Access the Tesla API with Perl!

For several years, I spent much time writing code for the Raspberry Pi, including hardware level register C code so that we can use various Integrated Circuit chips and sensors with Perl.

A couple of years ago, I acquired much larger and much more expensive toy, an all-wheel drive, full auto-pilot Tesla Model-X SUV, so of course, I want to write Perl code to access and manipulate it.

In the ensuing two years, I developed several microcontroller-based devices for the car, including one that knows where the car is, and its battery charge and state, and dispslays this information via an LED light strip and an OLED screen inside of my garage, along with an audible alarm that sounds for 1/8th of a second every three seconds if the battery is below a certain threshold so I don't forget to plug the charger in.

The microcontroller speaks to a Raspberry Pi who's job it is to fetch data from the Tesla API for my car, and to present that data to the microconroller, over Wifi. The software on the Pi is of course written in Perl, but because I couldn't figure out how to write the Tesla API authentication mechanism in Perl, I used Tim Dorssers TeslaPy Python library, and wrapped it for those calls.

Not anymore! We can now talk to the Tesla API via Perl!

I've officially released Tesla::Vehicle, which inherits from my other new related distribution, Tesla::API.

Upon first attempt to fetch data from Tesla, we will generate a URL that you must browse through to in a browser, authenticate into your Tesla account, and then paste back the ensuing URL you are redirected to into the console. After that, all access tokens are automatically used and updated when needed. My software never has any access or knowledge of your Tesla account credentials, which is the way I wanted this designed.

Thereafter, it's clear sailing!

The documentation is pretty elaborate about what the software can do so please check it out. For Tesla::Vehicle, there are methods to access aggregate data, sections of the aggregate data, and for several specific attributes that I use myself, I've added methods for them directly. More will be added as time goes on.


  • Built-in initial access token generation code with prompts of instructions
  • Automatic access token renewal
  • Single method (api()) to access data from endpoints that don't yet have a direct method
  • Built in modifiable data cache (set to 2 second timeout by default) to reduce calls to Tesla for data already retrieved (cache can be disabled)
  • Consistent data return values... for data aggregate methods, all data is returned as a hash reference
  • Near feature complete; most data has at least an aggregate fetch method, many individual attributes have accessor methods
  • Ability to wake the car from sleep (wake()). For calls that require the car to be awake, you can set auto_wake and we'll wake the car ourselves (disabled by default)
  • Many Tesla API calls require a vehicle ID sent in. We do our best to get this ourselves, otherwise it can be sent into new() or id()

Todo: The main one is adding methods that allow control of the functionality of the car. The only one implemented thus far is wake(). I'll also be adding more direct attribute retrieval methods. For now, use the aggregate methods and pull the data out of the return values yourself. There are also a few minor issues, primarily related to the handling of Tesla API timeouts.

How 'bout some code and output:

use warnings;
use strict;

use Tesla::Vehicle;

my $car = Tesla::Vehicle->new(auto_wake => 1);

    "My Tesla account has my car registered with the name '%s'.\n",

    "My car is in gear %s and is currently going %d MPH and my odometer is %d\n",

    "My latitude is %f, longitide is %f, my heading is %d degrees and its using %.2f kWh/mile\n",

    "My dashcam is %s, sentry mode is %s and I %s currently near my vehicle\n",
    $car->sentry_mode ? 'enabled' : 'disabled',
    $car->user_present ? 'am' : 'am not'

    "My battery is at %d%%, and is %s charging at %.2f volts pulling %.2f Amps\n",
    $car->charging_state ? 'currently' : 'not',

if ($car->battery_level >= $car->charge_limit_soc) {
    print "The charger is connected but disabled due to set maximum charge level reached\n";

    "My steering wheel warmer is %s, passenger seat warmer is %s, and Bio Weapon mode is %s\n",
    $car->heater_steering_wheel ? 'on' : 'off',
    $car->heater_seat_passenger ? 'on' : 'off',
    $car->bioweapon_mode ? 'on' : 'off'

    "The temperature inside the car is %dC and outside it's %dC, and climate control is %s\n",
    $car->is_climate_on ? 'on' : 'off'


My Tesla account has my car registered with the name 'Dream machine'.

My car is in gear P and is currently going 0 MPH and my odometer is 49066

My latitude is XX.XXXXXX, longitide is -XXX.XXXXXX, my heading is 229 degrees and its using 0.00 kWh/mile

My dashcam is Unavailable, sentry mode is disabled and I am not currently near my vehicle

My battery is at 94%, and is currently charging at 0.00 volts pulling 0.00 Amps

The charger is connected but disabled due to set maximum charge level reached

My steering wheel warmer is off, passenger seat warmer is off, and Bio Weapon mode is off

The temperature inside the car is 17C and outside it's 13C, and climate control is off


Who was the person who showed up with the DeLorean at one of the Perl Conferences (I think it was the DC one)?

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About Steve Bertrand

user-pic Just Another Perl Hacker