How To Charge Your Phone In a Tesla

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If you want to charge your phone on the go in your Tesla, you have several different options inside the car, whether it’s via USB, USB-C, the 12V outlets or Tesla’s wireless charging pads.

These cars are equipped with many different charging options.

Charging your phone is simple, but the locations of these USB ports and charging pads differ according to your Tesla model. We’ll get into each design below as well as how to troubleshoot your chargers if they are not working.

Table of Contents

    Where Are The Tesla USB Ports?

    Depending on your model, Tesla’s USB ports differ in location. We’ve listed where to find these USB ports below for the Model 3, Model Y, Model S, and X.

    The Model 3 & Model Y

    The Model 3 and Model Y have the same USB port setup. There are a total of 5 USB ports in these cars.

    Front Compartment & Rear Compartment 

    The center console in the front compartment of the Model 3 & Model Y has two USB type-c ports, the ports are on the rear wall of the compartment. 

    With these ports, you can connect and charge from them or play audio.

    In the Model Y & Model 3 rear compartments you can also find USB ports for charging your phone with. There are two USB type-c ports here under the vents of the rear center console. 

    This makes these ports convenient for rear passengers. You should note that these ports do not connect to the car and, they are only for charging.


    On the back left of the Model 3 & Y, you will find a single USB type-A port located inside the glovebox. When you purchase your Tesla there is already a pre-formatted flash drive here. 

    Note: If your Tesla Model 3/Y was manufactured before June 2020 there will be no USB-C ports, only USB-A. There are 4 in total, two in the center console and two below the rear vents.

    The Model S & Model X

    The Model S & Model X have a similar setup to the Tesla Y and Tesla 3, having 5 USB charging ports in total. 

    Front & Rear

    At the front of the center console in the Model S and Model X, there are two USB ports for charging your phone and playing media. 

    Below the rear touch screen, you can also find two USB ports where you can charge devices.


    Inside the glovebox, like the Model 3 and Y, there is one USB type-A port where a flash drive is located to record Dashcam and Sentry mode footage. 

    Note: If your Tesla Model S or Model X was manufactured before 2020 there are only two USB-A ports located at the front of the car.

    Where Is the Cigarette Lighter?

    Use a car charger adapter for a cigarette lighter to charge the phone.

    Model S: The front section of the center console, underneath the cup holders. Has a square cover made of rubber.

    Model X: The same place as the Model S, plus some have a second outlet in the rear storage area on the driver’s side.

    Model 3: Inside the center console’s rear section under the armrest. On the vertical wall toward the front with a circular cover made of plastic.

    Model Y: The same place as the Model 3, plus a second 12-volt outlet in the rear storage area on the driver’s side.

    Why Are The USB Ports In My Tesla Not Charging My Phone?

    If your USB ports have suddenly stopped providing charge to your phone this could be due to a few reasons. 

    Firstly make sure you’re using the right kind of charger for the port and your device, try a different one to ensure the charger itself is not damaged or broken. You should also make sure your Tesla is set to be ‘awake’, if sleeping or off it will not provide power.

    A software update in your Tesla may have caused a glitch, to resolve this you can reset your Tesla and allow it to sleep overnight. 

    To perform a computer reset hold both scroll wheels on the sides of your steering wheel for around 10 seconds. The screen will refresh and reset itself.

    If your Tesla USB ports are still not working, it could be due to a faulty connection somewhere or a power trip. In this case, it’s best to take your Tesla to your nearest service center since they may have to replace or rewire the ports.

    Which Tesla Models Have The Wireless Charging Pad?

    Only certain Tesla models are equipped with a wireless charging pad, for now, this is the current Tesla Model 3 & Y. 

    Wireless charging has been available on the Model Y since March 2020, for the Model 3 from June 2020.

    These cars have a non-slip mat located in the center console phone tray where you can charge your QI phone wirelessly. You can fit up to two phones on this mat.

    Unfortunately, the Tesla Model S & X are not equipped with wireless charging pads. 

    Why Is The Charging Pad Not Working On My Tesla?

    If the wireless charging pad is not charging your phone on your Tesla Model 3/Y, then there could be a few reasons why.

    The most common reason to blame is that the phone case you are using. If your phone case is too thick then it can prevent close contact with the battery and charging pad. Wallet phone cases have magnetic fields and can be too thick as well.

    Metal phone cases and accessories can also interfere with contact and electro-magnetic signals.

    It could be an alignment issue too, so try changing the position of your phone and putting it upside down.

    As a last option, reboot your phone and your Tesla, if the issue is not fixed, then take it to the service center.

    What To Do When You Can’t Charge Your Phone In Your Tesla

    When you can’t charge your phone in your Tesla, there are a couple of common reasons.

    If you’ve left your vehicle and found your phone hasn’t charged, this is because it hasn’t been provided power to the USB ports or wireless charger. 

    For your phone to charge when leaving the car you should enable sentry mode, dog mode, or camp mode. Any mode that will keep your Tesla ‘awake’.

    If the battery of your Tesla is also depleted, then your devices will not charge, you can charge your phone while the car is charging.

    Our Verdict

    Thanks to all Tesla’s charging options, charging your phone inside your Tesla should be simple. 

    If you run into issues when charging your phone, always make sure everything is up to date and positioned correctly. Rather than attempt any wiring, for continuous issues it’s best to take your Tesla for service.

    If you want to add USB ports to your car, you can always use compatible USB hubs to extend them.

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