Charging electric vehicle batteries is easy – just open the socket, plug in the cable, and that’s it. However, electric cars not only have a large traction battery that they use to drive, they also have a classic 12-volt car battery, just like all conventional cars.
They use the energy from it to power all kinds of controllers, locks, lights, and everything similar to conventional cars equipped. In the case of the Tesla Model S, this also means pulling the handles with which you can enter the car, or remotely controlling the opening of the front luggage compartment.
James May, this battery ran out because Tesla had been standing in the garage for too long. It was connected to a mains supply, but it was charging the traction battery. The adapter also charged 12 volts of it – but only until the traction battery came to full charge. At that moment, the on-board charger and the car’s 12-volt battery charger were turned off. However, the car’s controllers and infotainment system continued to function, causing the 12 volt battery to gradually drain – and James May was unable to get into the car.
In a normal car – even an electric car – you can unlock it with a physical key, open the door with a regular handle and open the hood or luggage compartment with the handle, where the battery, or at least the terminals, is easily accessible. But Tesle just won’t extend the handles because they have no power, and the hood won’t open for the same reason.
So what needs to be done? In the front wheel arches, there are emergency access tow bars under the hood. So it is necessary to take out some plastic material, pull the cables, and then remove the cap under the cap to access the battery. Then you can plug a standard car battery charger into it and you win.
James May suggests that Tesla solve this problem with a charger connection, as many automakers do for cars that aren’t expected to drive for a long time – especially super sports, which usually park in garages during the winter. After all, according to the video, they will make this connection.
The second option will be an electronic display of the charging state of the 12 volt battery, which, if it falls below a certain value, will start the on-board charger and charge it from the traction battery. Of course, the automaker might not assume that its cars will idle for long, but it can always happen, and if there’s poor access to a 12-volt battery, the ranger isn’t out of the question.