First-time EV buyers are famously nervous about charging, which is one reason that most new EVs come with a portable charging cable—it’s reassuring to know that you can plug your new car in as soon as you take it home, without having to deal with charger installation right away.
Some drivers find the portable adequate for their charging needs, but most (including your author) prefer to use a hard-wired wall charger for daily charging, keeping the portable in the trunk in case of emergency.
Tesla originally included a charging cable with both Level 2 (240-volt) and Level 1 (120-volt) connectors, but at some point the company dropped the Level 2 connector from the included bundle. Now the mobile charging cable is—gasp!—gone altogether.
At first, Elon Musk said that the mobile charging accessory would now be sold separately for $400, but after some complained about the price (and the fact that the mobile chargers are currently out of stock), he softened the blow by dropping the price to $200. The company will also include more plug adapters with the optional mobile connector kit.
As with all things Tesla, the move caused a big stir among fans and detractors alike, but it’s hard to see how it matters much either way—those who buy $50,000 cars shouldn’t quibble (but they do) about spending an extra $200 for a cable if they want one.
Could there be some deeper significance here? Musk’s explanation for the decision was: “Usage statistics were super low, so seemed wasteful.” However, as one commenter pointed out, modern cars, including Teslas, have lots of features that most people never use (and lack features that people do want to use, such as CD players).
Could the real reason the poor little cable lost its gig have to do with supply chain issues? Losing the cable might be a way to reclaim some chips, copper, and other parts that Tesla wants to use elsewhere.
Could Tesla be at the forefront of a new trend? Kia’s new EV6 also doesn’t include a mobile charging cable.
The world waits to learn the answers to these critical questions.