Last year we recorded my 2019 Tesla Model 3 long-range, dual-motor charging on a new V3 Tesla Supercharger. It managed to charge from 2% to 80% in only 28 minutes. I sold that car and now have a 2021 Model 3 - the same long-range, dual-motor spec as the 2019.
We figured it would be a good idea to repeat the V3 supercharging recording, compare the results and see how the charging curve has evolved in the past year. We had the perfect opportunity as I just finished the 70-mph highway range test for the vehicle, and rolled into the Springfield, New Jersey V3 Supercharger at 0% state of charge.
It was a very warm day - close to 90° F (32° C) so battery temperature wasn't going to be a problem.
One of the things I like to look at when we do these supercharger/DC fast tests is how long does it take for me to replenish 100 miles and 200 miles of driving range. That's important for road trips, especially when you don't need to fully recharge the vehicle to make it to your destination. Since I just completed the 70-mph highway range test, I was able to use that data to determine the time it takes to add back those highway miles.
In 10 minutes I had reached 32% state of charge and added back 24 kWh. That's enough to power the Model 3 for 100 miles of 70-mph highway driving range. It took a total of 23 minutes to reach 65% SOC, at which point I added back 200 miles of range. That's fast enough to make charging on nearly any road trip very convenient - provided there are superchargers along your route and they are the newer V3 units.
We're curious how much longer it would take if we had done this recording on a V2 supercharger which is limited to 150 kW. You can see from the chart below that the vehicle only accepted more than 150 kW until it reached 25% SOC, when it began throttling down. Therefore, if you plug in at a SOC higher than 25%, it shouldn't make a difference if you're at a new V3 supercharger or an older unit that's limited to 150 kW. Perhaps that's a recording for another day...
Upon plugging in, I noticed that it took the 2021 Model 3 a little longer to reach the 250 kW maximum draw than it did when we tested the 2019. With my 2019 Model 3, the vehicle began drawing 250 kW at 5% SOC, and the 2021 didn't reach that until it was at 9% SOC.
Additionally, the older Model 3 held the 250 kW until the state of charge reached 23%, while the new vehicle only held the maximum charging rate for 8% of the SOC and began throttling down at only 17%.
It took 32 minutes to reach 80% SOC, and then another 31 minutes to charge from 80% to 100%, with the total charging time a respectable 1 hour and 3 minutes. I say respectable because compared to other EVs, charging from 0 to 100% and adding back 75 kWh in basically an hour is exceptional. However, we're anxiously awaiting the opportunity to try this out on a Lucid Air and a Hyundai Ioniq 5, which may both set new charging benchmarks.
So check out the video and let us know what you think. Does the fact that the new Model 3 holds the peak charge rate for such a short time make a difference to you? Would a flatter charging curve that doesn't hit 250 kW but reaches 80% SOC at the same time make more sense?
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below and keep an eye out for InsideEVs Mark Kane's deep dive charging analysis on this topic, which is coming up very soon.