Ever since Tesla unveiled the Cybertruck in November 2019, it has been trending around automobile circles – be it for its futuristic design that looks something straight out of a sci-fi show, or its impressive specs (0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds and up to 500 miles of range). Having entered the passenger utility vehicle segment with this model, Tesla has gone one step further to announce a new supercharging architecture, that could be capable of charging at peak rates of more than 250 kW, a figure that is currently in place with their V3 Supercharger.
This announcement goes hand-in-hand with Tesla’s pattern of upgrading their supercharging systems alongside the launch of the new models. They had previously launched the V1 and V2 superchargers, both having 120 kW peak charge rate (later upgraded to 150 kW), alongside Model X and Model S. The current V3 setup was rolled out along with Model 3 and Model Y. It is still unclear whether Tesla is talking about an upgraded V3 system, capable of a peak charge rate of more than 250 kW, or if this hints at the launch of the V4 system, something that holds a major role in Tesla’s recent future.
this is just based on what elon said at the reveal here pic.twitter.com/TMgrK5bmO9
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) August 15, 2020
Rumors are that the V4 could have a peak charge rate of up to 350kW which is a massive figure. For reference, the current V3, at a rate of 250 kW, can juice up a Tesla battery to travel around 102 km in just 5 minutes. With their newest generation of models like Plaid Model S, Plaid Model X, and the Cybertruck expected to have the largest battery packs till date. Tesla continues to innovate the electric industry, not only through their models but also through their supercharging architecture.
<drops drink> <does spit take>
— Ryan McCaffrey (@DMC_Ryan) December 24, 2016
The Cybertruck is likely to have a drivetrain similar to that of the Model S Plaid, containing three batteries instead of two. This drivetrain is said to be compatible with Tesla’s future plans of introducing the V4 supercharging system, a technology that they are still working on. This Plaid mode is part of Tesla’s newest generation of vehicles and is expected to be faster than the current Ludicrous. The ludicrous mode has a 0-60 mph acceleration time of just 2.4 seconds, and with an even faster Plaid mode in the making, Tesla is putting up some serious performance figures on the market.
Tesla V3 vs V2 Supercharging
The V2 supercharger has been a part of Tesla’s charging architecture for quite some time now, and it had the capability of delivering a peak charge rate of upto 120 kW. Despite having upgraded it to 150 kW, the overall time required to charge a Tesla vehicle using this V2 supercharger seemed slow for the average person, especially considering how much faster it is to fill up gas in an internal combustion vehicle. This provoked Tesla to bring the V3 supercharger to the market in March 2019. The salient features of V3 include:
- Powered by a new 1 MW cabinet, it can deliver peak charge rate of up to 250 kW.
- Charge the battery to travel up to 75 miles in 5 minutes (at high efficiency)
- Cut down on charging time by 50% than V2 supercharger
- Average charging time for a Tesla vehicle drops to roughly 15 minutes
- V3’s new power electronics allow the owner to charge at the maximum power that the battery can take (V2 chargers would split power when multiple vehicles were getting charged)
Apart from launching the V3 supercharger, Tesla has also launched the On-Route Battery Warm-up feature. Whenever a Tesla vehicle navigates to a nearby charging station, it is programmed to intelligently heat up the battery to the optimum charging temperature, which ensures that, by the time you reach the station, your battery is ready to be charged. This improves charging times by up to 16%.
The Future Of Tesla Superchargers
While Tesla has announced that it plans on installing new charging stations that will be capable of delivering peak charge rates of more than 250 kW (some say the figures could be as high as 350 kW). They haven’t formally confirmed whether this will be made possible through a new V4 Supercharger, or through a V3 upgrade. Regardless of which path Tesla intend on taking in the recent future, it is clear that the V4 is something that Tesla is working on.
With extensive plans in place for keeping charging stations up to date with the newer generations of vehicles that are being launched, Tesla is making big strides in overcoming the hurdles of the electric vehicle sector. With the introduction of the Cybertruck, Tesla has entered the pickup truck segment. These fast charging options they offer will have a big impact on these customers, as a faster charging will reduce daily commute time. With a significant percentage of your battery getting charged in around 10-15 minutes, and performance-driven models coming up, Tesla might just bite into a huge chunk of electric vehicle customers.