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Do Teslas have cigarette lighters?

With the rise in popularity of electric vehicles, especially Teslas, many prospective buyers wonder if the high-tech vehicles have standard features found in traditional gas-powered cars. One common question is whether Teslas have cigarette lighters.

The Short Answer

No, Teslas do not come equipped with cigarette lighters. The lack of engine heat in an electric vehicle eliminates the need for a cigarette lighter to provide a heating element. However, there are some aftermarket options for adding a cigarette lighter or similar 12V power source to a Tesla.

Do Any Electric Vehicles Have Cigarette Lighters?

Since electric vehicles do not produce excess engine heat like internal combustion vehicles, most do not come equipped with cigarette lighters from the factory. The traditional 12V cigarette lighter found in most gas-powered vehicles relies on engine heat to power the heating element. Without an engine, EVs have no ready source of heat to power a cigarette lighter.

However, some early electric vehicles that were conversions from gas-powered models retained the original 12V socket when they were electrified. So it is possible to find some older electric vehicle models that still have cigarette lighter ports, even though they do not function as intended without engine heat.

Are There Any Aftermarket Cigarette Lighter Options for Teslas?

While Teslas lack a cigarette lighter socket from the factory, there are some aftermarket options for adding one. Several companies offer 12V power adapter kits that can be installed in a Tesla and provide power through a traditional cigarette lighter socket shape.

These adapter kits connect to the Tesla’s 12V auxiliary battery under the hood and convert the power to standard cigarette lighter voltage and format. So they provide the familiar cigarette socket for powering 12V accessories without relying on engine heat like a traditional lighter. However, the socket is powered directly from the auxiliary battery.

Types of Aftermarket Cigarette Lighter Adapters

Some popular aftermarket cigarette lighter adapter options for Teslas include:

  • EV Tuning Cigarette Lighter Socket – Provides 2 cigarette lighter sockets powered from the auxiliary battery.
  • Inchi Infinite-IT Lighter Socket – Sleek socket blends seamlessly into the Tesla’s interior.
  • Jet Tech Engineering Lighter Adapter – Provides cigarette lighter power port and 2 standard USB ports.
  • Indiglo Cigarette Plug with Voltmeter – Displays voltage to monitor auxiliary battery drain.

Are There Other 12V Power Options in Teslas?

Although they lack a specific cigarette lighter socket, Teslas do come equipped with 12V power outlets from the factory. Most models have a couple of standard household and USB style power ports in both the front and rear passenger areas.

Like the aftermarket cigarette lighter adapters, these native Tesla 12V power ports connect to the auxiliary 12V battery under the hood. So they can provide a similar power source for accessories, though in a different outlet format than a cigarette lighter.

Tesla’s Included 12V Power Ports

Tesla vehicles come standard with the following 12V power outlets:

  • 1 USB port in the front center console
  • 2 USB ports in the rear center console
  • 1 standard 12V outlet in the front arm rest
  • 1 standard 12V outlet in the rear trunk

The standard 12V outlets are suitable for powering many automotive accessories designed for cigarette lighters. However, an adapter may be needed to connect the accessory to the differently shaped Tesla outlet.

Do Tesla Owners Still Need Cigarette Lighter Features?

Given that Teslas lack built-in cigarette lighters, an obvious question is whether the feature is still desirable or necessary for Tesla owners. There are a few factors to consider:

  • Changing Use of Cigarette Lighters – While named for lighting cigarettes, most lighter sockets today are used to power phone chargers, GPS devices, and other electronics. So the cigarette lighting function is rarely missed.
  • Electric Vehicle Demographics – EV buyers tend to be younger, more technologically inclined, and less likely to smoke compared to the general car buying population. So cigarette lighters are inherently less important to these buyers.
  • Power Port Availability – Tesla provides alternate 12V power ports as standard equipment, so owners still have powering capability without specific cigarette lighters.
  • Aftermarket Options – Cigarette lighter sockets can be added after purchase for those who still desire the specific socket type.

Considering these factors, the lack of a cigarette lighter is likely insignificant to most Tesla owners. But for those who still rely on lighter-powered accessories, aftermarket adapters provide solutions.

Why Don’t Teslas Have Cigarette Lighters?

There are a few reasons why cigarette lighter ports are not included in Teslas straight from the factory:

  • No Engine Heat – Traditional cigarette lighters rely on engine heat to power the heating element. The electric motors in Teslas eliminate this heat source.
  • Design Simplicity – The lack of engine heat also removes the complexity of routing hot coolant to a lighter port. Tesla’s streamlined design philosophy favors simplicity.
  • Crash Safety – Cigarette lighters introduce more potential points of failure in a crash. Not including them enhances Tesla’s safety engineering goals.
  • Power Management – Hard-wired lighter ports could potentially drain the battery. Tesla’s ports are smart-switched to prevent excess drain.
  • Customer Demand – As previously discussed, cigarette lighters are decreasingly important features for most Tesla buyers.

In summary, several technical and design factors make cigarette lighters redundant in Tesla’s electric vehicles. And evolving customer preferences minimize demand for retaining the once ubiquitous feature.

How Does This Compare to Other Electric Vehicles?

The lack of cigarette lighters is not unique to Tesla among electric vehicles. In fact, most modern EVs from major automakers exclude cigarette lighter ports:

Electric Vehicle Has Cigarette Lighter?
Tesla Models No
Ford Mustang Mach-E No
Volkswagen ID.4 No
Nissan Leaf No
Polestar 2 No
Rivian R1T No
Lucid Air No

The reason again comes back to the lack of engine heat in EVs. Other automakers designing new electric models from the ground up are also choosing to exclude legacy cigarette lighters in favor of more modern power ports.


In conclusion, Teslas do not come equipped with cigarette lighter ports from the factory, unlike most traditional gas-powered vehicles. The electric motors in Teslas eliminate the engine heat used to power cigarette lighters. Tesla instead provides alternate 12V power ports to serve most accessory needs.

Aftermarket cigarette lighter adapters can be installed in a Tesla for those who still rely on the specific socket type. But evolving vehicle design and changing customer demand have made the legacy cigarette lighter largely obsolete in new electric vehicle models.

So for most Tesla owners, the lack of a cigarette lighter is a non-issue. And it’s one less relic of gas-powered vehicles as Tesla and other automakers continue the transition to an all-electric future.