Unplugged by other Tesla. How is that possible

Unplugged by other Tesla. How is that possible

I was in a hotel in Lisbon, Portugal hooked up to a destination charger. I had set the charger to 85%, and to fully charge it starting at 6 am, so that when I would have been checked-out, I could jump in the car (Model S) and drive away. That evening I needed to take something out of my car when I discovered that a Model 3 was parked next to it, AND was using my destination charger (he had one charger as well, but it was a white, general and lower power one).

Apart from being an asswipe for taking away someone else's charger, HOW CAN YOU UNLOCK IT??? The doors were locked, so how can someone unplug a charger??? That's scary.

carlk | 23 March, 2019

The only thing I can think of is if he unplugged it before the car was automatically locked.

Ross1 | 23 March, 2019

How come there was a M3 in Portugal already?

jordanrichard | 23 March, 2019

Ummm, where to begin.
One, you can’t set a charging start time.
Two, I wasn’t aware that Tesla was delivery Model 3’s to Portugal
Three, if this was indeed a Tesla HPWC AND your was locked, they wouldn’t be able to remove it.

kaffine | 23 March, 2019


You can set a charging start time. It wasn't a SC but a destination charger the same as sold for home use.

They opened up ordering for left hand drive countries in Europe in January with deliveries in March.

OP what model Tesla do you have. How cold was it where the car was? Tesla has done different things with how/when the connector is locked.

kaffine | 23 March, 2019

mickel.werner I missed that you did include which model. You might want to post in the Model S forum as the charge port lock has some differences between the models. Also might want to include year and software version. | 23 March, 2019

Also European Teslas use a different connector. Perhaps there is no locking on European connectors (we need a European owner to chime in).

I wonder if this was not a destination charger but a J1772 (or whatever Europe uses). In that case, the adapter is locked to the car, but the cable is not. Easy to switch to another car (and switch back).

mickel.werner | 23 March, 2019

Thanks all. Yes, Model S, Oct 2018, latest software for here, 2019.5.15 (went to Lisbon Tesla centre to get it installed). It was quite warm in the garage (temperature 22°C outside, 25°C inside).

Yes you can schedule charging sessions, but in this case the schedule would have been me going down to do it.

As for Model 3, I haven't been in Norway, but so far after 7 weeks on the road through European coasts (4 month trip, 18,000 km around Europe), it's the most Model 3's I've seen. In the hotel, I had a 3 every day next to me, all different.

TeslaTap, I don't think the connector is different. Once locked, I can not remove it. It was a Destination Charger (not the "other" white EVs charger), and the cable is integrated to the charging unit, so can't be removed.

Hotel security said this was the first time they have seen this. What they did was actually funny.... they turned off the electricity in the chargers. I wasn't getting any since the M3 took the cable, but he wasn't getting any either.

Following day, security told me they got the guy. He wasn't even staying in the hotel, but was working in an office close by and was using the charger for free electricity. He's now banned from entering the garage.

kcheng | 23 March, 2019

Serves him right!

nothotpocket | 24 March, 2019

It seems inconsiderate to monopolize a destination charger from the afternoon through the next morning. Better to start your charge when you check in, and then unplug in case another traveller needs it.

mickel.werner | 24 March, 2019

I leave instructions at the front desk in case there's an electricity hungry Tesla that comes in. Don't leave my phone number in the car since it's a big car park and don't want to get prank calls. Starting charging at checkin, early morning, was of no use, since I needed the car to be at 100% next early morning. So I took the space in the afternoon, charging it to 85%, and then at 6 am, add the remainder - timed to checkout and drive away at 100%.

BTW, the other car space had a charger, and it was working. However, it was a 7 kWh one, the one I was using an 11 kWh.

jordanrichard | 24 March, 2019

Kaffine, ya, I don’t know what I was thinking. | 24 March, 2019

@micke - Very strange. I wish I knew how the guy got your charging cord. Glad he's banned. Ok, another slightly far fetched idea - any chance it wasn't inserted completely and not charging on your car (i.e. connector unlocked)?

nothotpocket | 24 March, 2019

@mickel.werner Sounds reasonable.

Roger1 | 24 March, 2019

Is it possible that the car unlocks the Destination Charger if it is not actively charging? If the car was set for 85% and reached that level then why not release the charger for another user? I appreciate that the OP wanted to top up the battery to 100% but how does that usage compare with someone needing an overnight charge to travel the next day?

In this particular case, the OP made arrangements to give up the charger if necessary and the M3 user was not entitled use the charger but not everyone is as considerate as the OP. Releasing a Destination Charger after a car reaches the desired state of charge makes sense.

blizzyb | 24 March, 2019

Interesting, didn't think that was possible? Hopefully that won't be an issue on the model Y since I've thought about ordering one? Speaking of, saw this joker post a video on the model Y.... Thoughts? | 24 March, 2019

With home charging, which should be functionally identical to destination charging, my connection is always locked, even when charging is stopped. That said, I've never actually used destination charging, so perhaps Tesla does something different for it.

NKYTA | 24 March, 2019

TT, they don’t.

tstolz | 25 March, 2019

Charge your car, then move it!! Personally I’m a fan of hotels charging an hourly rate for charging and/or requiring valet service so more people can charge.

ravtdi | 25 March, 2019

It might be related to the cold weather update that keeps the charging cord unlocked and cycles the charge port door shot pin, due to freezing issues during this past season.

mickel.werner | 25 March, 2019

Destination Chargers space is leased by Tesla, and must have a Red & White charger, red for Tesla only, White for anyone. Tesla is responsible for the chargers (what the hotel told me).

In the 7 weeks I'm on the road now, almost every night we're at a Destination Charger, and 99% of them very rarely see a Tesla (am currently in the very South of Portugal at a Destination Charger with a lot of cobwebs on the charger). Nevertheless, I leave instructions at the hotel front desk if a Tesla arrives requiring a charge and the white charger is also taken.

As far as being unplugged, I've tried some tests. The only thing that springs to mind is a thermal fuse blowing in the charger, and possibly the M3 pressing the charger reset and latch open button on the charger. Or some combo like that.

I've tried unplugging and I can't do it. That's why I was so surprised. And yes, the charger was plugged in properly and it was charging when I left the car.

The only logical explanation is that I didn't lock the car, and that the auto-lock did not work. But that would mean that the M3 driver would have had to open my door to unlock the latch.. right? | 25 March, 2019

@mickel - If the car is unlocked (and handles retracted), you should be able to remove the charging connector without having to open the doors. Maybe worth a try. Do you have walk-away locks enabled? If not, perhaps the car was unlocked. Another thought is if any door is left slightly ajar, the car remains unlocked.

rxlawdude | 25 March, 2019

It's only opening the charge port door that requires the car to be unlocked before you can press to open. Agree with others, a locked Tesla will not give up the charging connector. But there was that "cold weather fix" on the M3s where allegedly the charge port would automatically remain unlocked in below-freezing temps.

mickel.werner | 26 March, 2019

TT: It’s possible. The car is set to auto lock, but don’t check, so could be that a door was not totally closed.

jordanrichard | 26 March, 2019

mickel.werner, NO, Destination Charger spaces are not leased. If that was true, then why is it that the hotel has to pay for not only installing the HPWC, but also cover the cost of the electricity...........?

They only lease the spaces at supercharger locations.

mickel.werner | 28 March, 2019

Jordan. That’s what I thought but the hotel was quite adamant. Maybe it’s a Portugal thing. The current hotel I am staying in said that previous Tesla car had a problem charging and they called Tesla and told them to fix the problem. Which they did.