Jurvetson Posts Video Of Tesla Model 3 Charge Port Flap In Action


Who’s a venture capitalist, Tesla board member, Tesla insider and owner of the first Model S, second Model X and the the fifth Tesla Model 3?

None other than Steve Jurvetson.

Jurvetson was first to bring us video of the hidden Easter Eggs in the Model 3 and now he’s first to post a quick demo of how the charge port flap operates on the 3.

Video description:

“A simple demo of how it opens and closes. For some reason, a lot of people have asked to see this. Enjoy!”

It operates as you’d expect, especially if you’re familiar with the S and X.

We should note though that there’s quite a bit of excess space under the flap. Perhaps for some future-proofing just in case a bigger connector is used at some point down the road.

Lastly, this video provides our first look at Tesla’s new UMC, which appears smaller and maybe a bit lighter than the old UMC.

Categories: Tesla


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29 Comments on "Jurvetson Posts Video Of Tesla Model 3 Charge Port Flap In Action"

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Reminds me of power antennas and pop-up headlights in the 80s. They were cool, too, back in the day :).

The sad thing about this is this would have been an easy area to cut cost and increase reliability. And no one would have minded it being manual or just a simple solenoid that pops it open with a manuel close.

Good point.
BUT what if Tesla is already preparing for fully automated charging (remember the “charging snake” concept)? Once they have their ride share business up an running (and you decide you want to participate with your Model 3) your car can theoretically make you money while you are at work. And then it might be necessary for the car to get a recharge on its own.
THEN an automated charge port really makes sense…

Currently, there’s zero automated charging.

If automated charging cable is smart enough to find the charge port on its own, it will be smart enough to find the very simple mechanical ways to open the charge port. Having motor on charge port literally makes no sense when that complexity can be part of smart charge “snake” at zero additional complexity.

The snake was just for show.

The real world solution will involve the car automatically driving to a precise position and using a simple mechanism for final alignment and pushing the plug in.

A robot to open the flap is a lot more complex than that. Motorizing a flap and communicating to it costs less than $10, or a penny a week for the life of the car, and it’s just a nice thing to have.

Push to open like SparkEV is no more complex than automated plug-in arm that has single hinge. Even if it’s bit more complex (which it shouldn’t be), there would be billions of Tesla 3 on the road that has the added complexity that could go wrong vs few thousand chargers.

As for convenience, I much rather have manual rather than take out the keyfob / phone from my pocket and push buttons on it. Manual is lot quicker.

Billions of Model 3’s on the road? I think Musk just creamed himself 😛

You don’t have to pull out a fob or phone to close it, silly. He just did that for show. It’ll close when you get in your car to drive away. You can probably close it from the plug button, too.

I don’t know what automated hinge mechanism you’re talking about. A Spark-like push-to-open port can’t be closed with a simple external mechanism.

Look, plugging in is something you’ll be doing every few days, if not every day. It’s a nice convenience. One less touch of a salty car in the winter is great. There’s nothing hard about opening a tap with your hands either, but if I could make them electronic for $10, I’d change every tap in the house, even if they broke every 5 years.

The only worry is ice, as Rapid mentioned below. But de-icing that is similar to de-icing a regular port.

True, the same goes for the parking brake.
On FWD, a manual brake lever is an automatic skid control.
When it’s electric, it just a thing that break(like mine last month.)

Automated charging = wireless charging, this motor is cost and complexity that you’ll pay for throughout the life of the vehicle.
Better to have a small loss in wireless charging situations than a stuck charge port that costs you a charger session and costs $$ to repair.

OK….you got a point there. But this is way too early. There is not going to be automated driving and automated charging for several years.

Wireless charging makes much more sense for an autonomous fleet. Less floor space, less mechanically to go wrong or get vandalized.

It is nice in that there is no contact needed. But it is slower and wastes a lot of energy. Not good if you want to maximize return from an autonomous fleet.

I disagree Flew and think the motorized version makes sense.

I have a LEAF with a mechanical latch and would welcome a motorized version. Quite a number of times, I have gotten out of my car and forgot to release the latch or have gotten in and forgotten to close it.

I usually opt for simple and reliable. But, this makes sense to me, considering I open and close the charging door daily.

Yes, I agree. There are many times when I forgot to close the manual flap on my Volt. I can see the advantage. Of all the things some people whine about, this seems to be pretty minor. People will complain whether it is powered or manual.

They should have learned their lesson from door handles that stuck. Keep It SIMPLE.

Hmmm is there a third way to pop it open if using a public charger?

Such as swiping the keycard or a button on the display?

Or even better, can you just tap it to release the door? One of our nitpicks with the gen 1 volt is that we have to press a button on our key fob or a button under the steering wheel to open the charge port. I much prefer being able to just tap the charge door on the Bolt or Spark and it pops open.

My concern as well. This powered door is just one more thing to fail. What happened to K.I.S.S.?

OMG. More needless door fetish! What’s the point of this? It’s not like there’s gas in there that can be siphoned off by thieves.

Door fetish SUCKS!

Well, I don’t know what you mean by door fetish, but otherwise I agree.

It just creates a needless extra step. I am glad Chevy stopped doing it after the first gen Volt.

I haven’t had anyone try to suck out my Bolt or Spark’s electricity with a hose yet lol!

Door fetish is making the door stuff needlessly complicated. Tesla S had door handle issues, then doors that open and close by themselves. Tesla X had (has?) falcon wing door issues.

All these complicated door issues may work for a while, but they are more likely to break. Break they will as the car ages. You can see lots of 80’s cars with broken pop up head lights, many with just one light popped up and unable to move down.

“In Action”

Lol, sounds like a Mountain Dew commercial. RADICAL! EXTREME!@@@!

I’m as excited about the Tesla Model 3 as anyone, but… a charging door port IN ACTION? Can we please see the glove box IN ACTION next?

Ok, just being a little humorous here. Plz don’t flame me!

Don’t forget to show the new doorhandles that slide out IN ACTION video

Totally over engineered, why not just a mechanical flap, like those of a petrol car? Simply looked with central power doors, because automated charging will be wireless.

Meh. Why is it motorized? KISS principle. That just adds cost, assembly complexity, and something additional that can malfunction. It should have just been a flap.

Looks kind of delicate, having only the one support. Be careful when you’re walking by, if it gets broken off, it’s gonna be expensive to repair.

Yeah, I could totally see myself walking past this, it snags on my shirt, and then breaks off. Hopefully it wouldn’t cost much to repair.

Will probably be a nightmare in wintertime with snow and ice

Tesla just can’t make anything “simple” can it?

I mean the entire interior is as “simplistic” as it gets, then why make the charging door “complicated”…