As with almost everything in life, one has to get permits. The same counts for Tesla Chargers and Superchargers. The thing is; if the risk is higher for anyone getting harmed, the probability of you needing to get a permit also gets higher. But for which Tesla chargers exactly do I have to get a permit?
The permits you need to install a Tesla charger vary depending on your location, the level of charge you wish to achieve, and the property type. If Level 1 has a receptacle, you don’t need a permit. Level 2 will often need an electrical permit. Tesla will handle all Level 3 (Supercharger) permits.
Read on to find out exactly what the deal is. I tried to make it as shockingly simple to understand.
Tesla Charger Permits Vary by Location and Level
Residential properties are only allowed to have Level 1 or Level 2 charging stations. In general, most Level 1 charging stations don’t require a permit at all. However, one exception is if you need to install a new 120V outlet, in which case you will need to apply for an electrical permit from your local authorities.
A Level 2 charging station on residential property will require an electrical permit and possibly a mechanical permit if mechanical ventilation is required.
For multifamily properties, the general requirement is that any charging station is placed in an assigned parking space. To do this, one must obtain a Simple Projects Permit.
Commercial and industrial properties must submit plans to get building and electrical permits. In general, plans must include the following information:
- Added load to electrical service panels
- Necessary grading or drainage work
- Displaced landscaping
- Proposed new lighting
- Required parking spaces
- Accessibility requirements
A building permit is required if new construction is needed or if additions or alterations are being made to an existing building.
These are general guidelines. Different jurisdictions will have different requirements, so be sure to check with your local authorities before making any plans for building a charging station.
Cost of Installation for a Tesla Charger
Installing a Tesla charging station is a large undertaking that shouldn’t be taken lightly. One reason it is such a serious decision is the costs associated with the process. Installation can range from $750 to $1,500 for equipment, professional installation, necessary permits, inspection, etc.
In addition to that base cost (as if the base cost isn’t high enough), there are additional costs for any:
- Underground wires required
- Long wire runs
- Additional sub-panels
- Main panel upgrades
- Pedestal installation
- Hiding cables
Installing an at-home charging station is worth it for Tesla owners who use their Tesla every day because it is far more convenient to charge at home than tracking down a charging station every time your battery gets low.
For businesses and commercial properties, installing a charging station can encourage new customers and put a business on the map, so the boost in business may be worth the initial cost of installing a charging station. Additionally, you’ll be offering something your competitors most likely aren’t, making you the better choice for electric vehicle owners.
Different Levels of EV Charging
The permits you need to attain differ depending on the charging station you wish to install. Let’s make sure we understand these different levels.
There are three levels of electric vehicle charging: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 (clever names, I know). The higher the level, the faster the charging, and the more power that goes into your vehicle.
If you’re wondering how much it costs to install a Level 3 charging station, then check out this related article that I wrote. It might also help you.
The good news is that your Tesla is smart and knows how much power it can handle, and it will only accept that much power. This means that you cannot plug your Tesla into a charging station that will deliver too much power.
Here is a guide to the different levels of electric vehicle charging:
|Charge Level||Voltage||Charging Speed||Locations|
|Level 1||120V||3-5 miles per hour (4.8-8 km/h)||Home, Workplace, Public|
|Level 2||208V to 240V||12-80 miles per hour (19.3-128.7 km/h)||Home, Workplace, Public|
|Level 3 (Supercharging)||400V to 900V||3-20 miles per minute (4.8-32 km/h)||Public|
Level 1 charging is the most easily achievable level. The charging equipment can just be plugged into a regular wall outlet. However, the charging is extremely slow, so if you use your Tesla daily, this probably isn’t the level for you.
Level 2 is the most common level for daily charging. The equipment can be installed in public locations and at home with certain permits. Even if you start with an empty battery, your vehicle can be completely charged overnight when using Level 2.
Superchargers use Level 3 charging. This level uses direct current, so very few residential locations have the voltage ability to host a Level 3 charger.
The following video explains in further detail the difference between these levels of charging:
Permits for Supercharging Stations
The guidelines outlined above apply to Level 1 and Level 2 charging stations, but what about Level 3?
Tesla manages the construction and operation of Supercharging stations, so they bear the responsibility to attain the necessary permits and permissions. Companies and potential hosting sites can apply to become a Supercharging site on Tesla’s website.
Tesla determines which sites are selected based on popular routes and destinations and the location of other Supercharging stations. Once a site is approved, the installation process can be extremely fast.
In fact, Tesla unveiled a prefabricated system in March of 2022 that makes the process of deploying new Supercharger stations faster than ever. A new Supercharger station in Florida was built in just eight days.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Permits Do I Need To Install a Tesla Charger?
The permits you need depend on where you live, the type of property, and the charging station level. You might need an electrical permit, mechanical permit, and/or a building permit for installation.
Do I Need To Contact Tesla for a Permit?
For Level 1 and 2 charging, you do not need to contact Tesla when installing a station. All permits are attained through local authorities. You will need to order charging equipment from Tesla online.
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