It appears that Tesla is poised to enable a welcome new feature for the Model 3, with update 2020.40.0.4’s Release Notes including references to a heated charge port function coming to the all-electric sedan. With this feature in place, Model 3 owners residing in areas with harsh winters will find it easier to access their vehicles.
The heated charge port, dubbed by the company as the ‘Charge Port Inlet Heater,’ will be available for both Model 3 and Model Y as per the Release Notes of Tesla’s 2020.40.0.4 update. The new feature could be enabled by allowing preconditioning from the Tesla mobile app, using preconditioning via scheduled departure, or triggering the rear defrost feature from the Model 3 itself.
“Your car can now use the charge port inlet heater to help defrost the inside of the charge port. The charge port inlet heater can be activated in cold ambient temperatures by enabling preconditioning using the mobile app, activating the rear defrost button on the vehicle’s touchscreen, or preconditioning the vehicle using scheduled departure,” the Release Notes stated.
Tesla was actually pretty quiet about the heated charge ports of the Model Y and Model 3, with the feature only stated earlier this year by YouTube tech teardown specialist JerryRigEverything. The YouTuber casually mentioned in his video, which was filmed at Tesla ‘s winter testing grounds in Alaska, that the Model Y has a few tricks that would make the vehicle work better in winter. These are door handles that can quickly break off ice and a port with a heated fee.
The fact that the Model Y was released in the spring, as noted in a Drive Tesla Canada article, meant that the heated charge port feature of the all-electric crossover had never really been tested or verified. However, this seems ready to change, as Tesla’s 2020.40.0.4 update finally included references to triggering the feature. Needless to say, Model Y and Model 3 owners, particularly those living in areas that are vulnerable to harsh winters, will most definitely appreciate heated charging ports.
Interestingly enough, Tesla hacker @greentheonly noted that 3 months ago he discovered references to new charging ports. However, the Tesla hacker noticed that what was especially new about the new charging ports was unclear. With this in mind, there seems to be a fair possibility that Tesla secretly began equipping the Model 3 with a heated charge port months ago.
Speculations among the EV community indicate that the heated charge port of the Model 3 could have begun its rollout at about the same time as the initial ramp of the Model Y, which begun about March. Such a circumstance seems possible, given that as soon as they are ready, Tesla is known to implement upgrades to its vehicles. After all, previously unannounced features have been implemented in the same way before, such as the rear seat heaters of the Model 3, which were only allowed after the 2018.10.1 5e8433d update was released.
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