How long does it take to charge a Tesla: Model Y, Model 3, Model S and Model X questions answered

Updated: Jan 28

Details on the charging time for a Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y
How long does it take to charge a Tesla?


As a company based in Southern California, it has been exciting to see more electric vehicles on the road. With the ambitious goal of phasing out fossil fuel engines by 2035, California is working to take a leadership goal in the EV front similar to it's solar leadership position.

A lot has been discussed about the rapid rise of electric vehicles over the past decade, but the conversation about EVs has to start with Tesla Motors. Tesla Motors developed cars that competed with luxury automakers while also having the range and performance to attract a mainstream audience.

Like all EVs, most people looking into Tesla's or other electric vehicles have concerns about the vehicle's battery running out of power before being able to reach a charge. This fear, commonly called "range anxiety", makes it extremely important that all owners or potential Tesla owners understand how charging works.

Home charging, public charging stations, and Superchargers for all Tesla cars

When people talk about electric vehicle charging, many who do not own an EV assume all electric-vehicle charging is created equally. Let's take a moment to make something clear; not all electric vehicle charging is the same! Depending on the type of charger, fully recharging a Teslas can take anywhere from an hour to 12 hours.

Because the average American commutes around at 50 miles a day for work, most Tesla owners choose to charge their cars at home during the night. Some electric utilities like Souther California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE), and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power even have have specific rate structures to make it more cost effective to charge an EV during the times of the day when other consumers are using less electricity.

When you purchase a Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X, or Model Y, you receive charging equipment. The charging equipment includes a mobile charging cord and additional adaptors for the most common types of charging stations: standard wall outlet (the NEMA 5-15), wall outlet above the 240-volt threshold (the NEMA 14-50), and public charging stations outside of the Tesla Supercharger network.

Charging a Tesla with a standard wall outlet:

The NEMA 5-15 charger that comes with a Tesla plugs directly into a standard wall outlet. Regardless of the Tesla model, utilizing the NEMA 5-15 charger with a Tesla will be the slowest way to fill the car's battery. The standard wall outlet charging will provide 3 miles of range per hour for a Tesla electric car. Because of the long charge times, the NEMA 5-15 charger is usually best used at home as an overnight charging option.

How long does it take to charge a Tesla Model S
Charging time for a Tesla Model S

Charging a Tesla with a 240+ wall outlet:

Tesla electric cars can charge using NEMA 14-50 connector that plugs directly into a 240-volt wall outlet. Most homes have 240-volt wall outlets that are usually used for larger appliances, like washing machines or clothes dryers.

Because of the increased voltage, the NEMA 14-50 connector will provide a Model S 23 miles in an hour, a Model 3 30 miles, a Model X 20 miles, and a Mode Y 32 miles.

How long does it take to charge a Tesla Model 3?
Charging time for a Tesla Model 3

Charging a Tesla with home EV charger:

In addition to making cars Tesla also provides upgraded at home wall chargers. Other companies besides Tesla also produce upgraded at home wall connected chargers. It is crucial to keep in mind that these types of chargers require an electrical professional to install, and the size of available circuit breakers can limit the speed of charge.

For homeowners exploring home chargers it is important to keep in mind that federal, state, and utility rebates do exist. Before you start the process we highly recommend that you look into the options available to make a fully informed decision on the cost of installing a home charger.

If the maximum sized circuit breaker is available at home wall charges can provide a Model S 34 miles in an hour, a Model 3 44, a Model X 30 and a Model Y 42. For customers interested in installing a home electric vehicle charger, it is important to be aware of

How long does it take to charge a Tesla Model X?
Charging time for a Tesla Model X

Charging a Tesla with Tesla Superchargers:

One of the things that have led to the massive popularity of the Tesla Cars and have limited Tesla range anxiety is the development of Tesla's Supercharger network. The Superchargers allow for rapid charging and are spread all over the nation, allowing for rapid charging for Tesla owners who are on longer trips.

Superchargers are located at intermittent distances to help limit the need to charge a Tesla at a Supercharger fully, but charging a Mosel S or X at Supercharger should take around 60-90 minutes and the Model 3 or Y with certain Superchargers 50-60 minutes.

How long does it take to charge a Tesla Model Y?
Charging time for a Tesla Model Y

How much does it cost to fully charge a Tesla?

Like all electric vehicles, Tesla offers significant savings on fuel because of the cost of electricity. The cost of charging a Tesla varies from state to state and even utility to utility because of the different costs of a kilowatt of electricity. Because Tesla's do come with different battery sizes, we will use the Model 3 because it is the most popular car Tesla currently produces (in terms of units sold) with the standard 50 kilowatt-hours (kWh) to keep the math simple.

If we assume that a customers electricity utility rate is around $.20 (probably low in most parts of California and Hawaii) and the at-home charger is around 85% efficient, it will cost around $11.76 to fill the car's battery up from empty. That comes to under $.05 per mile!

The exciting thing is that when you add solar panels, this cost is significantly lower if you switch over to solar. If you are interested in learning more about Tesla charging or how you can bring the cost of powering your Electric Vehicle down using solar, please schedule a free consultation with Alchemy Solar today.