Does Tesla Model 3 Have A Cigarette Lighter?

Does Tesla Model 3 Have A Cigarette Lighter?

The answer to this question is a resounding No. The Tesla Model 3 does not have a cigarette lighter. Neither does any other Tesla model or model year, for that matter. And that’s including the Models S, X, Y, Cybertruck, and Roadster.

In fact, to be clear, no modern car comes with a cigarette lighter. However, some manufacturers like Porsche, Vauxhall, and BMW make special “smoker’s packages”. And these are not shipped with any cars; they are fitted on request.

As at the time of writing this article, no Tesla model, whether discontinued (Roadster), present (models S, X, Y, S), or planned (Cybertruck) comes with a cigarette lighter or smoker’s package edition.

Does Tesla Model 3 Have A Cigarette Lighter. If So Where Exactly Is It?

Tesla Model 3 does not come with a cigarette lighter. There has been some misinformation on this. There is nowhere in a Tesla Model 3, or any other Tesla that you can find a cigarette lighter. What many users mistake for, or think is a substitute for a cigaretter lighter on a Tesla Model 3, is a 12V power socket.

This error is probably because the 12V socket is located in the same spot that cigarette lighters used to be, in older cars.

But, the 12V power socket is exactly what the name implies: a power socket or outlet. It is meant for powering and charging devices, and nothing more.

Cigarette Lighter Outlet vs Tesla 12V Power Socket

Some vehicle manufacturers still include cigarette lighters, but not in general-release editions. These are called Smoker’s Packages, and they are fitted on request.

Such packages will normally include an ashtray and internal snuffer for safety. For a manufacturer like Vauxhall, the cigarette lighter comes as a “smoker’s pack” which you can order for about $62. It is then used to upgrade your current vauxhall vehicle.

The confusion probably also comes from the fact that such lighters are designed to fit into the 12V power socket. But the bottom line is that while the cigarette lighter only lights your cigarette, the 12V power socket only powers and charges electronic devices.

The 12V power socket, or, as Tesla terms it, the Low Voltage Power Socket, is located in the center console’s rear compartment. The power socket is suitable for accessories requiring up to 12A continuous draw (16A peak).

Here is a basic chart to differentiate between a 12V power socket and a cigarette lighter in a car:

Feature 12V Power Socket Cigarette Lighter
Location Center console’s rear compartment Plugged into the 12V power socket as a smoker’s pack
Purchase Shipped with car at no extra cost Purchased separately and fitted as part of a smokers pack that usually also includes an ashtray
Use For powering and charging devices For lighting cigarettes

Other Important Facts To Note About The Tesla 12V Power Socket

  1. For vehicles manufactured after November 2021, power inverters plugged into the 12V power socket must support 16V DC input in order to work
  2. Power is only available in the 12V power socket when the Tesla vehicle is awake. And this isn’t just when you are driving. The vehicle is awake when features like Preconditioning, Cabin Overheat Protection, Keep Climate On, Dog Mode, Camp Mode, Sentry Mode, Summon, and so on, are enabled or in use.

The Tesla is also awake when the vehicle is communicating with the mobile app whether actively or passively.

Also, it is awake during high voltage charging, and when the low voltage battery is charging or in use.

  1. The 12V power socket can become moderately hot during use. And so can the connector of any device plugged into it. This is normal behaviour and is no cause for concern.
  2. This one may not be much to your liking, but Tesla recommends that you do not plug any accessories that are not from Tesla, including power inverters, into the 12V power socket.

You may already know that the 12V socket only supports AC power, so you would normally use a power inverter to convert the current to AC before connecting to other devices.

Just make sure that the inverter comes approved by Tesla…and this is hard to find.

The reason for this recommendation is that such devices may interfere severely with the Tesla vehicle’s electronics.

Now, I know that this may be hard to keep tol, so here’s what you should do:

  • If you have to plug a non-Tesla device in the 12V power socket, then be sure to monitor the device for excessive heat. You must also monitor the vehicle’s indicator lights and messages. If you notice any unusual behavior, quickly unplug the device.
  1. Do not attempt to jump start Model 3 using the 12V power socket. This wil cause damage to your car’s electrical and electronics systems.

Is It Safe to Connect a Cigarette Lighter Socket to the 12V Outlet?

No, it is not.

One reason I wrote down the safety warnings above is that many users explore the option of plugging a cigarette lighter to the 12V power socket.

Now, there are several lighters out there that advertise themselves as being designed for Tesla vehicles, but the truth is that they are only designed for 12V power outlets. And that’s a different thing.

As detailed in the section above, Tesla advises against plugging in non-Tesla devices into the 12V power outlet. It is not about voltage compatibility, it’s about technological compatibility. And no cigarette manufacturer can honestly say that they have worked with Tesla’s proprietary technological templates to develop such lighters.

So you risk causing damage to the car’s electronics or interfering with their functioning. And there’s no telling what this can cause, including accidents and breakdowns.

Also, there is the risk of fire. Tesla vehicles are, by default, designed to eliminate, or at least, reduce CO2 emission. So, one thing they are definitely not, is designed for smoking.

Again, remember the concern about overheating from plugging in incompatible devices? Factor in a lit cigarette and other flammable objects, components, and accessories inside the car, and you have high possibility of fire.

But i’m not just presenting theory. In practice, many users have said that installing cigarette lighters in their 12V power socket has blown fuses, or just didn’t work!

****Some people claim that connecting cigarette lighters to the 12V power socket is safe because Tesla uses e-fuses to regulate the flow of current. But this does not tally with the fact that users experience fuse blowouts when they connect such lighters.

It also does not account for the fact that third-party connected devices can interfer with the Tesla’s electronics and cause them to malfunction.

One more thing. If you ever plan to resell your Tesla, you may want to reconsider smoking inside it. This detailed research publication by NCBI shows that you are likely to get a lot less for your car if you have smoked in it.

If You Don’t Want to Connect Your Cigarette Lighter to the 12v Outlet But Still Want A Lighter, Look At These Options

At this point, I want to clearly say that I do not recommend connecting a cigarette lighter to your Tesla’s 12V power socket. You can see from the section above, that doing so is just too risky.

You should only proceed if you understand and are willing to entertain the risks. Having said that, here are options you can try for lighters and lighter connectors that claim to work just fine on Tesla Model 3 and other models:

Tesla Coil Lighters (view on Amazon) Full Throttle Lighter (view on Amazon) Elenat (view on Amazon) Ainope (view on Amazon)
Model Tesla Coil Lighters USB Rechargeable Windproof Arc Lighter

Cigarette Lighter

FULL THROTTLE Engraved Plasma Dual ARC Tesla Coil USB Rechargable Lighter

Cigarette Lighter

ELENAT Car Charger for Tesla, 60W

Cigarette Lighter Adapter for Safe Connection

66W USB C Car Charger

Cigarette Lighter Adapter for Safe Connection

Features USB rechargeable lighter

Cigarette lighter only

No flame or butane gas, uses arc to light cigarette

Lasts up to a week or 100-300 uses per charge

USB rechargeable lighte

Cigarette lighter only

No flame or butane gas, uses arc to light cigarette

Lasts up to a week or 200 uses per charge

USB connector

It is not a cigarette lighter but is designed to safely plug in your cigarette lighter in the Tesla

It is a car charger adapter with auto retractable cables . You can use it to charge 2 phones at the same time, apart from plugging in your cigarette lighter

USB C and Micro USB ports

Faster phone charging than wireless phone chargers in a Tesla

Fireproof material

USB connector

It is not a cigarette lighter but is designed to safely plug in your cigarette lighter in the Tesla

Does not have cables to plug your phone directly. You have to connect the charging cable to the ports

10times faster charging than wireless phone charges in a Tesla. Charges a Samsung Galaxy S22 charging time from 0% to 80% in 30 minutes

Intelligently prevents overheating and over voltage


Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced writer and marketer with who currently writes for Teslord as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf and Techzillo. At Teslords, he focuses on general Tesla advice with his interest being accessories and gadgets. Read our Editorial Guidelines and Fact Checking process.


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