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Short sighted to put the charging port on the rear?

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by adric22, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. adric22

    adric22 Member

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    You know.. I haven't seen this discussed anywhere. But I look at how the Tesla Model-S has the charging port on the rear of the car, much like a gasoline car. And I have to ask myself WHY? Being that this car was supposed to break with all traditions of gasoline cars, why keep this one? It really doesn't make any sense on an electric car. Toyota did it on the Plug-in-Prius just to save a few bucks on manufacturing costs. But I am sure that is not Tesla's reason. The biggest problem I see is when using public charging stations, even the superchargers. Most of the ones I've seen require the driver to back the car into the spot. A lot of people have difficulty backing a car into a spot. Its just something probably 50% of drivers are just not good at doing. I'll admit, I'm not an expert at it either. I think Nissan got it right by putting the charging port right on the nose of the car. This is the most logical place. Most other cars have it on the driver's side in front of the driver door. While that is better, it still makes it hard to reach some charging cords. And I've even had to back my Volt in on occasion in order to get the cable to reach.

    So what was the reasoning behind this?
     
  2. Ocelot

    Ocelot Member

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    once you start backing in, you quickly will prefer it

    does model s have automatic sloping down side mirrors when in reverese?
     
  3. PopSmith

    PopSmith Saving for a Model 3

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    This is simply my opinion but I think that Franz and the Tesla engineers were trying to keep Model S similar to gasoline powered cars while showing off what an EV can be. The charger-in-the-tail-light helps folks remain comfortable with a "standard" fueling (charging) port location while keeping the lines clean. It looks like Tesla could also hide the charge port (or another one?) under the badge on the passengers side front fender, maybe that will happen in Model S 2.0.
     
  4. Gynob001

    Gynob001 Member

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    See-Freeway signs and others. I did post about the location of the charging door.

     
  5. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    Yes. When you shift into reverse the outside mirrors tilt. Each car driver can program the amount and direction of tilt as needed and keep it in the driver preference memory.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just guessing but there may be a technical/electrical reason behind this. The Nissan is front drive/front motor. The MS is rear drive/rear motor with the important power modules around the same area.
     
  6. lolachampcar

    lolachampcar Active Member

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    First, Schlumberger taught us (dumb engineers) that most accidents occur within the first few minutes of driving thus the European tradition of backing into parking spots. Put simply, you're more switched on at the end of a drive backing into a spot then the start of a drive backing out of one.

    WRT power port placement, the primary high voltage high current cable runs congregate around the motor/inverter. It would seem to make a lot of sense to put the high current capable power port as close to these nodes as possible to support the 200 amps plus delivered by the SC.
     
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    It could have a more basic explanation, for instance the location of the car's chargers (under the rear seats). It may simply have made more sense to locate the port where they did rather than re-engineer an awful lot more to move chargers, cables etc. nearer to the front.
     
  8. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    I tend to agree. I am more comfortable with accident avoidance backing in to a spot since I am the only variable during the maneuver and I can see not only where I am going but also who is coming at me. I have no such confidence backing out of a space in a crowded Walmart lot with my vision blocked by SUV's and pick-ups, and the added variables of other drivers going down the lane or backing out of their spots. The only reason I don't do it more often is the impatience of other drivers waiting for me to finish. However in a culture where back-in parking is the norm, the patience of other drivers is also the norm (Europe and Far East)
     
  9. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Exactly. That is the main problem. People come all the way up to your bumper making it impossible for you to back in sometimes. Now that I do it though it is much nice leaving the spot than backing out.
     
  10. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    Why are you all saying that backing into parking spots is the norm in Europe?

    I've lived in multiple European countries (France, Germany, Switzerland and Netherlands) and spent 2-3 months minimum on multiple business trips in others (UK and Spain) and have never noticed a very high percent of cars parked rear-first... Certainly not enough to make me think about it being the "norm" -- but thinking back on it perhaps a bit more than we see in the US.

    Just curious...
     
  11. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    That's the biggest problem. I prefer to back in, but by the time I've gone by the spot and put the car in reverse, there is usually someone right on my tail, or trying to go nose first into the same spot (and yes, I do signal).

    Having said that, I do like the angled spots and one-way aisles that are common in many US mall parking lots. Oddly, that does not seem to be as popular in Canada. Those make it easy to back out of (only have to look one way) and also make it easy to get your groceries or whatever into the trunk (okay, not a problem with a frunk but for most cars...)
     
  12. TI Sailor

    TI Sailor Member

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    I was parked in one of those angled spots in a one-way drive thru, with vehicles on both sides of the roadway. I had a huge SUV blocking my view out my left window as I backed out, but thought anyone coming would see my white reverse lights and my bumper...and they probably would have. Unfortunately, the driver of a car on the opposite side of the drive-thru from me, also angle parked, was looking out her right side at potential oncoming vehicles as well. Neither of us saw the other backing up until it was too late; we collided, my right rear fender with her left rear fender. Despite the exceedingly slow speeds, it was surprising how much it cost for both car repairs...both had quarter panel damage. Neither of us was charged but my insurance skyrocketed nonetheless. Anyway, now I *always* look both ways and in all my rear view mirrors when leaving angled parking spots, and I keep looking until I'm ready to pull forward.
     
  13. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    I tried backing into the garage for a week or two. I guess I just am not wired that way, and more power to those who like it, but I notice no advantage. I can back out just fine. At a parking lot, when I go to back out, I notice that my back up camera shows 180 view of who's coming from behind the monster SUV beside me, far better than trying to stick my nose out until I can see over or around it from the driver's seat.

    As to charging issues, the cord reaches from the front garage wall clear back to the tail light charge port, with slack.

    I don't see the problem. If you want to back in, enjoy yourself. If you have trouble walking clear back to the tail light, well, I'm sorry. I tend to agree that with superchargers pumping in 120 kW these days, high power cables need to be short. I just keep thinking that it is so amazing that these newbies who in no way, against all odds, could make a viable electric car, have succeeded so far above expectations on their first try. The charge port is almost a non issue when compared to that.
     
  14. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    I think it was very short sighted of Tesla to have the port in the rear.

    If backing into a spot is the more logical and the easy way to park, then why is that 99% of people here in the US almost always do not back in ? Also in every lot where the parking spots are angled (and each row is a one-way only, with the direction alternating between rows), there is a clear sign that says, "Do not back in". Many Walmart and Kroger parking lots out here are designed that way, and there are Blink chargers in those parking lots and it will be silly to have a Model S park head-in and have cable stretch all the way to the rear. There may be some engineering and manufacturing reasons for putting the charge port in the rear, but definitely it is not user friendly.

    The way you park at gas stations is different from how you park an EV at a charge station, except may be at Superchargers. Even then it would have served the users better if the Superchargers were placed at the head of a parking spot and the charge port located in the front. Nissan Leaf got it right.
     
  15. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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  16. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    Could be a simple as the other high voltage stuff is in the rear of the car. As others have said, you get used to it.
     
  17. fredag

    fredag Member

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    My other electric car, a Mitsubishi i-Miev, also has the charging ports on the rear sides. The motor and batteries are also in the rear of that car.

    However, the i-Miev has two charging ports. The chademo fast charging port is on the left side, and the slow charging port for everyday use is on the right side. Which is a few more steps every day when charging the car at home, but feels safer when charging the car along the sidewalk in town, as the charging connector doesn't stick out into traffic.

    Apparently, the front of cars is the most accident prone are of the car, so I think Nissan got it wrong with the Leaf.
     
  18. sp4rk

    sp4rk Banned

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    I see no issue with having the charging at the back. Much prefer it than having to fumble around in the dark in the Leaf.

    As for Europe, etc. and parking back in ... I have no idea what you mean ... I drive in the UK a lot and in European countries. France / Italy / Switzerland. And in the USA. I have never seen any "preference" of others to back in.
    However, if you cannot back in, parallel park, etc. IMO you shouldn't have a D/L to start with!
    Nor if you need to see THREE brake lights on the car in front! :)

    Lastly, the rear view outer mirrors only tilt if you program them to. They are not delivered that way. To do that, go into reverse, aim them down, then press "memory save" and they'll automatically do their thing. Another thing though, I never understood why we need it.

    Now my reputation will sink!
     
  19. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    Post #6 and#7 raised the possibility of a technical reason behind the port placement, i.e., having a short run for a high voltage connection. The Nissan Leaf is front drive, front engine. The Tesla is rear drive, rear engine. I have not checked but would not be surprised if all front-ported EV's had their major electrical stuff in front. As an aside, the empty front of the MS has contributed significantly to its high crash safety rating. If the Leaf has all that heavy stuff in front, maybe they did not get it right. I'll take safety over convenience any day.
     
  20. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    This. I couldn't back into a spot for my life with all my previous ICE cars (granted, none of them had a backup camera).

    Given the backup camera, the side mirrors and the super-precise/sensitive acceleration control (with the no creep setting), I back into a parking spot atleast twice a day (charging both at home and at work).
     

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