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When would you let your kids plug in your car?

jaanton

Roadster NA #1026
Jun 25, 2010
337
14
Oakland, CA
I'm curious, for those parents with a Model S. Probably your kids will see you plug in the car. If they're curious, about what age would you let them do it themselves? I don't have young kids but now grand-kids are visiting and they are curious. With my Roadster I've been at public charge stations and had mothers of kids I would guess about 5 years saying "Look, he is plugging in his car!" With an ICE, it's clear that you go to the gas station and I wouldn't let a kid touch a pump until they are ready to drive. But with the MS, I'm not so certain. If they are old enough to use a wall outlet, are they old enough to plug in the MS?
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,489
2,959
Redmond, WA
It's safer than a wall outlet - it just uses 12V pins to establish a connection with the car, and doesn't turn on the high-voltage lines until it is plugged in. So the kids can't electrocute themselves with it. Any age that can reach is fine, safety-wise.

They can hurt the car if they aren't careful waving that connector around...although that is much less likely with the Model S because the connector is so much lighter than the Roadster's, and easier to operate. I can think of 5-year-olds that I'd be happy to let plug in my car; but I can also think of 13-year-olds that I would not unless I am within arm's reach.
 

PureAmps

Model S P85 (#2817)
Oct 22, 2012
359
7
SF Bay Area
My kids (ages 7 and 11) routinely plug in my car at the end of the day after being picked up from school. The biggest problem I've had is my 7-year old daughter doesn't always press firmly enough to seat the connector and then the car only charges at 16 amps and displays an error message. When she plugs it in, I just give a quick glance at the dash before going in the house to make sure the max amps is set at 40.

Sadly, the novelty of plugging in the car is beginning to wear off on them, so I'm finding I have to plug the car in myself more often now.
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,510
10,025
Drammen, Norway
My oldest son sometimes plugs in the J1772 plug on my i-MiEV (I do the wall plugging). He's 2 years 9 months old! And he loves it when he gets to do it.

The other night he was playing with a play car (big model that he can sit on and scoot around). I told him we're going to bed. To my amazement he drives the car to a corner in the living room where one of those strings that you raise curtains with hangs down and proceeds to plug it in to his play car. I asked what he's doing and very matter-of-factly he says "Dad, charging the battery". True story.
 
My oldest son sometimes plugs in the J1772 plug on my i-MiEV (I do the wall plugging). He's 2 years 9 months old! And he loves it when he gets to do it.

The other night he was playing with a play car (big model that he can sit on and scoot around). I told him we're going to bed. To my amazement he drives the car to a corner in the living room where one of those strings that you raise curtains with hangs down and proceeds to plug it in to his play car. I asked what he's doing and very matter-of-factly he says "Dad, charging the battery". True story.

This is awesome ...soon a whole generation of EV only consumers will be out there :)
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,510
10,025
Drammen, Norway
This is awesome ...soon a whole generation of EV only consumers will be out there :)

Yeah, it comes so natural for them... We do have an ICE in the family as well, but he only likes to ride in the EV. He calls it "the tik-tak car" since it's so quiet you can her the turn indicator go tic-tac :). And whenever something mechanical or electronic at home stops working he just assumes the battery needs charging.

In fact I've been thinking a bit about this with regards to investing in TSLA, in this way: My young son is getting to know cars as a concept, and is presented with an EV and and ICE without prior knowledge, experience, bias, cultural expectations etc. and it's clear he prefers the EV (OK I know, I'm probabaly influencing his preference directly and indirectly, but still I sense that he does have some intuitive preference towards the EV). Most of the currently living 6-7 billion people on this earth have never owned a car and I'd wager that more than 50% of the worlds population have never even ridden in a car. I'm not saying that all of these will drive/buy cars in the coming 10-20 years, but there is a hughe growing middle class in countries like China, India etc. and I think that it will be very natural for many of those to get an EV as their first ever car. In the same as the children these people are going to be more unbiased and less influenced by cultural expectations, earlier experiences with cars etc. Sorry for the OT.
 

PeterK

Model X, 3 & Y Owner
Supporting Member
Jan 17, 2013
1,744
730
Cambridge, MA
My kids (ages 7 and 11) routinely plug in my car at the end of the day after being picked up from school. The biggest problem I've had is my 7-year old daughter doesn't always press firmly enough to seat the connector and then the car only charges at 16 amps and displays an error message. When she plugs it in, I just give a quick glance at the dash before going in the house to make sure the max amps is set at 40.

Sadly, the novelty of plugging in the car is beginning to wear off on them, so I'm finding I have to plug the car in myself more often now.

Just hit six days since delivery and the girls (8, 11 and 14 year olds) fight for who gets to plug it in if they're with me. I stand with them and make sure it's fully in. 4 year old hasn't taken interest yet, but I'm sure will at some point, watching me and the others. 18 year old son did it once and now isn't particularly interested.
 
My four year old loves to plug daddy's car in and "charge the batteries." In a world of iPads and iPhone, even at that young age she gets it. She knows to press the button on the UMC to pop open the charge port but needs a little help to push it in all the way. Never had the slightest concern over safety since I know the UMC doesn't "click" on and start delivering current until the connector is in all the way.

In fact, I'd say that it's safer than plugging something into a wall outlet. More akin to plugging the USB side of a charger into a phone.
 
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My oldest son sometimes plugs in the J1772 plug on my i-MiEV (I do the wall plugging). He's 2 years 9 months old! And he loves it when he gets to do it.

The other night he was playing with a play car (big model that he can sit on and scoot around). I told him we're going to bed. To my amazement he drives the car to a corner in the living room where one of those strings that you raise curtains with hangs down and proceeds to plug it in to his play car. I asked what he's doing and very matter-of-factly he says "Dad, charging the battery". True story.

Johan, this is a vision of the future. Thank you for sharing it with us.
 
Don't have my MS yet, still waiting, but my 2 1/2 year old plugs in my Electric Alfa Romeo, used to check his work, don't need to any more. Flawless since he turned 2. My older boy is disabled. I just let him climb into drivers seat for pretend driving. Younger one also does tire pressure laundry, vacuuming, load dish washer, and stacks cycle parts for my business perfectly on my stock shelves (and in correct spots!). All without me ever asking. He loves it, sees me do it once, and their he goes.
Yes ladies, this young bachelor is available!

- - - Updated - - -

Don't have my MS yet, still waiting, but my 2 1/2 year old plugs in my Electric Alfa Romeo, used to check his work, don't need to any more. Flawless since he turned 2. My older boy is disabled. I just let him climb into drivers seat for pretend driving. Younger one also does tire pressure laundry, vacuuming, load dish washer, and stacks cycle parts for my business perfectly on my stock shelves (and in correct spots!). All without me ever asking. He loves it, sees me do it once, and their he goes.
Yes ladies, this young bachelor is available!
Forgot, he also helped daddy build said Alfa ^_^ Yet, despite all that, he refuses to go in the potty :(
 

strider

Active Member
Oct 20, 2010
4,243
2,182
NE Oklahoma
Since we don't have 4.3 yet my 2-year old doesn't get to plug in (I do it before I go to bed to take advantage of TOU rates) but he helps unplug it every morning. He's not quite strong enough to remove the plug so he'll walk up and push the button. I help him remove the plug, he hands plug to me so I can hang it up, and then he closes the charge port door. Once we get 4.3 he'll get to plug in too. On the Roadster he just slides the lock switch as that plug is way too heavy for him to handle.

It's interesting to watch him play. Similar to Johan he plugs in his toy cars and makes whirring noises when he drives them instead of vroom vroom. He does vroom vroom motorcycles since my bike is an ICE but cars whirr.
 

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