How to stop charging a Tesla

You’ve just bought your first Tesla, and you’re beginning to navigate the practicalities of owning an EV, which includes mastering every in and out of charging your car. It’s true that Tesla recommends leaving their vehicles plugged in at all times when not being driven. Why? Because this is the best way to maximize the life-span of the vehicle’s battery.

That said, there are of course times where you might want to stop charging your car prematurely. Perhaps you need to run an unexpected errand, or perhaps you’re staying with relatives and they don’t want you to leave a mark on their utility bill. The good news is that it’s easy to stop charging your Tesla whenever you want to. Read on as we cover how to stop charging a Tesla and other charging-related setting so you can get the most out of EV ownership.

Choosing How to Stop Charging a Tesla

No matter which model of Tesla you drive, you can stop it charging at any moment in one of two ways. Either, disconnect the charge cable to interrupt the flow of power, or simply touch Stop Charging on the dashboard touchscreen.

If you choose to unplug the charge cable, you’ll notice that the charge cable latch remains locked unless the car decides that its driver is present. This means that if you want to disconnect the charge cable, you’ll need to have your key fob, key card, or assigned key phone to hand.

If using the car’s internal controls to stop charging a Tesla either the touchscreen can be used, or the vehicle’s voice command system. Teslas are designed to respond to natural speech, so you can use spoken commands such as “start charging”, “stop charging”, “open charge port”, and “close charge port” from inside the vehicle.

To give a voice command, press and release the right scroll wheel button on the steering wheel. You’ll hear a chime which signals that the car is listening. Once you’ve made your request, the car will respond. If you want to change the language that your Tesla listens for, you can touch Controls, Display, and then Voice Recognition Language before choosing the most convenient option.

How to Disconnect the Charge Cable

The process to stop your Tesla charging by disconnecting the charge cable is slightly different depending upon whether you are using your own charge cable or an adapter at a public charging station.

In the first instance, you can simply press and hold the button on the connector handle to release the latch—so long as you have your key with you. Alternatively, you can release the latch using the dashboard touchscreen, your mobile app, or by pressing and holding the rear trunk button on the key fob. Finally, some Tesla models also have a button to the left of the charging port that will also initiate the latch release. From there, you can pull the connector out of the charge port.

If you are at a public charge station, hold the adapter in one hand and the public charging handle in the other. Press and hold the button on the public charging handle and pull the two pieces outward together so both are removed from the charge port. Next, press the button on the public charge handle again to separate the adapter from the handle.

If, by chance, the public charging handle comes away from the port without the adapter, there’s no need to panic. All you need to do is choose one of the above options to unlock the charge port and it will be released.

Other Useful Charge Settings When You Need to Control Electricity Usage

We mentioned the possibility of visiting a friend or relative who doesn’t feel comfortable with an EV owning visitor fully charging a Tesla from their home electricity supply. It’s also possible that you may find yourself somewhere with limited power availability. 

Imagine: the family has gathered for the holidays, and every oven, hob, and heater is running in the home. You need to charge your car overnight, but if you allow it to charge at full speed, the whole house is likely to trip out!

Of course, Tesla thought of this potential eventuality when designing their charging system, and there is plenty of scope for you to adjust your charging settings accordingly.

By touching Controls, and then Charging on your dashboard touchscreen, you can schedule when your vehicle’s next charge will begin, and you can drag the arrow below the battery to choose how much of a charge you want. Keep in mind that this setting will impact not only your next charge but also any scheduled charges in place, so consider whether you’ll need to switch it back later.

While in the Charging settings, you can also alter the charge current at your current location. By default, your Tesla will automatically make the most of the maximum current available from the attached charger cable. However, you can touch the or + symbol in the Charging settings to reduce the current and ensure the roast in the oven doesn’t get compromised. Your car will remember this setting for this location, so you can choose whether to switch it back later, or leave it as it is.

Don’t forget, completing a full charge regularly is good for the lifespan of your battery, so don’t skimp on charging too often or for too long.