Tesla’s New Charge Port Design Accommodates Chinese Chargers

3 weeks ago by Eric Loveday 26

Tesla Charge Port China

Images from Tesla confirm that the automaker has developed a redesigned charge port specifically for the Chinese market.

The new charge port location, along with new connectors, meet Chinese charging standards.

Without these changes, Tesla would likely be prohibited from selling in China in the future.

Tesla Charge Port China Plugged In

Xinhua reports:

“The move will give Tesla customers more charging options besides Tesla’s own charging network.”

“…the company will provide free adaptors to customers who have earlier models.”

Charge Port Shown On Model S

New Charge Port Shown On Model X

China’s charging standard is unique to the nation. It goes by the name of GB/T DC standard (more details here). Tesla had long promised to make compatible connectors available to Chinese Tesla owners, but that took way more time than promised. Good news is that now both the connectors are available, as well as a completely redesigned port.

Xinhua adds:

“The new move is in support of China’s new energy vehicles (NEVs) industry, according to the company.”

“A guideline by the State Council says China will build more than 12,000 new charging stations before 2020 to fulfill the demands of over 5 million NEVs.”

Tesla’s own network in China is already rather vast with some 700 Supercharger stalls and other chargers covering some 170 Chinese cities. Adding the GB/T DC connector will open up access even more.

Source: Xinhua

Images: Tesla

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26 responses to "Tesla’s New Charge Port Design Accommodates Chinese Chargers"

  1. Leptoquark says:

    So has China indeed settled on a DC fast charge standard and L2 standard? The last I heard about a year ago, it was all a muddle.

    1. Dan says:

      That looks like a GB/T port with the DC coupler next to it.

      This is a good sign that Tesla is conforming more to national standards. The same will likely happen in the US and Europe with CCS and ChaDeMo once market share increases enough that countries can assert standards. Enough with all the proprietary ports and dongles.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        It is mandatory Chinese government requirement. Communist party doesn’t discuss much what a company wants or not. In this particular case, it is good for them.

        Don’t hold your breath for the rest of the world. EU had attempted to force CCS earlier, but Chademo was already there and they basically abandoned this attempt. Chademo is Type 4 in Europe now.

        Now we have what, 6 (six!) more or less incompatible regional “standards” in the world, 2 of them proprietary. CCS Type 1 in NA, CCS Type 2 elsewhere, GB/T, Chademo in Japan and the world, Tesla NA, Tesla Type 2 in Europe. Makes my head spin :/

        1. God/Bacardi says:

          Tesla wanted to build a plant in China and also for every one of these dual ports models they make, that’s less they need to spend on building SuperChargers…

        2. scottf200 says:

          Tesla charging port in Europe is simply the standard Mennekes one right? I don’t know why “Tesla Type 2 in Europe” was stated as it is not Tesla specific. Am I missing something?

          https://insideevs.com/tesla-model-s-charging-inlet-in-europe/

          1. Bernhard says:

            Tesla’s Type 2 port is fully compatible to European standards regarding AC-level 2 charging. Additionally Tesla also supports DC level 3 (super-)charging over the same pins, which is beyond Type 2 standards specification.

            1. Bojan says:

              As I understand it, Tesla’s implementation is also according to standard:

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_2_connector#Description

              I much prefer Tesla’s implementation to the bulky combo plug. If Mennekes supports DC charging on its own, why add two additional large pins below it?

          2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Scotttf200:

            Yes, you are missing DC part. CCS has 2 extra prongs in addition to Type 2 for DC.
            CCS may allow DC over Type 2 middle prongs in theory, similar to Tesla, but low power only, and it is not realized in practice. Neither Tesla drivers can charge at full power on CCS chargers (only AC), nor anybody can charge at Tesla DC chargers because of proprietary protocol and non-standard implementation.

        3. Bill Howland says:

          zzzzzzzzzz: “Makes my head spin”

          Huh? The car situation is much better than the common attachment plug situation. Most countries have different types of plugs of wildly different shapes and sizes, which is curious since the power supplied is basically the same, other than some countries have a stringent single-phase imbalance limitation and others don’t. And therefore some country’s homes generally have polyphase, and some generally do not.

          (It could be said that NA does also, but the limitation would be viewed by most Europeans as extremely lenient – namely 200-800, and occasionally 3000 amperes).

          Last I counted there were at least 8 different plugs for table lamps and small appliances. The electric car situation is far more standardized.

          1. Dan says:

            There is really no issue for different regions picking different kinds of plugs. Cars never go from NA to Europe on a road trip.

            There is zero benefit from having multiple standards within a country. Imagine driving in to town and finding that the gas station’s hose does not fit. Invariably, the government will step in and destroy the remaining standards at some point – in the US case, that winner is increasingly looking like CCS.

            We had a similar situation with multiple railway gauges here in the US. The first thing that the invading US army did to southern confederate infrastructure during the civil war was to dismantle their russian broad gauge tracks and melt the rails so they couldn’t be put back together. All the reconstructed tracks were built to northern Standard gauge specs after the war.

          2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Household plug is really very low bar. You don’t drive with your table lamp around the continent 😉 And it is already big annoyance when you travel to take care of all the possible household adapters. At least household adapters are light and cheap. Try 350 kW 1000 V ADAPTER 😉 I doubt if such will ever make serious business case.

            How many gas cars did you seen that use country-specific or automaker-specific fuel only? They are driven cross border all the time, e.g. from China to Central Asia or Russia and back, or shipped in containers across Atlantic. US servicemen in Europe ship their cars back to US at regular relocation. Gas ones, maybe Leaf too, but Tesla doesn’t allow it. Used car shipping from the US and other developed countries is serious business as well, and it supports residual prices to some extent. Now you have situation similar to “DVD regions” – artificially fragmented market (that is already tiny) to play annoying marketing games, detrimental to society and EV adoption.

            1. Bill Howland says:

              I’m not a european but if I were I’d find it much more standardized to plug in than if I had a Mirai and I ran out of (H2) GAS.

              A lot of things apparently bother you that I couldn’t care less about. Most people just deal with it.

  2. ClarksonCote says:

    Why wouldn’t Tesla do this in the US as well, with the SAE CCS port?

    1. Mustang_sallas says:

      Agreed. It would make things a lot less complicated for mainstream adopters who would otherwise be turned off by this sign of a still developing technology. And from Tesla’s perspective, at some point it’s going to be too expensive for them to keep going it alone on the infrastructure front rather than benefiting from all the other government, utility, and other automaker investment.

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        “automaker investment”

        What other automaker that wasn’t forced to by a law suit is investing in mass deployment DCFC’s?

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          Just curious, if putting in charging stations is just “the right thing to do” then why don’t you put a bunch in?

          Seriously, I’m curious why you wouldn’t. If you think that every automaker will do so just because “it’s the right thing to do” and lose money, causing lawsuits from their investors whose investments they are charted to protect, then why not buy a bunch yourself?

          Okay, you’re not a large company, so you can’t afford as many, but how about you put in one DCFC in your town.

          1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

            “Seriously, I’m curious why you wouldn’t. If you think that every automaker will do so just because “it’s the right thing to do””

            Because I’m not an auto manufacturer, I don’t build a new product that needs it.

            I have however donated several OpenEVSE’s L1/L2 40A to businesses. The business owners do not have them listed in plugshare or anywhere else and a re locked in a NEMA metal cabinet in the parking lot. That was my selfish gift to them and I as well as their employees get to use them free of charge when I am there.

        2. Spider-Dan says:

          Nissan was the first automaker in America installing DCFCs (at their dealerships). GM has joined them.

    2. MTN Ranger says:

      I see it happening eventually with the Model 3. The Model 3 port opening is huge and can easily handle Tesla and CCS ports.

    3. Reaf says:

      Doesn’t look big enough for a CCS port to be fitted.

    4. Bill Howland says:

      Clarkson: “Why doesn’t Tesla do this in the States?”

      They don’t have to. But I bet they have to in China.

  3. Jason says:

    Yuck! Tesla so far has been a very clean design. Why didn’t they put the Chinese put into the other side of the car, under a charge port door like the Tesla charging port? And don’t say cost, US$65,000+ car, the $3 cost to do this would be insignificant, but the aesthetic value is significant.

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      ” the $3 cost to do this would be insignificant, but the aesthetic value is significant.”

      Clearly you have never made an engineering change order on a manufactured product……lol

  4. Bar says:

    Why couldn’t they still cleverly conceal it in the side of the taillight?

    The rounded “gasoline-like” door seems out of place on a Tesla.

    Too bad they didn’t spend an extra 5 minutes to make it a little cooler, somehow.

    1. JakeY says:

      This is something that they added to the existing design (which is due for a redesign in a few years; it’s already 5 years old). Under the metal work, the hole for the Model S tailight isn’t big enough to accommodate two plugs. I’m guessing if they made that hole bigger there, it might compromise the structural integrity, so they put it there.

      It’s likely the next gen they will incorporate it (similar to Model 3 which has a much better hole in the metalwork).

  5. Bar says:

    Some bad Photoshop-ing here. Note that the pictures of the new charge door don’t all match.

    On the close-up of the red charge door, the door is about level with the tail light.

    Yet, on the wide shot of the entire red Model S, somehow the charge door is slightly above the level of the tail light.

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