Last night, Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed the timing for the automaker’s next generation of DC fast-charging technology: the Supercharger V3.
Tesla aims to release the more powerful Supercharger V3 for quicker charging ‘late’ this summer.
In December 2016, CEO Elon Musk teased a new ‘Tesla Supercharger V3’ with over 350 kW power output and off-grid solar and Powerpack systems.
While Tesla has since added solar arrays and Powerpacks to a few stations, the automaker hasn’t updated the charge rate (145 kW capacity capped at 120 kW in vehicles) of its charging stations since the announcement.
As highlighted during Tesla’ Q1 2018 earnings call earlier this month, the company appears to have changed its plan for an ultra-fast charger with an output of over 350 kW – citing some drawbacks when it comes to energy density and cost of batteries.
Instead, Musk said that 200 to 250 kW, which is about twice as powerful as Tesla’s current Superchargers, would make more sense.
Today, the CEO elaborated on the timing of the release of those new Superchargers:
The timing would be just in time for what could be the first production electric car to beat Tesla’s charge rate, the Audi e-tron quattro with a 150 kW advertised charge rate, to come to market.
We will keep an eye out for the ‘Supercharger V3’.
Musk could be pushing for Tesla to retain its charging rate lead ahead of the Audi e-tron quattro and the few other EVs coming out next year with higher charge rates.
Of course, there’s also the Porsche Mission E, which apparently will have a 350-kW charge rate, but again, Tesla now says that they don’t want to go that route because of the drawbacks.
Now as for the “major improvements all round”, it sounds like we could see more than just a higher charge rate.
When Musk first announced the Supercharger V3, it was in response to me asking about the deployment of solar arrays at Supercharger stations and Musk linked that to the introduction of the Supercharger V3:
It sounds like the next generation could more easily integrate solar and energy storage.
The only other “improvement” that I can think of is the auto-plugging aspect for autonomous driving. Musk has long promised that Supercharger stations will eventually be able to autonomously plug to cars in order to support driverless vehicles.
Tesla developed a ‘metal snake’ charger prototype for it, but that was two years ago and the plans could have changed by now.
What other improvements you would like to see on Tesla’s Superchargers? Let us know in the comment section below.
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