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Tesla is working with mysterious third-parties to deploy Megacharger network for electric semi trucks

Tesla is apparently working with mysterious third-parties to deploy a Megacharger network to charge its Tesla Semi electric trucks.

Is Tesla trying to create a standard prototcol to charge electric trucks?

With the unveiling of the Tesla Semi in 2017, Tesla unveiled its plan to deploy ‘Megachargers’, a more powerful version of its Supercharger network to charge its electric trucks.

The plan was ambitious.

Tesla wanted a new charging station that could add 400 miles of range in just 30 minutes and they wanted to guarantee low electricity rates at the station.

At the time, we estimated that Tesla was planning a charging station to deliver over 1 MW of power.

Almost 3 years later, the company has yet to deploy those Megachargers.

Tesla Semi electric truck prototypes have been traveling around the US, but they have been using Tesla’s Supercharger stations to charge with a device that connects to multiple Supercharger stalls.

This is obviously not sustainable since any significant fleet of Tesla Semi trucks would cripple Tesla’s Supercharger network.

Therefore, Tesla really needs to deliver on the Megacharger network before they ramp up Tesla Semi production next year.

Jerome Guillen, Tesla’s President of Automotive and the man in charge of the Tesla Semi program, addressed that during the conference call following Tesla’s earnings yesterday:

“We continue the development of the Semi. And in particular, Megachargers, we realized that the 350-kW or so that we are looking for cars is not going to be enough for Semi. So we’re looking for something much more powerful than that, that can achieve essentially charging the Semi during a break, between your driving time so that you can drive until the next break. So there is no usable or efficient time wasted for charging the Semi.”

The longtime Tesla executive then added that they are working with other parties to provide that solution, but he was vague about it:

“We’re working with other parties to make sure that there is a standard infrastructure that will be able to be deployed for all customers. Yes. That’s probably all I can say at this point. Just we’re not working in isolation. We have to invent it because it doesn’t exist. But we’re trying to invent something that could be helpful for everybody”

The executive made it sound like Tesla is working to deliver a new standard for charging bigger electric vehicles at high power.

Electrek’s Take

I think that’s exactly what is happening.

Last year, we reported that Tesla submitted their own >1 MW high-power charging standard for electric trucks within CharIN, an industry association behind the CCS standard.

CharIN is working on High Power Charging for Commercial Vehicles (HPCCV) with its members in order to create a standard for interoperability of vehicle charging stations for electric trucks.

Tesla was one of five companies that submitted designs, along with Electrify America, ABB, paXos, and Staubli.

CharIN has apparenly already chosen the design and it is currently being validated.

Could Jerome’s new comment hint that Tesla’s design for a >1 MW high-power charging standard has been selected and they are now testing with those mysterious third-parties?

Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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