October 12, 2020

Buying Your First Tesla

Home Charging Installation and Everything Else You Need to Know

It may sound like something that would come out of the mouth of a total dork, but getting your first Tesla is a life-changing experience. Regardless of the model, it’s just a completely different beast when comparing it to other cars.

There may be other electric vehicles out there, but they don’t even come close to the experience of driving a brand new Model X on the highway, barely having to bat an eye as it automatically adjusts the speed and keeps itself in the lane. As Joe Rogan famously put it, once you know what it’s like to drive a Tesla, “regular cars are stupid.”

No other car so far has matched the bar set by Elon Musk’s revolutionary automobile company. The customization options are endless, and with updates rolling out on the regular, there are always more features to look forward to. With all of the cool gadgets implemented in its design, it is easy to forget that Teslas are, in fact, still cars, and as such, they need to be properly refueled. In this particular case, it’s done by charging the car’s battery.

It’s most convenient when done at home, but, as experts from A1Garage.com are eager to point out, you’ll need to properly secure and adjust your garage if you want to charge your car there. Otherwise, you might end up messing up your house’s electric grid or ruin your Tesla’s battery.

Of course, not everybody is equally enthusiastic about Tesla cars — a fair share of opponents have sprung up, despite the fact that Tesla has almost single-handedly revived the American automobile industry. While there are quite a few reasonable arguments, such as the energy intensity of Teslas being equally polluting and expensive as gas-powered cars, most of the vehement opposition seems to drop their case after their first few test-drive events.
Suppose you’re looking to become one of the lucky Tesla owners. In that case, you should get familiar with a couple of things first, especially regarding safe charging practices and how to get your house ready for a brand new electric vehicle.

Charging Options

While there are plenty of Tesla charging stations scattered across the United States, where it is possible to use a supercharger to fill up 50% of your battery in around 20 minutes, they aren’t as commonplace anywhere else in the world. The number of superchargers in Europe has recently reached 500 stations, which is a decent amount, but still not nearly enough to compete with the convenience of omnipresent gas stations.

As a brand new Tesla owner, the most important thing you should be looking into is optimizing your garage to bring your car up to a full charge overnight. As much as we’d like it to be the case, electric vehicle (EV) charging isn’t just a matter of plugging a cable into a wall outlet and letting it load up to 100%. You’ll need to enlist the help of an experienced electrician, preferably one who has had experience working with Tesla vehicles and EV charger equipment in the past. You will also need to order a Wall Connector directly from Tesla and work with your local electrician to set it up in a matter that will make it convenient to charge the car at night and not overload your house’s electric capabilities.

Alternative Energy

Electric cars will stick around for a while, and even though they’re certainly much more ecological and energy-efficient than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, it doesn’t mean that Teslas aren’t causing any harm to the environment whatsoever. In fact, the biggest polluting factor when it comes to owning a Tesla is the constant drainage of power when charging.

While it might not be affordable for many people, if you belong to the lucky few that could splash the dough on something like that, you should seriously consider installing solar panels on your roof. It’s actually a service offered up by Tesla themselves, and if you’ve recently purchased their car, chances are you’re eligible for a significant discount on that installation.

Solar energy can prove beneficial to you not only in terms of lowering your power bill due to charging Tesla cars, but it can also eradicate your need for external power supply once and for all! After some time, your solar energy will be paying for itself, and you’ll be able to brag about fueling your electric car completely for free (bar the initial installation cost). Take that, crude oil lovers!

How Long Does It Take to Charge My Tesla?

The Tesla Model X, Model 3, and Model S all take about the same time to charge using a home Wall Connector charger — about 12 hours for a full charge. If you need to, you can also use the Mobile Connector, which allows you to plug your car into any regular outlet in your house — be prepared for excruciatingly slow charging speeds, though!

Of course, using a Supercharger when you’re out on the road is preferable, as they take about 40 minutes to refuel the car completely. Keep in mind, however, that they are not completely free of charge — once you’ve used up 400kW (~1000 miles) of Supercharger power in a year, you’ll have to pay a small fee every time you use it. Don’t sweat it, though — it’s still nothing compared to what gas stations charge for completely refueling a car.

Are Teslas Safe?

Electric vehicles have already gained a reputation for being relatively safe — there is less room for mechanical failures, such as engine malfunction or brake failure, both of which are much less common in the case of electric cars. This, of course, does not mean that they are invulnerable to these random failures. Owning an electric car doesn’t exempt you from routine check-ups at the mechanic. On top of all that, you should get an electrician to check your EV charger setup every now and then to make sure that it isn’t at risk of breaking down or endangering your home’s electric grid. The risk of electrical malfunction is lower if you’ve equipped yourself with solar panels from Tesla.

Aside from mechanical malfunctions, there are also external threats that may await you on the road. Tesla vehicles are durable and sturdy, but they are not designed to withstand some of the harder knocks and deliberate attacks. If you think you’re going to need an extra layer of security for your brand new Tesla, you may want to look into armoring services that third parties carry out on all types of cars.

Of course, there’s also the futuristic-looking Cybertruck, which resembles a tank straight out of a B-grade sci-fi movie, with its rough design and grey color scheme. The full-scale production is not scheduled to start until 2021, so until then, you’re going to have to stick with getting your car bulletproof and armored somewhere else.

The Bottom Line

The process of buying a Tesla is quite the paradox. On the one hand, it is simpler than getting any other car on the market right now, with free delivery and shipping, as well as a low operational cost. If you live in the U.S., you’re also looking at the possibility of Tesla-licensed professionals taking care of your charging station setup and. You can find an experienced electrician to do it, as well, but it’s obviously easier to get the installation done straight from the source.

On the other hand, if you live in Europe, Asia, or anywhere else, you’re facing long delivery times and having to rely on third-party services for installing all of the necessary equipment at your house, which may be hard to find. It shouldn’t deter you from trying to buy a Tesla, though, as it is the most efficient and fun-to-drive electric car on the face of the planet. If only you can afford it, all of the trouble associated with setting up your charging station is more than worth it.

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