Why Do Tesla Owners Tap the Charger?

You may have seen Tesla EV owners tap the charger on their taillight at a public charging station. It’s not as if they’re shaking excess electricity off a charger. Believe it or not, some Tesla owners might have a method behind the madness. So, why do Tesla owners tap the charger at charging stations?

Do Tesla owners really tap the charger?

The online social media entity TikTok hosted a video wherein a user suggested tapping the charger on the vehicle’s taillight could aid in the charging process. As a result, some Tesla owners have engaged in the practice of tapping the charger before plugging in to juice up. Onlookers may quizzically observe the maneuver and wonder why an EV owner would do such a thing. After all, it’s not like they’re shaking off excess fuel or electrons!

Tesla owners sometimes tap the charger on the taillight, and online personalities say its to "speed up charging."
Tesla charger | Justin Chin, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Why do Tesla owners tap their chargers?

The TikTok video claimed that the practice of tapping the charger on the Tesla’s taillight would aid in connectivity resulting in fewer errors. Also, the video claimed that tapping the charger could actually enhance charging speed. Furthermore, the TikTok content asserted that the move can “remove static electricity” or any physical blockage from the connecting hardware. As a result, some owners will tap the charger before they use it. 

Perhaps the most ridiculous assertion is that tapping the device aids at the subatomic level. Distractify says that some owners believe the action actually “aligns electrons.”

Tesla owners sometimes tap the charger on a Tesla's taillight before use.
Tesla Model S charges | Emile Wamsteker, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Does it work?

As you might expect, tapping the charger doesn’t really help with connectivity or recharge speed. Short of physically removing an obstruction that would impede a connection, the practice doesn’t help. I’m getting video game cartridge flashbacks just thinking about it. Furthermore, the action certainly doesn’t redistribute the subatomic particles for optimal charging. 

Is there any evidence that tapping the charger helps Tesla owners charge? 

Currently, there’s no evidence that tapping the charger helps with recharge speed or effectiveness. Of course, some observers may mistake tapping the charging port to open it as tapping the charger to optimize charging. Unless prompting parties like those behind the TikTok video are trying to prank Tesla owners, the maneuver is without purpose other than accessing the charging port. It could be along the lines of telling your little brother to buy blinker fluid at the auto parts store. 

Tesla owners tap the charger sometimes before they plug in.
Tesla charging station | Tom Williams, CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

How long does it take to charge a Tesla?

Tapping or not, Tesla does produce some of the fastest charging EVs on the market. While charging any EV with a 120-volt Level 1 charger will be a painstakingly slow undertaking, using a Level 2 or Tesla Supercharger will cut that time down significantly. For instance, U.S. News says a 2022 Tesla Model S can recover 200 miles of range in just 15 minutes using a Supercharger. Moreover, fans of the entry-level baby Tesla, the Model 3, enjoy similar swiftness. 

Using a Supercharger, the 2022 Tesla Model 3 can recoup 175 miles of electric range after just 15 minutes of charging. Of course, times are slower with a Level 2 charger. Kelley Blue Book (KBB) says that the Model 3 will fully charge in about 6.5 hours with a Level 2 charger. 

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