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A Couple of Design Points/Questions


Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2015
Clark Co, WA
There are a couple of design issues about the Model S I've never seen anyone ask about, but they are things I've wondered about.

1) The central pillar in the console with the cup holders and the arm rests seems to have some wasted space. I realize the lower portion of this area has the vents for the rear seats, but there is what appears to be unused space there that could have been used for storage. If Tesla didn't want something that opens upward like a lot of cars have, they could have put in a drawer that slid forward. It wouldn't be a huge amount of space, but it could have been used for something.

2) My second question/issue is with the location of the charging port. All ICE cars these days have the gas port on one side or the other and you always have to remember which side its on when pulling into a gas station. I've been fortunate that every car I've owned has had the fuel port under the back license plate. It is the most rational place to put it from a no brainer perspective. When filling my car, I never think about how to orient the car with respect to the pump, just drive in and at long as the back end isn't too far from the pump, all is good.

Trunk lids now come down almost to the bumper on sedans and vehicles with some kind of hatch or lift gate can't put the fuel port in the back because it would interfere with the trunk, so they put them on the side. And the Model S has the lift gate come down almost to the bumper too, so putting the charging port in the back would be impractical. However, they could have put it in the center front like Nissan did with the Leaf.

Having the charging port in the front would make pulling into a supercharger stall easier. A lot of people have trouble backing into a slot with obstacles on both sides such as a parking spot with cars on both sides. Personally I'm not great at it and I would be sweating dinging someone else's car while pulling in to charge.

My SO is an outstanding driver, she's never had an accident in decades of driving except one time when she was rear ended and couldn't prevent it. Because of some nervous system damage, she has a lot of trouble with the special relationships backing up. At her old office she had to parallel park a lot and her law partner gave her a hard time about how long it took her to get into a spot. The backup camera would help her get into a supercharger spot, but she would still struggle with it and would likely make me do it if I'm there. I've known a lot of people who would struggle or just balk at having to back into a parking space with cars on both sides.

When it comes to home charging, the way our garage is laid out, the only place for the charger is on the wall to the right of my car and when the car is plugged in, the charger is going to be sticking out towards my SO's car. It will likely be impossible to walk down the aisle between the two cars when mine is charging. It looks like the charger comes with a cable long enough to reach, so that isn't a critical issue, but I still need to stretch the cable over or under the car to plug it in.

A front charging point would make all these things non-issues and would be more convenient, IMO.

Just a couple of design observations that I find at least a little annoying. It doesn't put me off the car, the Model S is still a 95/100 in my book and probably the next car on my list is about a 70 or less.


Active Member
Jun 22, 2013
Northern California
There is something under the armrests/cupholders--apparently there is some electronic gear in there

Lots of threads on the location of the charger port--it is what it is. A couple of thoughts on your second point:
1) my garage seems similar to your garage, 20' wide, HPWC on the right wall, MS parks on the right side (nose in), Jeep parks on the left. The cable is plenty long to reach the charge port without dragging on the car, but you are correct there is not a huge amount of space between vehicles, but I have not had an issue bumping into the charger handle
2) many of the new SCs seem to be designed for pull-in, not back-in, perhaps that is a long-term change for Tesla
3) I actually find the side mirrors more useful for backing in than the camera (I have them set so the flip down in reverse and I have see the markings on the ground)
4) reportedly, the next rev of AP software will support perpendicular parking--assuming this would also work with SC stalls


Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
On the new Model X they have added rear cup holders under the rear air vents. They agree with you.

The position of the charge port is dependent on which spot is closest to the battery pack and power controller. At present, that is near the rear axle. There are very large cables loading up the amount of power a house would use in several days, in just a few minutes. Granted, some find this inconvenient, but many have figured out how to make it work, and many, many others have no problem at all. I bet you'll figure out a way. Whatever you decide, it will be far better than burning hundreds of gallons of gas a year.

I owned a RAV4EV in 2002. It had a charge port in the front. Guess what? There were times it was inconvenient. Just like there are times when gas filler tubes aren't where you would like them.

As for people learning to back up, the rear camera with the guide lines superimposed on the picture make it REALLY easy to back into a spot. And I suppose that with Tesla heading into dominance of the Pilot Assist software, the car will probably be able to do it for all those who find it too difficult. They already offer parallel parking in the current version, though I hear it is buggy still.

When it comes to owning the best car made, ten years ahead of its time, nothing else comes close. Minor inconveniences included, I think you will never be sorry.


Active Member
Jan 30, 2013
Teller County CO
I think you're going to find a lot of variability here. For instance, I have no issues where the charging port is, I actually like it there. I like that it's hidden and out of sight and find the options selected by other manufactures too tied to the concept of the gas cap, too stuck to the remnants of the past. If anything, I'd have liked to have seen Tesla have the charging ports on both sides but I'm sure that was a cost decision.

FWIW in my garage, a front charging port would be much more inconvenient than where the current one is. So to each their own there...



Still in love after all these miles
Jun 24, 2014
Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
In order to keep costs down, I elected to keep the run for my UMC outlet short, which necessitates my backing into my garage. I'm a good backer upper, but I do find the MS to be hard to back up because it is so huge. And I have to do a bit of a curve and straighten maneuver to get her in. Big boned gal that she is. But after many months of trial and error, I can now slip her right in perfectly. Thanks to the guidelines on the rear camera.

My only comment on having the charge port in the front is that all I can think of is the Leaf, which I think is terribly unattractive. And on the note of other companies being stuck on the concept of a gas port, the Tesla is essentially right where a gas port would be. So I don't follow that logic at all. Though I agree...they are.

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