The latest Tesla software update (2019.36.1) has unlocked the full DC charging potential of the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (SR+). The Model 3 SR+, with this update, has a 170 kW charging peak, up from the previous 100–105 kW peak. This means that the SR+ battery charge rate (C-rate) is now approximately in line with that of the Model 3 Long Range variants, albeit scaled for the different battery size.
Confirmed! 2019.36.1 increases the peak supercharging power for Model 3 SR+ to 170kW. Source https://t.co/MTX9QHYj6P pic.twitter.com/fadz41eBlE
— Tesletter (@tesletter) November 3, 2019
We’ve recently covered several of the new features enabled by the 2019.36.1 software update. A key new feature for Model 3 Standard Range Plus owners is the significantly boosted DC peak charging power. We don’t yet know the exact shape of the new charging curve for the SR+, but it’s very likely to be a scaled down version of the charging curve for its Long Range (LR) siblings.
For background, current TMC forum estimates put the SR+ battery pack size at 54.5 kWh usable, and the LR at 74.5 kWh usable. The respective peak Supercharging of 170 kW and 250 kW suggests that the LR battery may still be allowed to work at a slightly higher peak C-rate (3.36 vs 3.12 C) compared to the SR+, about 8% higher. Outside of this short peak, however, the SR+ battery is likely exposed to similar overall C-rates to the LR battery over a full charging cycle, making only a minor difference between the two pack sizes in terms of % state of charge added during a typical mid-trip charging session.
My previous data estimated that an optimal 20 minute Supercharger V3 session (assuming starting from 10%) adds 63.1% charge to the Model 3 LR battery. I’ll assume the SR+ should add a slightly lower 60.7% to its battery over those 20 minutes. If these are fair guesses, let’s look at what the new 170 kW Supercharging rate might therefore entail for road-trip readiness. We scale the EPA highway range of the SR+ in line with the recent 250 mile EPA combined range upgrade (I include the Kona EV and Niro EV in the graph for more context):
Being capable of covering 3 hours of highway driving from full, then adding a further ~2 hours in just 20 minutes of DC charging is a very decent result for the SR+. It’s also a good boost over what was typical with the previous 100 to 105 kW peak Supercharging speed. Obviously, the Model 3 Long Range variants remain the ultimate road-trip-ready EVs, capable of driving for close to 4 hours from full, and then adding over 2½ hours more highway range in just 20 minutes of charging. In the real world, all Model 3 variants are highly capable of making comfortable road trips.
We don’t yet know exactly how the new higher power charging rate will translate to the base Tesla Model 3 Standard Range, but it should scale in a similar way to what we are seeing for the SR+ and LR variants.
Note that for occasional road trippers living in areas well served by 100+ kW CCS infrastructure, the Kona EV and Niro EV are also capable of making longer journeys — especially for young families taking 30 or 40 minute breaks at regular intervals anyway — and are all-around much better cars than gas-powered “alternatives.”
Remember that all EVs are capable of starting a long journey directly from home with a “full tank” (full charge) — something that no gas vehicle can do unless you have a fuel pump installed at home (not advisable).
Are you a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus owner? What do you think about the new 170 kW peak charging rate? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Article images courtesy of Tesla and author’s own work.
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