TESLA: please make the charge port unlock once fully charged!

TESLA: please make the charge port unlock once fully charged!

With the increasing number of Teslas on the road, there is a growing need for a way to share destination charging by allowing others to unplug you once fully charged. (Note: this is NOT in reference to supercharging or J1772 chargers - just destination Telsa wall chargers.) As an example, I recently booked a hotel based on the presence of 2 Tesla 16kW chargers. Upon arrival, one was in use and the other did not have power. 18+ hours later, the same jerk was still tying up the Tesla charger, and I was stranded as a result. (Also note that Tesla destination chargers typically have 16' - 20' cables, so easily can reach the adjacent 2+ parking spots.)

The only issue that needs to be addressed if the charge port unlocks once the battery is full is that J1772 adapters could be stolen. (I'd like to think people are more considerate than that, but if they are willing to tie up a public EV charging station...) Maybe make the charge port unlock once fully charged as the default, with an option to manually override this when using the J1772 adapter? (Note that the J1772 charge cable is always unlocked ... only the adapter is locked.)

Magic 8 Ball | 28. august 2019

You hit the nail on the head, you can't please all the people all the time. Was it too difficult to try and track the "jerk" down?

Shwood | 28. august 2019

Never found him ... but left him a friendly note making him aware of the consequences of his actions.

Kary993 | 28. august 2019

If those consequences did not affect him then he will not care. He would care if he didn't leave his car there for so long. Thus he does not care about consequences because if he did he would not have been there so long and we would not be having this conversation.

Magic 8 Ball | 28. august 2019

Always leave room for benefit of doubt in those situations (I.E. medical emergency).

JAD | 28. august 2019

Or at least unlock at home when charging is complete. Not a huge deal, but would be easier much like the auto-homelink and lack of start-stop buttons.

Shwood | 28. august 2019

He will care when he is on the other end of the stick ... something I gently pointed out in my note. This is going to become an increasingly common concern if nothing (like an unlocking charge port) is done to address it.
It also will hurt hotels with destination Tesla chargers since, if you require sufficient remaining charge to continue your trip without destination charging, it eliminates the benefit of staying at these destinations... and conversely will make hotels with J1772 chargers more attractive.

Shwood | 28. august 2019

JAD: true, but hopefully you do not get stranded at home due to an inaccessible charger... so this would not address my concern.

bjrosen | 28. august 2019

Yes. This is really so obvious don't know why this isn't the default behavior. Destination charging is going to be a scarce resource for a long time, it's bad enough that EVSEs get ICEd, other Tesla owners shouldn't make it impossible to get a charge. I don't know how you would track down someone who's doing this, they could be out at dinner or a sleep. Ideally there would be enough EVSEs for everybody so you could just park and leave it overnight, but that might not happen for years.

ElectricAlex | 28. august 2019

This happened to me at a hotel, be aware though the destination chargers can also be valet spots if you request it. A 1st gen Model S was in a charge spot for 18 hours, someone who knew enough parked next to him at that point and charged next to him as the charge cable was 24'.

I requested that valet move the vehicle, which they did and I was able to charge at that point.

LostInTx | 28. august 2019

Had similar experience at a Marriott in Corpus Christi. Two adjacent parking spots with two Tesla 16kW chargers. An S had one and a 3 had the other. Next day, they're still there and still connected. I asked the front desk, who reasonably replied "sir, we have 250 rooms, how would you like to to track them down?".

The Hampton Inn across the street was nice enough to let me charge on their Tesla 16kW charger.

It's gonna happen - as we see often,both here and in the real world, owning a Tesla doesn't necessarily make you a decent human being.

Atoms | 28. august 2019

Email Tesla with your suggestion. I think it is good. Only possible issue is someone putting gum in the port, but people can do all sort of shitty things so I think this would be fine.

jjgunn | 28. august 2019

LostInTx | August 28, 2019
owning a Tesla doesn't necessarily make you a decent human being.
Sad but true.....

I had just pulled into Alameda SuCh'r. Unpaired slot 2A. Was charging at about 142 kW. 1A & 1B BOTH empty...6A & 6B BOTH empty.

I had my driver's door open - blocking spot 2B because other slots were open. A Model X was in 3A.

A guy pulls up in his Model S asking me to close my door so he can charge there. I politely explained...."Sir, (pointing) 1A or 1B will charge your car faster than this slot." Bro-ham gives me a dirty look but grudgingly parks in 1B next to me (instead of 1A). I explained about pairing at 150 kW SuperChargers & he completely shined me on like the douchebag he is.

I hope he reads this post. Complete tool

vincelorto | 28. august 2019

You couldve activated his sentry Mode? A good shake on the car to set off the alarm but do no damage. That should get the person coming real quick i think. Leave a note.

bjrosen | 28. august 2019

If you want to be a good citizen you could leave your phone number on the dash so that someone could contact you. The problem is that with a hotel your car might not be done charging until the middle of the night so you probably don't want a call at 5AM.

Daryl | 28. august 2019

My concern with having the port unlock after charging is complete is that sometimes I bring along my mobile charger and use an outdoor outlet. In that case I would want my charger locked in place so nobody can steal it.

If it could be optional, or automatically overridden when you use a mobile charger, that would work OK for me.

eplaskett | 28. august 2019

Good idea, though I suppose it could result in the theft of your J1772 adapter if you're using a non-Tesla EVSE.

The more I think about it, the more I think that charging stations at hotels should probably be valet-only in most cases. I was on the opposite end of the OP's problem about a year ago. We arrived at a hotel in the mid-evening. I had specifically booked it because they had Tesla Wall Connectors. (Their use was free, while parking was maybe $15 or $20 per night.) I thought I would have to valet the car and was fine with that, but the valet told me to go ahead and park the car myself in one of the charging spots. (The Tesla ones were all taken, but there was one J1772 slot open.) I did so, and we checked into the hotel and then went out to dinner on foot.

When we came back around 11 pm, the car wasn't finished charging but I was willing and intended to move it to a regular spot so that any late-arriving EV owner could charge. However, I walked around the whole parking deck and discovered that every parking spot was taken. The hotel was in a rather sketchy area on the edge of downtown and I wasn't going to go off property to find a place to put my car. So, it stayed in the charging spot all night because I didn't have any other real choices. As much as I don't like to valet my car, that could have helped here, if they'd had a few parking spots reserved for EVs that were done charging or had not yet started to charge, and had the valets jockey the cars around as necessary.

billtphotoman | 28. august 2019

I agree that this is a good idea. Another option would be to have the car notify the owner via the app when charging is complete and give them the option to unlock the charge port. For now I leave a printed note with my car when I am using destination chargers so others in need and contact me. I also do my best to move my car when it gets enough charge. Right now I agree one can't really count on destination chargers in most cases because they can be ICEd, broken or in use by other EVs. So, I always have a backup plan. Long term what I would really like to see is some combination of Urban SCs at more hotels and reservable for a fee L2 chargers at hotels. I would happily pay to guarantee availability to an L2 charger at a hotel. Right now I need so make sure I arrive at the hotel with enough range to make it to the nearest SuperCharger in a pinch which complicates and slows down travel.

ArcticStation | 29. august 2019

The destination hotel must become more involved. They should; 1) cone the EV spaces to prevent ICEing, 2) lock the chargers and provide an unlock code to be used by the guest, 3) note the estimated time the charge will be complete and explain to the guest that they will be required to move the car at that time if others are waiting, 4) record the guest’s cell number and call their room or cell to remind them if the car needs to be moved, 5) and finally, cheerfully explain that per Tesla’s example, if they can’t be reached when the charge is complete and people are waiting to charge, there may be a substantial idle fee added to their bill.

4barkie | 29. august 2019

I was at the Peppermill in Reno. They have 2 tesla destination chargers. They ask you move your car when its done charging but since there is no penalty for not moving it I was surprised somebody didn't bogart the chargers. But I didn't see anyone commit that particular offense.

I stopped charging before mine was done charging so I didn't have to go out late and thought it would be rude to leave it.

I do draw the line at someone touching my car under any circumstances. I would not be in favor of an ota update to enable someone other than me to unplug my car.

The ass that left their car just is asking for trouble.

apodbdrs | 29. august 2019

Those destination chargers at hotels don't belong to TESLA, complain to the Hotel. When people sign in, they should know who has EVs. Also, have the hotel call the police and have the JERK ticked.

Hal Fisher | 29. august 2019

Unlocking is a good idea as long as it closes once the plug is out and maybe sentry turns on for a minute to catch jerk Doing something.

gmr6415 | 30. august 2019

@ArcticStation, sounds like a lot of time consuming, labor intensive demands for a free service. Under those conditions they'd probably just as soon take the chargers out or charge for the service.

Ron.Olsberg | 30. august 2019

As part of the freezing charge port fix, the charge port will unlock (after charging is complete) when the outside temp is cold. Cold is not anywhere near 32F but a few degrees below 50Fl. Another part of freezing charge port fix is to cycle the lock anytime the car is not asleep and not charging. Since I have received many firmware updates since last spring, things could have changed. i would have no problem if someone unplugged my car after charging was complete as long as the charge port closed. Maybe the car could default the charge port lock to unlocked after charging is complete but have a setting you could select to have is remained locked (so someone could not steal your car charger).

Shwood | 30. august 2019

This is not really the hotels' problem, nor are they likely to want to take responsibility for it unless they have valet's parking the car. (Most in the Hilton/Marriott lines of hotels that are leading the way in installing Tesla chargers do not have valets, and it would be a shame to reduce availability to only hotels offering valet parking.) In fact, if enough people complain to the hotel, I suspect they would just remove the charger. That said, I DO think hotels are responsible for keeping their EV chargers operable. This hotel had a second Tesla charger that had no power, so I DID complain about that!
It IS Tesla's problem, in that they want to make EV use as practical as possible, AND Tesla has the ability to solve the problem as well via an unlocking charge port (with a manual override for those using J1772 adapters or portable charge cables). As for emailing Tesla, I was told by my Tesla dealer than posting on the blog is the only way to get suggestions to Tesla - hence this post. If someone knows how to contact them directly, I am all ears.
In the meantime, I agree that proper etiquette demands unplugging/moving asap after charging, and leaving your cell number on your car (ideally) or with the front desk.
Vincelorto: didn't think about setting off his car alarm, but I suppose that would be a punishment proportionate to the crime!
ElectricAlex: that only works if the car is NOT plugged into a Tesla destination charger!

ayrton.neufeld | 02. oktober 2019

This wouldn't really work this way, I live in Winnipeg, Canada where you have to bolt down everything or someone will steal it, like the portable charger. It would need to be location based, like unlocking automatically at your home address so you don't have to use your phone..

Someone leaving their charger plugged in too long is not courteous but operating someone else's vehicle to remove the charger is not an option. I would kill someone for unplugging my car.

mps331 | 02. oktober 2019

there is actually an app, plugshare wherein you check in when you charge, but not everyone checks in; when I use their charger and check in, I leave my mobile number, to call or text, if anyone needs the charging station...

in our office, we have a few charging stations, I leave my office extension just in case others need it.

I just hope people will be more considerate... :-(

how can we reach more EV owners to share the charging stations?

httran26 | 02. oktober 2019

Normally while the car is charging, clicking the button on the charging plug will interrupt the charge. The owner will get a notification that charging was interrupted if he/she has that notification on.

Does the notification still occur when the car is done charging and the button is clicked?
If it does, I would stand there and continue to click the button.

vmulla | 02. oktober 2019

How about unlocking the charger if it's a public charger?
Or a message to the car owner of someone attempts to unplug? That'll help considerate owners unlock the charge port.

andy | 02. oktober 2019

I would be very concerned if the port unlocked. There are very many charge points around where you use your own type-2 cable. Having the port locked means that your cable doesn’t get stolen.

andy | 02. oktober 2019

@httran26 - what is the button on the charging cable?

andy | 02. oktober 2019

@httran26 - what is the button on the charging cable?

efuseakay | 02. oktober 2019

At least have a setting to unlock when charging at home. I know it’s no big deal having to jimmy the door handle but one less step would be a nice touch.