"We use 230V – 3 phase with each phase at 16A (so 11kW charging power)"

"...the total loss is only about 3.5%, with 1.0% being lost in the transport of electricity through the cables, Tesla charger, and charging cable. The remaining 2.5% is lost in the Tesla when converting from alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC), plus during storage in the battery cells. "


Will the losses be the same using single-phase 120 Volt charging?

Is there some other combination of Voltage, Amperes, or Phasing where the losses would be even less?

  • $\begingroup$ What about the 65% losses from source energy to point of use? Or do you have a renewable energy source like pv? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 18, 2021 at 4:38
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike, it looks like you are referring to thermal losses in steam or gas turbines. Grid losses for UK are about 7%. $\endgroup$
    – Transistor
    Apr 18, 2021 at 7:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Transistor and the process of getting the source fuel? oil, gas etc from the ground? $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Apr 18, 2021 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ @SolarMike isn't the question about losses in the point-of-use device rather than extraction, generation and transmission? $\endgroup$
    – Will.W
    Apr 18, 2021 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ @Transistor This article tm3een.home.blog/2021/01/23/total-efficiency-tesla-model-3 describes losses using dedicated charging bays. Aren't the losses in converting AC to DC hidden by the dedicated charging equipment itself? and in this data set there is still a 4% loss in getting the energy to the battery storage. So the questions begs, which configuration produces the least energy loss. $\endgroup$ Apr 18, 2021 at 13:19

1 Answer 1


Losses will likely be slightly higher for 120V due to larger current, need for more wire material, less adapted semiconductors.

Loss in cable is reduced as voltage is increased, so larger voltage is better.

Loss in semiconductors is much harder to estimate. We have popular semiconductors for anywhere between 5V and 5kV. For the same price losses will be smaller in semiconductor that is more widely produced and closer to some theoretical optimum voltage. 230V is used more widely worldwide, so price is lower. From material perspective optimal voltage in today's technology is likely about 500V, 230V is also closer to it than 120V. So 230V is much more likely to be cheaper for the same loss, Or have lower loss for the same price.


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