Tesla Supercharger V3 Uses Battery Heating to Cut Charge Time by 50 Percent


Date: Mar 8, 2019

Tesla unveiled its third-generation charging station on Wednesday, which combines with a battery-heating software update to offer recharge speeds up to 50 percent faster. Where the old “supercharger” used air-cooled cables to reach rates of 120 kilowatts, the new version offers liquid-cooled cables that reach a peak rate of 250 kilowatts.

The new charging point — officially a “beta” model — was unveiled at 8 p.m. Pacific time at the company’s Fremont, California plant. Visitors were offered free usage of the new charger, which can deliver up to 75 miles worth of power in five minutes and 1,000 miles in an hour. The company claims that this will result in the average charging time dropping to just 15 minutes.

“I was at the unveil event earlier tonight,” wrote a Reddit user called “acamtmpf” that shared video of the event. “The staff were really friendly and knowledgeable. When the car hit 1000 miles per hour on charge, everyone was just clapping with excitement about the future! Congrats Tesla!”

It’s not the 350 kilowatts proposed by CEO Elon Musk in December 2016, which he later backtracked on due to the size of the car’s batteries, but it could help reduce one of the key pain points of owning an electric car. A 2017 global survey from Dalia Research found 36 percent see long charging times as a key disadvantage of electric cars, with 50 percent citing a lack of charging points.

Tesla aims to fix both of these issues, promising that its network will be able to serve double the number of cars per day at the end of 2019 compared to today. It now claims to own and operate the largest global fast charging network, with 12,888 stations worldwide. That covers 99 percent of owners in the United States, 90 percent of China, and the company expects nearly complete coverage in Europe by the end of the year.

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