Tesla Mobile Connector Gen 2 vs Wall Connector

When considering home charging options, a common question is whether to install a NEMA 14-50 receptacle or a Wall Connector. While at first glance there is a large cost difference, if you actually run the math it can end up being about a wash in certain situations.

If you have the need or desire to keep your Mobile Connector in the car at all times then you likely will want to buy a second one to leave at home. This will run you $275, plus then $35 for an adapter such as a 14-50 so that you can charge rapidly. The wire and installation labor is about a wash for a 14-50 receptacle or a Wall Connector, but with a 14-50 receptacle the 2017 NEC (which most jurisdictions have adopted now) requires that you use a GFCI breaker which varies in cost, but on average it is about an extra $100 over a regular breaker.

To go with the 14-50 option you also need to buy a receptacle (which is not needed with the Wall Connector) and it should be a good quality one so that is about $40 of added cost. You then need a way to hold the Mobile Connector itself up and somewhere to hang the cord and connector. Tesla sells a cable organizer (which still does not solve for the Mobile Connector itself) which is $33.

So even without anything to hold (or secure if outdoors/public location) the UMC itself, you are up to $483 compared to the $500 for the Wall Connector. The Wall Connector is a robust device that is well suited to outdoor and wet locations. It is also hard wired which reduced the failure point of the plug and receptacle.

Typically a 14-50 receptacle would be wired up with 6 awg copper, often NM cable (aka Romex). This is rated up to a 50a circuit (which is good for 40a continuous), but the Mobile Connector Gen 2 is only capable of 32a. That same wire connected to the Wall Connector can charge at the full 40a, and if you want to spend a little bit more on wire in conduit or larger gauge wire the Wall Connector is good for up to 80a continuous (a 60a circuit that is good for 48a continuous is a very popular choice).

So if your plan is to buy a second UMC you may want to consider a Wall Connector instead.

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