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Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector EV Charging Station Review
A sensible solution for Tesla customers’ charging needs
If you own a Tesla, then you know how particular their company is about their proprietary connector, which no other vehicle manufacturer in North America uses. That cuts down on your electric vehicle charging station options, at least without the help of an adaptor.
So of course, Tesla has their own charging solution available to meet your needs– the Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector. It’s been out for about a year as of the writing of this article, and Tesla maintains that it is the fastest, safest, and most effective home charging station for Tesla vehicles. And since it’s also a 48-amp smart charger, that makes it especially tempting for more tech-savvy EV owners out there. It’s not as high-powered as the previous Gen 2, and its new tempered glass faceplate is sleek (though we worry about its durability compared to a plastic faceplate), but otherwise, the two look very similar.
We ran the Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector through our comprehensive testing process so you can see how it stacks up next to other EV chargers and to allow you to make the best choice for your needs.
Key Specs of the Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector
Installing the Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector isn’t too bad– Tesla even provides you with a template to use to help you attach the mounting bracket to the wall, giving you four different ways to bring the wires into the wiring box. The unit then snaps onto the bracket via three connection points, and you can finish securing it in place with the provided screws. However, since this unit is hardwired, it’s recommended that you hire a licensed and bonded electrician to safely install it.
After installing the Wall Connector, the next step is commissioning it and connecting it to WiFi. Again, Tesla offers you a guide to help you through the process, and the connection can be made with a WiFi-enabled device such as a tablet or smartphone. You’ll then have the option to choose the amperage of the circuit you installed the Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector on.
Charging is the main area where you’ll see differences between Tesla’s Gen 2 and Gen 3 Wall Connectors. The previous generation, the High Power Wall Connector, was capable of delivering up to 80 amps to a vehicle. The new Gen 3 can only deliver a maximum of 48 amps. Thankfully 80 amps are not required for newer Tesla models because Tesla no longer sells any vehicles that can accept more than 48 amps. So the Gen 3 Wall Connector lowered the maximum output from 80 to 48 amps, delivering 11.5 kW to the vehicle and about 44 miles of range per hour to a Tesla Model 3 on max output.
If you buy a Wall Connector and want to charge an EV made by another brand, or if you already have a charging station with the J1772 connector and you want to charge your Tesla, the only way you can make that happen is with the use of adaptors. Thankfully all new Teslas come with a J1772 adapter to allow you to charge your Tesla on third-party charging stations. If you want to use your Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector to charge non-Tesla vehicles, you can purchase a Tesla to J1772 adaptor to make that happen.
Tesla has provided a power sharing firmware feature that allows up to sixteen Gen 3 Wall Connectors to share power and charge multiple vehicles at once, making it a great option for commercial spaces. The unit can also automatically restart in the event of a power outage, allowing your vehicle to continue charging once power is restored. There are promises of remote monitoring, over-the-air updates, and communication with other Tesla products in the future, though these smart features have not yet been released.
The Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector comes with an integrated connector holster and cable management system. Prefer a remote holster and cable hook? You might want to check out this one to use instead.
Since folks living in the northern states or Canada will need to know if the cable of their EV charging station will remain flexible during the winter’s deep freeze, we subject each station we review to a special test to see how it holds up. That way you don’t have to find out the hard way that your expensive new EV charger isn’t a good fit for your needs!
The Cable Deep Freeze Test
Since the Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector is hardwired, we were unable to put the entire unit into our commercial ice cream freezer as per usual. Instead, we coiled the cable and froze it, sealing off the freezer with aluminum tape until the big reveal. After about 14 hours in the freezer, we pulled it out while the interior temperature measured at -7° F, and we could immediately see that it was stiff and unmanageable. While the unit is NEMA-3 rated and safe to use outdoors, it does not seem like a good choice for those living in harsher environments.
If you are looking for an EV charger whose cable does well in more extreme weather, we’d have to recommend the ChargePoint Home Flex over this one.
After averaging the ChargerRater score with my personal rating of 4.55 stars out of 5, the Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector managed to achieve a final rating of 4.45 stars out of 5. For Tesla owners, it’s a great choice for your home charging needs. If you don’t own a Telsa, though, there are plenty of other options that might work better for you.
The Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector is available from Tesla for $550. Check out our video review for all of the details and then tell us what you think below.
By: Tom Moloughney
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