What’s The Perfect Location For A Charge Port? (Poll)

2 Y BY TOM 66

Like all of GM's plug in vehicles, the charge port on the upcoming Chevy Bolt is located on the front left side of the vehicle. Did GM get this right?

Like all of GM’s plug in vehicles, the charge port on the upcoming Chevy Bolt is located on the front left side of the vehicle. Did GM get this right?

Over the past six years I’ve interviewed and had discussions with electric vehicle product managers from just about every company selling EVs today, and a few that will be selling EVs in the near future. One of the more interesting topics I’ve found has been the subject of where they’ve decided to locate the charge port, and how they came to that decision.

For example, last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, I sat down with Daimler’s manager of electric motors and power electronics, Franz Neitfeld to discuss Daimler’s current plug in Hybrid offerings, and where they are going in the future. When I brought up the topic of the unusual charge port location that Mercedes is using on all of their PHEVs, he told me they gave this much consideration, and after doing so they decided the right corner of the rear bumper was the ideal location.

He went on to explain that the majority of the cars they sell are to left hand drive markets, and when a driver of a left hand drive car pulls into the garage they usually leave more room to the right side of the vehicle, so as to make sure they don’t hit anything on that side as they pull in. So they concluded the placement of the EVSE would be best on the right side wall of the garage, where the customer can easily plug in. Also, by placing the charge port there, the customer would be able to walk back around the car and into the house without the cable being in their way. I think the assumption that most Mercedes owners have a private garage for their cars, since it is a premium brand, played a role in this decision making.

The entire line of Mercedes PHEVs have the charge port located on the right corner of the rear bumper

The entire line of Mercedes PHEVs have the charge port located on the right corner of the rear bumper

That’s the first time I’ve heard anyone give me that reasoning for their charge port location. Clearly, there really is no consensus among the OEMs as to where the best place is, with just about everyone finding their own unique place, with their own unique reasoning for why they placed it there. This can’t be the best practice. There has to be a location which suits the majority of the people who drive EVs better than the other locations, right?

All of Ford's electric vehicles, whether pure BEV or PHEV, have their charge ports on the front left side of the car

All of Ford’s electric vehicles, whether pure BEV or PHEV, have their charge ports on the front left side of the car

A few years ago Ford announced that they had researched this topic and after an extensive study, they decided the front, left side of the vehicle was indeed the ideal place. At the time, Susan Curry, Ford Electrified Vehicle Technology Integration supervisor said: After benchmarking multiple competitive vehicles, we found there wasn’t much consistency in charge port location. We wanted to give customers a location that made the most sense for them and would seem as simple as filling up at the gas station.”

And Mary Smith, Ford Electrified Vehicle Technology Integration supervisor said, “The left front fender location keeps the charge port in sight, before the customer enters or exits the car, for an easy reminder to unplug or recharge. It creates an intuitive placement for owners that also has aesthetic appeal. “It’s worth noting that GM also locates the charge ports of all their plug in offerings on the front left side of the vehicle.”

BMW decided to locate the charge port of the i3 on the rear right side of the vehicle

BMW decided to locate the charge port of the i3 on the rear right side of the vehicle

For the i3, BMW’s first all electric vehicle, the charge port was positioned on the rear, right side of the vehicle. I asked BMW product managers about this at the vehicle launch ceremony in 2013 and was told that there were two main reasons for the positioning.

First, this location made the most sense because the car will be sold all over the world, and in many European countries curbside charging would require the port to be on the left side of the vehicle. It would be too expensive to have different carbon fiber passenger cells made to accommodate different charge port locations so they needed one location for all i3s made. Secondly, having the charge port in the rear of the vehicle, close to the power electronics, meant weight and cost savings.

During the development process, i3 engineers would fight to cut every gram of weight they could, and having a three foot long high voltage cable instead of one that was eight feet long made the decision easy. However the charge ports of BMW plug in hybrids are located on the front left side of the vehicle, as they are on Ford and GM vehicles.

Nissan & Audi chose the front of the vehicle for their charge ports

Nissan & Audi chose the front of the vehicle for their charge ports

Other OEMs like Nissan and Audi decided to go front and center, using the center of the front bumper and grill for their charge ports. Initially I was concerned that even a minor bump on the front end would result in a disabled charge port, requiring the vehicle to be immediately serviced. However that hasn’t been much of a problem for the Nissan LEAF, the world’s best selling pure electric car, so I guess my concerns were unwarranted.

Tesla uses the left rear of the vehicle for their charge ports

Tesla uses the left rear of the vehicle for their charge ports

Then there’s Tesla. All of Tesla’s cars have their charge ports on the rear left side of the vehicle. The Roadster’s charge port is right behind the driver’s side door, but the Model S & Model X have their charge ports integrated into the rear tail light lens, where it wraps around the side of the car. It’s undoubtedly an elegant design, but it is the best place for it? Some Tesla owners say it isn’t, and it can make plugging in difficult on many public chargers, especially if they are in a parking lot that prohibits backing into the parking space.

I realize the answer might be a little different for European drivers as compared to electric vehicle owners in the US, because unlike in Europe, the US has very few curbside public charging stations. Here in the US just about all public EVSEs are located in parking lots, not curbside on public streets. There’s also the fact that most countries which were once British colonies still have right hand drive so that would impact one’s preference.

Still, I’d like to pose this question to everyone who has experience driving and charging an EV, and I’d appreciate it if you took a moment to answer the poll below. Once the polling is complete I plan to send the results to my industry contacts.

Category: Charging, General

Tags: ,

66 responses to "What’s The Perfect Location For A Charge Port? (Poll)"
  1. David Murray says:

    Wow.. I’m surprised that “rear passenger side” got any votes.

    1. Mutwin Kraus says:

      It’s the safest place to access when you’re parking curbside.

    2. Mememe says:

      Safest parking is back in.

    3. Rick Danger says:

      That is where my carport is in relation to my house and the outlet. Front left side is the worst place to put it for me. I’d have to back the car in every time.

    4. DavidL says:

      I always back into my driveway, so the rear passenger side would be ideal for charging. I guess that I’ll have to get a BMW i3!

    5. Michael Will says:

      I like it because that’s where the charger in the garage is πŸ™‚ and it’s not really a problem with curb side chargers / parking garage where front may be slightly better but he cable is usually long enough not to matter. Hence my vote for rear passenger.

    6. Art Isbell says:

      It’s closest to our EVSE which was most convenient to mount close to the rear of our car when we drive forward into our parking space. Backing in isn’t an option because egress to the driver’s door would be constrained.

  2. Ken says:

    Absolutely the front like my Leaf has. My iMiev, Geo conversion, and Mini E all had it on the side where the gas filler would usually be. What a pain in the butt to have to back in the driveway to charge. Nissan got it right.

    1. Leptoquark says:

      I fell in love with the nose-mounted charge port of the Leaf the first time I saw it. It was so refreshing to see something new and unusual like that on a car.

  3. Richard C. says:

    I prefer the front driver side position, like on Fords and Chevys. It’s convenient, and helps remind me to plug in.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I agree. It’s the perfect spot to make sure people remember to plug in and to unplug.

      But it’s not the most convenient for reaching some charging stations, especially in curbside parallel parking scenarios where it’s about as bad as it gets.

    2. Dave K. says:

      This would have been my 2nd choice, after front grille.

  4. Mart says:

    I’m old enough to remember fuel filler caps at left-rear, right-rear, and behind the rear license plate. Street charging in left-hand drive countries will be opposite that for right-hand drive countries. The desire to have it easily reachable and noticable by the driver is opposite that. Nissan has a good compromise position. Anything behind conventional doors may hinder passenger entry.

  5. Will Colbert says:

    I’m from Boston and the city has chargers curb-side, one charger with two plugs located between two parallel spots. In that case the curb-side plugs are easiest.

    1. Brandon says:

      For street parking a charge port on the side is great, but I would argue that front center like the LEAF has would work just fine too. And like Spark EV said below, the front is the easiest location to plug a thick DCFC cable into.

  6. SparkEV says:

    Center front is best. Leaf has it right. Stretching thick DCFC cord to front right is just bad.

  7. Mikael says:

    Front left is what I prefer. It’s rarely the most beautiful design but for me it’s generally the most practical one.

    Having it on the passenger side would even make me consider a totally different vehicle.

    One thing that we will be able to agree on though is that there is no optimal position for the charge port but depends on where you park and charge the car the most.

  8. Loboc says:

    I would like to see a dual-port design. One on the left front and one on the right rear. In this way it wouldn’t matter what side or front/back orientation of the EVSE.

    I chose left front because that’s what I’m used to.

    Front center would be a pain for me in my garage as there is not a lot of room when the car is in the garage. Right rear would probably require me to back the car in the garage. Not ideal either as I would need to exit the car and then walk around it.

    Having to plug in and then walk around the car is the worst possible choice.

    1. Raymondjram says:

      Loboc, get the Plugless adapter and never “plug in” again.

  9. Driverguy01 says:

    Universal Wireless, no plug!
    Could not resist. πŸ˜‰

  10. Loboc says:

    Of course ubiquitous and compatible wireless would be the way to go.

    1. Dragon says:

      Wireless wastes a good percentage of power. Until all energy is 100% renewable we should not be doing anything that wastes power.

      1. Raymondjram says:

        We all waste power. Your Wi-Fi transmit energy everywhere even if you don’t use it. The wireless charging system for EVs only transmits power when the receiver is detected and aligned. There is less energy loss than what you expect. Ask “Plugless”.

  11. David Galvan says:

    I have a leaf and have always been confused why any EV maker would put the port anywhere other than the front. Certainly makes the most sense for public charging infrastructure, which is usually at or near the front of the vehicle when you park.

    Second choice would be driver’s side near the front.

  12. Devin says:

    I’ve had a LEAF, Focus EV, and RAV4 EV and I actually like the configuration of the RAV4 EV best.

    The trick here, though, is that my RAV4 EV is equipped with a JdeMO (CHAdeMO) add-on that resides under the hood. So I get Level 1 and Level 2 charging at the rear driver’s side, and Level 3/DCFC at the nose. In my experience, a lot of garages have more room for the EVSE on a side wall, but most DCFCs are nose-in affairs so this is the ideal setup. That said, it’s only this way because Toyota didn’t bother to include DCFC and that’s just where it would fit without making major body modifications to the car.

    If I had to use public L2 charging frequently I think I prefer the setup the LEAF has, but with the range of the RAV4, I usually only use L2 at home and DCFC while out and about so having DCFC up front and L1/L2 on the side works pretty well.

  13. Samwise says:

    Centre of the front or rear bumpers makes global sense if you don’t want to have to either redesign you vehicle for different markets or inconvienience half your customers by having it exactly opposite of where they want it!

  14. Gene says:

    I see plenty of “this location is best for blah…”, “that location is best for blahblah…”. What I hear is that there’s one location which is the least bad for almost anything: front center.

    1. Chris says:

      It’s the worst because of road dirt. You really have to seal that front compartment. So that adds some cost. Also you can’t make it just a push to open. If your in a front end crash your not going to be able to charge your car, although if your crash is bad enough that will not matter.

      1. Gene says:

        Thanks for the arguments against front-center, Chris. I haven’t heard the one about dirt, particularly not from any of the Leaf owners I’ve met (including myself: after 3 years of never cleaning it I think it’s almost spotless in there). And given that a car can be banged up on any side in an accident, I’m not finding that one particularly compelling. But maybe you’ve seen/heard differently.

  15. SmartElectric says:

    I have the best of both worlds. I park my Tesla on the left side of the garage, making best use of the left rear drivers side plug location. I park my Smart ED on the right side of the garage making best use of it’s rear passenger location. Both are perfect for me, because that’s how my garage was laid out. Would NOT want on the front of the car, as my garage is not deep enough to get to the front of the Tesla (long car!). Would not want front of the car, as I exit from the rear of my outbuilding/garage to get to the house. There’s no one perfect location IMHO.

    1. Rick Danger says:

      That is the one thing we have conclusively proven with this poll πŸ™‚
      Makes the case for wireless charging dunnit?

  16. Patrick says:

    Left side would be horrible for street curb charging. Front right allows for forward charging in a garage and curbside charging on the street.

  17. GRA says:

    Given the wide variety of parking/EVSE locations, varying by parking location/country, there isn’t and can’t be one single best location. Front-mounted locations are terrific for nose-in angle parking, and generally good for parallel parking, but poor for tail-in angle parking (common in some countries and a few U.S. cities). RHD countries reverse everyone else’s issues. In some countries (Japan IIRR), cars are usually backed into garages or parkign spaces; in others, driven in. Curbside EVSEs prefer curbside receptacles. As pointed out by several posters, only universal wireless serves everyone equally.

  18. John says:

    My experience with our Leaf’s placement on the front center has been extremely good. I can’t think of a more convenient location and I really don’t understand why more manufacturers didn’t do this. It’s the most accessible placement for 99 percent of the EVSEs I’ve seen, both public and private.

  19. ModernMarvelFan says:

    As much as I rag on the LEAF, Nissan LEAF got it right. Front center is the best. At least for the US market for sure. EV-1 had the same location.

    There are one way street with parking on both side of the street so you can have both side installing stations. Front Center allows you to easily access both.

    My second choice would be where ever the driver side front is…

    How come there are no “roof” choices for this? =)

    Maybe a contact magnetic port like what Apple has on its laptops.. Just a quick magnetic port from the top side that quickly attach to front grill would be nice.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      ModernMarvelFan asked:

      “How come there are no ‘roof’ choices for this? =)”

      LOL! I was thinking of suggesting that EVs should have a charge port located every 6″, right, left, front, rear, roof, and underside.

      Might be slightly impractical, though… πŸ˜‰

  20. midimal says:

    Best would be to have two charging ports
    one left front (driver side)
    2nd right front (front pax side)

    depending on where the charging station is located we could use left or right side

    that solution would be in my opinion perfect!

  21. WARREN says:

    I have the LEAF, i3, and Focus. The Focus and i3 are about the same in convenience. The LEAF beats both of them in my real world experience. I have a charging cable at the front of my driveway. The Focus and BMW have to be parked on a specific side to work, so I end up shuffling cars at times. The LEAF works fine from more than just one parking spot. The others don’t. LEAF wins.

    1. SparkEV says:

      So opposite corners (rear right i3 vs front left FFE) makes not difference? I would’ve thought front left would be slightly better from home charging point of view (close to driver). Of course, Leaf is the best in this regard.

      Also, you’re another Warren? That’s a very popular name here, I count 3 so far.

  22. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    The article says:

    “There has to be a location which suits the majority of the people who drive EVs better than the other locations, right?”

    Perhaps, but gasmobile makers likewise can’t seem to agree on where to put the gas fill port. On the right rear fender? The left? Heck, in an earlier generation, some put it behind a hinged rear license plate!

    Putting it on the right rear corner, for the reasons given in the article by the Daimler rep, seems like the best choice. Plus, as the photo above shows, that’s also a good placement for hooking up to a curbside charger in right-hand-drive countries, and we’ll see a lot more curbside chargers in the future.

  23. jstack6 says:

    Front Center is easy to locate for any EVSE no matter where it is located. It’s also good for right and left hand drive locations so all cars are standard for at least the charge port.
    Wireless is not good since it’s 10% losses and lower power, Just try to Super Charge wireless.

  24. Chris C. says:

    Tom, I’m glad to see you covering this issue, which you may recall was quite important to me — it’s #3 in this short list of why I was getting the i3 in spite of its problems:


    Here is what I wrote there, OVER TWO YEARS AGO:

    “You will plug and unplug the car EVERY DAY. That’s at least two trips to the charge port location, and therefore it should be as close as possible to the driver’s door. BMW stuck it in the right rear corner, just about the worst possible place. I’m sure they have their reasons, but from a usability perspective it’s just all wrong. I have seen some factory photos of the CFRP passenger cell that have shown that the interior structure of the car has cutouts on BOTH sides, so it’s possible that they may relocate the port to the rear left side in the future, but for now — it’s in the wrong spot and will annoy me twice a day for my entire life with the car.”

    And indeed it does annoy me, still, 16 months after I took delivery. Every. single. day. TWICE. At least once a week I either forget to unplug (get in to drive then have to get back out) or forget to plug in. In the latter case, sometime I remember later in the evening, and sometimes I don’t — so the car is not fully charged the next morning! Yikes!

    Fortunately, BMW seems to be recognizing their error, as you pointed out with the left fender location in their newer plug-in cars. I know, I know, the PHEVs are different, but I’m still going to take it as BMW fixing a mistake πŸ™‚

    Now if only they would fix the other three items I wrote about in my article!

    The Mercedes argument is indeed new, and completely bogus. I’m sure that executive’s engineers are scratching their heads, wonder where he pulled that one out of.

    FYI, I believe you made an error in the article. You wrote:

    “First, [the i3’s right side] location made the most sense because the car will be sold all over the world, and in many European countries curbside charging would require the port to be on the left side of the vehicle.”

    … and I think you meant to write RIGHT side!!!

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      Yep, it should say “right side” there. πŸ™‚ Also, I can’t really credit BMW for “getting it right” on their PHEV’s because they used the front left side by default because the rear right side already had the gas filler opening. They had a clean sheet to work with on the i3 and they gave us right rear.

  25. JimGord says:

    Yes it will be a nuisance in the future.
    We have 2 EVs both with front bumper locations that share a single L2 charger at the end wall of the garage.
    Now in three years we will have a Tesla Model 3 with (probably) a left rear location replacing one of the others.
    This will require the Tesla to be backed into the garage.
    Too bad that they all could have got this straightened out at the beginning.
    But then it would have been nice to have a single high-speed charging standard too. Sigh !

  26. Alan says:

    I picked the least-chosen option (rear bumper) for one reason – it allows the easy hookup of a range-extending trailer (ICE or battery). A slight modification to the charging standard and hooking up a range extender would be easy and quick.

    It’s almost as convenient as my second choice – the front (as on my LEAF), especially if you can back into a parking space – which is safer than pulling in.

  27. Michael says:

    “when a driver of a left hand drive car pulls into the garage they usually leave more room to the right side of the vehicle, so as to make sure they don’t hit anything on that side as they pull in.”

    I do the exact opposite and park as close as I can to the right-hand wall so that I have room to fully open my door without dinging it. I even glued a strip of 2″ styrofoam insulation to the concrete wall so that I don’t ding my door.

    I’m pretty sure that almost no one backs into parking spaces at the grocery, mall, airport, etc. How do you un/load your trunk?

    I’ll admit, the rear camera on the LEAF makes it real easy to back into a parking spot, but I hardly ever do that.

    The LEAF’s (and KIA Soul EV’s) front centre port is the ideal location. If manufacturers are going to spend all that tim, effort and money designing the perfect grill, for a vehicle that doesn’t need one, then it should at least be useful.

    The only time I had a problem was with a curbside charger placed in the centre of the spot. Had to really stretch the connector to reach the front port. But that was nowhere near as bad as the poor Volt in front of me with the cord draped over the roof.

    One last thing, the trickle charger can be locked to the latch on the port for security.

  28. Bill Howland says:

    Even though its never applied to any of the 3 ev’s I’ve owned, I’ve always said the Nissan Leaf got it right from day 1.

    Front center connection so that RHD and LHD vehicles have no preference therefore they don’t have to make more differences between them.

    Range of Charging options (3.6, 6.6, and QC), optionally available so that you only purchase what you want.

    Today I wouldn’t necessarily choose chademo as my first choice for qc but at the time it was (and is) the most popular..

    I wonder if the Leaf still locks the access? That is the one head-scratcher. I mean, what is there to steal prior to plugging in? A level 2 male jack? Of course the early volts did the same dumb thing, I’ve had my door replaced the same as many others have when it wouldn’t open.

    Chevy must have gotten tired of spending cash on repairing a wet-dream in the first place, so now its just a plain spring loaded door on the new volts and my Caddy ELR.

  29. crossie says:

    I’ve got both an i3 and a Leaf. The answer is definitely the front center.

    When pulling up to a DCFC with the i3 I have to either get the parking space on the left of the charger or pull so close I almost swap paint.
    If someone is parked too close I have no choice but to hop up on the pavement.

    With the Leaf it’s just pull in straight and hook up.

    1. crossie says:

      Oh, and being RHD the i3 has the port on the wrong side for streetside parking.

  30. Steven says:

    I may be mis-remembering, but wasn’t there a Jaguar that had two gas filling ports, one behind each C-pillar, accessible from either side of the car?

    Seeing as some of the manufacturers are making LHD & RHD vehicles, why not offer the option of two charging ports?

    Yes it will cost more money, but “optional accessories” usually do.

    Also, Kia has it’s charging port in the front too.

  31. ms says:

    color me stupid, but given that it’s just a wire that connects to the charge port why not have multiple? That way you have ideal placement for garage parking and parallel parking situations. It would just be an extra socket/wire internally, wouldn’t it? Seems like having only 1 is a needless restriction left over from gas where there is an actual physical pipe leading to a fuel tank.

    1. Tom Moloughney says:

      I’ve asked product managers from various OEMs this exact question and after talking to them personally I don’t expect it to every happen. There are two main problems with it. Weight and cost. Adding the additional inlet with a flap that needs an actuator, hinges, lights and the charge port (which for many EVs be J1772/CCS combo) plus an additional four or five feet of high voltage wire will add a few unnecessary pounds and everyone is fighting to cut the weight of their cars. Then there is the additional cost. It may sound like a simple answer, but it’s really not. Don’t expect to see this anytime soon. In fact, I expect to see inductive charging as a factory feature before multiple charge ports.

  32. SparkEV says:

    Reading through the comments, many, if not most people are concerned about slight (in)convenience of home charging. But home charging can be done on any side using L2 extendeder from Quickchagepower.com if EVSE cannot be moved.

    What is crucial and more than just inconvenience is DCFC. The cable is thick, it doesn’t reach all the way out, and some have spring loaded cable holder like those at gas station. For some crowded charging areas, it becomes impossible to charge until a “right” spot opens up.

    Even if it reaches across the width of the car, the weight of the cable will put pressure on charging port in unnatural way. Those with spring loaded cable holder could potentially break / damage the charge port. It’s not steel gas filler where slight pressure will not matter; plastic can break or warp under charging heat and/or make worse contact. It’s not egg-shell fragile, but having the charger port at center front like Leaf makes for so much less risk and far more convenient.

    Front left/ rear right seem to be leftover from gas car days where you pull up alongside the pump. DCFC chargers are in front of the car, and charging port should reflect as such.

  33. RobSez says:

    What about old-school rear dead center behind the license plate?

    1. Bill Howland says:

      What about the 1952 Peugeot’s ‘behind the left taillight’?

      We already know Tesla watches SpaceBalls. They of course watch Columbo also.

      1. Raymondjram says:

        The famous 1957 Chevy Bel-Air had its fuel filler behind the left rear fin lamp.

  34. Tim Lange says:

    I always back into my garage, a lot of kids in the neighborhood so it is safer to pull out in the street and not back out. I park with the left side of the car against the wall.

  35. MB says:

    When parking lots need more spaces, they take space narrow the driving lanes to add more spaces. We have one of these lots at a P&G facility in Cincinnati. Given the narrow driving lanes, the parking spots are back-in only. If the lot is full, the driving lane is so narrow that you CANNOT pull into a space because you cut the corner and would hit the car in the spot next to you. If you pull into a spot before there are neighboring cars, you cannot get out of the spot if there are cars next to you (unless you have a very small car). The reason is because you can’t cut the front wheels until the front of you car passes the rear of the car next to you and by then, your rear bumper is about the hit the front bumper of a car across the driving lane.

    Since cars can turn sharper driving in reverse (as described above), you will always be able to back into a spot but may not always be able to pull into a spot. Also, for curb side parking (driving on right side of the road)I voted for rear left.

    However, none of this really matters if they just make the cords long enough to go to any location of the car. Could also include 2 ports (this could be handy if the battery can take more input than the charger can output and there are 2 free charging cords…supercharge with 2 cords) or wireless charging. Wireless charging could solve the problem with someone staying in a spot after fully charged (give all spots a wireless charger), with someone unplugging your car to charge theirs (they can’t move your car from above the wireless charger); however, there is some inefficiency with wireless and electric people are efficiency fanatics.

    In your home, it doesn’t really matter where the port is on the car because you can get an electrician to wire your charger wherever most convenient.

    Why not put the charging cords on swing out overhead booms so the cord can reach any corner. Think steam engine railroad water fillers. Or quick lube overhead oil dispensing hoses.

  36. MB says:

    How about where your car is least likely to be hit? Hate to have a minor fender bender and then not be able to drive/charge your car until your car gets into a body shop for repair.

  37. Earthshaker says:

    For me best location is driver’s side No need to go around the car,
    no trouble of an obstruction or blockage p, as far as you can out of the car …

    My opinion is charge port at the front is not a good idea from a “risks” pointof view in daily use, because:

    – Too much exposed to splashes of strong power, the splashes and various projections will massively stay around the hatch edge and fall into the socket at the opening of the hatch … a side hatch is less exposed to stones pieces projections and other sludge.

    – Most shocks are by the front or the back … And imagine the extra price to pay when it is necessary to change the plug receptacle if the shock is violent.

    a charge port on the side of the vehicle is statistically less vulnerable, cheaper at the end ( less design costs, less repair costs…) and safer !

  38. Anon says:

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned height. All the ports are a tad low, but the front ones tend to be lower than the side ones. I appreciate the higher ones, better ergonomically.

  39. madhaus says:

    I have two LEAFs (and returned one leased one) and a RAV4 EV. Grunt and center is the most versatile. The RAV has the port at left rear, which is in a bad place to access the two charging stations on either side of my garage door (outside). Because my driveway curves to a door that’s perpendicular to the street, I park cars facing the house so I can fit four on the driveway, two tandem sets. By parking the RAV close to the front door on the right, I can’t use the station on the left of the garage door but the one on the right can reach it. The garage door is to the right of the driveway. If my driveway curved the other way, then the left rear wouldn’t be such a problem. When there’s already a car parked forward right, I have to back the RAV in. The LEAFs never have an issue with the cables teaching the charge port.

  40. Brian says:

    I don’t believe there is a best place, however, where are most fuel doors? I’m guessing it’s the right side rear. Second most common would be left side rear.

    Tesla has the charger in the back, because (I’m guessing) that was closest to the location of the original motor which then became the primary motor. Other manufactures have put their ports where their motors are.

    Backing INTO a parking space is almost always safer than fronting in. Pulling through a space is the safest of all.
    If you are backing into a space, isn’t that where the EVSE or DCFC equipment would be?

  41. Stan J. says:

    Position of the charging port is not a decision maker, whether to get EV or not. And, it is minimal decision maker as for which EV to select.