Tesla Model S Charging Guide

tesla-model-charging-guide

Tesla’s Model S has long been the posterboy of the electric vehicle movement, with a high cost but a longer range available than any of the mainstream EVs. The Model S is a flexible model with seating for up to seven, a choice of two- or four-wheel drive, and multiple battery options for varying driving ranges. Currently, the Model S is available with a choice of 75 or 100 kWh batteries – the former available in both single and dual motor specification, while the latter only comes with dual motors, though is available in Performance trim. Despite its high purchase cost, the Model S is still eligible for the Category 1 PiCG, with up to £4,500 available off the purchase price. Buyers will also likely be able to claim the £500 EVHS home charge point grant.

Next Green Car says: “Fast, flexible, and high tech, the Model S is an ideal executive saloon – with the added bonus that it’s electric.”

 

Find out more in the below Zap-Map Tesla Model S charging guide.

Tesla Model S Range

Official NEDC Range

Tesla Model S 75
298 miles

Tesla Model S 75D
304 miles

Tesla Model S 100D
393 miles

Tesla Model S P100D
381 miles

Real-world Range

Tesla Model S 75
238 miles

Tesla Model S 75D
243 miles

Tesla Model S 100D
314 miles

Tesla Model S P100D
304 miles

 

Tesla Model S Charging inlets

The Tesla Model S uses the Type 2 charging standard, and only requires one inlet. This is because Tesla uses the Type 2 connector for the basis of its Supercharger rapid points, so slow, fast and rapid points can all charge through the same inlet.

Type 2 – Slow & FastTesla Supercharger – Rapid
type2-connector
tesla supercharger

 

Tesla Model S Charging times

Below is a table showing approximately how long it will take to charge a Tesla Model S 75. Times are for a 100% charge for all but rapid charging, which is quoted at the usual 0-80%.

It is worth noting that these times are only a guide as very rarely will an EV driver want to charge from 0%, preferring instead to keep some battery charge in hand. Other factors that might vary the charging time – either reducing it or extending the time taken – include the issue of battery capacities having upper and lower charge restrictions to extend battery life and protect against potential damage, and charging rates slowing down as maximum charge approaches.

The Tesla Model S 75 is fitted with a 22 kW on-board charger as standard which covers all applications apart from Rapid DC Supercharging. This means that the Tesla will accept the maximum output of any fast charger, since there are no units that have an output greater than 22 kW.

Rapid 120kW
Supercharger
Fast
22kW
Fast
7kW
Slow
3kW
30 mins – 0-80%3.5 hours – 0-100%11 hours – 0-100%25 hours – 0-100%

 

Use Zap-Map’s Home Charging Calculator to estimate charging times for a Tesla Model S. The level of battery charge, connector speed, and on-board charger options for any new or used EV available to buy in the UK can be tailored to your requirements for more accurate results.

 

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla Model S?

The table below shows a high level estimate of cost to charge the 75 kWh battery pack found in the Tesla Model S 75 at home or where a charge is made on the rapid charge network – many public points are free.

TypeCost/kWhCost to charge*Cost per mile^
Home14p/kWh£10.504.4 p/mile
Public Rapid30p/kWh to 80% charge£18.009.5 p/mile

 
* Approximate cost to charge a Tesla Model S 75 from 0% to 100%. Actual cost dependent on charge remaining, usable battery capacity, and age of battery pack.
^ Cost per mile calculated on real-world range for a more accurate figure than one based on official figures
Charging on the Public Rapid chargers will require the optional CHAdeMO adaptor, to allow connection to those charge points.

 
Head to Zap-Map’s Public Charging Calculator to discover charging times and costs for charging an EV on the public network – and select the Tesla Model S for details on this model. The level of battery charge, connector speed, and on-board charger options for any new or used EV available to buy in the UK can be tailored to your requirements for more accurate results.

 

Tesla drivers benefit from a bespoke Supercharger network that can only be used by the company’s models. Tesla’s bought before the 15th January 2017 and built by 15th April 2017 have free unlimited use of the network.
Those cars bought and/or built from the above dates onward have a free allowance of 400 kWh of Supercharger credits each year, and then will be charged a set fee of 20p per kWh. The only difference is when the unit is charging at or below 60kW, or if the Tesla is sharing power with another car, in which case power will be charged at half the normal cost.

TypeCost/kWhCost to charge*Cost per mile^
SuperchargerFree to 80% chargeFreeN/A
Supercharger20p per kWh to 80% charge£126.3 p/mile



* Approximate cost to charge a Tesla Model S on the Supercharger network from 0% to 80%. Actual cost dependent on charge remaining, usable battery capacity, and age of battery pack.
^ Cost per mile calculated on real-world range for a more accurate figure than one based on official figures

 
The Tesla Model S should only cost around 2-5p per mile to run, though that’s with a number of variables in your favour. Expect a cost of 4p-8p per mile for a more accurate real world cost, presuming that the majority of charging is done at home or with free use of Superchargers. Prices for a full charge are almost a worst case scenario, with very few drivers leaving their Tesla Model S to get down to 0% charge before plugging in.

According to a Zap-Map survey, more than 80% of EV drivers charge their car at home, making it an important aspect of owning an electric vehicle. The most common level of charge for an EV to get down to before being charged at a public point is 21%-30%, with 60% of drivers surveyed starting charging between 11% and 40%. Only 11% of drivers regularly see a charge of 0%-10% before they start charging.

Charging a Tesla Model S on public networks

tesla model s public charging

The Tesla Model S is able to be fast and rapid charged from public points, depending on network coverage. Fast charging will require a Type 2-to-Type 2 cable, often supplied with the vehicle. Rapid charging uses Tesla’s Superchargers, with the Type 2 connector tethered to the charge point. A CHAdeMO adaptor is available to buy which allows Tesla Model S owners to use that rapid charging standard, while the 43 kW Rapid AC chargers also use the same Type 2 inlet that Tesla’s Superchargers do. Using both CHAdeMO and Rapid AC points though will charge a Tesla at around one third of the speed of a Supercharger.

Costs vary network to network, but you can find out more by clicking on the button below, taking you to Zap-Map’s public network pages.

 

Charging a Tesla Model S at home

tesla model s home charging

Buying a Tesla Model S will likely entitle you to an Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) grant. This will give you up to £500 off the cost of a fully installed charge point at home. Certain criteria need to be met, and off-street parking needs to be available too.

Tesla has its own charge unit so doesn’t set up recommendations with charge point manufacturers in the way that some other EV brands do. Buyers can buy the unit through the dealerships and arrange for installation, with costs varying depending on cable length and the power output available from the home electrical infrastructure. Find out more information by clicking on the button below.

Customers can buy an OLEV approved charge point from any supplier, as long as it is also fitted by an OLEV approved installer in order to qualify for the EVHS. There are a number of different points and prices on the market so it is worth shopping about beforehand so you know what’s on offer.

 

How to charge a Tesla Model S

tesla model s charging

The Tesla Model S is available with the Type 2 charging standard – with the inlet found on the near-side rear 3/4 panel, close to where you would expect to find a petrol flap, though the Tesla opening is much smaller.

All connectors plug into this one inlet, which is used for slow, fast, and rapid charging. A Type 2 connector will need to be at one end of a cable when charging at home or at public fast points, to plug into the car. This will then either have a three-pin plug or likely have a Type 2 connetor at the other end to plug in either to a mains socket or public charge point.

The Tesla Supercharger connector plugs into the same inlet, but has additional pins within it to allow a much higher charging speed. This will be tethered to the rapid charger units so you don’t need to take the cable around with you.

Charging anywhere requires the user to simply plug the connectors into the correct port, before the car then ‘talks’ to the charging unit to make sure there is a power supply, that there are no faults, and that it is safe to start charging. If charging at home or at some work place charge points, there is no further need to activate the charging process.

In public though, there will usually be an activation process needed. Depending on the charge point provider, this will usually be an RFID card or smartphone app, often linked to an account you have already set up. Once activated, the car and charge point will have the same ‘conversation’ as when plugged in at home, before starting the charging process. Tesla Superchargers do not need an external verification process, and relies on communication between car and point.

tesla model s driving

2 comment on “Tesla Model S Charging Guide

  1. Chris Lilly (Zap-Map) Post author

    I’m unaware of any 22kW fast charge points at motorway services with a tethered cable.

    The rapid units – 43kW AC and 50kW DC – have tethered cables, in which case, the 43kW AC Type 2 could be plugged in to the Tesla with no issues. It wouldn’t charge at 43kW though, with more like 22kW to be expected (depending on the Tesla’s on-board charger configuration).

    The 22kW units tend to be untethered Type 2 points, which would simply accept a standard Type 2-to-Type 2 charging cable that is commonly used at other public points and home charge points. There is no additional kit to the cable needed to use these – apart from the network access system obviously.

  2. C

    Please can you clarify whether a Tesla can be plugged in directly to the 22kW fast chargers on the motorway with the Type 2 connector that is attached to the charging unit?

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