Jérôme Faissat 15th Nov 2018 3 Min Read
Like a lot of Tesla users, I’m in a situation where I could have the choice between using a supercharger and using a home charger. Superchargers charge at 90kw and home chargers at 7kw, superchargers should be a no-brainer?! Not so fast.
When I use a Tesla supercharger, I’m amazed by how quick and efficient they are. They don’t seem to be the fastest on the market anymore but they charge really fast regardless. My Model X 75 will charge from 20% to 80% in 30-40 minutes depending on the power available. Up to September, most of the Tesla Model S and X owners had free supercharging for life. Which means that charging doesn’t cost you a dime. As an aside, I understand that it may not be economical for Tesla to run free supercharging forever but it was really a nice perk.
My closest supercharger is 10 minutes away from me and is luckily located in a shopping centre. Although I’m sometimes looking forward to wandering around shops and eat delicious cookies, it’s still 1 hour that I need to dedicate to charge my car. Getting to a supercharger requires planning. As a father of three kids, it means I need to go and charge in the evening after they’re in bed. If I’m going on a business trip and I don’t have enough battery, I need to charge the day before whatever happens. Although rare, it happens to me that the supercharger was full and I had to wait an extra 20 minutes for a free charger. And for some superchargers, the choice of entertainment is fairly limited, especially if you get there late. When I travelled to France, some of the superchargers didn’t have much to offer even during the day. You may end up waiting in your car, watching Youtube or napping.
There’s no discussion that home charging is slower than a Tesla supercharger. Typically on a 7kw charger, my Tesla Model X will take a good 8-10 hours to charge from 20% to 80%. With a home charger (and depending on the models) you can track how much you charged and how much it costed you. It’s quite nice to know exactly how much energy your car actually required and how green you are. You can also schedule your charging to make the most of cheaper tariff. I appreciate that not everyone can have a home charger. If you live in an apartment block and your landlord is a petrolhead then there’s not much you can do. If you live in a terraced house and the council is being unhelpful, there’s not much you can do either.
After running on electricity for a while, you realise that your refuelling habits don’t apply anymore. You don’t wait for the indicator to go into the red, you either plan ahead or keep charging every day. I may be stating the obvious but superchargers are designed for a long trip and for users to charge while doing something else (e.g.: taking a break, drink a coffee). Nevertheless, I see a lot of Tesla drivers using superchargers either because they can’t have a home charger or because their supercharger is next door and they feel that they’re charging faster. But it’s all down to perception. what is a supercharger? it’s something that charges fast. But what is “fast”? it’s the time you spend devoting your attention to charging. If you’re drinking a coffee or eating cookies, your charging will be faster. If you stay in your car, it will be longer. The beauty of home charging is that your attention devoted to charging last the time to take the connector and put it into your car, so about 1 minute. This is the way charging is heading: you come home, you plugin and you have dinner. You may be doing this every day or every other day but I can tell you that you won’t be heading to the petrol station anymore.
Jérôme is the boss of Andersen’s day-to-day managerial and service delivery. With extensive experience of retail system development and property and financial services, Jerome has an eye for quality and control. When he’s not mapping the future, he loves to talk to customers, drink French wine or speak Mandarin. He even finds time to walk his two dogs in the evenings.