Can You Charge A Tesla With A Generator?

Last Updated on November 7, 2022 by

You may be used to charging your Tesla at home as soon as you get back from a long drive. This is ideal if you use your Tesla for commuting and a few errands during the week.

However, for longer rides, you may find yourself opting for less traditional means of charging up your Tesla. That could mean using a generator and bringing one with you.

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Is it a good idea to try and use a generator to charge a Tesla? Does it even work?

There are portable battery generators that are designed for electric vehicles and inverters that you can also use. While they may not be as formidable as the supercharging stations and wall connectors that Teslas use, they are an option.

Thankfully, Teslas are also well served by charging stations that should provide a charge when you need it.

Can You Charge A Tesla With A Portable Battery?

There are portable batteries that are capable of charging a Tesla. The Sparkcharge Roadie is an ultrafast and portable charging system for an electric car which should be ideal for a Tesla.

The Roadie has a total energy of 3.7 kWh and total usable energy of 3.5 kWh. For your Tesla, that is a charge rate of one mile per minute so you may have to be patient with it and only bring it out when you truly need to.

You can also carry it in the trunk of your car for those long journeys when you may need an extra boost and a charging station is too far away.   

Can You Charge A Tesla With Portable Solar Panels?

While you could charge a Tesla with portable solar panels (as you can charge almost any electric device with the right port and connector) it is largely impractical to do so.

That is largely because the required amount of energy for an electric car like a Tesla far exceeds how much energy a single solar panel produces. You would require a whole solar energy system to get off the grid and to stop using utility electricity to charge your Tesla. 

Can You Charge An Electric Car With A Generator While Driving?

Can You Charge A Tesla With A Generator

For a plug-in hybrid, you may consider charging an electric car with a gasoline or diesel generator. This may be a solution to driving your electric car over long distances, even while driving.

However, it may not be wholly legal so this is likely not a great option to use as you could find yourself in trouble. 

Certainly, an electric car should use that sole power source and a generator may seem impractical while driving. You would also have to tow it along which may prove as much a drain on your battery as the charge it would provide.

If you want to go a long distance you may be better off planning where the charging stations are located to ensure you can make the journey.

Do Electric Cars Have A Generator?

Almost all cars come with a generator which is called an alternator. It effectively runs your car after it has started so charges up the battery system to generate that power.

However, electric cars do not have an alternator but they do have a DC-to-DC converter. In a similar way to a gas-powered car, it is this component that powers the vehicle by recharging the 12-volt battery by using the power from the traction battery. 

How Long Does It Take To Charge A Tesla?

When your Tesla has a low battery, you want to know how long it can take to charge up. There are different levels of charging that can charge at their own rate. For instance, a 120-volt outlet at home is considered Level 1 AC and can take 20-40 hours for a full charge.

That may mean charging it every day as soon as you get home to ensure that a partial charge turns into a full one for the next time you take out your Tesla. 

If you were charging at home, you can go a step up to AC Level 2 which is a tailored Tesla home charger and can take 8 to 12 hours. For supercharging, go for a Tesla Supercharger which is also known as Level 3 DCFC and can provide a full charge in just 15 to 25 minutes. 

How Long Does It Cost To Charge A Tesla At A Charging Station?

At a Tesla Supercharger station, you can get a quick charge on your Model S or Model X which is ideal for a road trip. Only Tesla vehicles can use these stations and can provide a full charge between an hour and an hour and a half.

For an improved charging station at home, you can install a wall connector that can charge a Tesla Model S in between six and nine hours while a Model X can take a bit longer at six and a half to ten hours.

Using a gas-powered portable generator to charge your Tesla!

Inverter To Charge Tesla

Out of the different charging methods you could choose, there is always an inverter. If you did want to pick this method for your Tesla, you would need a pure sine wave inverter with a grounding solution.

Both the pure sine wave and the grounding solution are required in order to generate a charge so it is quite a specific method of charging. 

Can You Charge A Tesla With A Regular Outlet?

You may be pleased to learn that you can use a standard 110-volt outlet to charge your Tesla. As standard equipment with new Teslas, a NEMA 5-15 adapter is provided to be used with a 110-volt outlet and provides around two to four miles of range for every hour of charging.

Final Thoughts

It should be a healthy habit to charge up your Tesla as soon as you can. After all, making sure it has a full charge means peace of mind that you can get to your destination without worrying about a depleted battery.

However, if you did want to use a portable charger then there are generators you can bring with you just in case.

How Many Hours Does A Tesla Battery Last? If we’re talking full charged, on average 300 miles per charge, dependng on the model, driving style and season. Overall battery life is estimated by Elon Musk to be between 300,000 and 500,000 miles.

Derek Bruce
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