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Missed opportunity: No inverter

Cosmacelf

Well-Known Member
Mar 6, 2013
8,385
19,976
San Diego
I really think Tesla missed an opportunity to make the Model X insanely great in that they didn't include an inverter output. A lot of SUVs these days have 120 volt plugs at the back hooked to an inverter that can deliver several hundred watts. The problem with ICE cars is that to draw a lot of power from the inverter, you need to have the engine running or else you'll wear out your starter battery pretty quickly.

The Model X COULD have been a great tailgating car, or camping car with the addition of a reasonable power inverter built in. Drawing from the main battery pack, it would last a long time, no generator or car engine needed to be running.

Missed opportunity...
 
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efusco

Moderator - Model S & X forums
Mar 29, 2009
5,421
666
Nixa, Missouri, United States
I really think Tesla missed an opportunity to make the Model X insanely great in that they didn't include an inverter output. A lot of SUVs these days have 120 volt plugs at the back hooked to an inverter that can deliver several hundred watts. The problem with ICE cars is that to draw a lot of power from the inverter, you need to have the engine running or else you'll wear out your starter battery pretty quickly.

The Model X COULD have been a great tailgating car, or camping car with the addition of a reasonable power inverter built in. Drawing from the main battery pack, it would last a long time, no generator or car engine needed to be running.

Missed opportunity...

Good point, I would really like something like that for a number of reasons.
 

modex

Member
Sep 11, 2015
16
0
Hong Kong
Model X really have too many unique selling features that no other car in the market can compare.
the long lasting inverter will certainly be another unique feature, but unsure if this is a must buy feature for many people. if it is, i guess this will probably be added later.
 

vdiv

Chief Grump
Jan 20, 2015
671
808
Reston, VA
It depends on your definition of the word "utility"...(i.e. gimmick)

No, it doesn't, you are absolutely right. The X should have been peppered with 120V/240V, 12V cigarette plugs and USB ports. The SUV/MPV/Minivan market is heavily competitive and it appears that Tesla is basically asking families to make sacrifices to ride in the X.
 

Theshadows

Active Member
Apr 20, 2013
1,947
221
PA
Add me to the I agree list.

I keep one in the car for when I am working while someone is driving me somewhere. And it's annoying because my laptop draws just enough power to cause the cooling fan to cycle on and off.
 

SeminoleFSU

Voluntaryist
Apr 5, 2013
1,448
358
Atlanta, GA
Are we sure there isn't one?
there could be one in the trunk area I guess... haven't seen extensive photos of that area yet... but all I can see by way of power is the 12V in the normal spot (same as Model S) up in the front armrest area.... which also has 2 USB ports, one of which has a plugged in wire that goes to the phone dock. There also appear to be 2 USB ports in the rear of the front arm rest for the 2nd row. While that's better than nothing, it's definitely not an inverter with a 120V AC plug
 

MrJones390

Space Boat
Jun 26, 2015
246
47
Los Angeles
Could it be a safety issue? When I was developing portable backup batteries with 110-240 AC outlets (and prongs) it was very hard to pass UL. I know it has been done now.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,866
Toronto, ON
I really think Tesla missed an opportunity to make the Model X insanely great in that they didn't include an inverter output.

Heck, for an electric car, I am really surprised at the lack of electrical outlets in my Model S. I had a 2001 GMC that had two 12v charge ports in the dash plus a lighter, 1 12v port in the cubby, 1 12v port in the back seat and 1 12v port in the trunk. My '09 Cadillac had a similar setup (although not in the trunk) plus USB ports. Even my old Pontiac Vibe has 12v and 115 volt outlets on the dash. It just seems odd.
 

CarlK

Active Member
Mar 23, 2013
1,919
1,235
SF Bay Area
I really think Tesla missed an opportunity to make the Model X insanely great in that they didn't include an inverter output. A lot of SUVs these days have 120 volt plugs at the back hooked to an inverter that can deliver several hundred watts. The problem with ICE cars is that to draw a lot of power from the inverter, you need to have the engine running or else you'll wear out your starter battery pretty quickly.

The Model X COULD have been a great tailgating car, or camping car with the addition of a reasonable power inverter built in. Drawing from the main battery pack, it would last a long time, no generator or car engine needed to be running.

Missed opportunity...

That's a good point but they can always add it as an upgrade or part of an option. The opprotunity will always be there.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,126
10,611
California
That's a good point but they can always add it as an upgrade or part of an option. The opprotunity will always be there.
Inverter is trivial to retrofit for those who need it. I carry a few (different sizes) in all my cars. Rarely use them.
OTOH its really hard to retrofit AWD BEV 0-60 in 3.8 seconds.
 
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Panu

Member
Jan 9, 2015
289
44
Uusimaa, Finland
I really think Tesla missed an opportunity to make the Model X insanely great in that they didn't include an inverter output. A lot of SUVs these days have 120 volt plugs at the back hooked to an inverter that can deliver several hundred watts. The problem with ICE cars is that to draw a lot of power from the inverter, you need to have the engine running or else you'll wear out your starter battery pretty quickly.

The Model X COULD have been a great tailgating car, or camping car with the addition of a reasonable power inverter built in. Drawing from the main battery pack, it would last a long time, no generator or car engine needed to be running.

Missed opportunity...

I think the reason is that they offer you free electricity (supercharging). I don't think they want to pay your electricity needs beyond driving.
 

scottm

Legacy account
Jun 13, 2014
3,070
2,234
Canada
I bought an 120VAC inverter for my S, the kind you can wire to battery posts, not just plug into 12V outlet. Good for a few hundred Watts or so... And it's been sitting on a shelf ever since. I thought I'd install it in the frunk and have 120V there for any accessory, a cooler, or whatever. We've camped exactly once in the S (sleeping in it) in the last year, and found there's outlets at the campground used those instead. But on a SUV I could see the "utility" of having 120V in the rear hatch area. Plug in a vacuum there and suck up all the spilled Cheerios around the back seats, every week or so.

It also dawned on me maybe the inverter idea is backwards. It would be much more useful to put a little gas generator in the frunk and do the opposite, run the mobile adapter to the back and plug in to charge up. Kind of a hybrid or range extender.. no Volt going to put me to shame. I had hoped to charge while driving. But the S won't budge if the charge door is open.. so out the window that went too.
 

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