Good news for Tesla drivers: Charging is about to get easier and quicker. Tesla is rolling out its next generation of Superchargers that it says will reduce charging times by an average of 50 percent. The new Superchargers are designed to each charge at the full power the car’s battery can handle at all times, so owners no longer have to share power with the vehicle in the next stall.
The third-gen Tesla Superchargers employ a new power cabinet that supports peak rates of up to 250 kilowatts per car. That’s a big jump from the previous peak, which was capped at 120 kW. A new feature called On-Route Battery Warmup heats the battery when the navigation is set to a Supercharger station, ensuring that the battery is at the optimal temperature to charge for reduced charge times. With these updates, Tesla expects customers will now spend about 15 minutes at the station. A Model 3 Long Range operating at its most efficient can recover 75 miles in just 5 minutes, according to Tesla. And though no commercially available battery currently has the capacity, Tesla says the new Superchargers can theoretically restore 1,000 miles of range in an hour.
The new Superchargers initially will only be compatible with the Model 3. Tesla opened its first public beta site today in the Bay Area, and the first official site will break ground in April. Throughout the second and third quarters of the year, Tesla will continue to expand the network through North America. Europe and Asia will see stations arrive in the fourth quarter.
While we wait for the new Superchargers, Tesla is improving its old ones. The old stations will also benefit from On-Route Battery Warmup, improving charge times by 25 percent. And in the coming weeks, Tesla will unlock improved 145-kW charge rates for the old Superchargers. A software update will be available in the coming months to increase charging speeds for the Model S and Model X.
Thousands of new Superchargers will come online this year, Tesla says. By the end of the year, the Supercharger network will be able to serve twice as many vehicles per day as it does currently. The announcement comes a week after Tesla introduced the $35,000 version of the Model 3. Tesla also said it will switch exclusively to online sales, and begin winding down operations at its stores in the next few months.