When it comes to charging your Tesla car, sometimes you may find that the charging cable is not long enough to reach the outlet. This is where an extension cord comes in handy.
However, it is important to note that not all extension cords are suitable for use with your Tesla mobile charger. You need to make sure that the extension cord is able to handle the high power requirements of your car.
So, if you need an extension cord for your Tesla Mobile Connector, it’s important to choose the right type and gauge of extension cord to ensure safe and efficient charging.
In this article, I will answer all the questions you may have around using extension cord for your Tesla mobile charger, and provide you with a list of some of the best extensions to buy if you decide to go that route.
Is It Safe to Use an Extension Cord with the Mobile Charger?
Yes, it is safe. But only if you follow the guide and take the precautions that I will provide in a minute.
Before that, I must state this categorically:
- Tesla strongly recommends against using extension cords to charge your vehicle. Safety is a huge concern in this, but warranty covering also plays a role. If you have any issues with your Tesla that could be traced to power supply, you would void any warranty if you used an extension cord.
In Tesla’s own words:
“Do not use an extension cord, a multi-outlet adapter, a multi-plug, a conversion plug, or a power strip to plug in the Mobile Connector”.
If you would like to see other safety instructions related to this for your Tesla, here are some below:
- If possible, use a dedicated receptacle with a single socket. If the receptacle has two sockets, do not plug any other items into the other socket.
- The Mobile Connector is designed only for charging a Tesla vehicle (excluding Tesla Roadster).
- Do not use it for any other purpose or with any other vehicle or object. The Mobile Connector is intended only for vehicles that do not require ventilation during charging.
- Do not use (or stop using) the Mobile Connector if it is defective, appears cracked, frayed, broken or otherwise damaged, or fails to operate.
- Do not attempt to open, disassemble, repair, tamper with, or modify the Mobile Connector. The Mobile Connector is not user-serviceable. Contact Tesla for any repairs.
- Do not disconnect the Mobile Connector from the wall outlet when the vehicle is charging.
- Do not plug the Mobile Connector into a damaged, loose, or worn power outlet.
- Ensure that the prongs on the Mobile Connector fit snugly into the wall outlet.
- Do not connect the Mobile Connector into a power outlet that is not properly Grounded.
That said, here are some guidelines to help you select the appropriate extension cord for your Tesla Mobile Connector:
- Cord Length: Choose an extension cord that is long enough to reach your Tesla’s charging port comfortably while allowing some flexibility. Tesla Mobile Connectors typically come with a standard length of about 20 feet (6 meters), but you can find extension cords in various lengths.
- Gauge (Wire Thickness): The most critical factor is the wire thickness, indicated by the gauge rating. For charging an electric vehicle, including a Tesla, it’s recommended to use a 10-gauge extension cord. A 10-gauge extension cord is thick enough to handle the 240V load without overheating. Using a lower gauge (thicker) cord is generally safer.
- NEMA Adapter Compatibility: Ensure that the extension cord you choose has the appropriate NEMA plug (the type of plug that goes into your electrical outlet) that matches the NEMA adapter on your Tesla Mobile Connector. Tesla provides various NEMA adapters, such as NEMA 5-15 (standard household), NEMA 14-50 (common for EV charging), and others. Match the extension cord to the adapter you need.
- Outdoor Use: If you plan to use the extension cord outdoors, make sure it is rated for outdoor use and is designed to withstand weather conditions.
- Amperage Rating: Check the amperage rating of the extension cord to ensure it can handle the maximum charging capacity of your Tesla. For example, if you have a Tesla Model 3 Long Range, which can charge at up to 48 amps using a Tesla Wall Connector, make sure the extension cord is rated for at least 48 amps.
- Safety and Quality: Purchase a high-quality extension cord from a reputable manufacturer to ensure safety and durability. Cheap or poorly made extension cords may not provide reliable power delivery.
Always remember that safety is paramount when charging an electric vehicle. If you have any doubts about which extension cord to use, it’s advisable to consult with a licensed electrician who can assess your specific charging setup and recommend the appropriate equipment. Using the wrong extension cord can lead to overheating, voltage drop, and safety hazard.
Can You Plug Tesla Mobile Charger Into Extension Cord?
Yes, you certainly can.
But should you? That is another matter…and I think it’s entirely up to you.
You have the option to either follow the guidelines I provided above, or heed Tesla’s safety instructions and forget about using an extension cord.
Why Can’t You Use an Extension Cord to Charge a Tesla?
The main reason why Tesla and most experts advise against using an extension cord to charge your Tesla is to avoid the risk of fire, electrical shock, serious injury, or death.
Tesla and its chargers (wall connector and mobile connector) are very specialized devices, and it’s hard to find an extension cable manufacturer that understands and caters to the specific needs of the Tesla.
So, it’s a really good idea to either avoid using an extension cable or make sure that the cable is designed specifically for Tesla. You can use the guidelines I presented earlier as a guide when making your purchase.
How Many Amps Can the Tesla Mobile Charger Handle?
Here are the specifications for the Tesla mobile connector:
- Use only a 120 volt, 208 volt or 240 volt AC supply, 50/60 hertz wall outlet that has a dedicated and properly grounded circuit, and is rated for at least 15 amps.
For specific details, find below:
- 120-Volt Charging (NEMA 5-15 Outlet): This is a standard household outlet. The Mobile Connector can typically be set to draw 12 amps, which is the maximum for most standard outlets in North America. This provides a slow charging rate suitable for overnight charging.
- 240-Volt Charging (Various Outlets): When using a 240-volt outlet, such as the NEMA 14-50 (common for EV charging), the Mobile Connector can be adjusted to draw different amperage levels, usually up to a maximum of 32 amps. The actual maximum amperage may vary depending on the version of the Mobile Connector.
The charging speed depends on the amperage setting you choose and the vehicle’s onboard charger capacity. Tesla vehicles have varying charger capacities depending on the model and trim level, so the charging speed will differ between models.
For example, if you have a Tesla Model 3 Long Range with a 48-amp onboard charger and use a NEMA 14-50 outlet with the Mobile Connector set to 32 to 40 amps, you’ll get a charging rate of approximately 7.7 kW (32 amps * 240 volts). If you have a Tesla Model S with a different charger capacity, the charging rate may vary accordingly.
Can You Charge Tesla in Rain with Extension Cord?
No, absolutely not. Tesla warns expressly against this. Here is what they have to say:
- Do not use the Mobile Connector when either you, the vehicle or the Mobile Connector is exposed to severe rain, snow, electrical storm or other inclement weather.
- Protect the Mobile Connector from moisture, water and foreign objects at all times.
Best Extension Cord for Tesla Mobile Charger
I would normally make a pro and con comparison of products but when it comes to extension cords, it is all about technical specifications of length, amps, volts, referenced against customer reviews and price. So, find a list below of the extension cords for Tesla that strike this balance.
1. Seguma J1772 Extension Cable 40ft /12m, 40Amp EV Charging Cable
This 40-foot cord is designed specifically for EVSE charging stations and is capable of delivering up to 40 amps of power. It’s durable, waterproof, and comes with a one-year warranty.
2. JLONG Extension Cord
This 30-foot cord is compatible with all Tesla charging stations and can deliver up to 40 amps of power. It’s weather resistant and comes with a five-year warranty.
3. Duosida Extension Cord
This 25-foot cord is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and can deliver up to 32 amps of power. It’s also compatible with all Tesla charging stations and comes with a two-year warranty.
Note: Top quality extension cords for Tesla may be temporarily out of stock on Amazon due to high demand. You can also get them on eBay or other trusted outlets. Or, wait till then become available again.
The bottom line
Extension cords may be necessary for your charging situation. But it’s an undertaking that must be done with extreme care and caution so that you protect yourself, your Tesla, and everything around you.