What are the advantages of a Tesla Wall Connector versus a NEMA 14-50 outlet?
Tesla vehicles come with a mobile connector cord that comes with two adapters, one for a standard outlet and one for a NEMA 14-50 outlet. Since the Tesla Model 3’s were released the manufacturer remade the mobile connector cords, now they’re more lightweight which also means that they have smaller wires inside. This new generation of mobile connector cords tops out at 32 continuous amps of charge. The Tesla Model 3 with the long range battery, the Model S and the Model X all have the ability to charge at a higher amperage, however, the mobile connector cord tops out at 32 continuous amps for all cars. If you would like the ability to charge at 48 continuous amps then the Tesla Wall Connector makes that possible. What each car owner needs ultimately depends on how they drive and the distance they drive on a regular basis. There is a chart on Tesla’s website to help you better understand what rate is best for your situation.
Is a Tesla Wall Connector with a 24’ cord the only size?
It’s not, the Tesla Wall Connector also comes with an 8.5’ cord length. However, both wall connectors are the same price.
About the Installation
About the Austin Energy Rebate
What is the EV360 Program?
The EV360 program was created by Austin Energy to allow electric car owners peace of mind by charging one rate per month to charge the vehicle. If you’re charging at 50 amps or below the program costs $30 per month, not including initial fees to be part of the program and installation costs. If you’re charging your vehicle at 60 amps or more the program runs $50 per month.
What’s the added cost of the EV360 Program?
Of course, there are fees from Austin Energy to sign up for the program and an installation fee from the electrician installing the meter for the EV360 program.
Can I include the cost of materials for the EV360 installation in the Austin Energy Rebate?
You can, if you include the cost in the rebate information when you apply. If you’ve already applied for the rebate and then decide to have the EV360 meter installed Austin Energy will not allow you to fill out the rebate form again to recoup costs for the EV360 installation.
Can the EV360 meter be turned on at the time of the installation?
Definitely, Austin Energy provides a jumper plate that can be put in the meter during installation to allow you to start using the EV360 meter as soon as it’s hooked up. Then Austin Energy will swing by and place the permanent meter into the enclosure, usually within a few days.
About the Austin Energy Rebate
What’s the process for an installation?
Step 1. Request an estimate by submitting information through our EVSE online form
Step 2. Sign your estimate and schedule a day and time for the work to be done
Step 3. Choose a day for the electrical inspection
Step 4. Submit your Austin Energy EVSE rebate if applicable
Step 5. Enjoy your new electric vehicle!
What is a Level 2 charging system?
A level 2 charging system simply means that the car is charging at 240 volts versus a Level 1 charging system that charges at 120 volts.
How much does an EVSE install run?
It depends, the easiest installation is one where either a charging station or an outlet is placed just below the subpanel typically located in the garage or on the opposite side of the wall from the main breaker panel typically located outside next to the meter. The further we need to go to connect to the breaker panel the more expensive an installation will be.
Can I use an existing outlet?
Yes, but most outlets available are 120 volts 15 amps which give a very slow trickle charge. If a 240-volt outlet is available we may be able to change the configuration or you could order an adapter. If you currently have a standard outlet, 120 volts 15 amps and you’d like to place a NEMA 14-50 outlet which is a 240 volt 50 amp set up, then no, we’ll need to run a new line (with a larger wire) from a breaker panel.
Why can’t I come from the sub panel right next to where I want the EVSE?
Usually, in most homes, the subpanel is fed by only 50 to 60 amps out of the main breaker panel. If you’d like to check this you can open your main breaker panel and look for a breaker that is labeled sub or subpanel. The breaker next to the label can be any size from 50-100 amps, it should say on the breaker handle what the amperage is. When a subpanel is fed by 60 amps we don’t have the power available to run a 50 amp NEMA 14-50 outlet or a Tesla Wall Connector hooked up at 60 amps. In the event that the subpanel is fed with only 60 amps, then we’ll likely need to pull power from the main breaker panel.
How long does an installation take?
It depends on how far we need to go to connect the EVSE to the appropriate power source, some that are next to a breaker panel could take 1-2 hours, however, many that need to cross the entire home could take 6-8 hours. Each installation is unique as is the time it takes for the installation.
Will the power to my home be turned off during the installation?
No, when running a new circuit we don’t need to turn the power off to the home.
Will the wires be hidden in the wall of the garage?
If we’re running power to an EVSE below the subpanel, on the opposite side of the wall from the main breaker panel or through the attic of the garage it’s definitely possible to hide the wires, assuming that we have space inside the attic to move around. Otherwise, we may need to cut through the sheetrock to run the wiring through the walls or run exposed conduit to protect the wiring.
If there are holes left behind from hiding the wiring, can you repair them?
Unfortunately, no. We pride ourselves in being great electricians, we’re not quite as handy with spackle and a paintbrush. We suggest contacting a drywall professional if you’re not comfortable making the repair.
The online form asks for pictures of the main breaker panel and the subpanel, what’s the difference?
The main breaker panel is typically located on the outside of the home near the meter. In some older homes, this may be the only breaker panel inside the home. In most main breaker panels there is one breaker at the top of the breaker panel by itself and the number on the handle or near the handle will be 100, 125, 150 or 200. The subpanel is usually located inside the garage.
What if my car arrives before my installation date?
Telsa cars come with a mobile connector cord that has a standard outlet adapter, it’s not an ideal situation but the vehicle won’t run out of charge as long as it’s plugged in. If you need a quick charge there is a Supercharger located at 6406 N Interstate 35 Frontage Rd Austin, Tx 78752. The good news is that if the car arrives first we’ll be able to test the EVSE and help you with any issues you may be having getting started. Check the Supercharger map for any new locations.
Once a visit is booked for the installation, is there anything else I need to do?
If you specified that you’d like to provide any material like the charging system, whether it’s a Tesla Wall Connector, Clipper Creek or Juicebox then you’ll need to make sure the charging station arrives before the scheduled visit. Otherwise, we have all the material we’ll need with us so you can kick back and relax.
What does a quote include?
We try to be as detailed as possible with our estimates as we can be. Typically, the quote includes labor, materials such as wire, conduit, the charging system unless you’ve specified that you would like to provide it and any permitting fees.
Does the quote include taxes?
It does. Once you’ve signed the estimate we convert that to an invoice. If the installation doesn’t change dramatically then the invoice will look exactly like the quote.
What is the Austin Energy Rebate?
The rebate is for Austin Energy customers putting in a Level 2 car charger. Austin Energy will reimburse you for 50% of your Level 2 Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment up to $1,200 for a Wi-Fi enabled charging station or $900 for a non-Wi-Fi enabled charging station. Find out more here. Apply for your rebate here.
Is a permit required?
A permit is required in order to qualify for the Austin Energy rebate. Unless the home is outside the City of Austin’s permitting jurisdiction, called an ETJ. If you are in an ETJ of Austin there is nothing special you need to do to qualify for the Austin Energy rebate.
Do I need to apply for the permit?
Not unless you prefer to apply for the permit, we pull permits every day so we’re familiar with the permitting process and will handle any discrepancies that may arise on your behalf.
What are the stipulations for the rebate?
The program guidelines include a three-year commitment to allow Austin Energy to replace your charging station with an Austin Energy owned charging station, install a data monitoring or charge management device, you agree to participate in surveys about your charging habits, and Austin Energy may remotely monitor and manage your charging, perform load control functions and draw electricity from vehicle power into the Austin Energy electricity distribution system.
Thus far we have not heard of Austin Energy acting on these stipulations but they are possible at any time of the three-year commitment. Of course, these are always subject to change without notice.
Can I include the charging equipment in the rebate?
Absolutely, if it’s required to charge your electric vehicle then it can be included in the rebate.
We had to rebuild the service, is that included in the rebate?
Yes, but you may not be able to receive a full 50% back from the cost of the service upgrade. Upgrading the service to a larger amperage and running the new circuit of the EVSE could run more than $3,000 and the maximum rebate amount is $1,200 for a Wi-Fi enabled charging station or $900 for a non-Wi-Fi enabled charging station.
I’m in an ETJ of Austin but the rebate form says it requires a permit, do I still qualify for the rebate?
Yes, Austin Energy understands that not everyone lives within Austin’s permitting jurisdiction.
Do I need to wait until I have the car to apply for the rebate?
Yes, you’ll need the VIN from the car to apply for the rebate.
How long does it take to close out the permit before I can apply for the rebate?
If the City of Austin decides to send out an inspector we can schedule the inspection for any day, however, inspectors tend to be backed up about 3-6 business days. On the day the inspection has been scheduled for we can look to see who the inspector is and send you their phone number so you can contact them about which days might work for you to meet them. We do include your contact information in the notes of the inspection but in our experience, not all inspectors look at their notes.
Is my Tesla Wall Connector Wi-Fi enabled?
Unfortunately, it’s not. You’re able to control your car with a Wi-Fi enabled app but the Tesla Wall Connector itself is not Wi-Fi enabled.
What kind of conduit carries the wire from the main breaker panel into the attic?
Typically, we use EMT to run wiring from the main breaker panel into the attic or along the outside of a house. Through the attic and in walls, we run a cable to save on labor cost. EMT can be painted if you would like to paint it to match the exterior of your home.
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