Tesla Supercharger Gets New Touch Sensitive, Buttonless Connector

FEB 17 2015 BY TDILLARD 14

Via Reddit, we get a look at the new touch sensitive charging connector at the Atascadero Supercharger. We have no word on how soon, or how widespread this connector’s use will be, but from some of the comments there, as well as other sources, apparently there’s a bit of an icing/freezing problem with the current style.  See below:

Current button-actuated connector

Current button-actuated connector

Categories: Charging, Tesla


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14 Comments on "Tesla Supercharger Gets New Touch Sensitive, Buttonless Connector"

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I feel like this will be prone to lots of issues in cold environments.


If that is capacitive, it won’t work with gloves on. That would also be a problem in the cold. No one would want to touch the handle with bare hands in freezing/ice.

They could divert a little power to keep it luke warm 😉

Perhaps Tesla thought of this use case, and selected a sensor that would work with gloves. Some capacitive sensors exist that can work with light gloves, or it may not be a capacitive sensor at all. Needs to be tested.

That’s what I was going to say. They may be using a capacitive sensor with a much longer range that what consumers at typically exposed to. When I use these sensors, in industrial controls, they have almost an inch of range. Granted, the diameter is 22mm to 30mm, but even one this small should be able to go 1/4″.

Perhaps it is a resistive (instead of capacitive) touch sensor. My old Nokia phone had a resistive screen and I had no problems using it with gloves. It wasn’t as responsive as a capacitive touch sensor but for a simple button such as this, a resistive touch sensor would work fine.

Tesla will sell you gloves to fix the problem for $100 a pair, but I am guessing not everyone has them. http://shop.teslamotors.com/products/touch-screen-leather-driving-gloves

Hopefully you and kdawg are right and the sensor will work regardless of ice and wearing gloves.

It would be interesting to hear from any Tesla drivers that have tried the new adapter.

^ Minnesota resident – those in cold climates already (1) own gloves to accommodate capacitance smart phones or (2) are used to taking off our gloves for 20 second stints

… still beats standing outside at the dang gas pump in below zero weather… high of 4 degrees tomorrow, YAY

Besides non-touch capacitive sensors, the charging wand could use tilt sensor (horizontal vs. vertical), or proximity sensor to open the charge port door.

It is great to see the engineering effort going into reducing mechanical functionality and improving reliability under many conditions.

The charge door can be opened from the center console screen.

Universal Wireless, i say.
I gladly swap a 10% efficiency loss for convenience, been doing it for the last 9 months.
It’s like having a virtual concierge to plug and unplug my car in ALL weather!

We will all get there, eventually.

We are a long way away from 135 kW wireless charging right now. Maybe one day though.

There’s a lot going on, with Tesla’s charge port. The “D”, and newer cars, feature improved ease of hookup, and power actuated chargeport closure. They went out of their way to show me the improvement, before a ‘D’ test drive. On the downside, the existing charge port locks automatically (time triggered?), and you can’t insert a charge cable with the charge ring dark. It doesn’t matter if the charge port door is open, or not. The new (haptic?) button, I believe, is merely there to send the RF signal that opens the chargeport door. If the car door is open, or the handles are out, I think that RF signal can also trigger the port to unlock (white light ring), but you have to do the dance just right (double click the roof of the key or open the car door, and then press and hold the key’s rear trunk button or press and hold Tesla’s UMC/SC cable end). Come to think of it, I don’t believe haptic buttons can “press and hold”, like the current Tesla connector does. I think it was ~6.1 where Tesla enabled a charge door opening, by pressing and holding the rear trunk button of… Read more »

Good to see further refinement on their charging systems.

When will we see the automated metal snakes?