer road trip, with a bit of planning, of course.
All in all we really like the T3. I would say having a fast home charger makes a big difference, convenience-wise, but chargers outside of the home are still a good option.