The Hidden Location of the Model 3 12v Outlet Revealed

The Hidden Location of the Model 3 12v Outlet Revealed

Modern and sleek is apparent at first glance at a Tesla Model 3. A look at the inside of this vehicle, and you may wonder where many of the average car amenities are hidden. The hidden location of the Model 3 12v outlet can be easily found. There is a reason why the 12v outlet isn’t obvious.

Located within the middle console of the Model 3, the 12v outlet is accessible by lifting the rear console panel. It is located near the upper area. The modern design of the Model 3 is not compromised by multiple outlets being visible.

One could say that the location of the 12v outlet is hidden. It is placed in an inconspicuous space within the car that won’t take away from its clean, modern interior. To access the 12v outlet, read on to find where it is located and other important details to know before using it.

Why is the 12v Power Socket Hidden

The Tesla design mantra has always been Elon Musk’s “first principles thinking”. This means to strip down the problems to the core, then work your way up from there. This mantra could be applied to why the 12v socket is hidden. Located in the middle console, it is hidden away but still accessible to the user. In keeping with Musk’s philosophy, it allows the Model 3 to maintain its clean interior look. It strips down the cluttered look.

With every new version of the Model 3, there will be upgrades that Tesla owners can appreciate.  As an electric vehicle, Tesla’s brand has a sleek and modern look. Even with the first Model 3 release, the interior design had a minimalist look.

A Minimalist Interior Design

One of the things that are noticeable within the Model 3 vehicles is the lack of buttons in the interior. This is why the 12v outlet is missing from the dashboard area and hidden. Many other vehicles have added:

  • Radio dials
  • A/C and heating unit
  • Charging ports

The Model 3 doesn’t make these items visible. The focal point within the interior of the car is the touchscreen.  More than just an electric vehicle, the Model 3 is a smart car. Communication is through the touchscreen and can also be through your smartphone Tesla app. As a technically advanced vehicle, the interior of the vehicle communicates solely through the touchscreen.

Upgraded Console in Newer Model 3 Vehicles

For the 2021 Tesla Model 3, the center console is a matte finish with faux leather material. A change from the previous model that had a glossy finish. The center console hides away all the charging ports as well as provides extra storage space.

In addition to storage compartments that are expertly hidden away, the center console also includes:

  • 2 cup holders
  • Phone dock for 2 smartphones
  • RFID transmitter for key fobs and key cards

Within the backseat, the rear console can be hidden, used for an armrest, or pulled down to reveal 2 cup holders.  Overall, the interior has a minimalist design that is catered to convenience and extremely tech-friendly.

Is There a Need for the 12v outlet

With USB ports being more common, the 12v outlet has been less and less important to the modern-day driver. The 12v outlet may still be necessary for things such as:

Even with the ample supply of USB ports within the vehicle, there may be a need for adapters. The level of need for the 12v outlet is not as high, however it is included just in case the need arises.

Access to the Hidden 12v Outlet in the Model 3

Ports for the USB are placed in areas of the car that do not take away from interior design. The 12v outlet is in a more hidden place within the interior.

To locate this 12v outlet in the Model 3 (for software 2020.44):

  • Open the rear part of the center console.
  • Towards the top of the console, the power socket is discreetly placed within this compartment.

Once the outlet is located, using it is simple. With it being placed within a console, the accessory can be comfortably placed within the compartment and kept out of sight.

Is There a Limit on When to Use the Power Socket?

In the Tesla Model 3, there are two batteries. There is a main battery pack that’s responsible for driving the car.  Then there is the 12v battery, which powers the electronics and serves as power when the main battery pack is charging so the car stays connected and can perform any updates.

When using the 12v outlet, it will not drain the 12v battery.  The power is available when the vehicle is in:

  • Summon Mode – an autopilot feature to open the owner’s garage door to enter and exit as well as park and shut down.
  • Sentry Mode – monitors suspicious activities around the vehicle when it is parked and locked.
  • Dog Mode – activated through Fan settings on the touchscreen, this mode cools down the car’s interior and displays the message on touchscreen alerting that the dog is fine.
  • Cabin Overheat Protection – maintains the cabin temperature to stay below 105 degrees Fahrenheit.

This socket is acceptable for Tesla accessories up to 12v continuous draw.  When the high voltage battery is charging or the vehicle is in use, the 12v socket will work.  If the vehicle is performing its routine communication with the mobile app, the 12v socket will work for your accessory.

What is Not Recommended for Use in the 12v outlet

Per the Tesla owner’s manual, it’s not recommended to plug in any non-Tesla accessories. For any power inverters that are non-Tesla, avoid placing them in the 12v power socket. If non-Tesla accessories are used it could cause indicator lights to appear.

Alert messages may also show on the touchscreen because of the 12v outlet not being able to process the non-Tesla accessory. If this does occur, unplug immediately if this does happen. In some instances, the accessory may overheat and should be unplugged.

The Model 3 12v power socket should never be used to jump start the vehicle. This could cause serious damage to your vehicle. Contacting tech support if there is an issue after using the 12v outlet is suggested.

Reimagining Vehicles for the Future

Tesla Model 3 is all about technology. With sleek and clean features, the dashboard in the 2021 Model 3 displays the touchscreen as its only feature. A 12v outlet does not fit that aesthetic, which is why it is hidden in the middle console.

With every vehicle model, the interior is designed with minimalism and technology at the forefront. Out of all the Tesla models, the Model 3 is the mainstream version. Hiding away the 12v outlet for the mainstream audience is risky but makes sense for an all-electric vehicle.

Each vehicle hides away the 12v outlet so that it doesn’t take away from the touchscreen as a dashboard focal point. Refer to the owner’s manual for each model to learn more about hidden features.

The Hidden 12v Outlet Contributes to the Minimalistic Design

The minimalist interior displays nothing that is normally seen in other make and model vehicles. Seeing a decluttered dashboard that only displays the large touchscreen is reimagining vehicles for the future. More than just a vehicle, the Model 3 is smartly designed with features, like a 12v outlet, that is hidden.

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Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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