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Control your Tesla’s HVAC system from your Mac with this Tesla BitBar plugin

An enterprising Tesla owner wrote a small script for the Mac menubar plugin app BitBar which lets you view and control your Tesla’s temperature via the HVAC system, and also view charging status, all on your Mac menubar.

While you can view inside/outside temp and charging status, so far the only control the plugin has is to start/stop HVAC, and otherwise it relies on the last temperature setting input into your Tesla – so if your car was set to 70º the last time you were driving, that’s the temperature the car will cool down/heat up to.

Even though the plugin is currently limited in its capabilities, it’s a nice touch to be able to find this information at a glance while sitting at a desktop/laptop Mac without having to get your phone out of your pocket.  It’s possible to access other information through the Tesla API, so updates may be forthcoming with more capabilities from the official Tesla app, like starting/stopping charging, seeing location information, etc.

The plugin works by connecting to Tesla’s servers through their own API, using the same connection that Tesla’s phone app does, so it looks like it should be secure.  The code is open source so it can be examined for security issues by knowledgeable users (while I’m not a coder, the only connection the plugin made on my computer was directly to Tesla’s servers).  It’s possible that this plugin might have a small effect on battery life for the car, since it might contact the car more often than the phone app does.  The plugin is set to contact the car every 30 minutes by default, this can be changed by changing the filename of the plugin file (from “” to, say, “” if you only want to check every hour instead of every half hour).

To start using this app, get BitBar (for free) from GitHub, then install the Tesla plugin from the project’s GitHub page.  You’ll need to put the plugin file in your BitBar plugins folder, and edit the file (in TextEdit or any other text editor) with your MyTesla login information.

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Avatar for Jameson Dow Jameson Dow

Jameson has been driving electric vehicles since 2009, and has been writing about them and about clean energy for since 2016.

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