Apparently, Elon Musk has decided he wants to be the next Steve Jobs. 13

By opting to go with a unique, proprietary charging connector, Tesla Motors will be forcing buyers of its new Model S electric sedan to also use its proprietary home charging station or rely on being able to hunt down a public version somewhere, assuming anyone installs one in a public place. Tesla will offer an adapter that will allow drivers to also use stations with the J1772 standard connectors that virtually every other automaker has opted to use, but that increases the hassle of charging on the go.

A charge connector doesn't need to be pretty, it needs to be functional, durable and above all safe. The J1772 connector is designed to withstand upwards of 10,000 insertions without getting loose. I have a feeling the Tesla unit may not last that long.

Being different to do something better is good. Being different just to be different, is just different.

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Bucking Trends, Tesla Goes It Alone on Plug Design
A new home charger from the electric-vehicle manufacturer will adapt to, but not conform out of the box, to SAE J1772, the prevailing plug and charger standard for E.V.'s in America and Europe.

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13 thoughts on “Apparently, Elon Musk has decided he wants to be the next Steve Jobs.

  • Melina M

    At the moment Tesla doesn't exactly have enough impact on the automotive world to be trying to force decisions like that. If they had a vast market share, then maybe. But as you said, unless it differs from the standard because it's an improvement, then it's just silly and a hindrance to would-be Tesla owners.

    I wonder if we'll start seeing companies selling aftermarket adapters. Bet that would stick in Elon Musk's craw.

  • Sam Abuelsamid

    Tesla will offer an adapter themselves, but based on the $3,000 that they were asking for the mobile charge cable in the Roadster, it probably won't come cheap. Given the probable sales volume of the Model S and the expense of getting UL certification, I wouldn't expect any aftermarket companies to jump into the field for a while.

  • Melina M

    I wonder what it would take to make him realize what a dumb idea proprietary cables are. Maybe a bunch of people should walk into a showroom (separately, not all at once), go through most of the process of buying a car or getting on the wait list, and then walking out when the cable issue comes up.

  • Anton Wahlman

    But they are selling the adapters today. They've been selling them for months… years? I see Tesla owners using them at public charging stations, to convert from J1772. Surely these people paid for them. The question is, how much?

  • Sam Abuelsamid

    To cut Tesla a little slack, the Roadster charge connector is not proprietary but it is one of the costs of being an early adopter. The NEMA 14-50 connector is a standard used by most electric ranges. The J1772 was not finalized until late 2009, more than a year after regular customer deliveries of the Roadster began.

  • Anton Wahlman

    That's right, but that doesn't fully explain why Tesla didn't use J1772 in the Model S, where production isn't set to start until May 2012 — three years after the J1772 standard was finalized. I believe every single other plug-in car uses it — Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota, Ford and all the others…

  • Sam Abuelsamid

    I agree that Tesla creating a proprietary charge coupler for the Model S is inexcusable. All of the other plug-in vehicles currently available or coming soon including the Volt, Leaf, Focus Electric and Mitsubishi i use the standard plug as do all of the new public charging stations that are being installed.

  • Scott Fauque

    I think the article clears it up. I'm charging my '11 Volt every night at midnight when the car wakes up and I don't really care if the the charger matches the color of my car <grin>. I'm sleeping not watching it charge!! I show the car off to my friends and not the charger!

    Quote: The model shown here, a shiny red unit (other colors will be available to match the cars, Mr. Musk said). Mr. Musk described the look of Tesla’s home charging system as “a beautiful advanced alien artifact that arrived in the middle of the night.”“We want people to say, ‘Wow, I want that on my wall,’” he said.