Specifically, is it 12v AC in the 1st gen, pre-2016 April models?

If there any that is not 12v DC of Tesla vehicles?

1 Answer 1


It would almost absolutely have to be 12vdc, if for no other reason to conform with industry standard. People want to plug their "standard" 12vdc charging plug into them, so that's the way they'd work.

As far as I can tell, there are only two different power systems on board any of the Teslas (since inception), that being the high voltage system which is the main EV battery and a separate low voltage system which is ~12vdc. I've read some suggest the power output of the cigarette lighter is around 15.5vdc, but most all chargers and such you'd plug into the outlet can handle the larger amount of voltage. The low voltage system in the car is used to run electronics, lights, and other such things you'd find in any automobile. There'd be no reason to change that.

Bottom line is, if you have any doubts your outlet is anything other than standard DC voltage, use a multimeter and test it. There should be a small "button" at the base (all the way in the bottom of the outlet) which should be the positive (+) and the metal casing around the outside is the ground (-). It'd be very easy to test to make sure.

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