An electric liftgate is certainly a 21st century feature: the very fact of being able to open the tailgate without any physical effort is obviously very convenient for everybody, although in some models it does not make much sense. Tesla offers the automatic gate in its entire range of models, including the Tesla Model 3, although this has not always been the case. Many customers have complained about having to spend energy opening the small trunk lid, so Tesla has developed an electrical system that is currently only available in the China market.
So... Tesla China is now offering official Electric Liftgate retrofit for Pre-2020 Model 3... They charge 3,980 CNY (~628USD) for the whole installation with 3 years warranty.What should we do now? @tesla_raj @guy_frugal pic.twitter.com/QQh1ExSUBH— EVOffer (Tesla Offer) (@EVOfferOfficial) February 17, 2022
Retailing of Tesla parts in secondary markets is a very common thing: many people like spending time and money buying trinkets and other paraphernalia for their cars on sites like AliExpress and similar websites. The Chinese are experts at creating gadgets and other things that often times have a dubious utility; however, they also know how to develop very interesting, useful and really effective products, which is the case we are covering now.
Tesla's technical service division in China developed all the necessary instruments so that the old and good Tesla Model 3 finally enjoys having an electric and remote-opening liftgate. The development is carried out in the house workshops, where the customer only has to wait a short time to have their new toy installed, basically an element that is integrated into the regular structure of the car.
With basic electrical procedures and a simple change of hinges, any Model 3 is suitable for having an electric liftgate, including the older models that did not bring them included right from the factory. Best of all, Tesla now also includes all the functionalities in the vehicle digital system: the driver will be able to open and close the trunk without having to get out of the car, with a single click on the central screen. The integration also reaches the mobile application, where the user can also open and close the liftgate at will, remotely.
The result is that the feature looks like it just came out of the factory. The format is so complete that only a simple button is inserted in the door, along with some pressure sensors - in order to avoid any mishap. The cost is not exaggerated either, although not cheap at all: the whole thing represents approximately a $650 total expense. It is worth noticing that the functionality is not available within the factory catalog right now, but rather as an after sales option.
Judging by the excellent results so far, everything suggests that sooner rather than later many more countries will begin to feature this option as well. Taking into account the success of the Model 3, it is more than likely that China will export this technology to other Tesla factories outside the country; something that many customers will wholeheartedly welcome, since they will no longer have to resort to secondary manufacturers and assemblers in order to have an electric liftgate on their brand new Model 3.
All images courtesy of Tesla Inc.
Nico Caballero is the VP of Finance of Cogency Power, specializing in solar energy. He also holds a Diploma in Electric Cars from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, and enjoys doing research about Tesla and EV batteries. He can be reached at @NicoTorqueNews on Twitter. Nico covers Tesla and electric vehicle latest happenings at Torque News.