Published on March 18th, 2019 | by Kyle Field0
Tesla’s V3 Superchargers Lay The Foundation For The Megacharging Network
March 18th, 2019 by Kyle Field
Tesla Rolling Out The World’s Largest, Fastest EV Fast Charging Network
Tesla took a few minutes while it had the world’s attention at the unveiling of its Model Y to flesh out its plans for its Supercharger network. Version 3 of the network will see 250 kilowatt (kW) chargers rolled out as the new standard around the world.
As previously shared, the new chargers will provide a dedicated 250 kW charge to all connected vehicles, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared at the Model Y unveiling that, “The Superchargers actually started out only at about 75 kW, and now with version 3, they’re at 250 kW, and we think we can actually go a little higher than that.”
The update builds on the fact that the new V3 Superchargers share all-new 1 megawatt backend infrastructure. The new 1 MW units split to 4 charging stalls are not only a significant upgrade from the 145 kW units split to two stalls, but the new design also means that any excess capacity from the 1 MW unit can be pushed down to any cars charging at the station, up to whatever the vehicle and charging station hardware can handle.
Elon confirmed last week that all of the new Long Range Model 3s were capable of charging at the new benchmark 1,000 mile per hour (1,600 kilometer per hour) rate on V3 Supercharging stations. Tesla also officially opened the second V3 Supercharging station in the world, at its Hawthorne Design Studio, thought it is only available to members of the Early Access Program that have received a special V3 Supercharging firmware update.
The update also gives hope to customers around the world pining for faster charging. “We’re rolling out the V3 Supercharger throughout the world, just upgrading existing sites and adding new sites,” Musk said. “We did slow down our Supercharger rollout a little bit because we wanted them to be version 3 instead of version 2, but now that we have version 3, we’re going to spool our production, so you’re going to have a radical improvement in Supercharging by sometime next year.”
The new V3 Superchargers also pave the way for the imminent arrival of Tesla’s Megachargers, which will provide a robust charge for a fleet of Tesla Semi trucks. Look for these to start rolling out next year as Tesla begins internal testing of the Semi trucks on routes between its Fremont, California, automotive factory and the Gigafactory 1 outside Sparks, Nevada.
That specific route will likely feature V3 Superchargers that just so happen to have some extra capacity for a few dedicated Megachargers just for its Semi trucks. With a projected range of 300 or 500 miles per charge for the two Semi ranges offered, they should both be capable of making the 240 mile (385 kilometer) haul from Fremont to Sparks, but a few Megachargers along the route and at either end would ease tensions in early testing and also allow for ample Megacharger testing.
It is exciting to see Tesla pushing the envelope with its current V3 Supercharging network, which enables the fastest charging of a production vehicle in the world. At the same time, these same chargers and the infrastructure that powers them hint at a future where vehicle charging can be done at even much faster speeds.
Editor’s addition: Meta discussion and comedic effort related to new Superchargers — nay, nanochargers — after a long day touring Tesla facilities, interviewing top Tesla engineers, and then eating Indian food with the one and only Mark Z. Jacobson: