As EV ranges increase, charging levels are on the way up too. Phoenix Contact, EVgo and Porsche are among the companies developing more powerful charging systems. Naturally, Tesla has plans to outdo them all.
In a recent tweet, Elon Musk hinted at something called Supercharger V3, which presumably will offer charging levels higher than the 145 kW delivered by the latest Superchargers. When Electrek’s Fred Lambert asked Musk if we’re talking about 350 kW, the ever-quotable Musk tweeted, “A mere 350 kW…what are you referring to, a children’s toy?”
@FredericLambert A mere 350 kW … what are you referring to, a children’s toy?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 24, 2016
Of course, current EVs can’t handle that much power, but some believe that the new battery cells Tesla plans to make at the Gigafactory for Model 3 have been designed to work with a much higher charging level.
Musk has also hinted that solar arrays and Powerpack stationary storage could allow some Supercharger V3 stations to operate off-grid. Another possible feature: the rumored “robotic snake cable” that could enable human-free autonomous charging for self-driving vehicles.
Significantly higher power levels could enable much shorter charging times (perhaps 10-15 minutes), which Lambert calls “the very last piece of the puzzle” that would eliminate any advantage legacy ICE vehicles have over EVs.
Lambert also points out that Supercharger V3 could increase Tesla’s income from California ZEV credits. Under current ZEV rules, vehicles with over 300 miles of range and a charging time of 15 minutes are eligible for 9 credits instead of the 4 that current EVs earn. This was intended to give a boost to fuel cell vehicles, but it could theoretically apply to a future ultrafast-charging Model 3.