Guide to Charging your Tesla at Home

By Henry Farkas

How to Charge

Charging is easy for anyone who has a garage or carport with electric service. I’ve been driving electrically for four years. My first electric car was a Chevy Volt. I got it in 2017. I could have bought the Bolt EV, but I was chicken so I went with the Volt plug-in hybrid. It was nice getting my first 50 miles on any given day by electricity. I used gas only after the battery ran down. Most days, I didn’t use any gasoline. My gas mileage, according to my app was around 200 miles per gallon. I never bothered to get a 220-volt level 2 charger for my garage. An ordinary 110-volt circuit worked fine with the charger that came with the Volt. Even when the battery was fully discharged at the end of the day, it would be full by morning.

When I bought the Tesla, since it was during the pandemic, I did the same thing. I just plug the Tesla into the 110-volt wall socket using the charger that came with the car. You gotta remember that if you don’t drive much, you don’t have to worry about not having enough time to fill the battery by morning. Once the pandemic ends, I’ll get an electrician to put in a 220-volt plug for the Tesla. The Volt can stay with its 110-volt circuit.

People who live in an apartment and who don’t have access to an outdoor electric socket probably shouldn’t get an electric car yet. Eventually, there will be infrastructure available for you, but not now. Once you start driving electric, you’ll never want to go back.

Charge your Tesla

How Long Does it Take to Charge?

The time needed to charge depends on how much you drove during the day and how much you expect to drive the next day. If you didn’t drive at all, something that happens often during the pandemic, it doesn’t take any time at all to charge. Tesla recommends that you not charge to 100% unless you’re about to set out on a long trip. I set my car to charge to 80%. I have my charge cable plugged in to a 15 amp circuit, and the car is set to draw 12 amps. My screen tells me that the battery is gaining 6 miles of range for every hour of charging. So with the 110-volt circuit, the Tesla charges at about the same rate as the Volt. When the pandemic ends, I’ll get an electrician to wire up a 60 amp circuit to the circuit breaker box, and I’ll install a level 2 charger. That will allow me to gain around 30 miles of range for each hour of charging. The state of Maryland and the electric company will cooperate to give me a tax break that will save me about 30% of the cost of installing the level 2 charger.

What do you need?

What you need depends on what you already have. Remember, we’re talking about someone who lives in a house with either a garage or a carport. If you keep an electric dryer in or near the garage or carport, just use the charger that comes with your Tesla. It has the adapter for a 110 volt receptacle, If you have a dryer circuit close to or in your garage, just buy the proper adapter from the Tesla store and you’re in.

What does it cost?

Otherwise, you’ll need an electrician to install the proper circuit for a 220 volt receptacle near the place where you plan to park the car. Then you can still use the charger that comes with the car, or you can spend about six hundred dollars and buy a wall mounted charger. As far as what the electricity will cost, it’s less than gasoline. This website estimates the cost of electricity needed to charge a Tesla.

What it says is that it costs around $3.00 to get 100 miles of electricity for a Model 3 and around $4.24 to put 100 miles of electricity in a Model X. So if you’re not getting around a hundred miles to the gallon of gas, electricity is cheaper than gas, and you don’t need to go to a gas station. You don’t even need to bother with charging stations unless you’re on a road trip. You just plug in when you get home, and your car is charged to 80% in the morning.

Henry Farkas is a retired country doctor. He bought his Tesla Model 3 in the middle of the pandemic.

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Uber Now Uses Tesla API Data To Show a Range-Based Trip Planner

By Kevin Armstrong
Uber now has access to Tesla vehicle data that allows it to limit trips within range
Uber now has access to Tesla vehicle data that allows it to limit trips within range

In a monumental move towards the future of ridesharing, Tesla and Uber have unveiled a new feature — a range-based trip planner. This integration allows Tesla drivers to connect their vehicles to the Uber app and schedule rides based on the remaining battery charge of their electric vehicles. This innovation is set to redefine the experience of both drivers and passengers in the ridesharing space.

Bridging Tesla and Uber: The New Age of Ridesharing

First observed by Tesla enthusiast and former Uber driver Sofiaan, this range-based planner enables Tesla owners to accept rides in the Uber app based on their vehicle's current charge. The feature is activated only when users permit it, and once enabled, it assigns rides that can be comfortably completed with the existing battery level, leaving a small buffer to reach a Supercharger.

While introducing this feature marks an exciting leap in integrating electric vehicles into the ridesharing world, it has raised some eyebrows over privacy and data concerns. The new feature requires drivers to allow Uber access to their vehicle's data through the Tesla API. While it may cause some apprehension, this innovation is a significant aid for drivers who may be unsure about their Tesla's range or those experiencing range anxiety.

The Driver's Perspective: The Challenge of Balancing Charge and Availability

Driving for Uber or Lyft with an EV can be challenging. Rideshare drivers need to balance the need to recharge their vehicles with the necessity to remain available for passenger pick-ups. This new range-based planner alleviates some of this stress by intelligently allocating rides based on the remaining battery life. Such a feature could be particularly advantageous for those operating in areas with limited fast-charging infrastructure.

This range-based planner promises to improve the rideshare experience for Tesla drivers. With it, drivers will only be offered rides they can complete with their existing charge. This eliminates the dilemma of declining rides due to insufficient battery life, which could result in a penalty from Uber.

Ridesharing and the Future of Autonomous Vehicles

As we look toward the future, this development prompts larger questions about the ridesharing landscape and the advent of autonomous vehicles. Companies like Tesla, Uber, and Lyft, along with emerging players such as Waymo, Cruise, and Ford's new autonomy division, continue to innovate and compete. With the ongoing shifts towards electric and autonomous vehicles, these new technologies and collaborations will play an essential role in shaping the future of transportation.

This initiative by Tesla and Uber is a vital step toward integrating electric vehicles into the mainstream. As we anticipate the further transformation of ridesharing services, one thing remains clear — the ride toward green transportation is accelerating, and Tesla and Uber are at the forefront of this revolution.

An Early Look at Tesla's 2023.20 Update and Its Features

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is introducing the ability to track your tire mileage in update 2023.20
Tesla is introducing the ability to track your tire mileage in update 2023.20

Preparations are underway for Tesla's next software update, version 2023.20. Although currently in testing, this update has been drawing attention since it was first noticed last week. Considering Tesla's 2023.12 update brought numerous new features, it appears this next may be smaller. However, we now have our first look at some of the features included in Tesla's 2023.20 update.

Ability to Track Tire Mileage

A noteworthy improvement under the upcoming update pertains to tire service tracking. Post-update, vehicle owners can track how many miles have been driven since their last tire service. This feature can prove valuable for monitoring mileage since your last tire rotation, changing to new tires, or switching between season-specific tires.

You or your service center will need to manually reset the counter each time your tires are serviced. You can view the mileage traveled or reset your counter by navigating to Controls > Service.

The official release notes state:

Go to Controls > Service to see how many miles it's been since your last tire service.

When you get your tires rotated, replaced, or swapped, tap 'Reset' to reset the counter.

Furthering Global Reach: Text Size Adjustment

Another feature gaining more ground is text size adjustment. While 'Text Size' was introduced in the 2023.12 update, the ability to adjust the size of the text in the vehicle's UI was limited to select languages. The feature has now been extended to all languages supported by Tesla. This expansion affirms Tesla's commitment to accessibility for its global user base, ensuring a seamless experience across different regions and languages.

While the Text Size feature in update 2023.12 only applied to the Model 3 and Model Y, it's not clear whether update 2023.20 also introduces the feature to the Model S and Model X. Based on Tesla's feature release history, this feature will likely apply to at least the redesigned Model S and Model X in the futre, but it's not immediately clear whether that is happening with this update.

The release notes for 2023.20 state:

Large text size feature is now available in all supported languages.

To update your settings, go to Controls > Display > Text Size.

Release Date

Although Tesla does not provide release dates for upcoming software updates, we may see update 2023.20 start rolling out in the next week or two. This timing can change if Tesla uncovers issues that need to be addressed before a public release.

2023.12 Update: A Look Back

As we anticipate the rollout of 2023.20, it's worth reflecting on the last major update - 2023.12.1. This update significantly enriched Tesla's features, particularly for Model 3 and Model Y. One standout was steering wheel customization. A long press on the left scroll button revealed a host of adjustable settings and functions.

Moreover, introducing the new search function facilitated more accessible access to controls and settings, along with points of interest that included photos and reviews. The ability to adjust wipers using the steering wheel scroll wheel emerged as a valuable, undocumented feature.

Perhaps one of the most user-friendly updates was the option of Standard or Large text sizes for the touchscreen display, which now applies to all languages under the 2023.20 update.

Other improvements included optional gear chimes for Model 3/Y, the transition of Tesla's Spotify player to a web-based format, enhanced phone call controls, and vision-based speed assist feature expansion. Tesla also broadened Zoom availability to more countries, added writing support for legacy Model S and Model X in China, and continued to make user interface enhancements.

While this is an early look at the upcoming features update 2023.20, it provides a glimpse into Tesla's continuing pursuit of improving user experience and convenience. There may be additional features in this update that are not listed here since not all Tesla features are available for every vehicle or region.

As we wait for the public release, it's evident that Tesla continues to push boundaries in its software development, setting high standards in the electric vehicle market.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

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