We seem to be experiencing one of those Tesla news avalanches that happen from time to time – as the 35k Model 3 darts into sight and the retail stores recede in the mirror, the Bad Boys of the Auto Biz have announced the advent of V3 Supercharging, a new generation of fast charging tech that promises to make topping up a Tesla almost as fast as filling an old clunker with dinosaur wine.
Tesla now has over 12,000 Superchargers across North America, Europe, and Asia. However, “charging needs to be even faster, and the number of vehicles able to charge at a location in a day needs to be significantly higher.” Tesla says V3 Supercharging, which relies on the company’s expertise in large-scale grid-connected batteries, “enables our vehicles to charge faster than any other electric vehicle on the market today.”
“V3 is a completely new architecture for Supercharging,” reads Tesla’s announcement. “A new 1 MW power cabinet with a similar design to our utility-scale products supports peak rates of up to 250 kW per car. At this rate, a Model 3 Long Range operating at peak efficiency can recover up to 75 miles of charge in 5 minutes and charge at rates of up to 1,000 miles per hour. Combined with other improvements we’re announcing today, V3 Supercharging will ultimately cut the amount of time customers spend charging by an average of 50%, as modeled on our fleet data.”
“Supercharger stations with V3’s new power electronics are designed to enable any owner to charge at the full power their battery can take – no more splitting power with a vehicle in the stall next to you. With these significant technical improvements, we anticipate the typical charging time at a V3 Supercharger will drop to around 15 minutes.”
A new feature called On-Route Battery Warmup will further streamline the charging process. “Now, whenever you navigate to a Supercharger station, your vehicle will intelligently heat the battery to ensure you arrive at the optimal temperature to charge, reducing average charge times for owners by 25%.”
“This combination of higher peak power with V3, dedicated vehicle power allocation across Supercharger sites, and On-Route Battery Warmup enables customers to charge in half the time and Tesla to serve more than twice the number of customers per hour,” says Tesla. “We are also unlocking 145 kW charge rates for our 12,000+ V2 Superchargers over the coming weeks.”
“With thousands of new Superchargers coming online in 2019, the launch of V3, and other changes we’re making to improve throughput, the Supercharger network will be able to serve more than 2x more vehicles per day at the end of 2019 compared with today – easily keeping pace with our 2019 fleet growth.”
Tesla has opened a public V3 beta site in the Bay Area. Participants in Tesla’s Early Access Program will be the first to test the new system. At first, V3 Supercharging will be available only for Model 3, but Tesla will “continue to expand access as we review and assess the results of millions of charging events. We will increase Model S and X charging speeds via software updates in the coming months. V3 Supercharging will roll out to the wider fleet in an over the air firmware update to all owners in Q2 as more V3 Superchargers come online. Our first non-beta V3 Supercharger site will break ground next month, with North American sites ramping in Q2 and Q3 before coming to Europe and Asia-Pacific in Q4.”