Compared to my previous analysis on the topic, Tesla Motors’ current vehicle offering has almost unfathomable capabilities. A 220 mile range, 180 watt hours per mile, and a full charge in 3.5 hours means that the battery has to store upwards of 39 kWh ($4.00 worth of electricity), but it has to transfer that energy at 11 kW. As I have previously analyzed, that should require a significantly more powerful electrical connection than the typical wall socket we plug most devices into.
I have put in an information request with Tesla Motors to ask what special equipment is used to charge the vehicle, and what electrical system upgrades they recommend for a homeowner that wants to get the 3.5 hour charge performance listed on their website.
If I hear from them, I’ll be sure to write up their answer. Update — It looks like someone from Tesla Motors may have left the answer in an anonymous comment.