Tesla Model S EV charging guide

Tesla

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  , a 100kWh battery pack and a pair of electric motors, four-wheel drive and duel motors. 75kW and 120kW rapid charge points will charge the Model S’ batteries from 0-80% in 65 and 42 minutes respectively. 

Official WLTP Range

  • 275 miles

Real-world Range

  • 220 miles

How to charge the Tesla Model S

How

The Tesla Model S uses the Type 2 charging standard, which is used for both AC and DC charging. The Type 2 inlet is used when charging at home or at public slow and fast AC points. It is also used to carry high power during rapid DC charging from a Type 2 connector. The Tesla Model S’s Type 2 inlet is 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.

Tesla Model S is able to be slow, fast, and rapid charged from public points, depending on network and type of charge unit. In most cases, slow charging requires a 3-pin-to-Type 2 cable, and fast charging a Type 2-to-Type 2 cable, both of which are usually supplied with the vehicle. For rapid charging, the Type 2 connector required is tethered to the charging unit.

The Tesla Model S uses two charging standards for its inlets – Type 2 and CCS. The Type 2 inlet is used when charging at home or at public slow and fast AC points. The CCS inlet is used to carry high power during rapid DC charging from a CCS connector.

Charging on AC or DC requires the EV driver to plug the connectors into the correct inlet, after which 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 a workplace charge point, the vehicle then automatically starts charging.

On a public charger, an activation process is required to initiate charging. Depending on the network provider, this may involve the use of Zap-Pay, an RFID card or a smartphone app, often linked to an account which has been set up beforehand. Contactless pay-as-you-go units are also becoming more common on newer units. Once activated, the units will conduct further connection and account checks before starting to charge the vehicle.

How long does it take to charge the Tesla Model S

How

The Tesla Model S is fitted with a 16.5 kW on-board charger as standard which covers all applications apart from rapid DC charging. This means that even when connected to a fast charger with a rated output above 16.5 kW, the Model S will only be able to charge at up to 16.5 kW. Models built before May 2016 will have an 11 kW or 22 kW on-board charger depending on specification.

The following table shows approximate times to charge the Tesla Model S. We recommend charging to 80% charge in order to protect the battery and maximise efficiency.

Note that the times shown are only a guide, as very rarely will an EV need to be fully charged from 0%. Other factors that might vary the charging time include ambient temperature, in-vehicle energy loads, any upper and lower charge restrictions to extend battery life and protect against potential damage, and charging rates slowing down as the maximum charge is reached.

7kW charging to 100% in hours22kW charging to 100% in hours50kW charging to 80% in hours
1031.5

Use our Home Charging Calculator to estimate charging times for the Tesla Model S. The level of battery charge, connector power rating, and on-board charger options can be tailored to your requirements for more accurate results.

How much does it cost to charge the Tesla Model S

How

The cost to charge the Tesla Model S is primarily driven by the cost of the electricity, which itself varies by the type of charge point and the efficiency of the motor.

Zapmap monitors the cost of charging on a monthly basis. Our charging Price Index shows the weighted average PAYG pricing, based on real charging sessions for the previous three months.

The table below shows these prices split by power rating.

Type of chargingPrice per kWh
Home charging27p /kWh
Slow/fast charging55p /kWh
Rapid/ultra-rapid charging81p /kWh

In general, home charging provides the cheapest per mile cost and public rapid charging tends to be around double the cost.

To find the cost and times to charge an EV on a public charge point, our Public Charging Calculator calculates charging costs for any new or used plug-in vehicle. The results can be personalised for different electricity costs and the level of charge required.

Charging the Tesla Model S at home

Charging

To find the cost and times to charge an EV on a public charge point, our Public Charging Calculator calculates charging costs for any new or used plug-in vehicle. The results can be personalised for different electricity costs and the level of charge required. Charging at home is often the most convenient and cost effective way to recharge an EV. Government grants are available to help accelerate the provision of EV charge points in flats and rented accommodation, and a large number of companies offer a fully installed charge point for a fixed price.

Most home chargers are either rated at 3 kW or 7 kW. The higher powered wall-mounted units normally cost more than the slower 3 kW option, but halve the time required to fully charge an EV. Many plug-in car manufacturers have deals or partnerships with charge point suppliers, and in some cases provide a free home charge point as part of a new car purchase. We recommend shopping about beforehand as there are a number of suitable products on the market.

Charging the Tesla Model S on the public network

Charging

The UK has a large number of public EV charging networks, with some offering national coverage and others only found in a specific region. Major charging networks include bp pulse, GeniePoint, GRIDSERVE, InstaVolt, Pod Point and ubitricity.

Payment and access methods across networks vary, with some networks taking cross-network payment solution Zap-Pay, others providing an RFID card and others a smartphone app to use their services. While most require an account to be set up before use, many rapid units now have contactless PAYG card readers.

Although some EV charge points are free to use, the majority of chargers require payment. Charging tariffs tend to comprise a flat connection fee, a cost per charging time (pence per hour) and/or a cost per energy consumed (pence per kWh). For more information about network tariffs, visit our public charge point networks guides.