Tesla unveils new dual connector charge port design for Model S and Model X
Oct. 16th 2017  Fred Lambert

GB Charge Port (Open)
GB Charge Port (Plugged)

Tesla unveiled today an updated Model S and Model X design featuring a new
dual connector charge port system to support more than one charging standard
on its electric vehicles.

Currently, the charge port on all Tesla vehicles is located within the tail
light on the driver’s side, but the actual connectors are different
depending on the market.

In the US and Canada, it features Tesla’s own proprietary connector and in
Europe, the company uses the standard Mennekes plug.

In China, Tesla was using the same charging system as the one it uses in
Europe until now.

As the electric vehicle industry is maturing, automakers and charging
network operators are trying to work together on open charging standards
while adapting to specific requirements in different markets.

Tesla’s new dual connector charge port design appears to be the company’s
solution to navigate those markets starting with China.

The Chinese government developed its own charging standard ‘GB’ and now
Tesla has the standard built into its cars ...

In order to fit both connectors, Tesla had to move the charge port from the
backlight (top right in the right picture), which makes it looks more like a
gas tank access design than what Tesla was aiming for with its original
design ...

Tesla has been building an extensive charging network in China and this is
not changing anything about Tesla’s own Supercharger effort, but it will
enable an easier access for Tesla owners to the growing public charging
network in the country.

China has a new ZEV mandate to deploy 5 million EVs by 2020 and to support
that, the government will deploy itself 12,000 new charging stations across
the country. They are also working on an incentive plan for EV buyers to
install home charging stations – they are planning to unlock $20 billion in
financing for 4.8 million residential charging stations.

Those stations need to work with their new national charging standard, which
likely drove this move from Tesla. Last year, Tesla also launched ‘Tesla
Charging Partner Program’ in China to promote the national EV charging

Electrek’s Take

While we are only seeing this from Tesla in China for now, we expect that
the solution could end up being used in other markets too.

China has its own standard plug, but companies everywhere else are adopting
the CCS standard. Last year, Tesla joined the CharIN organization as a core
member to promote the CCS standard, but we have yet to see any
implementations in the company’s product line.

Current Chinese Tesla owners will still have access to the public charging
stations thanks to a new free adapter for the GB plug.

Tesla could always go the same route with adapters for CCS, but if this
design change on its Chinese vehicles is an indication, it looks like Tesla
could bring the same design to support CCS directly in its other markets.

Either way, we are seeing more support for charging standards and access to
more charging stations, which can only be good for EV enthusiasts.

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