Electric cars’ popularity has increased significantly over the past few years. Electric cars use rechargeable batteries to propel them, unlike the conventional motor vehicles powered by gasoline or diesel engines. Tesla remains a front-runner in the production of electric cars and has so far sold more units of electric cars than any other car manufacturer. Tesla has also made significant improvements in all its subsequent models since the launch of the Tesla Roadster in 2008.
Tesla presently has four models of all-electric cars in production. These models are the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and the Model Y. All of their charging times will compare differently based on various reasons.
Comparison of Tesla Chargers
Charging times vary depending on whether you are using a Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 charger.
A level 1 charger uses standard 120 volts electric outlets that generate up to 20 amps of electrical current. Level 1 chargers are not efficient and will take ages to produce a full charge. They will only give about 2 miles of mileage range for every hour charged.
Level 2 chargers use 240 volts electric outlets to generate up to 80 amps, which is enough to give a full charge overnight. Level 2 chargers are mostly used for home charging and by destination chargers at malls, restaurants, or hotels. They will take more time to recharge the battery pack than the Level 3 chargers.
Level 3 chargers are superchargers that use high-power 480-volt circuits to generate 300 amps of electric current. Tesla Superchargers are charging stations located along the highway, very much like gas stations. Charging an electric car is not as quick as a gas refill for your vehicle. Still, the Superchargers have packed some efficiency into the charging process and has over the past few years, significantly reduced the charge times for the Tesla vehicles.
Reasons for Different Charge Times for Tesla Models
Charge time varies across different models depending on the temperature of the battery, with cold temperature increasing the required charge time considerably. The optimal temperature for charging the Tesla is between 10°C and 30°C (50°F and 86°F).
To increase battery charging efficiency, Tesla has a feature known as ‘On-Route Battery Warmup’ that heats the battery to the optimal battery temperature required for faster charging. This feature is activated by the Tesla when then vehicle approaches a Tesla Supercharger, hence cutting the average charge time by up to 25%.
Charge Times for Different Models
These are our findings based on the different charge times for different Tesla models in the market.
The Tesla Model 3
The Tesla Model 3 requires about 7 hours to get a full charge when using a Level 2 charger. A full charge will provide a driving range of 240 miles for a standard range model and 310 miles on a long-range performance model of the Tesla Model 3.
When using a Supercharger, the Model 3 will get up to 80% charge within 40 minutes, or a driving range of 175 miles in 15 minutes. The charging rate, however, slows down the more the charge increases. Strange, I know. The remaining 20% of the battery takes longer to charge than the initial 80%.
Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S charges slower than the Model 3, as it provides a driving range of 136 miles in 15 minutes if using the Superchargers. With the Level 2 chargers, your car will need to be plugged into the charger for at least 8 hours to get a full charge, assuming that the battery is near empty.
Tesla Model X
The charging time for the Tesla Model X is slightly lower than the Tesla Model S. When using the Supercharger, the X model will give a driving range of about 120 miles for 15 minutes of charging, or 80% of charge in an hour. As it is evident, for all the models, it will take several days of charging to get a full charge, if you are using a Level 1 charger.
After comparing the different charge times for Tesla models, it is obvious that the best charging method for a Tesla is overnight charging at home with a Level 2 charger. This way, you will wake up with full charge in the morning as you prepare to hit the road. It will also cost you considerably less money than the Superchargers’ cost or the cost of spending at a restaurant as you wait for your car to be juiced-up.