Tesla Model 3 Owners & Service Manuals

Tesla Model 3: Charging

General

Tesla Model 3 is a battery electric vehicle, meaning the High Voltage (HV) battery needs to be charged by a charging station after finishing driving. The touchscreen and smart phone app inform the driver of the state of charge and the expected remaining range

The charge port is located on the left-hand side of the vehicle, and provides a mechanical and electrical interface for charging cables. All charging cables have safety checks and mechanisms to make sure that charging can always be performed safely. A charge cable is energized only when connected to the vehicle.

The vehicle can be charged using:

  • Mobile Connector: Included with the vehicle. Allows the vehicle to be plugged into a 240 volt outlet or a 120 volt outlet. In 240V outlets, the maximum charge rate is 32A, or about 7.7 kW of charge power.
  • Wall Connector (WC): Wall Connector is the preferred method of charging when at home, providing high-power reliable charging. A Wall Connector is permanently installed on a 240 volt circuit. Model 3 accepts up to 48A when equipped with the Long Range Battery. This is about 11 kW of charge power.
  • Public Charging: J1772 adapters can be used to charge vehicles on public charging stations adhering to the SAE J1772 specification.
  • Supercharger: Tesla Superchargers are used to quickly recharge the HV battery on long trips. The vehicle charges up to 170 miles (long range battery) in 30 minutes.

Charging times vary based on the voltage and current available from the power outlet. Charging times also depend on the vehicle's battery temperature, and auxiliary loads such as cabin HVAC. If the HV battery is not within the optimal temperature range for charging, the vehicle will heat or cool the HV battery before and during charging. The charge time is visible on the touchscreen while charging.

The vehicle is designed to be plugged in when not in use. There is no advantage to waiting until the HV battery level is low before charging; the HV battery performs best when charged regularly. When plugged in, the vehicle wakes up as needed to automatically maintain a charge level that optimizes the lifetime of the HV battery.

Discharging the HV battery to 0% can permanently damage the HV battery. To protect against a complete discharge, the vehicle enters a low power consumption mode when the charge level drops to 6%. In this mode, the HV battery stops supporting the onboard electronics to slow the discharge rate.

Note: When the low power consumption mode is active, the auxiliary 12V battery is no longer being charged and can completely discharge within twelve hours. If this situation cannot be avoided, disconnect 12V power from the vehicle to preserve the 12V battery. If a complete discharge does occur, the vehicle will need to be jump-started and the 12V battery must be replaced.

Warning: The Wall Connector should only be installed and tested by a Tesla certified electrician.

Warning: Never try to modify the cables or connectors on the Wall Connector or mobile connector.

Warning: Always make sure that the Mobile Connector is located in a clean and dry area during use.

Warning: Never use an extension cord with the Mobile Connector.

Warning: Never work on a vehicle while it is charging. The high voltage circuits will be live.

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