Tesla Removes Mobile Charging Connector from New Cars

Electric Vehicles / 17 Comments

Customers will have to shell out an additional $200 to get the component.

Tesla is back in the news with more controversy, this time over the included charging cables that come with its vehicles. The automaker removed the mobile charging connector that came with its cars. Buyers can add the connector to their purchase from the Tesla online store, but the lack of an included charging connector means no home charging. The amount seems trivial, but people shelling out six figures for a new Model X or Model S Plaid might not be so happy about the decision.

A Tesla fan pointed out the change on Twitter and got the attention of company CEO Elon Musk, who offered some justification for the decision. Musk justified the move by quoting statistics, noting that "usage statistics were super low, so seemed wasteful." It's not all bad news, as Tesla "will be including more plug adapters with the mobile connector kit." The automaker sells two mobile connector kits on its website, but both are sold out, so nobody's getting any plug adapters at the moment.

2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Charging Point Tesla

Tesla initially offered a cable with both Level 1 and Level 2 connectors but later changed to an adapter with only Level 1 capabilities. Buyers could add the Level 2 connector later, but they still got a charging cable with their car - slow as the charging might be at Level 1 speeds, with most owners only getting around 2 miles of range per hour or so of charging.

Tesla's not the first company to remove an accessory from a popular product. Apple did it a few years ago by removing the charging blocks from new iPhones but has seen multiple lawsuits in global markets. Some countries, such as China, have sued Apple over the practice, so it's unclear if Tesla will follow through on the removal in other markets for fear of litigation. To be fair to Tesla, Kia doesn't include a charging cable with the new EV6, either, but let's hope the trend doesn't catch on.

Tesla charging stations Pexels.com
2020-2022 Tesla Model Y Lateral View Tesla

The difference between the two companies is that Apple's customers tend to buy new phones regularly, so there's a good chance they already have a charging block hanging around at home. Additionally, iPhone users can just plug their devices into a computer or car USB port to charge - not ideal, but the phone can be charged without an extra purchase. A car costing tens of thousands of dollars that cannot be charged at home without a cable should come with one.

The controversy has already led to a softening in Musk's stance. In an update a few hours after the initial Twitter exchange, he offered an olive branch. He noted that the company would cut the price of its charging connector in half to $200 and also stated that the connector is not necessary if the buyer already has a Tesla wall connector or plans to use Superchargers exclusively. He recommends "installing the wall connector before the car arrives."

2016-2021 Tesla Model X Front Angle View Tesla

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2017-2022 Tesla Model 3 Charging Point

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