Tesla products, predominantly their electric cars, are like any other electronics because they require electrical power to operate efficiently. Unfortunately, charging these cars can take hours depending on the charging station, and sometimes this can pose a significant challenge if you aren’t near a Supercharging station.
Luckily, you can utilize a series of hacks to increase charging speed and potentially charge your Tesla in emergencies when a station isn’t available. Read on for the three best Tesla charging hacks for speed and emergencies.
Note: Before we get into the best charging hacks for your Tesla car, it is important to note that some of these hacks are not conducive to all Tesla models. There are four models of Tesla electric cars, the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y. Be sure to check if the hack that interests you is compatible with your Model before you attempt it.
Hack for Emergency Charging Without Supercharger
Typically, Tesla car owners, or any owners of an electric car, don’t run out of charge any more than the average driver would run out of gas. You should always take preventative measures to ensure your car is charged sufficiently for your trip, and you don’t wait until it is too late to find a charging station.
However, sometimes accidents and emergencies happen, and you just can’t get to a Supercharging station in time. In this case, you can utilize this hack, which can be performed at any public rest stop along the way.
Along the outside of any public rest stop, there should be various 110V outlets standard to the average home. Since this is a public location, these outlets are available for public use, so don’t feel discouraged or wary about utilizing them for an emergency.
Unfortunately, an outlet of this voltage will only charge your Tesla car about 3-4 miles per hour, so if you use this option, be prepared to wait several hours before your car is ready to get to the nearest Supercharging station for a faster, more efficient charging session.
Now, if this hack doesn’t work for you because you don’t have the time to wait 4+ hours until your car can drive far enough to the nearest Supercharging station, there is an alternative method that would be much quicker.
In most public rest stops along busy highways, you will find a standard NEMA 14-50 charger. These chargers are originally designed for RVs but are also compatible with Tesla cars because the company provides you with a standard 14-50 adapter upon your purchase. Typically, this will charge your Tesla car at 21 miles/hour at 32 amps and 240 volts. Significantly faster and more efficient than using 110V outlets.
At this rate, you could charge your car enough in one to two hours to get you to the closest Supercharge station rather than waiting 4+ hours with the alternative method. Regardless, both methods will work in an emergency.
Hack to Double Your Tesla Charging Speed
If you’re looking for a way to charge your car twice as fast in your home because you’re sick of the increasingly slow charging rate of your 110V outlets, then this hack is for you.
To utilize this hack, you will need some additional equipment listed below.
The concept of this hack is that this moderately affordable charging system will allow you to utilize the power of two 110V home outlets simultaneously. This will effectively double your charging speed, reducing the amount of time it takes your Tesla vehicle to fully charge.
For this system to work, you must plug it into two separate outlets from different phases. If you don’t know what a phase is, essentially, your house has two circuits that will split 240V into 120V for your outlet. This is because, according to regulations, 120V is the safest voltage for the average home.
To determine if your outlets are on the same circuit, you will most likely have to conduct a long series of trial and error throughout your house and garage. The alternative is to use a tone generator or multimeter and turn off all the breakers in your house so you can slowly map the circuits in your home.
Once you have found two outlets that are not on the same phase but close enough to both reach the EVDoubler 220 adapter, you can plug the two black cable plugs into each outlet. If you are correct and the outlets are not in the same phase, the system light will signal that it is working properly.
Now it’s time to plug the charging system into your car. The outlets on this system where you would plug in your Tesla charging cord are structured oddly and most likely incompatible with your cable. Luckily, when you purchase this charging system, it also comes with an adapter cord. Plug the adapter into the charger system, then plug your Tesla charging cord into the adapter.
If your outlet trials were successful, your Tesla should charge properly. Be sure to check the dashboard to confirm everything is functioning as it should. If your Tesla doesn’t immediately start charging, you’ll need to do some troubleshooting.
Using your GFCI tester, check to see if both outlets you are using for your charging system are “correct.” Plug the tester into each outlet, and the central and right-sided lights should come on (or whatever light variations are labeled as “correct” on the tester). If both lights do not come on, the outlet is improperly wired and insufficient for this task.
Once you have found the incorrect outlet, you will need to find an alternative outlet for your system charger cord.
After you have found two correct outlets that are not on the same phase, your GFCI tester lights should read “correct,” and the light on your charging system should come on. Now, the moment of truth. Plug your Tesla charger into the charging system and the other end into your car and watch the magic.
Your charging time should efficiently double from 3 or 4 miles per hour to 6 or 7/8 miles per hour and read 12 amps and nearly 240 volts.
Hack to Increase the Charging Speed of Your Tesla Model S
This hack is best suited to the Tesla Model S, but it can be attempted potentially on the Model X and Y. Unfortunately, if you have a Tesla Model 3 car, this hack will not work for you.
One of the best ways to increase your Tesla Model S charging speed is located underneath the back seats in your car. If you safely remove the back seat covers, you’ll notice that underneath is a series of wires, pipes, cables, and your Tesla Model S car battery.
Many people don’t realize that this is where their Tesla Model S car battery is located, but what they also don’t realize is that Tesla gives you every opportunity to utilize this hack whenever you want.
On the right side of your Tesla car sits the battery and on the left side is a large vacant hole. This is your hack. This hole is where you can place an additional Tesla Model S battery that can be hooked up to your car using the available wires already provided for you by Tesla. You can either purchase this battery separately, or Tesla might allow you to purchase it with your car.
Once you have purchased and installed your secondary battery, you’ll need to program it so your Tesla car realizes it now has an additional battery it can utilize. Unfortunately, the average person cannot program this battery themselves, and you will need to contact Tesla to do this for you.
While you install and program an additional Tesla battery, this is also your opportunity to install a CCS adapter to your Tesla Model S that will essentially allow you to charge your electric car anywhere. Most older Tesla Model S cars are made with Type 2 chargers on AC, while the newer Models X and Y are equipped with CCS.
Therefore, by adding a CCS adapter to your AC Tesla Model S, you have more universal charging options. This hack is exceptionally beneficial for individuals that use Tesla cars in countries other than the United States, where Supercharging stations are scarce.
This third hack is the most complex, however hopefully the 3 charging hacks will prove helpful to you during your Tesla ownership!