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Mastering the ins and outs of the Tesla Model 3 can be an exciting yet intimidating task. There’s a lot to learn, especially when it comes to charging your electric vehicle (EV). One question that commonly pops up is: where on earth is the charging port located?
The charging port on a Tesla Model 3 is located in the left rear tail light. To access it, gently press the curved area in the top-right edge of the tail light, causing the port door to pop open. With this knowledge, you can confidently charge your Tesla Model 3 using a home, Supercharger, or destination charging options.
What is the Tesla Model 3?
You may ask yourself, what makes the Tesla Model 3 so special? Well, this EV is known for its sleek design, groundbreaking features, and eco-friendly technology. Powered by an electric motor paired with a lithium-ion battery pack, it boasts of impressive performance and a minimal carbon footprint.
So, where’s the charging port?
You might be surprised to learn that the Tesla Model 3 hides its charging port in plain sight. It is integrated into the left rear tail light – a clever move allowing it to blend seamlessly with the car’s design. To access the port, follow these simple steps:
- Approach the driver’s side of the car and look for the tail light on the left rear side.
- On the upper right corner of the tail light, you will find the charging port.
- Gently press the curved area in the top-right edge of the tail light, and the port door will pop open.
- Voilà! You now have access to the charging port for your Tesla Model 3.
Now that you know how to locate the charging port, it’s essential to understand your charging options and how to effectively charge your Tesla Model 3.
What Types of Chargers Are Available for My Tesla Model 3?
For the Tesla Model 3, there are three main charging options available. Each option provides different charging speeds, depending on your specific needs and resources.
Most Tesla owners prefer charging their vehicles at home with the Tesla Wall Connector – a Level 2 charger. It can be installed in a garage or carport, providing convenience and comfort. In my experience, overnight charging works wonders, ensuring the car is fully charged to start the day. Home charging provides an estimated charging speed of 44 miles of range per hour, making it a popular choice for many.
Tesla’s Supercharger Network is expanding globally, making public charging stations more accessible than ever. Superchargers can recharge your Model 3 at an impressive rate of 170 miles of range per 30 minutes – a great option for long road trips or when you need a quick charge in a pinch. Keep in mind, though, that repeated supercharging can have an impact on battery longevity, so it’s best to limit its use to when it’s absolutely necessary.
Destination chargers are Level 2 chargers installed at various restaurants, hotels, and other public locations. They provide an opportunity to charge your Tesla Model 3 while you dine or explore the area, adding up to around 44 miles of range per hour. It’s an excellent option for those who want to charge during downtime while running errands or taking a break during a long trip.
How Long Does it take to Charge a Tesla Model 3?
Charging times for Tesla Model 3 cars vary depending on the charger type and the battery’s current charge level. On average, you can expect the following charging times:
- Level 1 Charger (Standard 110 V outlet): 9 miles of range per hour, 50+ hours for a full charge
- Level 2 Charger (Tesla Wall Connector, 240 V outlet): 44 miles of range per hour, 8-10 hours for a full charge
- Tesla Supercharger: 170 miles of range per 30 minutes, approximately 1 hour for a full charge
Bear in mind that these times are approximate and other factors, such as temperature, battery age, and capacity, could impact these numbers.
How Do I Charge My Tesla Model 3 Using a Supercharger?
Charging your Tesla Model 3 at a Supercharger station is fairly easy once you understand the process. Just follow these simple steps:
- Find and navigate to a nearby Supercharger station through the built-in navigation system in your Model 3.
- After parking in a designated charging spot, open the charging port as described earlier.
- Locate the Supercharger cable and press the button on the connector handle to release the charging port cover.
- Align the connector with the port and insert it until it securely locks into place. The charging process will automatically commence, and an amber light around the port will signal that charging is in progress. When the light turns green, it means charging is complete or has reached the specified charging limit.
How Much Does Charging a Tesla Model 3 Cost?
Charging costs vary depending on the charger type and geographic location. At home, you’ll pay your local electricity rate, which typically ranges from $0.10 to $0.20 per kWh. Supercharger costs vary based on the region, but in the U.S., you can expect to pay between $0.24 and $0.28 per kWh. Many destination chargers are offered for free or at reduced rates by the establishments hosting them.
It’s important to remember that electric vehicles, while initially more expensive than their gas counterparts, usually offset their higher upfront costs with reduced operating expenses over time, like lower fuel and maintenance costs.
What Are Alternative Ways to Open the Charging Port?
Apart from the method mentioned earlier, there are other convenient options to open your Tesla Model 3 charging port:
a. Infotainment screen: On the infotainment screen, you’ll find a small electric bolt icon beside the car illustration. Simply tap it, and the charging port will open, provided your car is unlocked.
b. Charger button: Whether you’re using a home charger or Supercharger, simply push the button on the connector handle, and the charging port will open as long as your car is unlocked.
c. Voice command: Activate voice commands by pressing the right scroll wheel on the steering wheel and say “open the charging port.” You can also have some fun with phrases like “open the butthole” or “open the bum hole.”
Common Charging Port Issues and How to Address Them
While the Tesla Model 3 charging port is ingeniously designed, you may encounter occasional issues. Here are some common problems and how to solve them:
Limited Charging Warning
Some owners have reported receiving a “Limited Charging” warning when first attempting to charge their Model 3, despite having the charging plug securely inserted and everything else appearing in the order. In such cases, contact Tesla Support or visit a nearby service center to get the problem diagnosed and resolved.
Charge Port Damage
Occasionally, charging port damage may occur, often involving the upper pin. If you notice any damage or irregularities, immediately contact Tesla Mobile Service. They can typically fix the issue free of charge in under 10 minutes.
Car Won’t Start Because It Thinks Charger Is Connected
In some cases, your Model 3 may refuse to start because it mistakenly thinks the charger is connected when it’s not. If this happens, promptly contact Tesla Support or go to a service center to have the issue resolved.
Charging Times for Different Levels
To help you better understand the different charging levels for your Tesla Model 3 and their associated charging times, here’s a handy breakdown:
- Level 1 Charger (Standard 110 V outlet): 3-5 miles of range per hour, 20-40 hours for 80% charge
- Level 2 Charger (Tesla Wall Connector, 240 V outlet): 18-28 miles of range per hour, 7-8 hours for 80% charge
- Level 3 Charger (Tesla Supercharger, 480 V): Up to 1,000 miles of range per hour, 15-30 minutes for 80% charge
Remember, charging times are merely approximations and may be impacted by factors such as temperature, battery age, and capacity.
Charging Cables for Tesla Model 3: Don’t Forget to Order Separately
It’s worth noting that Tesla Model 3 vehicles no longer come with charging cables, regardless of whether you’re in the UK, the U.S., or elsewhere. You will have to order them separately. Be sure to keep this in mind when purchasing your Model 3 to ensure a seamless charging experience.
To wrap things up…
The Tesla Model 3 is a technological marvel, and demystifying its charging port and charging options can make your ownership experience even smoother. Remember, the charging port hides elegantly behind the left rear tail light, and your primary charger options include home charging, Superchargers, and destination charging. The future of transportation is here, and with the knowledge you’ve gained in this article, you’re ready to hit the road and enjoy a greener, cleaner ride!
- Tesla. (n.d.). Charging. Tesla Support. Retrieved from https://www.tesla.com/support/charging
- Tesla Motors Club. (n.d.). Model 3: Frequently Asked Questions. Tesla Motors Club Forum. Retrieved from https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/model-3-frequently-asked-questions.128504/
- Transport Evolved. (2019, April 29). How to Charge a Tesla Model 3: Everything You Need to Know. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQFg4nThd58
- U.S. Energy Information Administration. (2021, August 17). Electric Power Monthly: Table 5.6.A. Average Retail Price of Electricity to Ultimate Customers. Retrieved from https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly/epm_table_grapher.php?t=epmt_5_6_a
- Tesla Model 3 Owners Club. (2020, February 6). Tesla Model 3 Charging Port Issue – Tesla Mobile Repair Fixes It. [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIJFs9OmKxM
- Tesla. (n.d.). Model 3 Product Page. Retrieved from https://www.tesla.com/model3
- Tesla. (n.d.). Supercharger. Retrieved from https://www.tesla.com/supercharger
- Tesla. (n.d.). Destination Charging. Retrieved from https://www.tesla.com/destination-charging