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This new home charging unit will also allow control and energy monitoring through the Tesla app for the first time.
Today Tesla announced a new
Universal Wall Connector, a Level 2 EV charger that’s intended for home use as well as in Tesla’s 40,000-strong public Level 2 chargers it refers to as destination charging. This means that owners of any non-Tesla EVs will be able to use this latest Tesla charging equipment without a separate adapter.
With a critical mass of automakers recently announcing that they will be switching from the J1772 plug to Tesla’s NACS receptacle in the 2025 timeframe, this isn’t a surprising move. Now Tesla stands not only to benefit from non-Tesla owners paying to charge at its Superchargers, but also will potentially sell a lot more home-charging units. Meanwhile, the other big players in home charging, such as ChargePoint, are rushing to add Tesla’s NACS plug to their offerings.
The new unit looks almost identical to its third-generation Wall Connector that is currently on sale, and all the specs carry over as well, with two key differences. The first is a built-in adapter to allow seamless switching between plugging in to a vehicle with Tesla’s North American Charging Standard (NACS) plug, which is currently found only on Teslas, and the round, J1772 plug that is used to charge nearly every other EV in the U.S. This is similar to the so-called Magic Dock adapter the company has built into some of its latest Supercharger stations to be able to be able to fast charge non-Tesla EVs. The other major change is that, through the Tesla app, users will be able to schedule or stop and start charging and view charging history and energy usage for the first time.
The current Wall Connector already has Wi-Fi connectivity for firmware updates and to be able to network multiple units together to share power from the same circuit without exceeding a peak programable power draw. While Tesla owners can monitor their charging history through the car and a third-party app such as TeslaFi, there’s currently no option for non-Tesla owners to track their charging, something that has kept the Wall Connector from being our top pick in our EV charging test.
Tesla currently sells Wall Connectors with either the NACS ($475) or J1772 ($550) plugs, while the price of the new Universal unit is up slightly, to $595. Both the current and new Universal Wall Connector have a maximum output of 11.5 kW, a 24-foot cable that is thinner than those of the competition, and come only as a hardwire option.
The Universal Wall Connector is available to order now, and while Tesla says the app functionality won’t launch until late August or early September, that shouldn’t matter, as the company says the new units will start shipping in October. Tesla is sending us one to try, so we’ll be back with a review soon.
Dave VanderWerp has spent more than 20 years in the automotive industry, in varied roles from engineering to product consulting, and now leading Car and Driver‘s vehicle-testing efforts. Dave got his very lucky start at C/D by happening to submit an unsolicited resume at just the right time to land a part-time road warrior job when he was a student at the University of Michigan, where he immediately became enthralled with the world of automotive journalism.
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