Tesla Model S Charges Directly From Power Line In China

FEB 26 2015 BY TDILLARD 49

Remember back when we found that old Tom Swift book and our boy Tom was talking about charging his electric runabout on the street car wires?ย  Well, then, it appears a Tesla owner saw the same thing, and it sparked had an idea.ย  These photos have been making the rounds via weibo. What could possibly go wrong?

Wait.  Whuzzat?

Wait. Whuzzat?

Proper insulation and weatherproofing is so important.

Proper insulation and weatherproofing is so important.

Weatherproofing detail

Weatherproofing detail

Always secure connectors

Always secure connectors

Never forget a good ground

Never forget a good ground

Categories: Charging, Tesla


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49 Comments on "Tesla Model S Charges Directly From Power Line In China"

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Imagine if the pole caught fire at the base… that would be in the news.

Future Darwin Award winner.

Guess the Chinese salespeople have come up with a workaround to the idea that it’s “difficult to charge” in China!

L ๐Ÿ™‚ L!

In India it would be even easier!

A NEMA “C” connection!

Tears running down my cheeks from laughing!
Words are falling short.

To the humble presenter of top gear UK (who claims to be able to operate a hoover) that is how you charge an ev when you cannot find a charge point!

Realize that some dipsh*t climed that pole to splice in the hot wire! Probably wearing shorts and sandals.

Yes, I did wonder if that owner owns a pair of pole climbing boots. Probably not; the people who use those for work would almost certainly have enough training to know better than to jury-rig a setup that dangerous.

safer to hook up using a long bamboo

Is this a Chinese Tesla Supercharger?

No, that’s a Tesla Destination Charger. ๐Ÿ˜‰

In China, Teslas charge free not only at Superchargers, but anywhere you can find an electric pole!

So technically China has millions of Tesla or EV free charging stations;-)

Wow! Props to the Chinese McGuyver! I think this may violate his warranty though.

This is the way some electrical work is done though. When I upgraded my main electrical panel, the PG&E guy just puts on big rubber gloves and uses insulated tools to disconnect and then reconnect the 240V lines. There is no disconnect switch for individual houses up on the poles.

Meters? We don’t need no stinking meters!

Communism . . . it is all free, right comrade?

I love the communistic Tesla superchargers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I feel so much better about putting in my own charger at my house now.

I know you did a better job ,for sรปre!

Classic clip-on fraud. Widespread in India too.

Usually the preserve of very low income earners, not wealthy Tesla owners who could afford the service, or at least some safer connection components!

I recall reading a few years ago that as much as 30% of power in india was “socially distributed” this way. Of course, it plays havoc with reliability & safety for the legit consumers as well.

See how easy it is to plug an EV anywhere.
Why pay for it wen you can electrocute yourself free!

and his license plate is clearly visible

Sharpened jumper cable clamps, jumper cable soldered to EVSE prongs, plus a good ground = instant charge anywhere you can find a 240V utility wire.

Don’t forget the pole climbing equipment.

How do you identify the phase when up on the pole?

A lot easyer than to tap your hydrogen 10 000 psi tank!
Is this another advantage of electricity?

Weird. Can afford a Model S, but is too cheap to pay for a proper EVSE and power usage…

That’s very likely not the issue. The issue is that in China, getting permission from local authorities and land owners to install a dedicated EV charge point is a nightmare of red tape, plus having to deal with the corruption (favoritism and influence peddling) which is so ingrained in Chinese culture.

Well, the bots here apparently don’t like either of the links I tried to post to support my assertion. But you can Google:

“Bureaucratic Roadblocks To China’s EV Plans”


“Musk blames Chinese customers for Tesla debacle. Wait until you read this”

Why does everyone assume the MS owner installed the outlet himself? I’d’ve guessed it was jury-rigged there by someone else and he just availed himself of the destination charging station when he pulled up.

Good point. I wonder if this location shows up on PlugShare ๐Ÿ™‚

This would be a great way to achieve a cross country journey in an EV. It could be done safely with the right training and equipment. The trouble is, most power lines are far higher voltage than what a typical EV can take.

oh … dear … lord.

Confucius say, power belong to everyone.

I give him a big E for effort.

I think the guy might own the pole and power lines. The reason why is this pole would have to be a 240 volt power line which means it could be part of a internal distribution system of a farm or estate. This means that the main transformer that steps the power down from say 20,000 or 4,000 to 240volts might be outside of this photo on a main line and then get stepped down by a transformer on to this power line here.

Personally I think there are about a dozen things that could go wrong. One of them being if lighting hit’s power line it could fry the Tesla.

I have no idea what exactly we are looking at. The other wiring implies a 230/460 volt single phase feed to another building. I’m unsure which wire is used for a neutral in China. in N.A. its the top of the 3 lower wires.

So 230/460 would tend to indicate an unmetered pole, but then it appears he’s tied to the top wires, which would be at least 2400..

Of course if this truly is a PRIVATE pole, then we could be looking at anything.

That’s what happened when someone tried this in Hill Valley.


Is this one of Tesla’s patents that I didn’t know about?

Thank you Ocean for realizing the situation. This must be a private distribution system and IS behind a meter somewhere. If that was a normal power pole, it would be carrying much more the 240 volts that the Tesla can handle. So, no, you can’t just tap into any old power pole since it would fry everything.

That ground is a bit sketchy . . . does the non-insulated part of the wire even touch the ground spike?


Allan Gallant of THIS OLD HOUSE fame made the mistake of showing how he just tapped onto the service drop going to the house, and then had plenty of convenience outlets to run power tools, etc for the whole remodeling.

You can be Morash and associates got PLENTY of phone calls, seeing as this program only uses “APPROVED METHODS” of remodeling.

So they’re telling millions of viewers its just fine to steal electricity.

THings changed: Allan Gallant is no longer their chief Electrician, and they carry a 6 kw GENERAC around with them for the most trivial power needs.

I wonder how much the lawsuit drained Morash?

I didn’t particularly care for him anyway. When Kevin O’Connell would quiz him as to why 100 amps wasn’t sufficient for a garage appt, Gallant would say, “MY labor charge is going to be so high that there is essentially no difference in price.” (!!!!)

I guess the Chinese has taken the “git r done” attitude to the new height…

Chinese corruption at work.

I’m surprised See Through hasn’t weighed in on this.

Wow..So basically i can use the same method while charging in India. So charging problem solved. Now only problem is to Buy a TESLA ๐Ÿ˜›

Still waiting for a model S with Pantograph for instant hookup on train and streetcar wires.