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Same home charging station for LEAF and Model S?

Hi guys, sorry I'm a noob to EVs and am thinking of the Tesla Model S and the LEAF as a 2nd car. Question is, can I install one charging station in my garage that would be compatible for both? Confused about the SAE standards here...


Not sure what the connectors the Leaf uses.

Most Model S users are choosing either the 220V NEMA 14-50 4-pin outlet or the Tesla High Power Wall Connector (HPC). It is also possible to charge using a normal 110V outlet, or using the 'J1722' adapter that many public charging stations use.

The Model S has a proprietary connector. The HPC plugs directly into the car; for all other options it is necessary to connect the Tesla-supplied proprietary cable into a connector and thence into one of the outlets listed above.

Ordinary 240V/40A (I guess you are from USA) outlet is fine for both if you do not want to pay for faster 20kW Twincharger. However, you will have to use cable (which is included in both cars), but some people rather have two cables - one at home and one in the car, or one mounted charging station at home and cable in the car...

If you'll decide to mount home charging station it woun't be compatible for both cars without adapter. Nissan uses J1772 connector, while Tesla has its own proprietary connector (plus adapter J1772 -> Tesla).

We have Nissan Leaf at home and we have mounted charging station (3.3kW) for it. When Model S arrives, we'll install HPWC (20kW high power wall connector) for Model S too (since we are from Europe, I'm very courious how will it work with 3-phase). In combination with 20kW Twincharger it's faster and more convenient than untangling cable every day :-)

It depends on you and your budget :)

I have a friend who has a Leaf--the standard cable it came with was for a 110 outlet only. He had to have a company in CA modify the cable to take a higher voltage/amperage cable. The Leaf doesn't come with 14-50 capability out of the box, which is weird...

I have a LEAF and a J1772 Level 2 charger. The Model S comes with an adapter so you can charge it off a J1772 dock. However, the LEAF only draws 20A steady-state (30A peak when it starts, presumably filling capacitors), so you would be charging your Model S quite slowly. You could get a higher-current J1772 charging dock (the spec goes to 70A I believe) and charge the Model S faster, and it would still work for the LEAF as it would only ask for the lower current.

Personally, I think you are better off getting another charging dock for the Model S -- you would have to remember to switch the cable to the other car (and 0-100% on the LEAF will take over 7 hours, so best done overnight). It wouldn't cost much to just get a NEMA 14-50 run, and you can program the LEAF to start charging after the Model S will be done so you don't need to increase capacity to your garage.

Like @Jolinar, I plan to install the HPWC for the Model S, even if I have to cap the charging rate at ~60A to be able to have the LEAF and Model S charging at the same time.

One advantage of going with the J1772 would be that you might be able to get one installed at your house at no cost to you through


I also have a Leaf with a J1772 Level 2 charger in my garage.

When my Model S arrives, I am planning to sell my Leaf however.

I was hoping to keep my current charger and use the J1772 adapter, but you mentioned it would charge the Model S slowly. Any idea of how slowly? Removing the J1772 charger and installing a
NEMA 14-50 plug instead may be an expense I could avoid?


@cthim - assuming you have the Aerovironment EVSE wired as they recommend (using a 40A breaker), it is capable of supplying 30A. At 30A, you should charge at about 13mi/hr. If it can only supply 20A (some of the other chargers people have used for LEAFs), you should get about 10mi/hr.

Unless you are driving all day or can't charge overnight, it won't be a problem in either case. It will mean that after you come back from a long trip, you won't be able to back out again in your Tesla that night if you depleted the battery, as it will take overnight to recharge.

This is a minor issue but note that there will be no button on your charging cable to pop open the charging cover. That just means you'll have to get into the habit of opening up your charge port manually from the touchscreen each time you come home. You could probably train yourself to do it but on the other hand, you may find it to be a nuisance.

That's the same no matter what charger you have. A depleted battery needs recharging before you can go "back out again in your Tesla that night", but only for enough miles for that night. It doesn't have to be full for short trips!

Thank you Jat and Tork. Very informative. I'll probably keep my J1772 for charging my Model S. I'm already accustomed to opening my Leaf's charge port manually when arriving home each evening, so I'll be fine with using the touchscreen.

By my calculation EVSE outputting 30A should put out about 7.2 Kw which should add about 22 miles range/hr compared to the mobile connector's max of 31 miles/hr.

I ran #6 wire to my LEAF J1772 Aerovironment charger. Was thinking about upgrading the breaker to 50 amp and connecting the 14-50 and the Aerovironment on the same circuit since only one will be used at a time.

Any issues with having both on the same circuit that anyone knows? Has anyone done it?

@BrianH - yes, but if you are charging at 80A, you don't have to wait long to be able to go someplace. If you are charging at 20A, you aren't going to fully refill the battery overnight, but unless you are making back-to-back out of town trips that won't matter.

@stevedar - the 31mi is ideal miles, not rated miles. When you consider slower rates when the battery is nearly full (as it will be if you are just recharging after a daily commute), and you will get less. But anyway, it will be plenty to recharge a typical day's usage overnight.

@laalan - yes, by code you can't have multiple devices on a high-current circuit, they have to each have a dedicated breaker. You could move the Aerovironment charger to a 14-50 plug and plug it into the outlet (though their manual says it has to be hard-wired, I think that would be ok by code --- but I am not an electrician).

Brilliant idea about converting it to a plug in!

Aerovironment's response: ( although I don't see the harm as my warranty is over)

Regarding your interest in converting your charging dock into a plug-in unit, the mechanical workings inside our EVSEs are much more complicated than just the difference in their cords.

All of our products are built in an Underwriters Laboratory (UL) certified factory. The Plug-in and the hardwired versions use two different control boards. The EVSE-RS was designed for a hard-wire installation with specific circuit requirements which the Printed Circuit Board expects and tests. Only the EVSE-PI (Plug-in) model has the right board for a NEMA 6-50 plug fitting. Altering an EVSE-RS to fit it with a plug is an incomplete modification.

Modifying the original product also voids its UL certification. As a result AV can not warranty a modified product and ny modifications to the unit it will nullify your warranty.

why don't you just install a nema 14-50 and call it good?

I'm a Leaf and Model S owner too. I didn't install a Level 2 charger for the Leaf, as the Level 1 trickle charger that came with it is working out fine, but I still would like to be able to charge if from the UMC that came with the Model S.

@stevenmaifert - how long does it take to charge the LEAF using the 110V trickle charger from empty to full?

@laalan - there is nothing to modify in the EVSE -- you wire two hots and a neutral to it, and you can either run the other end of the wire to a breaker panel or to a 14-50 plug. Now, they may well not have it UL listed for a pluggable cord (which requires that the cord be able to support the weight of the device, among other things).

The only thing I can imagine is that it checks the ground and essentially is a GFCI, but as long as you wire up the ground on the 14-50 plug (leave the neutral unconnected, as the EVSE doesn't have any 120V loads) that shouldn't matter -- in the worst case, after you plug it in you might have to reset it.

Personally, if an electrician said it didn't violate local code, I would go ahead and do it anyway.

@Trekker56 - about 20 hours :).

@Trekker56 - Although I've never done it, the owner's manual says 21 hours from empty to full. We rarely put more than 40 miles per day on the Leaf, so the overnight recharge with the trickle charger works out for us.

Being an electrical engineer, I am not worried about the UL issues. I am just trying to avoid running new #6 back to the panel when I already have #6 15 feet from the Aerovironment J1772 and only want the J1772 as an emergency backup for the other LEAF once the S arrives.

My biggest worry really is that the TESLA isn't too big for the garage opening although I imagine that shouldn't be an issue.

I have charged my Model S on standard LEAF's Level2 home EVSE.

Delivers 30A. Works just fine with J1772 adapter for Model S.

@frisbin | JANUARY 13, 2013: I have charged my Model S on standard LEAF's Level2 home EVSE. Delivers 30A. Works just fine with J1772 adapter for Model S.

Same here. But I decided to unplugged the Blink charger and used its NEMA 6-50 plug to charge the Model S quicker. I got a NEMA 6-50 adapter while waiting for my HPWC to be delivered.

BTW, I just hooked up my Model S to the LEAF's Aerovironment EVSE to make sure I knew how to hook up J1772 and that it will work, since I am about to go out of town where my only way back will be charging on J1772 (the hotel I am staying at has EV chargers, and there are other chargers around as well).

The Model S was able to charge at 30A, getting back 16mi/hr (rated).

I am surprised the LEAF charger doesn't pick up 24 miles/hr of charge as my LEAF picks up 12 miles per hour of charge at half that amperage.

I have both a Leaf and a Model S. I bought the Leaf first so I installed a GE Wattstation with a Nema 6-50 plug. I used the 240V 30A dryer breaker, which I don't use as my dryer is gas. The charger on the 2012 Leaf is only 3.3KW so it only draws 16A.

I had the electrician use the 240V 50A stovetop breaker for my NEMA 14-50. The Tesla is able to charge at the full 40A to max out the 10KW onboard charger.

By using the circuits that I wasn't using anyways, I did not have to upgrade my panel and now can push 56A in my garage at once and take advantage of the super off peak rates for both cars between MN and 6AM. This will be enhanced when I can program the Model S to charge between MN and 6AM.

You can probably use the GE Wattstation or some other Level 2 charger to charge your Model S, since it does come with the J1772 adapter. However, My model came with a 30A limit even if it was connected to a 50A circuit. Thus I would have to dial down the Amp Setting in the Tesla to 30A which would only give me 7KW per hour. In fact, since the Wattstation is connected to a 30A breaker, I would have to reduce the Tesla's Amp setting to 24A to keep things safe, giving me less than 6KW per hour.

In summary, it totally doable to use one charger for both, but it is much better to have a dedicated charger for each car.

I didn't want to be locked into a high-power Tesla-only solution for charging as I currently have a LEAF too - and will probably have other J1772-based vehicles in the future. Therefore, I ended up installing a ClipperCreek CS-100 at home to charge both my Model S Performance (with twin onboard chargers) and my LEAF. It's a pricey unit, but industrial strength and it will charge the Model S at a full 80A (19.2 kW) - though you do have to use the J1772 adapter with the Model S. I haven't found this to be even the slightest bit of an inconvenience, though. The CS-100 works great with all the plug-in vehicles I've tried it with. The only downside is the cord is *really* a beast and takes some hefting around. That's the price you pay for being able to charge at such high power, I guess.

Good luck!

If the current EVSE is hardwired, there might not be a neutral wire at all. If so, the 14-50 is not the correct plug to use. Use a 6-50 instead and get the correct adapter.

We Leafers always open the charge port from inside. I do not see that as a hassle at all, it's more or less muscle memory ;)

Even so, I do think the fob should be able to open the charge port. Personally I have no need for the function that lowers all the windows so it would be nice to be able to reprogram this to open the charge port door instead. We just need a simple swith on the settings screen for this, should be very easy to program.

@laalan - the LEAF only has a 3.3kW charger, so it can only use around 14A. It draws 16-17 steady-state (it hits 30A for 20 sec or so when it first starts charging).