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Why is the charge port in the back instead of the front?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Patrick W, May 26, 2015.

  1. Patrick W

    Patrick W Member

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    A friend has a Leaf and while at his house recently I saw that the charge port for the Leaf is in the front.

    There are a couple of public charging stations in Salt Lake City that I am not be able to use because the cables from the stations are not long enough to reach my MS's charge port.

    And the way the parking spaces are laid out relative to the flow of traffic I can't back in.

    Not a big deal since there's a supercharger a short way away but it has got me wondering:

    Why are Model S charge ports on the back instead of on the front?
     
  2. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    One reason is that the chargers are located under the rear seat so there is a shorter cable run.

    I dislike to "nose in" park. The chances of you hitting something when backing out are far greater than if you back in because your visibility is far less than when you back in and pull out.
    I'm somewhat curious why you'd need to use a public charger in your hometown (I assume you live in the area).
     
  3. Patrick W

    Patrick W Member

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    Ah, that makes sense. Thanks.

    Not really a matter of "need" since I only live about 50km from SLC and charge at home. It's more a matter of "It's there so I wanna use it." :)

    But, hey, having an EV does qualify me for free city parking so I guess that sorta makes up for not being able to use city chargers.
     
  4. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    There is not natural place for the charge port in front (crumple zone, frunk).

    The port it self and the wiring from it is heavy duty (120 kW supercharging) so it does take up some space but it dissappears nicely in to the back of the car, not so much in front.

    It's nicely integrated in the rear light, where would you naturally hide it in the front?
     
  5. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    It's much safer to back in than drive in.
    It's easier to walk to the rear driver's side corner than the front to plug in just because of how the door swings. (and if you back in to your garage as per above, you're probably walking right by it anyway)
    it's out of the way on the side of the vehicle not interfering with frunk or trunk access
    it's nearer the chargers which are nearer to the pack contactors which are near the inverter near the motor, all leading to shorter cabling inside the car reducing heat generation, resistive losses, and vehicle weight.
    lower likelihood of high voltage cabling being exposed in a collision as it's not in a common impact location.

    The bigger question is, why on earth would any other vehicle have chosen the front?
     
  6. Rama

    Rama Member

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    This is a little pet peev of mine. I have a Leaf and a Model S. I had the Leaf first so the charging station is set up to accommodate a front charge port. I have to back in the Model S if I want to use the station, which is difficult given the size of the Model S. But that's just me, I hate backing into supercharger stalls too; I always feel like I'm going to clip something.
     
  7. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    I believe the Leaf put it in the front because that is a more convenient location to put a large flap to accommodate both the CHAdeMO and J1772 socket. They did this even though the charger is in the rear seats also. The iMIEV on the other hand has on port on either side in the rear (CHAdeMO on one side, J1772 on the other).

    The Volt and Energi puts their charge port on the front, but on the side of the car. The Plug-in Prius has it in the rear side of the car.
     
  8. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    If you are curbside parking it is not as convenient when the curb is on the opposite side of your charge port.
     
  9. davewill

    davewill Member

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    Elon's personal taste? I had a LEAF with it in the front, and my RAV4EV has it in the same place the Model S does...because that's where the opening for the ICE RAV's gas fill was. I personally hate backing into parking, and liked the front location much better. I especially hate backing in when some goober decides to go the wrong way down a slant parking lot lane just so he can back in. The front is aesthetically less pleasing, though. The flap on the front almost defines the LEAF's looks, and I suspect that was enough to nix it for Tesla.
     
  10. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    I'm the opposite. I prefer to back in. With the camera and parking sensors it's a breeze in the model S.
     
  11. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    I will tell you why. Because as a stroke of genius Tesla decided to have it in the back to keep familiarity with gas cars on the 'looks' division. Aesthetically pleasing, no doubt. But ergonomically it is stupid. As Elon likes to say, 'brain dead'. In whatever spot you keep your charger in your garage or in a public station, the rear is the most intrusive place to plug it in. It is fun to watch the lone Tesla guy in my office struggle to pull the chord from the ChargePoint stations and plug it in. So one day he gave in and decided to back into the parking spot, except our garage has angled parking. So it became even more a spectacle to watch him do the twist and turns to back it in. What should have been a simple, park and plug in 10 seconds now has become a 5 minute chore every day. And remember getting the car out is also not easy as these are narrow angled spaces with one way drive, so if you are backed in you will be against the traffic.

    I have a simple question to those that claim that they always back in, and it is the easiest and safest way to park: Why do 99.9% of people park with nose-in, if the backing in is the greatest thing since sliced bread?

    Parallel parking is the one instance I can think of backing-in not only makes absolute sense and is also a requirement in some places. In all other cases those that do are a nuisance factor because they always have to go beyond the spot and back it in, and another car follows right behind thinking it is his spot, and then they are both stuck.
     
  12. stopcrazypp

    stopcrazypp Well-Known Member

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    90 degree parking also allows for backing in. Where I park regularly, there is 90 degree parking on a hill and practically everyone backs in because it is much easier to get out and you can actually fit in a tighter space (important because that area does not have marked spaces) given better sight lines with the use of mirrors and I believe better maneuverability also.

    You are right however that for angled parking (not 90 degrees), the easiest is to just pull forward.
     
  13. Incredulocious

    Incredulocious '11 LEAF –> '13 RAV4 EV

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    #13 Incredulocious, May 27, 2015
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
    Yeah, count me also as disliking the charge port in rear (as on my RAV4 EV) on those very few occasions where I need to charge at a public station on a more distant trip. I don't like the extra, though minor, hassle of backing into a space. (And I don't have any trouble maneuvering in reverse at length or backing out of a space.)

    Originally, I had a LEAF. And yes, I liked the charge port up front in the nose but I like rarely needing to charge away from home even more. :biggrin:

    - - - Updated - - -

    Have you seen how much trouble some people have just backing out of a space?? (With all that empty space?!) So please don't make them try to back into a space with cars on either side! You or I might be the one parked there.
     
  14. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    Why not run an extended 50A line from the existing charge port to a second 14-50 outlet located conveniently for MS charging?
     
  15. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    Because it's easier to pull in nose first than back in. Backing in is safer, because pulling out forwards is safer, but you're more likely to have a prang. Give it a few years and with all new cars having sensors and self park, backing in will become more common. Except at grocery stores, where only people with a good sized frunk will back in. :p

    Personally, I feel that the driver's side is best for charging on off-road parking, but center of the front is the most flexible position for allowing charging anywhere.

    Having the charge port on the passenger side can mean a few things:
    - your market drives on the other side of the road from the manufacturer's home market and isn't taking your market seriously
    - the manufacturer isn't taking the car seriously
    - designers, engineers and executives at the manufacturer need a few firm touches with a clue bat.
     
  16. Rama

    Rama Member

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    My existing station is a aerovironment station. I would have to have an electrician do the work. Don't really feel like paying. Not that big a deal. I just back the Model S in if I need to charger faster than 120v.
     
  17. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

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    Because people in general procrastinate what they don't want to do. If someone doesn't like to back up, they will put it off.
    Just remember, you will either back up when you arrive or when you leave; but backing up is inevitable. Either back into a spot, or back into traffic. I much prefer the former.
    I admit front-in does make sense if you're loading or unloading a substantial amount.

    Backing in, you can move the front of the car from the adjacent car to the middle of the spot in the last 2-3 feet.
    You cannot do the same thing pulling in forwards, which is why you see so many crooked park jobs.

    My question is, why is angled parking always set to front-in? Leaving those spots in traffic is a nightmare. You must wait for someone to pause 3 parking spots back before you can leave, and that only happens is if they see the backup lights and want your spot.
    Visibility is also impaired being so far into the spot.
    Then if the car to your left is too close, you can't steer towards the left without scraping so the rear of the car ends up in traffic from the other direction, blocking both directions. What a terrible idea, front-in angle parking.
     
  18. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    People don't back in because for whatever reason it never became the norm here. Also, people pull up right behind you in a busy parking lot not allowing you to do so because they don't expect it.
     
  19. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    I'm one of those who doesn't mind the charge port in the rear of the car. What I HATE is that it's on the DRIVERS SIDE! 9 out of 10 times, in my day to day experience and 55,000 miles of driving, the port should be on the RIGHT SIDE of the car. Cant even CURB SIDE CHARGE. Well, you could, but the charge cable and wand would be sticking out into traffic waiting to be clipped off by a driver or bicyclist driving too close to the parking lane.

    Just, so many times right side port would have been better.
     
  20. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    I've wondered about this myself. Personally, I think Tesla went with what is most familiar to drivers and most ICEs have it on the driver side (definitely a not-small number have it on passenger side though). But I've seen Volts around town parked on the street with the charger cord going across and sticking into the street. I always wonder why Chevy and Tesla didn't put the charger on the passenger side so it would face the curb when on the street.
     

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