The first V3 Tesla Supercharger station has gone online, bringing higher charging speeds to owners of Tesla electric cars who will now be able to add up to 30kms of range every minute.
Tesla already has more than 12,000 of its V2 stations installed worldwide, which when first released at 120kW outdid the then “fast” 50kWh CHAdeMO and CCS charging points available to other EV drivers.
While the new V3 Superchargers peak at 250kW, they are built onto 1MW power cabinets that use a similar architecture to Tesla’s utility-scale battery storage products.
They will be able to recharge a Long Range Model 3 at a rate of nearly 30km a minute – that’s the equivalent of 1,800km per hour.
Using the superior 1MW architecture, the new V3 Superchargers will also outperform the V2 chargers in that the power will not be split when another Tesla hooks up to the same cabinet.
The opening of the beta V3 Supercharger in the San Francisco Bay area was initially announced by CEO and founder Elon Musk:
First public Tesla V3.0 Supercharger Station goes live Wed 8pm
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 3, 2019
“With these significant technical improvements, we anticipate the typical charging time at a V3 Supercharger will drop to around 15 minutes,” the EV maker has posted in a blog on its website.
Also, Tesla says that once the vehicle “knows” it is navigating to a Supercharger, it will warm up the battery to improve charging rates, resulting in up to a 50% faster charge than the V2 chargers.
For those using the V2 chargers (which will also have an additional 25kW unlocked in coming weeks, totaling 145kW), the battery warm up will also improve charging speeds by 25%, according to the EV maker.
One Tesla driver has already shared a comparison of the V2 and V3 speeds, saying the the experience of charging from 15 to 80 per cent in well under half an hour was “surreal”.
I did a comparison chart of supercharger v2 va v3 based on test firmware of 2019.7.11 @marc_benton @Teslatunity @Model3Owners
It feels surreal charging 15-80% within 24min. Thank you @elonmusk @Tesla for the update, you make my car great again. pic.twitter.com/3TZSpChhiK
— privater (@privater) March 7, 2019
While it is the “mass-market” Tesla Model 3 that will benefit the most from the improved V3 charging cabinets. The Model S and X also benefit once the EV maker updates software in the months to come.
“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.”
How much the Models S and X will benefit is as yet unknown; Tesla confirmed with The Driven earlier this week that the “new” Standard, Long Range and Performance Model S and Long Range and Performance Model X will continue to use the 18650 battery cells.
It has been hoped in some quarters that the premium models would benefit from an upgrade to the more energy-dense and superior 2170 battery cells used in the Model 3, however for now at least this will not be the case.
The new V3 Superchargers will first be rolled out in the US, with the first non-beta site breaking ground in April and distribution to ramp up over Q2 and Q3 2019.
Europe and the Asia-Pacific will then follow in Q4; Tesla Australia has been contacted for a more definite timeline but at this time have not yet been able to comment.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.