A few years back, cigars and cigarettes were the in-thing and all the ‘cool’ cars had cigarette lighters. However, social attitudes towards cigarettes have since changed and car manufacturers have taken note.
Now, cigarette lighters are extremely rare to find in cars, especially futuristic ones like Teslas. For a company that prides itself in its inventiveness, it is somewhat surprising that there’s no Tesla Cigarette Lighter™, yet.
Nonetheless, in an era where tech is evolving very fast, it is not hard to plug a cigarette lighter into your Tesla. You only need to find a suitable power socket.
Tesla Cigarette Lighters for Different Models
Before going further, it is important to note that modern ‘cigarette lighters’ are very different from traditional versions. The original lighters were mostly metallic and even had ashtrays. Modern ones, on the other hand, are simply repurposed 12V power outlets and are primarily designed to be chargers.
In some models, the 12V outlets have USB ports where you can plug anything from your phone to electric lighters. In others, the outlets are pretty basic and only connect to recommended plugs.
So, where can you find Tesla cigarette lighter ports? Well, read on to find out.
Tesla Model S
Most Model S cars have a 12V port inside the center console, specifically the back wall of the open console. The port has an in-built e-fuse for protection against load over-current and is only active when the car is running.
Tesla Model Y
The Model Y has two 12V ports, both of which can be categorized as cigarette lighter ports. The main port is inside the center console while the secondary port is located on the left of the storage area. You can connect your cigarette lighter to these ports, or even charge your electronics if you have an adapter.
Additional power outlets include the four USB-A ports located in the glove box. Using these ports, you can connect other electronics like a dash cam and navigator. You can also use them to access music files on your phone or tablet and play them on the infotainment system.
If you have a modern electric lighter, you may charge it using one of the available USB-C ports, which are located at the car’s rear, close to the AC vents. You also use the ports to transfer data.
Tesla Model 3
In Model 3, 12V outlets are present in both front and back center consoles. Notably, the cigarette lighter ports on the Model 3 stay on a lot longer than those of the other models.
This is due to recent firmware updates that keep the internal electronics on for some minutes after locking the car.
Moreover, the Model 3 has an in-built security feature called Sentry Mode. The feature turns on 12V ports connected to key security tools such as the dashcam, allowing you to remotely watch over the car.
There are two 12V outlets in the luxurious Model X. The main cigarette lighter is located inside the front center console.
On the other hand, the second outlet is typically hidden inside the shock tower on the left rear of the vehicle. You need to open the flap to use the outlet.
Note: Tesla has a long-running bias towards minimalist dashboard designs, which explains why the 12V ports are always hidden. As such, it is always a good idea to look inside the consoles and the trunk for the power outlets.
Verdict: Are Tesla Cigarette Lighters Still Necessary?
As much as Tesla does the right thing to include 12V outlets on each model, such outlets are becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Most of their functions can be served by USB ports, and accordingly, the company uses both USB-A and USB-C ports.
Nonetheless, you will probably still find variations of the Tesla cigarette lighters in future vehicles. This is because their use goes beyond lighting cigarettes. For instance, they can be used with socket-splitter adapters and inverters to charge laptops and power air compressors, and charge dead batteries.