How Long Does It Take to Charge a Tesla Model 3?

By Nicki Schill •  Updated: 06/23/22 •  6 min read

Everybody these days seems to want things right away, and when it comes to charging up our technology, we’re no different.

Just ask someone whose phone battery is about to die.

So when it comes to your Tesla Model 3, what can you expect for charging time, and is there any way to charge up your vehicle’s battery as quickly as your phone?

The answer, as usual, is it depends.

We’re going to dive into the targeted time frames for every different Model 3 and the different factors to consider when trying to shave some time off your charging period.

We’ve also done some digging into real-world numbers from real-world users so that you get the most accurate assessments.

Factors That Impact the Model 3’s Charging Time

Every charging session is different. 

The time it takes to charge your Model 3 is impacted by things such as:

  1. Size of the battery
  2. Fullness of the battery
  3. Maximum charging rate of the vehicle
  4. Maximum charging rate of the chargepoint
  5. Environmental factors such as battery temperature, etc.

Like any other technology that requires batteries, the bigger the battery, the longer it takes to charge. So it stands to reason that charging car batteries is going to take a bit of time.

Consider also where and when you plan on charging your Model 3 to get a better idea of just how long to expect.

How Long to Charge a Model 3 at Home (Using 120V Level 1 Chargers)

Yup, there are levels to charging that will also impact your time spent at the plug.

Your Level 1 charger is the slowest of the charging options.

L1 chargers plug directly into a standard 120-volt AC outlet, supplying your Model 3 with about 1.3 Kw to 2.4 Kw or 3–5 miles of range per hour.

So if you do some quick math, that works out to anywhere from 20 to 40 hours to fully charge your Model 3 from a low battery.

Every Tesla model used to come with an L1 mobile charger, but it wasn’t exactly worth the wait.

I highly doubt you want to plug your vehicle into the same outlet as your washer and dryer, so most drivers don’t even consider this an option.

Tesla Model 3 Charging Time Using Level 2 Chargers

Now a Level 2 or L2 charger is going to deliver a steady, more powerful charge than an L1.

Usually mounted on the walls of your home, L2 chargers have 240 volts on a 40-amp circuit, which increases your charging speed tenfold to that of the L1.

L2s deliver around 18–28 miles of range per hour and are the easiest solution for daily charging at home or at your work parking lot.

If you plug in your Model 3 into a Level 2 charger, you can get a full charge from empty in eight hours, making it ideal for those overnight charges.

Probably the most common method of charging, Level 2 is the right mix of power and speed to get you charged in a decent amount of time.

But if you’re really strapped for a boost, there are superchargers out there to get you going in minutes.

How Long Does It Take to Charge a Model 3 at Superchargers (Level 3)?

For those lengthy road trips, Tesla has built a Supercharger highway across the United States so that even on the road, a quick charge is never that far away.

The Tesla Supercharger is the fastest option, allowing you to charge your Model 3 up to 200 miles in 15 minutes.

But with the added costs and the additional strain on your battery to accommodate the high rate of charge, it’s best to limit your trips to the Supercharger to only when you really need them.

Here’s a handy breakdown of the levels of charging for your Model 3 and the charge times they come with:

Level 13–5 miles of range per hour120 volts20–40 hours for 80% charge
Level 218–28 miles of range per hour240 volts7–8 hours for 80% charge
Level 3Up to 1000 miles of range per hour 480 volts15–30 minutes for 80% charge

Note that the range per hour for Level 3 is on the new V3 of the Tesla Supercharger network.

Check out this video from State of Charge as he walks through how long it took him to charge his Long Range Model 3 at the V3 Supercharger.

Now remember that you don’t want to solely rely on Supercharging your Model 3, but here are five key tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your time spent at the super plug.

Also keep in mind that additional time is needed at any level to get to 100% battery charge as the rate of charging slows down past 80% to protect the battery’s health. 

But most people choose not to charge their vehicle over 80%–90% anyway as that’s the recommended sweet spot. 

Check out other charging tips for your Model 3 here.

Does the Age of a Model 3 Impact Charging Time?

Tesla is all about innovation, and they’ve definitely tweaked the Model 3 over the years to achieve optimal performance.

But what does that mean for charging older models?

Well, State of Charge compared a 2019 Model 3 with a 2021 Model 3 and did discover a bit of a difference.

Check out the chart below:

how long does it take to charge a tesla model 3

While the charge times are super similar, the newer models don’t seem to hold their peak charge rate for nearly as long as the older models.

This doesn’t matter a ton in the grand scheme of things, but it’s interesting that older models ramp up to their peak charge rate faster and stay there longer.

Is There a Difference in Charging Time Based on the Trim Package?

There are three different trim packages available for the Model 3, and each of them has their own range limits which can affect charge times.

Consider that the Model 3 Long Range has nearly 100 miles more in range than the Standard Range Plus package. You’d think it would take significantly more time to charge, right?

Well, not necessarily. 

Their onboard chargers all differ. Specifically for the Long Range Model 3, its onboard charger has a higher kW, allowing it to catch up to the other trim levels.

Here’s a look at how the trims stack up against each other using Level 2 charging:

Model 3 Standard Range PlusModel 3 PerformanceModel 3 Long Range
8.8 hours7.2 hours8.02 hours

Final Thoughts

For most Model 3 drivers, a home Level 2 charger is the best bet for making sure your vehicle is ready to go each day.

It just doesn’t make sense to wait it out with a Level 1, and the Level 3 comes with its own warnings as well.

Schedule your charging periods overnight at home, or if you’re lucky enough to have charging stations at work, plug in there while you put in your day at the office.

And just think, no matter the time it takes, charging your Model 3 still beats paying the gas prices at the pump.

Nicki Schill

Nicki Schill is a writer and content marketer out of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. As the former Geotab Marketing Manager, she’s got loads of experience in electric vehicles and fleet electrification. She’s a tech blogger and marketing guru who enjoys all things Canadian like hockey and poutine.

Keep Reading