Last night Tesla introduced Supercharging V3 to Model 3 owners participating in the early access program. I’ll get to why I think V3 was only released to Model 3 owners in a moment. First, let’s do a quick run down of the recent news.
V3 Supercharging event: https://youtu.be/NNaqB-RsT9A
Tesla is installing a brand new network of 1MW Tesla Powerpacks to facilitate up to 250 kW charge rates. This means that a Model 3 LR will gain about 75 miles in 5 minutes. If we assume Tesla will taper off charging speeds as the battery pack gets to 80%, you’ll be able to recover about 235 miles in 15-20 minutes and a full charge in 30-40 minutes. Tesla says this is a 50% improvement on charge times, cutting down an 80% charging from 40 minutes and a full charge from 1 hour.
Not only is the charging rate a 2x improvement, Tesla further underscores their dominance in fast charging intellectual property. Tesla can now deliver on demand high powered energy AND reduce V3 electricity costs by leveraging what’s called peak shaving - buying electricity at low demand, low cost times and storing it in the Powerpacks. Electrify America says they do offer 350 kW charge rates but the only vehicle to date to accept that high rate of charge is Porche Taycan, which begins rolling out to reservation holders late this year. As an aside, I think the Powerpack/Supercharger integration will be how Tesla executes on a Semi truck charging 400 miles in 30 minutes.
Tesla also said that with the introduction of V3 there will be no more power splitting between stalls. This means there’s no need to worry about parking directly next to another owner who is Supercharging and seeing reduced speeds for both vehicles.
In addition to V3 hardware upgrades, Tesla will be pushing out a software update to allow what they call ‘On-route Battery Warmup’. This means that if you navigate to a Supercharger on the map, your Tesla will begin to pre-heat the battery to optimal temperature for high speed charging. Though not entirely clear, it appears that the V2 Supercharger will receive On-route Battery Warmup functionality.
Last on the Supercharger news, V2 Supercharger tech will also receive a power boost from 120 kW peak charging to 145 kW or a 13% speed improvement. This means that Model S and X owners will see minor charge rate bumps.
Why is this V3 a big deal? This not only reduces the time current owners spend Supercharging but as removes one more barrier from owners of gasoline vehicles to adopt EVs, as filling up a tank of gas takes anywhere from 5-15 minutes.
The last thing I wanted to address is why S and X did not receive the V3 update? There’s two reason:
1) One I believe, Tesla wants and needs to boost sales for their Model 3, especially after the introduction of the Standard Range battery option.
2) More importantly, it appears that Model S and X, in their current form, do not have the hardware for 250 kW peak charging.
As stated in a Model 3 teardown by the YouTube channel Ingeerix, the Model 3 has a larger charging cable and connector.
According InsideEVs’ research, the Model 3 battery pack has improved cooling compared to Model S and X.
An old Model S 85 kWh pack has the ability to cool 444 18650 cells with a single cooling ribbon pass.
A P100D Model S pack levels up by cooling 258 18650 cells per ribbon
Model 3 improves its cooling with 164 21700 cells per ribbon.
This means, according to InsideEVs that, “with both more contact surface area and a higher conductance factor, the Model 3’s cooling tube system can conduct 2.3x as much heat from the pack as the Model S.”
As best as I understand it, in order for Model S and S to gain access to V3 Supercharging, it necessitates a battery pack and charging component refresh at minimum. If Tesla is going to refresh the battery packs, will they just refresh the cars completely?
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Tesla announcement: https://www.tesla.com/blog/introducing-v3-Supercharging
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