Tesla Driver Charges Car in the Kitchen: "Too Cheap to Get the Tesla Charger Installed"


Aug. 22 2023, Published 2:34 p.m. ET

Tesla electric vehicles have a pretty hefty price tag. Plus, beyond the sticker price of at least $50,000, you may have other costs, such as buying a home charger and having it installed.

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In a funny TikTok video, one creator found a cheaper way to charge his Tesla: by driving into his backyard and using the stove plug in his kitchen.

Is this a viable alternative to paying for the Tesla charger installation cost? Let’s look at what you need to charge your Tesla at home and the cost.

Woman plugging a electric charger into an EV.
Source: Getty Images
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Tesla driver charges his car from a kitchen outlet.

In a 13-second video posted to TikTok on August 7, 2023, @rickologist shows how he used a plug in his kitchen to charge his Tesla. The video pans from the kitchen stove outlet the charger is plugged into, along the cord that snakes up and out a window. Outside the window sits a white Tesla with the charger plugged in.

“You was too cheap to get the Tesla charger installed in your garage, so now you gotta pull your car up to the backyard to connect it to the stove outlet just to get 20 miles of charge an hour,” reads text on the video.

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What does a Tesla charger installation cost?

According to the Tesla website, home charging options cost about $500 for a wall connector, plus between $750 to $1,500 for installation. However, electrical contractor Ampt Over Electric estimates the Tesla home charger installation can cost as high as $6,500 depending on the wiring in your home. While this cost may be justified if you have more than one Tesla at home, it may be a little high for a new Tesla owner who’s already spent a lot of money on their car.

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Do you need to have a Tesla charger installed in your home?

While the TikTok video seems a little silly, it offers a good option for charging your Tesla at home. In fact, Tesla even recommends the option in its installation guide. “The recommended home charging installation option for Tesla vehicles is a 240-volt NEMA 14-50 outlet. This outlet is commonly used for electric stoves and recreational vehicles,” the guide reads.

Another option is to plug the Tesla charger into the plug for your dryer, which has about 220 volts, said Bryan Hauer, who offers EV and Tesla tips on his YouTube channel. This works best if the dryer plug is on the same wall as your garage, Hauer said. Just make sure that you don’t run your dryer at the same time you are charging your Tesla, he said.

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Another alternative is to only charge your car when you're out, as many parking lots offer free EV charging. You can find a map of free chargers on PlugShare.

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What is the advantage of installing a Tesla charger at home?

The advantage of using an installed Tesla charger over a stove or dryer outlet is that you get a faster charging speed of up to 44 miles per hour. A 240-volt plug for your stove or dryer offers about 20 miles per hour of charge.

You can even technically plug your Tesla into a regular, 110-volt wall outlet. However, this option will take forever to charge your car, at only a few miles per hour, Hauer said.

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