After the first picture of the charge port in-use emerged today, it looks like the vehicle features the same charge connector as the Model S and Model X, but a significantly bigger port. It was clear from previous sightings of Model 3 release candidates that the charge port of the vehicle was different from Tesla’s previous vehicles.
It looked significantly bigger and while it doesn’t mean that the connector is also different, it certainly fueled that possibility.
While test vehicles were spotted at Superchargers before, Tesla covered them so that people couldn’t see inside or the charge port.
But it wasn’t the case last night when Jason Summers found a silver Model 3 release candidate connected to a Supercharger. He posted the picture to Twitter:
It clearly shows that while the charge port itself is much bigger than on Tesla’s other vehicles, it has the same connector and it doesn’t seem to be using any adapter. The bigger part could possibly more easily support different connectors for different markets. For example, European and Chinese markets require different connectors.
The charge port also swings up instead of horizontally like on the Model S and X. You can see the hinge on the left of the connector.
Again, it doesn’t mean that it is the final design. The Model 3 release candidates are at difference stages of readiness and therefore, it’s not necessarily representative of the production version.
Nonetheless, as we recently reported, the Model 3 charging architecture could be really important in the EV industry since if Tesla is successful, the vehicle is on its way to becoming the first electric vehicle mass-produced by the hundred of thousands per year. It would quickly make the Model 3 the most common all-electric vehicle and therefore, the most influential on the EV charging infrastructure.
Tesla recently announced an important expansion of Supercharger network in order to support the arrival of the Model 3 and its growing fleet of Model S and Model X vehicles.