We are estimating 626 miles per hour charging speeds on Gen 3 Superchargers for the first half of the charge.
In a previous article, we reported that current Model 3 owners are getting Supercharging speeds of around 460-480 miles per hour on Gen 2 Superchargers. That’s a big improvement over Model S owners that only see low 300s for a Supercharging speed.
Why is the Model 3 so fast? First of all, the Model 3 can pull as much power as the Model S (115-120 kW), and second of all, the Model 3 has a much better MPGe than the Model S, so each kWh downloaded counts for more miles.
That’s nice, but how are we predicting these big increases for the Model 3 on Gen 3 superchargers? In the previous article, we noted that a Tesla/EPA document quoted a maximum charging amperage capability of the Model 3 equal to 525 amps. One astute commenter, @Henrik, suggested that a good way to verify this was to look at the line size of the charging cable that runs from the charge port to the battery.
Good idea! We called Jack Rickard at EVTV since he has a torn down salvage Model 3 in his shop. We asked him what size the charging cable was. His answer was 3-aught wire size. In addition, we have a video from Ingineerix, which verifies that the Model 3 has a larger cable than Model S going to the battery from the charge port. You can see for yourself at 13 minutes into his teardown video.
We also got in touch with Ingineer at Tesla Motors club and he claims he has the manufacturer's specs on that 3-0 cable that says it's good for 430 amps (versus 525 amps in the Tesla/EPA document). Based on our calculations, 430 amps should give us an average charging power of 157 kW during the first half of the charge and an average charging rate of 626 MPH.
We need to add some qualifications to these numbers. Holding a constant 430 amps until 50% SOC probably won’t happen every time you pull into a Supercharger. These numbers are a best-case scenario. Even though the vehicle is capable, there may be other reasons why the Supercharger will cut back on power prior to 50%. Also, our numbers only apply to charging PRIOR to taper. Current Model 3 owners are seeing taper come in at around 50% SOC.
So yes, these numbers may be optimistic, but interesting food for thought, nonetheless. We will just have to wait and see.
HVACman and scottf200 contributed to this article
UPDATE: Based on an issue identified in the comments, a correction was made to this article in paragraph four. We removed (3-0 vs 2-0). This does not change the article thesis, since the Model 3 still has a larger cable than the Model S..
TESLA MODEL 3