Tesla Supercharger V3 could have power output greater than “a mere 350 kW”

Tesla Supercharger

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?”


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.


Source: Electrek

  • brian_gilbert

    Why a snake connector at all? Let the car nose in to a charging point so that a plug in its nose can engage with a stationary socket. The socket can have a shutter like the one used for 13 amp domestic sockets in the UK thpugh the whole thing would be more robust and allow for self-alignmemt.

    • Ramon A. Cardona

      One step further: why cables at all? Wireless charging needs to be evolved so that EV’s just need to park. Car ID and account data can be

      • brian_gilbert

        Wireless charging is used sometimes. A pad on the ground umder the car transmits to a loop in the car. However the loss in transmission is significant so as you say it can only become universal if that loss can be reduced significantly.. Its use is mentioned in the spec of some of the home chargers and it is up to the householder to decide whether the convenience makes it worth the extra cost.

        • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

          You can’t send DC power wirelessly.

          • brian_gilbert

            True, so you have to transmit it as AC and then back to DC and that entails another loss of energy.

          • Knut Erik Ballestad

            There’s no ‘convert back’-step, unless you are charging from a DC source like e.g. a Powerwall.

            Your home has AC available today, your wall connector supplies this AC current to the vehicle, and the AC/DC converter inside the vehicle transforms this to DC before feeding the batteries.

            With a wireless charger nothing much changes, AC transfer loss between your home and your vehicle will increase, but inside the vehicle you will have the same AC/DC loss regardless of transfer technology.

          • brian_gilbert

            I agree. My initial reply was perhaps too longwinded which increases the chances of its not being clear.

          • brian_gilbert

            P.S. For sources do an internet search for ‘wireless charging of electric vehicles’

          • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

            The companies the sell wireless vehicle charging equipment are merely transferring AC power from the power source to the vehcile’s onboard charger. It is not DC power that is then converted to AC, and then sent wirelessly.

            Wireless Power Transfer for Light-Duty Plug-In/ Electric Vehicles and Alignment Methodology
            2016-06-01WIP Standard
            SAE TIR J2954 establishes an industry-wide specification guideline that defines acceptable criteria for interoperability, electromagnetic compatibility, minimum performance, safety and testing for wireless charging of light duty electric and plug-in electric vehicles. The current version addresses unidirectional charging, from grid to vehicle, but bidirectional energy transfer may be evaluated for a future standard. The specification defines various charging levels that are based on the levels defined for SAE J1772 conductive

            AC charge levels 1, 2 and 3, with some variations. A standard for wireless power transfer (WPT) based on these charge levels will enable selection of a charging rate based on vehicle requirements, thus allowing for better vehicle packaging, and ease of customer use. The specification supports home (private) charging and public wireless charging.

          • Knut Erik Ballestad

            True, but you *can* and *do* have an AC/DC converter in every electric vehicle. So there is no problem transmitting power wirelessly to the car.

            …the max power level you can transmit must of course not exceed what the vehicle’s AC/DC converter supports though. In that case a more powerful converter needs to be installed – probably at a high cost.

          • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

            That “AC/DC converter” is normally referred to is an onboard vehicle charger. The biggest one on a production car is 19.2kW AC in the US (240v * 80a) and either 22kW (32a) or 43kW (63a) using three phase AC power in Europe.

    • Lance Pickup

      Far be it from me to say that the guy who can make a rocket land back on its pad couldn’t make this happen, but I would imagine the tolerances involved here would be pretty small, possibly requiring active suspensions to be fitted on all cars wishing to use this technology to account for even minimal differences in ride height. And then there are differences in the body shape altogether between a low slung sports car and a high riding SUV or pickup truck. Of course you could build the permanent connector in such a way that it could make adjustments to its height and even horizontal position, but now we’re starting to approach a snake-like solution.

      • brian_gilbert

        Yes it is perhaps asking a lot and today I read that somebody has improved on the efficiency of wireless charging so perhaps that will take precedence.

  • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

    The referenced article is wrong with its statement that Tesla could ever qualify for nine credits per vehicle with a battery electric car.

    CARB-ZEV credits per vehicle – Model Years 2012 – 2017:

    Type V – 300+ miles range “hydrogen” —- Credit per vehicle: 9**

    Type V – 300+ miles range “fast refueling” – Credit per vehicle: 7 (this is what Tesla earned 2012-2014 with 85kWh car and demonstrated battery swapping)

    Type IV – 200+ miles range “fast refueling” – Credit per vehicle: 5 (the is what Tesla earned 2012-2014 with 60kWh car and demonstrated battery swapping)

    Type III – 100+ miles range “fast refueling” – Credit per vehicle: 4

    Type III – 200+ miles range ————– Credit per vehicle: 4 (this is what Tesla earns today, mid 2014 to through 2017, after “fast refueling” rule change)

    Type II – 100+ miles range ————— Credit per vehicle: 3

    Type I.5 – 75-100 miles range ———– Credit per vehicle: 2.5

    Type I – 50-75 miles range ————— Credit per vehicle: 2

    ** hydrogen “super credit” at 9 per vehicle for model years 2015-2017 only

    NOTE: The “fast refueling” credit has been revised (2014) to a minimum of 4% of the fleet to demonstrate a maximum 25 battery swaps. Hydrogen is exempt to continue receiving the credit.


    CARB-ZEV credits per vehicle – Model Years 2018-2025:

    Starting Model Year 2018 (enacted 2016):

    Range per Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) per UDDS test protocol:

    Actual credit value is 1% of UDDS range plus 1/2 credit
    Example – 249 miles UDDS * 1% = 2.49 + 0.5 = 2.99
    This vehicle earns 2 credits
    No fast fueling credit

    350 miles range —- Credit per vehicle: 4 (presumably, a 100kWh car would easily meet this threshold)
    250 miles range —- Credit per vehicle: 3
    150 miles range —- Credit per vehicle: 2
    50 miles range —– Credit per vehicle: 1


    • Michael B

      So complicated, but thank you!

    • dogphlap dogphlap

      Thanks for the detailed explanation of ZEV. I don’t have a problem with picking favourites so long as there is a justifiable public benefit but for hydrogen to be singled out for such preferential treatment seems to be all wrong and suggests pressure from the oil and gas lobby (the supplier of the hydrogen production feed stock, methane).

  • BROPHY66929

    So, should I not buy a Model S, but wait for the Model 3 next year??

    • TonyWilliamsSanDiego

      Let me be clear to suggest that the Model 3 is not going to charge at over 350kW. Buy any car you like.

      Obviously, Tesla Superchargers as will get faster, and so will the cars.

    • Knut Erik Ballestad

      As soon as Tesla has improved batteries available, I see no reason that they will choose to stick to old-fashioned batteries for the Top-of-the-line Model S/X cars.

      My guess is that any new battery chemistry will be available on Model S/X *before* Model 3. But, since Tesla doesn’t want to risk the Osbourne-effect (of losing current sales) because of premature product announcements, they will not announce new battery tech before they are able to deliver it within av very short time frame.

    • Zephyr

      You alone can make that call. Have you ever driven a Model S? Once I did, there was no question of “should”… it was just “how soon can I afford one?”
      Seven months and 20k miles later, no regrets!

    • Lance Pickup

      Are you in a position that you would require extremely high power charging? With sufficiently long range vehicles and the need to stop at least every now and then for a rest break and to eat, it seems reasonable to use even existing Supercharger power levels, much less 350kW or beyond.

  • http://nextgenfastchargenetworks.blogspot.com/ Brandon

    So as far as a higher rate charging battery, (like 3-4 C), there is nothing that’s already been announced for production by Tesla or any other battery producer, correct??

    • Knut Erik Ballestad

      4C charging would allow an 80 kWh Model 3 to fully charge in ~20 minutes.

      This charge rate has been announced by serveral companies, like here:
      – but nothing has materialised in the marketplace yet.

      If Tesla should make 350kW charging “a mere children’s toy”, as stated by Musk, they must have done some kind of break-through, and be able to charge at 6-8C.
      – interesting times ahead 🙂
      M3 unveil part 3 grows even more interesting…..

      • http://nextgenfastchargenetworks.blogspot.com/ Brandon

        Thanks for your reply. Indeed nothing has been announced for production in the 3-4 C range yet, as far as I can tell. The silicone anode in the Evevate batteries you linked to is what apparently helps achieve the higher C rate, and silicone anodes have been talked about for batteries coming to production soon, so maybe 3-4 C rates are soon here.

        Here’s another thought as to how Tesla can be talking about charge rates higher than 350 kW. If there is a 200 kWh battery pickup truck, then 300 kW charge rate is still at the 1-2 C rate that is currently where we are at with today’s batteries. But if, and when, 3-4 C batteries begin to be used in a larger vehicles like a pickup truck or SUV, then a 3-4 C rate means twice the kW rate of 350 kW, like 600-700 kW. To me, THAT totally explains how Elon can be talking much higher fast charge rates than 350 kW.

        That’s what I came up with while mulling this over the weekend.

  • flite505

    So for sure older Teslas cannot handle the power of a V3? That’s the big question.