Up Close Look At Tesla Semi Megacharger Port – Video

2 days ago by Steven Loveday 63

This is one of the few video/screenshots of the charging port on the Tesla Semi.

Leave it to our friend KmanAuto to have a look at the Tesla Semi charging port. The future semi will charge using a new network of Tesla Megachargers. Potentially, if the electric semi finds widespread success, there will be an entire network of these new super-fast chargers, which will likely only be utilized for the truckers, but who knows what the future holds. Musk has made many references to a much more powerful Supercharger down the road.

Tesla Semi

Tesla Semi charging port

Megachargers will add about 400 miles of range in 30 minutes, according to information shared by CEO Elon Musk at last week’s reveal event. Teslarati says that Megachargers will carry a power output of over 10 times that of current Superchargers (over 1MW). Let’s take a look at the publication’s calculations:

“Tesla notes on its website that the semi-truck will consume ‘less than 2 kWh / mile’. If we’re to factor in a worst case scenario of 2 kWh of energy used per mile traveled, this would equate to 800 kWh of energy consumed in 400 miles (644 km) of travel.

Tesla’s Megacharger would need to have a tremendous power output of 1.6 MW, or thirteen times the power level of a standard Supercharger to be able to replenish 400 miles of battery range in 30 minutes. This, of course, is based on the assumption that the Tesla Semi will consume 2 kWh of energy per mile which in reality will probably be less, as Tesla notes.”

KmanAuto told Teslarati that based on his assumptions and math, he believes the Megacharger:

” … would be able to hit 1.6 MW.”

As you can see from the picture and video — although it may not be so obvious without anything nearby for comparison — the eight-pin Tesla Semi charging port is much larger than ports on Tesla’s current line of vehicles.

Video Description via KmanAuto on YouTube:

Tesla Semi Charge Port (Only known Photo/Video!!!) MEGACHARGER
As far as I know, this is the only known public photo/video of the Tesla Semi. I estimate the charge rate to be approximately 500kW, possibly higher.
It has 8 pins for the high power to the traction pack, though appears to use the same ground and com pins as the model s and x.
Still caught up over Superchargers? Pish Posh that’s so 2017. Enjoy your Supercharger while the semi drivers enjoy MEGACHARGERS!

Source: Teslarati

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63 responses to "Up Close Look At Tesla Semi Megacharger Port – Video"

  1. simone says:

    more or less are 4 CCS2 plug together ,

    when single the CCS2 can reach 350kw and uses 2 poles , with 8 poles the power “by standard” is 1400kw , reaching 1600kw is just to have a slightly better cooling of the connector

    1. Pat75014 says:

      The cooling needs to increase if you increase the Amps. If instead you increase the voltage, say 12000 Volts at 333 Amps for 400KW per pair and 1600KW for all 4 pairs, you may be able to go with same (air) cooling.
      You can bet that if Elon moves to a higher Voltage (vs current <400Volts) he may not stop at Porsche 800 Volts… 1000V or even 1200V may be more likely…unless i missed something here…

      1. Pat75014 says:

        1200 Volts …; Not 12000

  2. G2 says:

    Great catch!

  3. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    So does SAE have a “Standard connector” for an EV charger at 1.2MW rate?
    Or will this be another instance where SAE has nothing so Tesla has to design/use their own connector?

    If so, queue all the “we don’t need another ~standard~ charging port” whiners…… or “Tesla decided to use their proprietary connector” cry babies.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      Standards is completely unnecessary invention by left-wing commies. Every company must use its own proprietary chargers and do not restrict its “right to innovate”. The more differences and fragmentation of charging networks, the better will be the outcome.

      Thank you for understanding – Big Oil

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:


        1. Dan says:

          The long range battery in the semi is claimed to be 600 kwh…so at 2kwh/mi the range would be 300 mi to 0 charge. For 500 mi real range consumption needs to be just 1+kwh/mi which sounds VERY optimistic for a 80000 lb. tractor/semi-trailer when the 5000 lb MS does about 3 mi./kwh.

          1. Exactly Where (Link and Quote, Please!) Is that ‘Claimed 600 kWh Battery what is said to be in the Semi???

            Yours is the first suggestion of such, and it might be correct…for the other, 300 Miles per charge offering, but we are talking here about the 500 Mile Range Quoted by Elon!

  4. CDAVIS says:

    My guess:

    It’s a parallel charging feed connector that allows Tesla can repurpose for Tesla Semi the charging components already used for S, X, & 3 … and all modular charging components already used for Tesla Superchargers.

    So no new hardware charging components needed for Tesla Semi other than a parallel charging connector (per article photo) and matching parallel charging cable.

    1. ClarksonCote says:

      I still don’t understand why they don’t try to also make use of the Supercharger network. I guess that’d be more for the semi’s with sleepers though, but an 8 hour overnight at a Supercharger would top off the battery nicely… and it’s a lot of infrastructure that’s already in existence.

      1. ClarksonCote says:

        In other words, have the Megacharger network but augment it with Supercharger use of locations already in existence when appropriate and convenient.

        1. CDAVIS says:

          Truckers would prefer to stop at a traditional “Truck Stop” because those stops are geared to accommodate commercial truckers (food, showers, etc.) … and truckers prefer to congregate with other truckers. I would not be surprised to see Tesla work a Tesla Semi Megacharger deal with some of the larger truck stop chains.

          Also, there is great marketing benefit for Tesla each time a Tesla Semi pulles into a truck stop for a charge. There will be an initial period of time that a Tesla Semi pulling into a truck stop will draw the same curiosity as an alien landing.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “I still don’t understand why they don’t try to also make use of the Supercharger network.”

        Because Supercharger parking stalls are not set up to handle large vehicles like semi tractor-trailer rigs. Note that truck stops are designed to allow tractor-trailer rigs to pull right up to the diesel pumps without having to waste time dropping off the trailer and then hooking it back up when they’re done refueling.

        Megachargers should be set up the same way.

      3. wavelet says:

        It’s pretty clear why not:
        1) Semis take up a lot more space and are more difficult to maneuver than cars; the station would need a lot more real-estate and have a different layout.
        2) A couple of trucks charging at the same time would basically disable a station.
        3)An overnight facility needs more services for drivers than just snacks.

        1. ClarksonCote says:

          The newer Supercharger stations look to be designed in a way that accommodates semi trucks just pulling through.

          Also, two would NOT disable the whole station. You misread what I’m suggesting.

        2. ClarksonCote says:

          But I do agree with #3, it just sounded like Tesla may be taking a leap towards more full service superchargers in the near future based on recent announcements covered on IEVs

      4. energymatters says:

        If the connector is truly a quad set of hots from the current format then an adapter should be petty easy to go from a standard supercharger to the Semi quad input. That way, worst case, the semi could use any supercharger to get a top of in a couple of hours.

      5. Michael says:

        A Google satelite view of our local Loblaws distribution centre showed a parking lot full of Semis. The trailers were in the loading docks. That parking lot could easy accommodate 2 dozen ordinary Superchargers. If Loblaws also installs Superchargers at their stores they could drive the 25 truck they ordered all day long by simply topping up during deliveries. Those same Superchargers could extend Tesla’s charging network or provide courtesy charges for their customers.

    2. Chris says:

      This parallel socket looks suspiciously like the internal orange coloured drivetrain connectors abd plugs which carry DC current to and from the HV battery. If so, then repurposing this socket with a finalised standard would be easy

  5. Eco says:

    My analysis … 500 miles at 2 kWh/mile = 1,000 kWh (kiloWatt-hour) = 1 MWh (megaWatt-hour). Elon mentioned that the “Megachargers” will be powered by Tesla’s ‘Power Packs’ which are 250 kWh each and are already designed for high voltage ( > 1,000 VDC) … it leads me to think that the Semi has 4 ‘Power Pack’ modules and each pair of DC ‘pins’ on the Semi’s charge port connect a ‘stationary’ Power Pack at the charging station to a ‘mobile’ Power Pack onboard the Semi.

    1. Dav8or says:

      What powers the power packs? Where does all this electricity come from and what happens when numerous Tesla Semis show up at once?

      Not really an issue as long as there is just a hand full of these trucks running around the country, but if they take off and becomes a significant number of the fleet like everyone hopes they will, it seems there will be a real infrastructure problem that will go beyond just putting up some stations and plopping down some battery banks.

      1. DJ says:

        This is really what I’m wondering. How in the world can the average price of electricity be 7 cents per kWh when you factor in the huge demand costs of these things? Sure you can use solar and powerpacks to help offset things but even still solar won’t be enough and powerpacks have to be recharged so even if the draw is “only” 200kW that’s still a pretty damn big demand charge and that’s assuming only one charger!

        1. DJ says:

          Actually, the other thing I’m wondering is what is the semi going to do to the Powerpack?

          The current Powerpack has 200kWh of available storage and costs ~$80k. That was last year so who knows exactly what it is today as I haven’t seen the cost in awhile.

          If the Tesla Semi in total “only” costs $215k and it’s rolling around with 3 powerpacks in it the battery cost using those figures would be nearly $240k which is down from the Powerpack 1 cost of $450k!

          When you can get a Tesla semi and strip it down just for it’s batteries and save $ you have to think the cost of the Powerpack and to a degree as well the Powerwall will become a lot cheaper which is a good thing. Well, assuming they can build enough batteries to meet demand.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “How in the world can the average price of electricity be 7 cents per kWh when you factor in the huge demand costs of these things?”

          Just speculating here, but possibly:

          1. Megachargers will only be installed in commercial/ industrial locations which already have high power hookups, so no demand charges apply


          2. Tesla will tell fleet operators that they have to pay any demand charges

        3. energymatters says:

          The wholesale cost of electricity is (aka the LMP or Locational Marginal Price) in CA is about 3.5 cents/kwh.

          If Tesla is also using these power packs for grid services (ie make some $$ when no one is chargign) then they coudl gain access to that price.

          HOWEVER, it is illegal (pretty much everywhere) for a non-franchised Utility to sell electricity for electric vehicle charging for less than retail price and it has to be on a metered connection form the utility AT COMMERCIAL RATES.

          Given Commercial rates in CA and elsewhere tend to be higher than residential AND have significant Demand charges this means that to provide a contractual price to customers that

          a) The energy will have to be a fully islanded system [no grid connection] with all energy stored in local battery until needed, OR

          b) the customer is a Direct Access (DA) customer who supplies their own power base don the LMP price, OR

          c) the local utility sets of a special rate schedule for truck charging that undercuts every other retail rate.

          This bears closer scrutiny as only option (a) seems viable given the utility desire to price electricity as close to equivalent of gas/diesel per mile as possible. A figure which is no where near $0.07/kwh.

      2. Bill Howland says:

        As I always keep saying with these things, its no problem – simple and straightforward if you’ve got the CA$H.

      3. AJ says:

        I think a lot of the big players like Walmart would prefer to invest in a couple of megachargers at their source and destinations if they are less than 450 miles apart. as mentioned in the presentation, about 80% of the routes are less than 500 miles. So my guess is about 40 to 50% of the routes are less than 250 miles. Which means 50% of their trucks sold may not even stop at these common megacharger locations. Instead, Tesla might throw in a free Megacharger for every 5 (maybe 10) trucks ordered.

        1. Brandon says:

          Yes, and I would say likely they will be located at the originating warehouse, and likely just ~100 kW charging, not Megachargers.

  6. Brandon says:

    One thing I thought of about electric semi trucks like the Tesla is this:
    Having one charge plug for all semi trucks from the start may help in the long run. I don’t know… maybe not.

    1. scott franco says:

      Yep, this will be the standard.

      Until the next truck comes out.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      We can hope that future manufacturers of BEV heavy trucks will follow the format established by Tesla, to avoid just the sort of competing non-standard charging formats that we see in EV passenger vehicles.

      Eventual standardization is inevitable. The only questions are how long it will take, and whether the industry will come to a consensus voluntarily, or the government(s) will have to step in and mandate one.

  7. FreePat75014 says:

    This for sure is impressive and inspiring again… Sounds like a modular 4 x 2 high current DC things w/ + & – for each one. So if 1600KW capable this could mean split into 4 x 400KW, than may then be 1000 Volts times 400 Amps for each pair of connectors, with improved Glycol/Liquid cooling, or 1200V times 350 Amps with std air cooling… I bet Elon will beat Porsche 800V marketing quote and the power too, plus say he will have 4X modular on top ! Then smaller Tesla EV cars, say Model S&X v2, then may be Model 3 v2 later on, may be able to use any combination of these modular 4 x DC sources, say 1 or 2, vs 4 for the Semi, and charge at 400KW or 800KW…. Who knows ???

  8. Chris Stork says:

    I’m still holding out for this technology breakthrough:

    1. Wow! Is that a Large DiLithium Crystal?

  9. Chris O says:

    It’s interesting that Tesla is upping the ant slightly for charging speed, 80% in 30 minutes rather than the current 40 minutes. Wonder when the cars will get the improved charging speed.

  10. Dav8or says:

    That receptacle is deep. Deep for a reason. It is likely some very high voltage involved and high voltage can arc pretty far. This is the worst of worlds for the truck driver as it is high voltage and high current. Everything better work perfectly every time.

    The potential energy in this truck and it’s potential to get out accidentally is way higher risk than the diesel equivalent. Diesel fuel is actually pretty damn safe.

    Usually electricians and technicians are required to wear PPE of heavy specially insulated gloves, use a rubber mat, wear insulated boots and have safety glasses on when handling power like this and *never* in the rain. I’m guessing the the truck drivers won’t, but I don’t know how they intend to recharge these trucks at the station. Will it be self serve, or will there be a specialized attendant do it for you. I imagine many truck drivers that have phobia of electricity won’t want to do it.

    I think for liability reasons they had better have special attendants. I know of no other product that uses electrical power of this magnitude and is entrusted to ordinary civilians. I guess we’ll see as it plays out.

    1. James G. says:

      Dav8or, you are correct, but all the DC fast chargers have two significant safety features. First they have an “isolation monitor” which basically acts as a ground fault detector. If there is a tiny amount of leakage current (such as through water) it turns off the circuit. Second the mechanical button to release the charger also electrically tells the charger to shut down. So by the time the user breaks connection on the main pins, the current flow has stopped.

      1. Dav8or says:

        Like I said, everything had better work correctly 100% every time. This is way more serious than pumping some gas. Electricity is like water, it will exploit the tiniest little opportunity to find a way out.

        1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Yeah, just look at all those reports of people electrocuted while using DC fast chargers!

          …what, not a single one?

          Well, at least nobody ever got killed in a gas station fire.

          Oh, wait…

          But we “thank” you for your concern trolling, Dav8or. 🙄

          1. Aaron says:

            He does have points, but they are just unfounded worries that we will have to address with truckers too.

            1. Dav8or says:

              OK, that’s reassuring. All the equipment will function correctly 100% of the time. Just pointing out there are risks and it will be interesting to see how they are dealt with.

              I do forget though that I am posting in a place where people sincerely believe there is no risk in pushing go, then climbing in back of a driverless car and tearing down the freeway. There is not a lot of critical thinking here, mostly blind cheerleaders that desperately want to believe that machines and computers never fail.

              I am certain that the engineers at Tesla take the threat of this high voltage way more serious than many posting here.

              1. AlanSqB says:

                I certainly hope so because that’s what I’m paying them for.

              2. Nick says:

                This is super well understood stuff.

                Many layers of defence in depth will keep people alive 100% of the time for all practical purposes.

                1. Dav8or says:

                  List the layers for me that are incorporated in this Tesla Semi tractor. Educate me.

                  1. Leaf2012 says:

                    There are international committees of electrical safety engineers going through the safety of the systems over and over again to make sure the standards take care of every likely fault.

                    Standard EV DC connectors do not have any voltage present. If you smashed the connector with a hammer and licked the pins you would not get electrocuted cause the connector is disconnected from the battery in normal state. Same goes for the charging plug. Only a small non-hazardous control voltage is present on the contol pins.

                    When the plug is inserted the communications must be established and both car and charger confirm safety is ok before battery and charging power is connected. The plug also gets locked in place before charging starts. Any error, including temperature, voltage, current, leakage current out of range or lock or communication failure leads to disconnection in both car and charger.

    2. scott franco says:

      Way overthinking. Your GFCI has the ability to measure current flow in both the power and neutral legs, and interrupt the flow in a split second if they are not equal.

      And that’s a mechanical circuit interrupter. A solid state version can do that in microseconds.

      If you get across power, that is a “non-equal” current situation. You are directly taking current to ground. The circuit is interrupted before you feel as much as a tingle.

      Charging stations have a lot of intellegence. It both talks to the car/truck about its current needs, as well as running a series of low current fault diagnostics before applying power. Then the power is applied, but as mentioned, the current in both the power and common leg(s) are measured and the circuit interrupted if not equal.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “I imagine many truck drivers that have phobia of electricity won’t want to do it.”


      Gosh, with all the effort you put into that wall-of-text concern troll post, you deserve a gold star for your Tesla bashing efforts!


      1. AlanSqB says:

        I have a phobia of dying fron a diesel exhaust induced asthma attack. It goes both ways.

    4. Michael says:

      At least you aren’t hysterical about this like Mike Pasemko, “If anything goes wrong, and it will, the resulting arc flash will vaporize any human within a few metres.”

      The safety precautions you talk about make sense in an environment which does not have layers of redundant safety features. Any wire at any time could be live.

      Consider shore power for marine vessels. This is done by longshoremen with no special gear. (At least in the photos I’ve seen.) Wharf outlets provide 3-phase power at 6,600 volts, 350 amperes with a design load for each ship of 7,500 KVA.

  11. zzzzzzzzzz says:

    ‘assumption that the Tesla Semi will consume 2 kWh of energy per mile which in reality will probably be less, as Tesla notes.’

    They must be smoking really strong stuff to believe at semi loaded to 80,000 pound gross weight would consume just 2 kWh, whatever aero package you add. Unless Elon has invented Arc Reactor drawing free energy out of black hole, expect 3.5-4 kWh/mile at highway speeds in real life conditions with hills and not perfect weather.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I expect that <2 kWh per mile might be slightly optimistic, but only slightly. Claiming it will be 3-4 kWh per mile is just more Tesla hater FUD, which is the only reaon you're posting it.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        ” Claiming it will be 3-4 kWh per mile is just more Tesla hater FUD”

        Don’t need to call people names when you disagree with their opinions. But somehow that is consistently what you do here.

        <2 kWh/miles is possible so is 3 miles/kWh.

        Here is why:

        We know that Model X can consume easily 0.6kwh/miles when towing a small trailer (as many of the Model X article has shown). If we use the 0.36Cd (published) and assume as at least 3x more FA compared with the Model X (0.24Cd) while towing, then total drag (result of larger CdFA) is at least 6-7x more than a Model X while towing at 55mph (you can check that with any online aero drag calculator) in air drag alone. If we assume the FA is only 2x larger than Model X while towing, then the total drag at 55mph is still 4-5x more.

        That would imply that 3 kWh/miles isn't all that crazy or "FUD".

        We will just have to see what the actual/final numbers are once the vehicle is ready for fleet testing. Ultimately, it is those fleet operators who cares about those details as they calculate the TCO.

    2. Doggydogworld says:

      zzzzzzzz semi road load is extensively studied. You can spend 45 seconds looking things up and avoid saying stupid things.

      This doc (pages 6-7) shows 264 hp at 65 mph with no aero treatment and 230 hp with aero:


      “Full Aero” in this case means roof deflectors and behind-cab exhaust, the kind of stuff you see on trucks today. Tesla measures at 60 mph, which the graph on page 7 shows at 200 hp (150 kW). That’s 2.5 kWh/mile. Add Tesla’s wheel covers, flat underbody, tractor/trailer gap cover, missing side mirrors, smooth front (vs. huge radiator grill), reduced aux loads, super single tires, etc. and 2 kWh/mile is no problem.

      SuperTrucks get 12-13 mpg on real road tests:

      38 kWh/gal * 0.50 brake thermal efficiency / 12 mpg =
      1.58 kWh/mile

      This was at 65k lbs, so add a couple tenths for 80k lbs. It’s clear 2 kWh/mile is very achievable.

      1. Ddw, thank you for that walk through of sourced and referenced numbers!

        It is well layed out, and shows some of the facts that “Those of you that have contributed to the design of the Tesla Semi, and put in advance Reservations”, have analysed, and durected Tesla, as was mentioned in the introduction, by Jerome Guillen, before they brought out the Trucks, and Elon spoke!

  12. Mister G says:


  13. EV says:

    I believe the current L3 car charges are hooked to AC and they convert to DC via electronics and are expensive

    If they hook up to direct DC transmission lines (or DC batteries) , it would be so much cheaper…

    1. Leaf2012 says:

      You would still require power electronics to adjust the voltage/current to the level of the battery as the battery voltage is lower with low charge and higher with high charge.

  14. bro1999 says:

    More charging standards. JUST what the EV industry needs. Yay. *rollseyes*

    1. Nick says:

      Yea. Why don’t they use the existing megawatt class vehicle charging interface?

      1. “Would that not be a small portion of the Current GigaWatt Class Chargers that Battery Electric Cruise Ships, Container Ships, Vehicle Carrier Ships, and Bulk Cargo Carrier Ships started using last Century, Scotty?”
        {Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)”

        “Still smaller yet than the TerraWatt Class Connecter, betweet the Battle Bridge and the Saucer Section, Captain”
        {Commander Montgomery Scott}

    2. Recoil says:

      Hey Bro when your little bolt car can charge anywhere near what a Tesla can then I think you can chime in. Until then keep your slow charging bolt that you have to pay an extra $750 just to get the slow charge option for out of this.

  15. Dave R says:

    It seems pretty clear that if Tesla is calling it a Megacharger, it can probably charge at least at 1 MW.

    Over 4 pairs of power pins, that would be 250 kW per pair. That’s about double a Supercharger, so my guess is that they’ve doubled the voltage as well to keep current and cable size down.

    ~800V nominal (probably rated for 1000V) and ~300A (probably max of 330-350A) per pair of power pins. Higher voltage is the direction EVs in general are headed for the future of charging, too.

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