Charging Your Tesla

Charging your Tesla is basically as simple as plugging in where there is electricity.

– which is just about everywhere.


Of course, electricity comes from lots of different types of socket – from a normal domestic power point, to high-speed dedicated chargers.



How fast you charge depends essentially on 3 factors:

  1. Battery Charge State – When you charge, your battery will charge faster when it has less stored charge and charge slower as it gets full.  This is more noticeable at Superchargers, but as a rule, regardless of how fast you charge, as you approach 100%, your rate of charge will slow.  For this reason, it’s often better to charge up to 80 or 90% and keep driving unless you really need that extra range.
  2. Alternating Current – If you’re charging on AC, which is most places, your charging rate is limited by:
  • The size of the onboard charger in your car – this sets a maximum rate-of-charge.  Many Teslas have a maximum AC rate of 11kW, but on older Model Ss, this can be doubled to 22kW, or on newer S and X models, to 17kw, and also
  • What you’re plugged into – depending on what you’re plugged into, you may charge as slow as 2kW from a domestic socket up to the full rate of your car’s onboard charger on 3-phase chargers and sockets – we’ll cover this in more detail below.
  1. Direct Current – If you’re charging on DC, that means you’re using a Supercharger, or a public DC charger (e.g. NRMA) with a CCS-Combo2 (CCS2), the rate is largely governed by the charger. Superchargers and CCS2 max out at about 150 - 250kW and CHAdeMO adaptors at about 50kW.




Your Australian Tesla (unless you have a first-generation roadster) has a charge port with a “Type 2” connector which we share with much of the world – sometimes called a  “Mennekes” connector. This is not the same connector as used in America (or some other markets). Model 3 and Y also have a CCS Combo 2 ("CCS2") extension to this socket:

Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia  

A Model S charge port with cable inserted (left) and a Model 3 charge port showing the additional DC pins below (right)


Depending on your car, your charge port will have either a motorised flap or a manual one, and a single status light, or a set of smaller lights.

Tesla-supplied cables have a button for both opening the flap, and unlocking the charger before removal.  Third-party cables don’t have this button, but you can just push on the flap to open the motorised ones once you’ve unlocked the car (or you can open it from the charging screen in the car).


This single connector is able to connect to single or 3-phase AC from standard sockets or various types of dedicated charger, to a Tesla Supercharger, a CCS2 connector (natively for Model 3, or via an adaptor for S/X). Model S and X can connect to a CHAdeMO DC charger with an adaptor.  We’ll cover the differences later.

If you only plan to charge at home, from household plugs and from Superchargers, you only need to buy the Tesla Universal Mobile Charger, ("UMC" see next paragraph) unless it was included with your Tesla.  If you plan to travel further afield, or would like to be able to use the full range of charging infrastructure, you may wish to buy some extras.


Your Tesla comes with a Universal Mobile Connector ("UMC"), if not you can buy one from the Tesla Shop.

This cable is actually a chargepoint (referred to as an "EVSE", Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) that you can carry around.  It comes with a standard 10A (and a 15A for Model 3/Y), 240V plug in Australia, and this will give you 2kW – it’s great for overnight stays where there is no other infrastructure, and will roughly give you 1/3 of your battery back overnight.

There are two versions of the mobile charger, depending on when you purchased your car.  The older version (Gen1) is capable of charging up to 11kW and the newer version (Gen2) is capable of charging up to 7kW.  Both cnnectors are compatible with any Tesla (or other EV that uses Type 2!).



Gen1 UMC (left) with supplied 10A Australian tail and Gen2 MC (right) supplied with 10A and 15A tail (15A tail not shown)


Regardless of the version you have, the UMC can be fitted with different ends, or “tails” – the Gen1 comes with a 10A (2kW) tail only, but the Gen2 comes with both a 10A (2kW) and 15A (3kW) tail.  Both of these can be supplemented with additional tails that allow you to connect to Australian 3-phase sockets allowing for up to 7kW on Gen2 (32A/single phase) or 11kW on Gen1 (16A/3-phase).


For Gen1 UMC, you can purchase the Tesla Euro-adaptor from Tesla that enables you to connect to 3-phase power by using a Euro-to-AU tail.



Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia           Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia

Gen1 UMC with “Euro” 3-phase adaptor fitted (left) and a 32A (centre) and 20A (right) "Euro" to Australian tail.


Because we share our Tesla specifications with Europe, the connector is standard European 3-Phase, so in Europe, you can just plug this into the wall, but Australia has a different plug standard.  There are two different common sizes of plug - 32A 5pin and 20A 5pin although the 32A version is much more common.

To connect to either 32A 5pin or 20A 5pin, you need an additional "tail" as pictured above right. Remember, though, that the Gen1 UMC can only take 11kW, 16A draw over 3 phases.


For Gen2 UMC, it can charge at up to 32A, single-phase for 7kW.  So for 32A 3phase you can only draw from one phase with a special tail with the Tesla plug with the required Australian 20A or 32A single or 3phase plug attached.



Above photo shows the 32A single phase (3pin) plug, ideal for Home Charging at 7kW for single-phase equipped homes, but it is also available in 32A 3phase (5pin), ideal to take with you on country trips to connect to 32A 3phase outlets (but you only receive 32A single phase - refer commentary above). 

Note: 3phase (5pin) plugs and single phase (3pin plugs) only plug into their matching sockets. There is no cross-compatibility, i.e. a 3pin plug will not fit into a 5pin socket.


How to use Gen2 UMC Adaptor (YouTube video)


Further reading: 

Mobile Connector Gen 1 Owner's Manual - AU (English)‎

Mobile Connector Gen 2 Owner's Manual - AU (English)‎


Note: as of July 2022  - Tesla no longer supplies the Mobile Connector as a standard inclusion with new car deliveries.


Tesla can also supply a High-Power Wall Connector (HPWC) – sometimes also called "Destination Chargers", i.e. where you plug-in when arrived at your destination where you'll be stopped for several hours.

Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia

The HPWC is designed to be permanently installed in your house or workplace. It’s installed by an electrician and depending on your supply, it can deliver up to the maximum rate that your onboard charger can take. 

Often, this is limited to around 7-11kW by building wiring, but it is still the perfect charger for using when you’re parked.  This is by far the most common way you’re likely to charge.  The one pictured above is installed in an outdoor carport, and they are happy in just about any environment.  Tesla also give these chargers to “destinations” such as hotels and restaurants and these show up on your car’s charging map automatically.  They are available for purchase from Tesla for $750.

There are four other connectors you might come across:

CCS-Combo-Type2 (CCS2)

CCS2 is an extension of the standard Type-2 socket that allows from DC Charging.  As noted above, Model 3’s and Y's have this connector as standard, and can therefore use these chargers without adaptors:

Tesla Charging Options

Model S and Model X vehicles produced after May 1, 2019 have the capability to charge at CCS2 charging sites with the use of a CCS Combo 2 adapter.
The CCS2 adaptor is available as a standalone item - check with your local service centre as availability fluctuates.

Tesla Charging OptionsTesla Charging Options

Cars built before May 2019 can have this option “retro-fitted” to their internal charger for approximately $500.
Use the Tesla App to book a service appointment for the retro-fit.




CHAdeMO is a clever French/Japanese portmanteau that means both “Charge de move” and “(o)cha de mo ikaga desuka” (“do you want some tea?”). It is also an international standard for DC charging of electric vehicles.  Tesla sell an adaptor which works on Model S and X, but the adaptor will not work with Model 3.


This adaptor allows the bulky CHAdeMO connector to interface with the Tesla connector and supports high-speed charging at up to 50kW.

Tesla Charging OptionsTesla Charging Options

Tesla sell this adaptor for $510.


Type2 to Type2

Many chargers, such as the Tesla HPWC and third-party chargers have a tethered cable with a Type-2 connector that you can use without needing anything else, but in many locations, there are chargers with a Type-2 socket so you will have to supply your own cable.

Type2 Charging outlets are almost always 32A 3phase, delivering up to 22kW, and are easily found in by setting the filter to Type2.

Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia  Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia

Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia  Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia

There are a number of suppliers that carry this cable for $200-300.  You can also buy one from Tesla for $310.

Type2 to Type2 cables are available in 3 power variants: 7kW, 11kW and 22kW and they vary in price. The Tesla cable linked above is for the 22kW variant, and will work in every situation. 

Early "classic" nose Model S with dual on-board chargers and later Model S and X with "Hi-power" chargers would make full use of the 22kW variant, delivering 22kW and 16.5kW respectively.

Everyone else has 11kW on-board chargers, so the 11kW cable is 100% fit for purpose, and is lighter and cheaper. The only exception is if you connect to a Type2 outlet that is 32A single phase (rare but there are some around) you will receive only 4kW.

Type2 charging outlets are very common, and are found in many shopping centres, so it is a convenient way of picking up some charge whilst doing the shopping.



In some locations, you will also find older “Type-1” (or J1772) connectors.  These are electrically compatible with Type 2, but they only supply single-phase.  You can get an adaptor:

Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia  Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia

The adapter takes the Type-1 tethered plug and adapts it to the Type-2 charge port.

Tesla Charging Options|Tesla Owners Club Australia




So – What cables do you really need?

It really depends on your use.  For most owners, the standard cables from Tesla will be all you ever need – especially once Tesla add more Superchargers.  With the standard cables, you can charge:

  • at home
  • at Superchargers
  • at chargers with tethered Type2 connectors (such as Tesla’s destination chargers)
  • at any location with a household power socket

You may well want to get a Type2 to Type2 cable, as these are becoming more common, especially as all new EVs coming onto the market also use Type2 connectors. The Business Directory lists businesses that sell charging cables and adaptors (often with a discount for members), so it is worth taking a look for charging cables and adaptors. 

There are few sites that still have Type1 connectors, and they are often quite slow, so unless you routinely park somewhere that has one of these, it’s unlikely you’ll need a Type1 to Type2.

If you want to be able to charge at high-speed from third-party rapid chargers, and you own a Model S or X, you may want to get either a CCS2-adaptor (and possibly retro-fit), or a CHAdeMO adaptor, or you can choose to borrow the Club's adaptors when you go on trips.

If you plan to travel longer distances further out of town, then a set of 3-phase tails are worth investing in – there are many locations that have available 3-phase connectors, and the Round-Australia route is mostly made up of these sockets.