Can I Charge My Phone in A Tesla Model 3? (Explained)

Your phone is very important to your Tesla, especially because it helps with accessing some connectivity features.

So, no surprise here that you might occasionally need to charge it in the car while you’re on the road.

But can you? Moreover, is it a good idea and will it have any adverse effects on your Tesla vehicle? Let’s find out. 

Yes, you can charge your phone in a Tesla Model 3. The Model 3 comes with two USB ports in the center console’s front compartment to charge your phone and other devices. Additionally, the Model 3 also features a wireless charging pad on the center console. 

Your phone is very important to navigating your Tesla. Thus, charging it while you’re on the road may become necessary.

In this article, you’ll learn more about your EV and how to improvise in terms of charging your phone in it.

Can I Charge my Phone on a Tesla Model 3?

Man Driving Car On Road Trip With Two Phones Charging

Yes, you can charge your phone on a Tesla Model 3. 

In the Model 3, two USB ports are located in the center console for connecting and charging USB devices, including your phone. 

In addition, the Model 3 is equipped with a wireless charging dock powered by a USB-A cable plugged into the ports in the front of the center console. 

You can either place your phone on Tesla’s charging pad or the vehicle’s USB ports to charge your phone. 

However, it’s worth noting that thick phone cases and accessories can disturb wireless charging.

Additionally,  your model 3 offers several options for charging your phone. This includes a wireless phone charger designed exclusively by Tesla and several USB ports in the vehicle. 

Additionally, your phone may not charge after exiting the vehicle unless a feature such as Sentry mode is enabled and provides power to the USB ports. 

Overall, charging your phone on a Tesla Model 3 is convenient and easy, but it’s important to be aware of these factors and best practices for optimal charging.

Also, most drivers and front-seat passengers charge their phones by placing them directly on the wireless charging pad. 

Tesla also offers phone charging cables for the center console’s phone tray, eliminating the need for fiddling with loose charging cables.

Does Tesla Model 3 Have a Power Outlet?

Yes, the Tesla Model 3 is equipped with a power outlet, precisely a 12V. This outlet is located in the center console’s rear compartment.

Thus, you can access this outlet by opening the storage compartment lid in the center console of your Tesla vehicle.

Also, you can use this compartment to power any third-party accessories or inflate tires with an electric tire pump, amongst other things.

However, model 3 doesn’t have a built-in AC power plug or a 110V household outlet.

Is There a USB Port in a Tesla

Yes, all Tesla vehicles have USB ports. The number and location of the port may vary depending on the year and model of the vehicle.

For example, the Model 3 has two USB ports located in the front compartment of the center console, while the Model S has two USB ports located in the front of the center console.

While some newer models, such as the Model Y, have up to four USB ports, including two in the center console and two beneath the center rear vents.

However, Tesla recommends using the glove box USB port for all functions in recent Model 3 and Y builds, as the ones in the center console only support charging and playing music.

Additionally, all Tesla vehicles have a unique charge port connector that works for all their charging needs. 

However, they typically use a charging connector that works for all charging stations.

Some Tesla models have additional USB ports for connecting and charging USB devices, such as the two USB ports located in the front compartment of the center console in the Model 3. 

Not all Tesla models have the same features, so the number and type of ports can vary depending on the specific model. 

For example, the Model S and Model X have one charge port, while the Model 3 and Model Y have two charge ports – one for AC charging and one for DC fast charging.

Also, here are five general uses of USB ports in Teslas:

  1. Charging a Tesla vehicle using the Mobile Connector designed specifically for Teslas.
  2. Charging devices such as phones or tablets using a USB car charger with USB-A ports.
  3. Transferring data and connecting devices to a Tesla with Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), Thunderbolt/USB 4, Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C), or USB-C ports using USB-C cables.
  4. Adding a USB hub with multiple ports to a Tesla Model 3/Y to extend the usability of the vehicle’s USB ports.
  5. Playing custom light shows on a Tesla using a flash drive inserted into the front USB or glovebox USB port.

Does Model 3 Have a Wireless Charger?

Newer Tesla Model 3 vehicles produced in the last year or two are equipped with a standard wireless phone charger. 

However, older Model 3 vehicles don’t have a wireless charger and would require an aftermarket option.

Specifically, US-made Model 3  vehicles started coming with a standard wireless charging pad around June 2020.

Additionally, you can find an option to turn off the built-in wireless charger on your Tesla vehicle.

In summary, most recently produced Model 3 vehicles do come with a wireless charger, though earlier Model 3’s wouldn’t have included one originally.

But, If your Model 3 doesn’t have a built-in wireless charger, you have a couple of options:

#1. Purchase an Aftermarket Wireless Charger 

You can purchase a pad compatible with the Tesla Model 3 and try installing it yourself. 

Many aftermarket options are available from companies like TapTes and iOttie.

These typically mount to the phone holder in front of the dashboard and require installation. 

However, these wireless chargers usually require professional installation.

#2. Purchase a High-Quality USB Car Charger

While this will not charge your phone wirelessly, it will allow you to plug it into the USB port. Many USB car chargers are available for under $10.

Some of these are; Anker and RAVPower, as per Wirecutter reviews. For example, Anker 4-Port USB Car Charger.

#3. MagSafe Wireless Chargers

If your phone supports MagSafe charging, you can get a MagSafe wireless charger that attaches to your phone using magnets. This provides a convenient wireless charging option. 

#4. External Power Banks

Portable power banks with wireless charging capabilities can charge your phone wirelessly while inside your Tesla. The Anker PowerCore Magnetic 5K power bank is a good option.

#5. Aftermarket Wired Chargers

There are wireless chargers specifically made for Tesla models that install inside the car to provide wireless charging. But they require professional installation.

However, before purchasing any accessories, it would be best that you contact Tesla to confirm if a wireless charger was a standard feature for your specific Model 3 model year. 

They may be able to install one for you if it was a standard but missing feature. Plus, this option is relatively inexpensive.

Also, note that not all Tesla vehicles come with a wireless charger. So, you shouldn’t worry if your model 3 doesn’t have one either.

Nevertheless, check out these Tesla EV models to determine which models have in-built wireless chargers and which don’t.

With Wireless Charging Without Wireless Charging
Model YModel S
Model 3 (newer models)Model X

Does Charging Phone in a Tesla Drain Battery?

No, charging your phone in your Tesla vehicle will not significantly drain its battery.

Although charging a phone draws power from the car’s battery, the amount of power is very small and insignificant compared to the total capacity of a typical EV battery.

It’s estimated that charging a phone for an hour will use around 20-200Wh of energy, which would only use up 0.01-0.02% of a large Tesla battery. 

Wireless chargers consume even less power.

On the other hand, the main things that consume an EVs battery are:

  • Driving
  • Using the heater/air conditioner
  • Leaving lights and/or music on.

So, while charging a phone in your Tesla vehicle will technically use a small amount of the vehicle’s battery, it’s not noticeable and doesn’t impact the Tesla’s range or performance.


How Much Does it Cost to Charge a Tesla Model 3?

The charging cost of the tesla model 3 varies based on the electricity rates where you live. On average, charging a Tesla Model 3 costs around $8 to $12 to charge fully.

What is the Estimated Charge Time of the Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 has an EPA estimated range of 263 to 353 miles per charge depending on the model.
It takes around 40 minutes to charge to 50% using a Supercharger and 8 hours plugged into a 240V outlet at home.

What Can You Use The Tesla Mobile App For?

You can use the Tesla mobile app to check battery levels, start charging, lock/unlock doors, remote climate control, and more.

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