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Fast Car, Slow Battery (or why we need a better plug)

With apologies to Wyclef and Lupe, the answer to "Are you ready to ride?" may be "yeah, maybe sometime tomorrow." Blogs Engadget and AutoBlogGreen have picked up a back-of-the-envelope calculation estimating the charge time on the all-electric Tesla roadster to be 30+ hours from a standard wall outlet. While a regular WD 5-15 provides 15 amps at 125 volts, Tesla's estimate of a 4-hour charge time is based on 80 amps at 220 volts. In addition, many older homes have circuit breaker boxes that can handle 100 amps total. While the plug originated the phase "plug-and-play," the electrical and automotive industries are going to have to revisit the lowly wall outlet standards if consumers are going to adopt PHEVs or EVs in any significant number.

Posted 07-07-2008 11:10 AM by Eric Hsieh


Rick Miell wrote re: Fast Car, Slow Battery (or why we need a better plug)
on 07-08-2008 10:47 AM

At $110K, I seriously doubt if a purchaser of a Tesla is still living in an older home with only a 100amp electrical service attached.  More than likely, the electrical service will be at least a 200amp, but more than likely it will be closer to a 400amp service, making the required 80amp draw at 240volts just another electrical load.  I don't think you will see a recharge system that plugs into a normal 15 amp outlet, except for a trickle charge to top off the batteries.

Keep the NEMA currents coming, they contain interesting stuff!!

Rick Miell

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