Tesla has introduced a new Supercharger that will cut charging times in half. And yes, it should be faster than any other charger available for electric vehicles today.
The 250kW Version 3 (V3) Supercharger is a new design that enables you to charge at full power rather than having to split charging with another car that’s also charging. It uses similar tech to Tesla's Powerpack.
Tesla gave the example of a Model 3 Long Range that can have 75 miles of range added in five minutes; around 1,000 miles of charge per hour. Tesla reckons charge times will be halved based on its own modelling of Tesla fleet data.
Part of this is down to ensuring the battery is at an optimal temperature for charging and to help this Tesla is introducing a new feature called On-Route Battery Warmup. Yes, you've guessed it - your Tesla will heat up its battery when you’re navigating to a Supercharger station. That can reduce existing charge times by 25 percent, according to the company.
Tesla has more than 12,000 Superchargers across its network and it says more than there’s now more than 99 percent population coverage in the US and 90 percent in China. But there’s certainly more work to do to grow the network in Europe – Tesla says it expects to have similar coverage to the US across Europe by the end of this year.
Tesla adds that all its V2 Superchargers will be upgraded imminently, too, giving 145kW charge rates. It will also increase Model S and X charging speeds via software updates over the coming months.
The first Supercharger V3 site has gone live in California, available for Model 3 owners and it’ll roll out to all Tesla owners by the middle of the year as more sites become available. V3 Supercharging is coming to Europe towards the end of 2019.
Of course, the real challenge for electric cars remains the battery technology itself, rather than the tech to charge them, which is accelerating rapidly. Check out all the upcoming electric cars that'll be launched over the next few years.