Tesla solves Model Y frozen door handles and charging port with simple trick

(Credit: JerryRigEverything/YouTube)

It is evident that the Tesla Model Y was designed to be competitive in areas where winter performance is invaluable. This is one of the reasons why the all-electric crossover is the first in Tesla’s lineup to receive a heat pump instead of a resistive heating system, and why the vehicle is designed in such a way that its handling during winters is second to none. 

As it turns out, Tesla has also utilized a couple of simple, novel tricks that make the Model Y even better for owners who live in areas that are prone to frigid weather. In a recent video from YouTube host and tech enthusiast Zack of the JerryRigEverything channel, it was revealed that the Model Y’s door handles and charge port feature tricks that make them great to use during the coldest of temperatures. 

To see just how important this issue was, it is pertinent to go back to late 2018 and early 2019, when the Model 3 was only starting to hit its stride with its customer deliveries. While initial reviews of the vehicle were overwhelmingly positive, some owners started reporting that their Model 3 door handles were getting stuck when they get frozen in ice. Elon Musk noted then that Tesla would be rolling out cold weather improvements through over-the-air updates. 

In his recent video, the JerryRigEverything host pointed out that the Model Y’s door handles, while visually identical to the first production Model 3s, actually feature improvements that make them less prone to getting stuck in ice. Tesla designed the Model Y’s door handles so that they can get physically pressed on both sides, allowing owners to break ice that has built up. 

This is a very simple tweak to the first production Model 3’s door handle design, but it goes a long way towards ensuring that owners will not experience headaches when they’re trying to access their vehicle in frigid weather. But these improvements are not all, as Tesla has utilized another simple trick to avoid issues with the Model Y’s charging port in winter. 

Just like door handles, it is very inconvenient to deal with a charging port that’s frozen solid. Tesla owners have dealt with this issue in a variety of ways, such as preheating their vehicles for some time to melt away the ice. But for the Model Y, Tesla has adopted a heated charging port, which should proactively avoid ice from building up. This should allow owners to conveniently plug and unplug their Model Y despite temperatures being below zero. 

Overall, it is encouraging to see that Tesla is still keeping its word on refining its vehicles with every iteration. Company executives have noted in the past that improvements to vehicles are rolled out as soon as they are ready. For the Model Y, this definitely seems to be the case. Despite the vehicle being in its early production phases for now, the crossover is already showing signs that its design and features were inspired by lessons that were learned during the days of the Model 3 ramp. 

Watch JerryRigEverything‘s feature on the Tesla Model Y in the video below.

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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