Charge port location problem

Charge port location problem

First, Great car!!
I live in the north of Europe (Sweden) and on the parkinglots most have electric poles for all cars.
These are used during winter when electric heating are needed.
Most of them are just 10A, 240VAC but at some places 3Phase 50A+ outlets are set up to prepare for the electric invasion.
Now to my concern:
Almost all cars in northern Sweden, Norway, Finland have a electric inlet port (usually brand Defa or Calix) somewhere in the front of the car, inside the grill or around the headlights. So when we have parked the car the front is close to the electric pole and we just need a short cable between. We also do not step or trip on the cables (that can be buried in snow) that the car besides me have connected.
Now, the Testa S has the connector on one side which I see will be a problem here.
Solving the problem is easy:
There must be a Additional Charge port located at the front of the car for at least the nothern hemisphere market.
With the usually narrow parkinglots there is just no space for a sidemounted change port cable.
A front mounted charge port is the best solution and also similar to the electric heating solution people is used to today.
Tesla have wintertested their cars here in Sweden so they should know how the parking lots elecric outlets look like.
My 5 cents

NielsChr | 12. lokakuu 2011

I agree with you, Tesla should inklude a extra charge port inside the front trunk - this way the carge port will be protected by weather and vandalism.
Though I don't see the front/back location of the charge port as a big isue - you can usually reverse the car in to the parking lot, I gues this will be the solution.

How-ever as said, a extra cahrging port insidde the trunk either in the front og in the back - I personally thing it would fit best in the front trunk, as the charging cable then could be stored there as well. (I did have a electrick "car" back in early 90', back then the charge port was located inside the truck, witch was a perfect place - the placement of charing ports outside the car is a left over from conv. cars

jbunn | 12. lokakuu 2011

I really hope it has a front port option too. When I pull up to my garage, I'm going to have 15 feet of cable on the ground to coil and uncoil. Same with charging at the mall, or work, or wherever. Unless you are paralell parking, the nose is where it goes.

Robert.Boston | 12. lokakuu 2011

...or we all get really good at backing into parking spaces. Even if a front-charging spot is offered as a cost+ option, I think many buyers would find this option valuable.

Volker.Berlin | 13. lokakuu 2011


It's an electric car after all. Yes, gasoline cars usually have only one filler, and that's as close to the gas tank as possible. Makes sense from a gasoline point of view. But an all electric car -- and particularly the "best car of any kind" -- should not restrict itself and its owners by these archaic norms and conventions. Hey, we've got 4 USB ports, why shouldn't we have 2 charge ports?

perbakken | 13. lokakuu 2011

What happen with this lid if it is covered by snow and ice, which often could happen here in Norway during the winter? Will it be possible to open at all, or maybe the motor for opening this lid will be broken?

Volker.Berlin | 13. lokakuu 2011

It must/should be heated, just as the retractable door handles. (But I do not know if it actually is.)

stephen.kamichik | 13. lokakuu 2011

The car comes standard with a back-up camera. So what if you have to back the car in for charging.

EdG | 13. lokakuu 2011

Once upon a time I remember Jaguars had two fill caps - one on each side, just for convenience. How difficult is it to put a cable from the front trunk to the existing rear charge entry point?
You could even leave the cable connected inside the front trunk if you like. Then just open the trunk and plug in the far end.

While I'm at it: I'm so spoiled by the backup camera in my cars that I want a wide angle one in the front so parallel parking, etc., would be less of a guessing game.

I've already asked that cameras be put all around the car and the video feeds be electronically meshed onto the 17" display to provide an all around view of traffic near the car. Just a wish list item for safety in changing lanes. That would make other cars' mirrors seem like driving a moving van with no center rearview. A game changer, and not as expensive to engineer as the Acura TL blind spot indicators, because it needs no new hardware and no decision making software, just a screen like the one on the dash.

Brian H | 14. lokakuu 2011

I posted this previously, just as a help. A pro (delivery van) driver trained me to do this, it's slick, and kind of fun:

With practice, you can p-park in one step (any size vehicle). Back past the front car till rear wheels align. Cut in sharply, and hold till the front wheels align with the other car's rear wheels. Now cut back sharply, while continuing to back. Your nose will just miss the tail of the other car (a few inches/cm; this is a bit nerve-wracking at first, but you'll eventually gain faith in the geometry!). You will arrive in perfect position, a few inches from the curb; you may need to turn the front wheels in if facing downhill.

About 1 m. side displacement is usual to start; varies slightly with your own car's length.

EdG | 14. lokakuu 2011

@Brian H:
When I practiced for my driver's road test, I could nail it every time. It didn't matter if the car I was parallel to was big, small, parked far away from the curb, at an angle, ... anything. I nailed it. Rumor had it at the time that if I touched the curb at all it was an "unsafe maneuver" and I would have failed instantly. Even with that, I was confident enough to park within 2 inches both front and back, first shot.

That said, it's been some years. In addition, I find when I am parking, most often I have to wait with my car even with the empty spot to defend it, then, when traffic clears (between green lights at the intersection behind me) rush ahead, start back, and attempt to park before new traffic comes on. No time to measure, etc.

I don't see any of that in your instructions!

More importantly to this thread, sometimes I am simply turning past an obstacle, and can't see how far it is from the front right corner of the car. No amount of instructions for that situation will replace a sensor or camera.

Brian H | 14. lokakuu 2011

True. As an aside, those situations would be impossible for a computerized parking system, too.

foto | 30. huhtikuu 2012

Sorry for high jacking this thread, but the concern is similar. I am of the opinion that the charging cable should be part of the vehicle and retracts into the car. One could easily forget to throw the cable in the car when planning for a road trip and in such a case, what would you do to get charged up? Can other EV owners share there experience?

BYT | 30. huhtikuu 2012

They should sell extra adapters at the local Costco or other warehouse stores... ;) I like the idea of having the cord built in and coiled in the car for you to pull out and just plug-in. Would be much more convenient and would keep the cord off the ground as well.

jkirkebo | 30. huhtikuu 2012

I never forget the cord as it is always present in the trunk of my Leaf. I use a 20A outdoor rated EVSE at home so I don't have to pack/unpack the mobile charging cable all the time.

I would want a similar EVSE for the Model S if I get one, but the HPC2 will not work since it won't go lower than 32A and I can't spare that much power for EV charging.

I might have to use my present EVSE and the J1772 adapter all the time.

Teoatawki | 30. huhtikuu 2012

I'm planning on either getting the Tesla home charger or an extra charging cable for home use, which I'll keep on a hook. Then I can always have a charging cable in the frunk for use on the road.

DallasTxModelS | 30. huhtikuu 2012


I believe the specs says that both the cable that stays in your garage and an additional mobile cord for the trunk is included.

Teoatawki | 30. huhtikuu 2012


According to specs page you only get 1 cable.

"10 kW capable Universal Mobile Connector with 110 V, 240 V, and J1772 adapters"

ddruz | 30. huhtikuu 2012

When visiting the Menlo Park store last week Neil told me the J1772 adapter would be short one piece adapter separate from the UMC. The UMC can stay in our garages and the J1772 adapter can be carried in the car for those times when we need a public charging station to get a few extra miles. When planning a road trip we might want to carry the UMC in the car but for day to day usage most of us probably will only be charging up overnight at home where the UMC can stay.

CraigL | 30. huhtikuu 2012

I agree, the charging port belongs in the front of the car. It is perhaps neat that there is a port door in the taillight that opens up, but it isn't actually practical in the scenarios I imagine.

This is a deal where form should follow function, unfortunately Telsla has this formula reversed in regards to the charging port location.

BYT | 30. huhtikuu 2012

I always back into my driveway as I have to pop onto a busy street and backing into a busy street is much less desirable then just pulling out facing out. I just wish the charger was on both the left and right of the car to allow for that flexibility. Maybe there was a fear that someone would plug into both sides at once?

Mark K | 30. huhtikuu 2012

This seems like rational request, particularly for inclement weather venues.

It wouldn't be essential for me (living in Los Angeles), but here's an idea for an option for those owners who need it:

The grill on the S is a separate component, which could be swapped out later for an upgraded one with a built in front charge port.

Since the grill is molded of black polyurethane, it's easy to disguise the port cover without disturbing the beautiful lines of the aluminum hood (unlike the busy looking hatch on the Nissan Leaf). This also doesn't affect the big stamping dies, which are more costly to change.

The cover can have a weatherstrip seal to prevent water intrusion or aerodynamic drag issues.

One important feature I'd love to see is a built-in cord and auto-retractor reel. That would be a huge convenience when it's raining, since it'd save a lot of schlepping.

When the car is unlocked, it would be most convenient to just push the hatch cover to release its latch and pop it open (like Mercedes gas cap covers). Having the charge connector spring out and present for grabbing would complete the picture, and maximize the sex-appeal.

A cord that's always handy, neatly packed, and helps put itself away would an awesome refinement of the EV experience.

Now that I think about, if TM offered this later as an after-purchase upgrade option, I think I'd actually spring for one myself.

BYT | 30. huhtikuu 2012

You could also hide the front charge port behind the front license plate since we all know we will need that here in CA as well... ;)

Timo | 02. toukokuu 2012

I don't see any reason why car couldn't have multiple charging ports. Just use the one that is nearest to the plug. Only thing I can see as potential hazard here is that some oddball tries to charge using several ports at once.

stevenmaifert | 02. toukokuu 2012

Forget practicality...The charge port is where it's at for purely aesthetic reasons. The designers felt that a visible charge port door would be a blemish on the "Endurance Athlete's" "sculpted form". I got that tidbit from a rep at last year's Oct 1 factory event.

CraigL | 02. toukokuu 2012

Ouch. Purely aesthetic reasons = purely poor reason. It seems with a small amount of spit balling several forum members have solutions which would solve both the aesthetic and functional problems with the current design.

Mark K | 02. toukokuu 2012

Aside from aesthetics, TM Engineers also had good technical reasons to locate the rear charge port where it is.

The connections to the power inverter electronics module and battery pack are all very near there (between the rear wheels).

Minimizing the length of the requisite heavy copper high current cables helps reduce electrical losses, materials cost, and weight.

The rear quarter side location also reduces risk of damage during front-end and rear collisions (the most likely), compared with a front or rear license plate location.

So I actually think TM made very intelligent engineering design choices for the charge port.

If you set aside technical considerations, you can certainly make a case for the convenience of a front port like I described above, but it will definitely cost weight, money and efficiency. It's not so good to force those trade-offs on every customer (even those who don't need it).

So it seems like the best way to accommodate different user needs is in fact through a separate option, which appears doable even as an after-purchase upgrade.

Hopefully they will offer something later for the folks who want it.

Mark K | 02. toukokuu 2012

BTW, it's electrically no big deal to arrange for multiple charge ports work cooperatively and not blow each other up.

Timo | 03. toukokuu 2012

It can be a bit challenging, if the ground levels and phase between those two plugs used are not same.

For a wild story about ground levels being different I have a friend that used to fix televisions, videos etc, and he had a case where most electrical things got their ground from the electric plug, but radio (part of the system) got its from the antenna cord. Voltage difference between chassis of the TV and stereo system was over 300 volts with no (apparent) error in connections, other than not using grounded plug with stereos.

To get back into case at hand, who knows what kind of electrical wirings some oddball has in his garage, so that kind of wild behavior is not completely out of the question. I have seen so messed up electrical wirings that it was really miracle no-one got killed installing them: like you close the main power from main breaker box, and three-phase electric oven still gets electricity from somewhere?? That took some figuring out what the h*ll had been done there. Apparently someone managed to connect that oven directly to the base of the breaker box bypassing all the fuses without getting himself killed at the process.

Roblab | 03. toukokuu 2012

Purely practical reason: YOU CAN SEE IT. On another EV, the cord was in the front. It was extremely easy, as in "it happened", to jump in, turn on the key, NOT hear the motor running, and have the car quietly roll backwards out of the garage on the sloped floor. Then, WHANG, the charger pulled out of the car.

If it is on the driver's side rear, you see it as you back the car out. Not very many of us back in and pull out forwards. You can also see it as you enter the driver's side door, where you would not see it on the other side. Volt's idea of right next to the door is for the same reason.

Teoatawki | 03. toukokuu 2012

The car is immobilized when the charge port is connected.

BYT | 03. toukokuu 2012

"The car is immobilized when the charge port is connected." This is true, otherwise I AM the person who backs into my spot and would otherwise "WHANG" the charger out of one of the two sockets otherwise! :)

jerry3 | 03. toukokuu 2012

- Not very many of us back in and pull out forwards.

I always do. It's so much safer.

Having the port by the rear wheels is fine, but there needs to be one on each side--even if there is a manual selection control (aka switch) to choose which side is hot.

EcLectric | 04. toukokuu 2012

How about this:

Bury an inductive charger in your garage or carport floor. This is a large coil of wire hooked to the 220. To charge the car, you need to put the car's coil close to the charging coil. The same coil can be used for both charging and communication. When you park over the coil, the car's coil detects the presence of the charging coil and after a few minutes to make sure you are there to stay, the car's coil can be lowered , and use communication (or signal strength) to optimize its position over the charging coil.

This way you can charge automatically without doing anything! No wires to coil and uncoil, no contacts to get dirty or corroded.

If you don't like this idea, you could complain to the inventor, but unfortunately he died quite a while ago. His ideas do live on though.

MandL | 04. toukokuu 2012

We park two cars in an extremely narrow garage. We live in a very busy downtown area and don't really have any other option for parking. So both cars are parked with passenger door close to the wall, one back in and one front in. Thankfully, my Kia has auto-folding side mirrors. Putting the charging cable on the side just means one more PITA thing to squeeze past, and maneuver trash bags and packages past as we go through our lives. I would love to have a port in the front and/or rear.

BYT | 04. toukokuu 2012

Many years down the road, how possible is an inductive strip running down long highways to charge the car while driving it?

What technological hurdles are there for it?

I picture a Gen III that lacks in range to save in cost and battery weight but capable of inductive charging from the road while you drive. Maybe More like Gen VIII?

Volker.Berlin | 04. toukokuu 2012

BYT, my favorite! Inductive highways.
+ "Infinite" range, so much better than any ICE!
+ Smaller, lighter batteries -> lighter cars, cheaper cars, more MPG(e)
- Massive investments in infrastructure required
- Inductive charging technology of this kind still in its infancy

The idea is not new, and is being pursued while we speak. I've posted a couple of links in some older threads in this forum, cannot find them now unfortunately.

MandL | 04. toukokuu 2012
Brian H | 05. toukokuu 2012

Yeah! Solar roadways would work great with traffic abrasion and snow and debris and snowplow blade damage!


BYT | 05. toukokuu 2012

Well hold on a second Brian, as well I agree that snow and debris on the road can all but render the solar road useless, they are working on materials that will make the class hard as steel to handle the weight of the huge rigs and snowplow blades. Even if the surface is scared, sunlight still penetrates it just fine. The technology to do this is not here yet, but who's to say it can't get there and this would still make for a great solution for sidewalks, parking lots, intersections, ect.

It's not the perfect solution for every road or environment but it's a start and the best I have heard for our roadway infrastructure and waste management problems (using recycled plastics) that I have heard in a long time.

Brian H | 06. toukokuu 2012

What would scare the roadways? Growling semis? ;)
That might leave them emotionally scarred, as well!

Brian H | 06. toukokuu 2012

As I keep telling people, solar and all other renewables (as public utilities, not private niche setups) will be economic roadkill in about 5 yrs (maybe sooner if people twig to the info--the "news"--before the hardware arrives). .
Power at 1/10 the cost of coal generation, viable for a billion or two years of supply.

Slindell | 06. toukokuu 2012

Re: LPPHysics. Hey, it'll be great if it works. But unless it runs my Model S, we don't need to talk about it more in this forum.

Timo | 07. toukokuu 2012

Solar road would plain cost too much and be way too hard to maintain. Roads are cheap.

In very large parking lot like some airport it could work much much better. Maybe even as landing strip cover (teeny weeny fraction of the landing strips are at use at any time, and they need to be at good condition and clear from obstacles anyway).