Where Is the Charging Port on the Tesla Model 3?

By Muhammad Hassan •  Updated: 01/02/23 •  7 min read

Hmmm, interested in the Tesla Model 3?

Well, here is your answer:

The Tesla Model 3 charging port is located on the left side of the Model 3 just beside the rear door. It’s basically a part of the left tail light assembly!

There it is. But before you leave, let’s address some very important queries related to the Tesla Model 3 charging port that will surely pop up in your head.

How Do You Open the Charging Port on the Tesla Model 3?

Now that you know the location of the Tesla Model 3 charging port, you’ll surely want to know how to open it.

Is there any external or internal button? Is it opened manually, or is it automated electronically?

Well, here are the four easy ways you can open the Model 3 charging port:

  1. Unlock your car and press the charging port. It’ll open.
  2. On your infotainment screen, you’ll see a little electric bolt icon right beside the car. Just press it and it’ll open the charging port.
  3. Push the button on your home charger or supercharger and it’ll open the charging port provided that the car is unlocked.
  4. Activate voice commands and simply say “open the charging port” or, to make it fun, say “open the butthole” or “open the bum hole.”

Learn all four methods in this video from the How to Open YouTube channel:

Pretty easy, right?

Model 3 Charge Port Issues: How to Deal With Them

#1 Limited Charging Warning

 A few owners reported that after getting the vehicle delivery, they tried to charge their Model 3, but for some reason, they got a “Limited Charging” warning even though the charging plug was safely inserted and every other factor seemed okay.

Good Afternoon,

I picked up my ’21 Model 3 Extended Range AWD last Friday. Up until today, I’ve used the Superchargers up the road from me, as well as my Mobile Charger at my house with no issues.

Today I went to the Supercharger, and the plug wouldn’t lock into the car. It just kind of hung there. When I got home, I plugged in my mobile connector, the lock clicked a bunch of times, and the T was flashing yellow. Got a message saying,”Limited Charging. Charge cable may not be plugged securely into the vehicle.” I’ve tried unplugging and replugging a number of times, but it just keeps doing the same thing. Anyone have any experience with this?


The solution was then conveyed by an experienced Tesla owner who knew a thing or two about Tesla charging port issues. This is what he said:

On a new car there’s significant friction between the cable “head” and the car’s charge port. You really have to push it pretty hard, while correctly aligned, to get it to seat completely. IF you don’t do it fast enough, the locking mechanism will try to lock on a halfway entered head and it will not charge well. At that point, you cannot push further, the lock is there.

Try aligning first and then pushing it with both hands within a second or so. Not “harsh” but firmly.


The owner facing this issue replied after employing his suggestions (notice the excitement):

You sir, are THE MAN!

I pushed it in with a lot more force and it immediately started charging normally. Tried it the second time and worked!

THANKS! Saved me a lot of pain of getting a service appt!

If you’re ever in the Phoenix area I owe you a beer!


Experience matters!

#2 Charge Port Damage

Here is a pic of a charging port shared by an owner, and surprisingly, many owners agreed with him and shared that they suffered with the same issue:

where is the charging port on tesla model 3

Apparently, the upper pin is damaged. It might be happening to you too, so what you should do immediately is call the Tesla Mobile Service. They’ll fix it free of cost in under 10 minutes as shared by this owner:

Mine also broke off – they sent a mobile service guy who fixed it in about 10 minutes. No charge.


#3 Car Won’t Start Because It Thinks Charger Is Connected When It Isn’t

Now that’s annoying, isn’t it? 

Let’s understand the problem first:

The car was adamant a charger was plugged in and wouldn’t allow me to drive. My temporary fix was to set the climate control to max from the app and it took a good 30 – 40 mins to allow me to eventually get it to a drivable state. My service center appointment got changed 3 times. First was from a mobile – SC (understandable), second the advisor didn’t attach notes from my call to them regarding the problem (I didn’t deem it necessary to SMS them the logs following our call), third was due to parts not arriving in time and they added another 3 weeks the day before my apt. The charge port then stopped opening/ closing but would allow me to manually open it to charge it up.

I lost all patience when I got stuck in a supermarket (already waited 40 mins to get there) and was late to a few appointments as the car wouldn’t move. When I eventually made it home and I got them to recover it from the drive. Fortunately, the recovery driver waiting for the car to be moved off the drive and onto the truck

Turns out they didn’t need to wait 3 weeks after all and it was due to a faulty charge port ECU. Once they replaced this, so far so good.


This is how a small malfunctioning part can make you dance on its fingers. Well, reach out to the service center as soon as possible!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to charge a Tesla Model 3?

Here’s a handy breakdown of the levels of charging for your Model 3 and the charge times they come with:

Level 13–5 miles of range per hour120 volts20–40 hours for 80% charge
Level 218–28 miles of range per hour240 volts7–8 hours for 80% charge
Level 3Up to 1000 miles of range per hour 480 volts15–30 minutes for 80% charge

Want to know what are the charging levels and how they impact the charging time of your Tesla Model 3? Hop into this guide!

How much does it cost to charge a Tesla Model 3?

To properly estimate how much it will cost to charge your Tesla Model 3, it comes down to a simple equation: battery size x electricity cost ÷ charging efficiency.

Here are some US figures to work with for that equation:

Battery SizesModel 3s range from 50 kWh to 82 kWh depending on trim
Electricity Rates~14.5 cents or $0.145/kWh
Charging Efficiencies~75% @ 120V, 90% @ 240V, 95% Supercharging

Want to go through practical examples? We’ve published a detailed article on this topic!

What charging cables come with Tesla Model 3 UK?

Well… none! The Tesla Model 3 doesn’t come with any charging cables anymore, whether in the UK, the United States, or someplace else. You’ll have to order them separately.

Disappointing, right? If you want to know why this happened, I’d recommend you to go through our related guide.

Can you open the Tesla charging port manually?

Yes, you can open the charging port manually. Just press the charging port and it’ll open right away.

But for it to work, make sure your car is unlocked!

Final Thoughts: Where Is the Charging Port on the Tesla Model 3?

The Tesla Model 3 is designed in the best way possible — the engineers really did a great job.

As far as the location of the charging port is concerned, it’s just where the fuel inlet of ICE cars usually is — at the rear left of the vehicle.

You can open the charging port using any of the five methods stated above. My favorite is using the key fob. But if you don’t have one, you can use any other method.

I hope everything is clear to you. If you want to gain more knowledge about Tesla Model 3 charging, I’d encourage you to give the FAQ section another read. There are some gems hidden there!

Muhammad Hassan

Engineer by trade and writer by passion, Hassan is an automotive enthusiast who thinks EVs are the future. At TTU, he discusses the coolest features and products Model 3 owners look for -- so they can better experience their cars. In his free time, he enjoys tea, reading, and listening to podcasts.

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