Should I Charge My Tesla Every Night?

Should I Charge My Tesla Every Night?

There has been a lot of ongoing conversation about Tesla use best practices especially when it comes to the 12V battery and the main battery pack.

There have been questions about the best chargers to use for the batteries, the best batteries to buy, to what percentage to charge the batteries, and so on. I have tried to cover most of these questions, and you can read them up in the links I will provide later in this article.

The purpose of this article is to answer the question of whether you should charge your Tesla every night.

You may have concerns about whether charging every night will degrade the battery or cause any other damage to the vehicle.

If so, I am here to answer all the question you may have around the best practices for charging your Tesla vehicle battery, whatever the model or model year.

Should I Charge My Tesla Every Night?

Yes, if you need to. There are no hard and fast rules as to how often you should charge your Tesla vehicle. You should charge the vehicle as often as you need to.

This means that if you are a standard user of the Tesla vehicle, then it is likely that you need to charge it every night or whenever your day ends in preparation for the next day. So, if you work night shifts for example, then you may need to charge the Tesla during the day, every day.

The bottom line is that you can charge your Tesla vehicle as often as you need to. If you need to charge more than once a day, then go ahead and do so. There are no repercussions for doing this and it does not degrade the main battery pack or the 12 V low voltage battery.

The important fact that you need to keep in mind at this point is that you should not allow the Tesla battery to go below 20% charge for an extended period. This is bad not only for the main battery pack, but especially for the 12-voltage battery.

Another recommendation is to ensure that you never allow your Tesla vehicle’s battery to go lower than 1% at any point in time.

At What Percentage Should I Charge My Tesla?

The percentage at which you should charge your Tesla vehicle is 20% to 60%. 20% is the lower threshold. This is especially important to protect the health of the 12V battery.

You may already know that the 12V battery powers most of the electronic and electrical components of the Tesla vehicle. It is also important to note that the 12V battery is charged by the main battery pack. The main battery park charges first, and then it charges the 12V battery. So, when the main battery pack goes too low, the 12V battery will not be charged and this may lead to failure of some components in the vehicle.

This is not to say that leaving the vehicle to go below 20% will cause any serious damage; as long as it does not happen often and for extended periods.

The bottom line is that you should not allow your Tesla vehicle to fully discharge, or be below 20% too often, and for too long.

So, the question you should really be asking is to what percentage you should charge the battery? I wrote an article earlier on if you should charge the Tesla battery to 100 percent and you can read it here.

Should I Charge My Tesla Every Night Even If It Doesn’t Need Charge?

If your Tesla vehicle battery is not below 80%, then there is no need to charge it every night. I recommend that, for best results, you should only plug in your Tesla to charge every night if it is at about 60% and below.

One of the reasons for this is that 80% is the protective limit where the Tesla charge speed reduces to protect the battery at that point. So, plugging it in at 80% is not exactly good practice. Other than that, here is what Tesla have to say about charging your electric vehicle at home:

“We recommend plugging in every evening to top off the battery. If your utility has low overnight electricity rates, set your charging schedule to match those of peak times.”

To learn more about off peak charging, check out this article I did on the subject.

Best Time to Charge Tesla

The best time to charge your Tesla vehicle is when it needs to be charged. It’s that simple.

For best results, charge it at night or whenever your day ends in preparation for the next day. Like I mentioned earlier, if your Tesla vehicle is 60% or below at the end of your day, then you should charge it against the next day.

  • Firstly, you never know what your schedule will be the next day and how much power you may have to consume during that day. So, it’s good to top off overnight so you can face the next day without worries.
  • Topping off daily will also help you to avoid using superchargers frequently. Using superchargers frequently will indeed cause damage to your vehicle one way or the other.

Tesla recommends that you only use superchargers sparingly and for emergency purposes. The recommended way to charge your Tesla vehicle is to use the home wall connector, so you should always take advantage of that every day to preserve the lifespan of your vehicle and its batteries.

Tesla Charging Recommendations

Now that we have cleared the questions about whether you should charge your Tesla vehicle every night or not, I would like to provide you with as many charging recommendations as possible to not only enhance the lifespan of the battery, but also protect the Tesla vehicle components from damage.

  1. For your daily or frequent charging needs, use the wall connector. You should only use superchargers and mobile connectors on special occasions.
  2. Only charge your Tesla vehicle to the charging limit recommended for your vehicle. For some Tesla vehicles, the charging limit is 100 percent. For several others, it is below 100 percent.
  3. You can simply set the charge limit for your vehicle’s battery by adjusting the charge slide to the level of charging you want. Refer to the information on the vehicle touch screen by navigating to Controls > Charging, or on the mobile app by touching the Charging icon for the recommended daily and trip charging limits for your vehicle. The recommended daily charging limit varies with vehicle configurations.
  4. Charge the battery to the appropriate charge limit for your vehicle based on the installed battery. Different batteries require different charging routines for optimal performance. Your vehicles touch screen will display the recommended charge limit for your battery.
  5. If you are not planning to use your Tesla vehicle for several weeks, then leave it plugged in. Bear in mind that average discharge rate on Tesla vehicle batteries is 1% a day, though this can vary with factors such as weather, vehicle configurations, and the settings you have made on the touchscreen.
  6. There is absolutely no advantage to waiting until your Tesla vehicle’s battery level is low before you charge it. Instead, Tesla says that your battery performs best when charged regularly
  7. Never allow your Tesla vehicle’s battery to go lower than 1%. Several components may become damaged or require replacement, if you do so. For example, the low-voltage 12V battery will certainly need replacement if you allow the main battery pack to discharge fully.
  8. The charge speed will decrease:
  • When the battery is too cold
  • When the battery charge is nearly full
  • When the battery condition changes with time and use
  • When you notice this, you need to understand that it is normal behaviour and you do not need to make any changes such as battery or charger replacements.
  1. If you are charging with a mobile connector, make sure to plug the connector into the power outlet FIRST before plugging into the vehicle
  2. Take advantage of scheduled charging or scheduled departure to charge the vehicle at specific times, without the need for your intervention.
  3. Scheduled charging sets when your Tesla starts to charge. It will stop charging whenever it charges up to the set charge limit. Check out this guide on what to do when scheduled charging won’t work.
  4. Scheduled departure sets when your Tesla must complete charging. It will then automatically start charging at a time that will allow it to complete by the set departure time. I provided a guide on how to set up scheduled departure in this article on Off Peak Charging.

If you find that your Tesla needs charging too often, consider the following factors that increase energy drain on your Tesla:

  • Elevated driving speed.
  • Environmental conditions such as cold or hot weather and wind.
  • Using climate controls to heat or cool the cabin.
  • Uphill travel
  • Short trips or stop-and-go traffic
  • Heavy cargo load.
  • Windows rolled down.
  • Wheels and tires not maintained.
  • Customized settings or third-party accessories (roof or trunk racks, third-party wheels).
  • Preconditioning the cabin or using climate controls.
  • Summon.
  • Vehicle infotainment and climate controls system.
  • Sentry mode.
  • Tesla or third-party mobile app requests.
Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced writer and marketer with who currently writes for Teslord as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf and Techzillo. At Teslords, he focuses on general Tesla advice with his interest being accessories and gadgets. Read our Editorial Guidelines and Fact Checking process.


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