We know Tesla's new V3 Superchargers can deliver up to 250 kW to Model 3's, but until now, we hadn't recorded a charging session ourselves to see exactly what the charging curve looks like.
I had the perfect opportunity to do so this weekend, as I was conducting a 70-mph range test on my 2019 Tesla Model 3 and would be draining the battery down to zero. There's only one V3 Supercharger site open in New Jersey, and it's right off the NJ Turnpike, the road I do all of my 70-mph EV range tests on. Therefore, the opportunity to test out the V3 station was there, as long as I could time my car's battery depletion just as I was approaching the V3 site.
There's no question that since early 2012 when Tesla installed their first supercharger, they have dominated the electric vehicle fast-charging space. It took the rest of the industry more than half a decade to produce cars that could accept charging rates faster than 50 kW, while Teslas vehicles had been charging at more than twice that speed all the while.
Along came Audi with the e-Tron, which could accept 150 kW. Then Porsche followed with the Taycan, which employs an 800-volt battery pack and can accept up to 270 kW, provided the conditions are right for optimum charging speed.
Of course, Tesla couldn't allow themselves to fall behind the pack with fast charge rates and introduced their V3 superchargers, capable of delivering up to 250 kW to Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. Unfortunately, Model S and Model X vehicles cannot accept the higher power delivered by the V3 stations, because they use different battery cells, the 18650 form. (18 mm diameter and 65 mm length)
The Model 3 and Model Y use the newer and larger 21700 cells, which are 21 mm in diameter and 70 mm long. However, the physical size doesn't account for their ability to accept more power, that's determined by the cell chemistry.
During the charging session, the vehicle reached 250 kW at the 5% SOC point and held it until the SOC reached 24%. That's similar to how Porsche manages the Taycan's charging curve, as it too begins to ramp down the power once the car is at 25% SOC.
The Porsche Taycan can charge from zero to 80% in twenty-three minutes, and I personally witnessed it when I charged a Taycan on an Ionity station during the Taycan media drive last year. That's actually five minutes faster than the Model 3 reaches the 80% point.
However, the Model 3 can drive further at 80% than a Taycan can at 80%, and that's really the most important thing about fast charging - to spend as little time charging as possible, in order to get to your destination.
While charging on the V3 Supercharger, I reached 50% SOC in only thirteen minutes, and the car was still accepting 120 kW at that point. It took 28 minutes to reach 80% and the charge rate has slowed down to 54 kW at that point. Had I continued to let the car charge to 100% it would have taken longer for the last 20% than it took to get to 80%. I've previously recorded my charging time on a Supercharger from 80% to 100% and it took 33 minutes.
Take a look at the video, and let us know what you think. If you want to watch the recording of the full charging session, it's at the end of the video and is compressed into less than a minute.