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Question about home charging the Model 3 - Tesla button alternatives

kelvin 660

White SR+ with LFP battery
Aug 21, 2020
Apologies if this has been ask before but how do people unlock the charger when not using the Tesla UMC charger that has a button. I'm talking about charges like Anderson, Rolec, Pod point and Zappi that don't have a button.

It looks like the only way is to open the car, wait for the screen to come on and select "unlock charge port" or open the app on the phone, wait for it to connect, go into the charging menu and select "unlock charge port".

Both methods seem to be a PITA, especially for RHD cars where the charging port is one the other side. :(

Is there a better way or workaround to unlock the charging port that I'm missing?

P.S. at least the charging port opens when tapping on the port, so it's not a problem to connect to the car :rolleyes:
Or an NFC tag fitted somewhere convenient that you tap with your phone, which triggers tasker, which calls the API which unlocks the port.

There are variations on this using IoT buttons etc. which I've seen on YouTube, but are all pretty DIY.

I'm still on the UMC with its button, but I have some NFC tags I'll fit when I convert over to my Andersen.
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Yep. Thats it for AC/Type 2 but DC/CCS should unlock when charge complete and car is unlocked.

Well that's pretty crap! Especially when it pouring down with rain... Surely there must be a work around??

You can get third party cables fitted though.

I'm aware of 3rd party cables but they are pretty expensive alternative and probably work better with an untethered charger!
You can retrofit just the button, but it depends on your charger construction.

I did this to a lead I made up, using the cheapest kit, that needs a hold to be drilled in the Type 2 connector to take the push button. It came out OK, but it's pretty fiddly to to. The hardest part I found was getting the push button to fit neatly to the top of the connector, and get it sealed well. It works fine when done, but the easiest option is to buy their already wired cable, as the connector on that has a very much better design of push button, that's encapsulated in some sort of rubber, so is better sealed, I'm sure. My adapted cable now lives in the back of the car, as it's a 10m long one that I made up to reach AC charge points that might be ICE'd (come in handy a couple of times at destination charge points).
I Use the phone app as I approach the car
Same for me, and I find you don't need to wait for the app to fully wake the car (at least with iPhone); even while app is 'greyed out' and still waiting for car wake up fully, you can still navigate to charging option and open the port.
I use Tesla remote with Siri Shortcuts.
Like the sound of this, which of the third party apps is this please? 'Remote for Tesla' (looks a bit steep at £28.99, but seems to have lots in it) or one of the free ones?
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I purchased a 'Tesla Retrofit Button Kit' from here:
Tesla retrofit button kit - evChargeking
Really easy to fit to a type 2 plug if you're handy with a soldering iron and can drill one hole. All the instructions are on the website and the mod takes about an hour.
It's so handy, no more having to unlock from inside the car. Money well spent.

Pre-requisite for these is that your current plug is held together by screws, not molded onto the cable!
I find I have to wake the car with a half press of a door handle any way, which often turns into a door open, you may as well just open the damn door and press the button!

I think an NFC tag in the charge port cover is the way forward TBH, but there are many workable solutions.