Tesla Superchargers Now Capable Of 145 kW

JUL 24 2016 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 37

Tesla Superchargers are now capable of 145 kW even though it was previously confirmed that they were only at 135 kW. Tesla did not divulge this new information voluntarily, however, it came out in a recent UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) investigation that was spotted by the fellows at Electrek.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Discussing Worldwide Supercharger Network Expansion

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Discussing Worldwide Supercharger Network Expansion

Tesla Superchargers have been touted as faster than any other EV chargers for some time now. However, British power company Ecotricity attempted to challenge Tesla’s claim in court after a partnership between the companies failed.

Tesla has maintained that its Supercharger system will continue to be upgraded and the network expanded to assure readiness for the future. When launched, the Supercharing system had a max capacity of 120 kW.

It was a known “fact” that Tesla had upgraded its Supercharger capacity by 15 kW, to 135 kW. Apparently, the additional 10 kW upgrade that the ASA discovered was meant to be a secret.

As part of the Ecotricity’s challenge, they stated that Tesla’s chargers were unfairly marketed and that other companies offered higher capacities of up to 180 kW.

The investigation by the ASA proved Ecotricity correct technically, but incorrect in reality. Even though it was proven that companies may be able to offer higher charger capacities, those chargers have no high capacity vehicles in which to transfer the charge to. Only Tesla has the battery packs in the Model S and Model X that are capable of accepting the high level charges (~120 kW).

Sources: Electrek, ASA

Categories: Charging, Tesla

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37 Comments on "Tesla Superchargers Now Capable Of 145 kW"

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Spider-Dan

As the saying goes, “technically correct” is the best kind of correct.

If other companies are offering 180kW chargers, then it’s not their fault no one is currently producing cars that can take advantage of them. They don’t make cars.

I would have no problem with Tesla saying that they are making the fastest-charging cars, which is a more accurate way of framing it. But as far as who makes the fastest chargers, it’s not Tesla.

Aasami

Really? Which charger charges your Tesla faster than Supercharger?

zzzzzzzzzz

I don’t know what was discussed in court or advertising, probably it involved some real life charging. But this article talks about chargers, not what some car is capable or not capable to take from a charger. Tesla cars are not capable to use standard CCS or Chademo DC chargers other than using clumsy and capped at 50 kW Chademo adapter, but it is not related to charger ability to provide power. It is car limitation.

cros13

That’s not how advertising standards are interpreted by the various authorities here in Europe. It doesn’t matter that chargers are available that can supply 180kW if it’s not practically possible for a consumer to charge their car at that rate in the real world.

cros13

To clarify, it’s perfectly fine to advertise your 180kW charger as a 180kW charger. And to call it the fastest charger available if that is the case. What you cannot do is prevent someone else from calling their 145kW charger “the fastest charger available” if your 180kW charger does not have a complimentary vehicle available that can charge at more than 145kW.

Jeffrey Songster

Not sure why Tesla CHAdeMO adapter is limited to 50… but most CHAdeMO chargers available when it was released were 50 also. It may be software limited and once the higher power CHAdeMO are more available it may be updated… Or it could be more a limit on the cabling attached. Hard to know but now that China has agreed to adopt a CHAdeMO variant and be compatible with it, the CHAdeMO world will be more popular than ever to support. Maybe once the high powered CHAdeMO are more prevalent in#1 CHAdeMO market Japan, Tesla will rev their adapter to the higher power. Folks go on and on about MW and other super high powered chargers… but physics bats last… having a hand held, made to operate even on wet ground, thin easy to handle thin cabling charger is quite a challenge. Imagine how poorly some of them will be maintained over the coming years and scary things like cracks in the insulation or such. At 120 my Tesla charges faster than anything on the market today… I am guessing that will be true for at least the next year or 2.

speculawyer

But can any of their cars actually take 145KW?

Maybe the 90KWH version for a first couple minutes charging from empty?

Pushmi-Pullyu

Yeah, that was my immediate question too. Just how is this going to affect charging speed, if Tesla’s cars are already limited by how fast the battery pack can be charged?

* * * * *

But Mark V has a good point in his post just below. That will improve the real-world charging speed in many cases.

hector

I remember a video of Bjorn Nyland when he changed the battery, there he said something about this that the new battery bears 150kW.

pjwood1

Until recently, nobody was getting more than 115kw from the “135kw” chargers. I’ve seen 115Kw when charging, but don’t expect much more.

For the uninitiated, each additional battery cell enables more current. That’s why you won’t see 100kw charging of 10kwh batteries, but can for ones of almost 100kwh or more. Toyota has negatively advertised plug-ins taking a long time to charge. The Plug-in Prius only had 4.4kwh. -No wonder.

Mark V

Or more buffer for when 2 cars are plugged into the paired stalls… So there won’t be much slowdown for either.

Alaa

Actually the Tesla battery has a voltage of 375 and you can easily take 1000 amps from it. Remember that Tesla said it has a fuse that can sustain up to 1500 amps. So if we only count on 1000 amps this will mean that the battery can deliver 375 kW Which is way more than 145 kW. Thus it can be charged with the same amount. In fact Tesla is already ready for 350 kW standard that they are talking about.

no comment

the problem with running 1000 amps is that you increase thermal energy losses and the charger could get really hot. i believe that the supercharger station delivers 240v to the charger head, so increasing power means increasing the current, but while i have never used a tesla supercharger station, it was my understanding that the charger head was already getting a bit warm.

Alaa

These copper pins can be replaced by silver pins. Silver has a lower resistivity , thus it will not be hot as the copper. And the cost of a silver pin is really not that much. Or Platinum.
http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/formulae/resistance/resistivity-table.php

no comment

gold tends to be the material of choice for high quality connectors, where gold is a lot more expensive, but it is more cost effective to increase the line voltage.

zzzzzzzzzz

Gold is used for low voltage galvanic contacts because it doesn’t oxidize. It’s conductivity much worse than copper. At 400 V some oxide (not dirt) on copper connector doesn’t matter much.

Bill Howland

Sorry, Gold is *Not* typically used for these large current connections, it being saved for ‘logic level’ switching when the low voltage isn’t sufficient to overcome or pierce the polymerization of the contacts.

Silver easily oxides (becomes flat black), but Silver Oxide is also a good conductor and thats the end of it. Provided some ‘big expert’ doesn’t think something is horribly wrong and starts filing all the black off.

zzzzzzzzzz

The difference between silver and copper electric and thermal conductivity is marginal, and these are best conductors, all others including platinum are much worse at regular temperature. You would need active cooling. Plus you would need to pay higher peak power rate per kW to grid.

Priusmaniac

Silver has 8% higher conductivity which would make 145 KW turns into 156 KW. I don’t know if that is marginal but the active cooling that Tesla did is likely more promising although there could be both, Silver with active cooling.

Combined with the automatic charging the power increase is bringing the manual plug to its limits.

I don’t know if Telsa is testing something, but supercharging at higher power start to be in need of under the car pantographs for secured ground contacts charging at higher voltage and power. I don’t say plugs going much further and induction is not the answer neither due to lack of power and the 10% losses.

Pushmi-Pullyu
“no comment” commented: “…it was my understanding that the charger head was already getting a bit warm.” There have been lots of reports of the end of the charging cable, where it connects to the actual charging plug inserted into the car’s charging port, getting uncomfortably warm… if that’s what you mean. There are two issues there: 1. Charging plug getting dirty 2. Limited surface area on the pins that get inserted into the car’s charging receptacle Regarding #1, I’ve read that some Model S driver carry Q-tips and use that to clean the pins on a Supercharger plug before inserting it into their car. #2 obviously can be improved by increasing the size and/or number of pins, or switching to something with a much bigger surface area for the interface, such as the blade-and-slot high voltage connection connection on the outside of a Model S battery pack (see photo linked below). However, that will require Tesla to switch from the rather small charging port behind a corner of the tail light, to something rather larger, like a Leaf charging port. It seems almost certain that before long Telsa will have to increase the size of the plug and the… Read more »
cros13

Well… at least on the european side they’ve joined the CCS standards group.

The current CCS plug used in europe is rated to 170kW with the next standard due to support 350kW.

They already use the standard Type 2 connector on the Model S & X here anyway so they’d just need to add the two DC pins.

Leptoquark

Is this system-wide, or only for a subset of all Supercharger stations?

Big Solar

I always worry about cars starting a fire while charging uber fast and the media blowing it up

Pushmi-Pullyu

Already happened once to a Tesla car.

Doesn’t seem to have had any long-term impact on demand.

cros13

…meanwhile on a warm day last week there was an ICE vehicle that was up in flames on my commute. Could feel the heat of it through the glass of the windshield. Wasn’t even reported on the local news.

Cavaron

Ecotricity didn’t get the partnership and now it sues around? Together with 6 pund a 30 min charge – that negates my positive picture from Ecotricity…

tony

I know im very radical on this, but look what tesla is doing for the world of electric car, and look the other complaining comapanies, agencies and goberments are doing for electric world. Ee need some help here, not fights.Take your own conclusions.

cros13

Well in fairness to Ecotricity (the complainant) they did build a fairly extensive rapid charging network in the UK AND operate it free of charge for four years.

This complaint was petty though.

Texas FFE

Have you ever noticed that Supercharger network resembles how a communist country is run or more specifically how a controlled economy is run? In a controlled economy the government decides what is produced and provided. In a market economy market forces control what is produced and provided.

Instead of allowing the market decide where Superchargers are located, Tesla decides. And just like in a controlled economy where tax payers are required to pay for the governments decisions whether they are good or bad, Tesla requires vehicle owners to pay for Superchargers even though many of the Supercharger installations could never stand on their own based on market forces. How many controlled economies have we seen come tumbling down and is the Tesla Superchargers network just a house of cards waiting to fall at the slightest breeze (read as slightest Tesla financial weakness)?

TomArt
Uh, what? Tesla’s services may be vertically integrated with the rest of the company, but what are businesses supposed to do when they build a car nobody can charge fast enough?!? And, since when has spreading out the cost of a “free” service been a non-market-based, commie idea?!? I know you’re annoyed that Tesla did not bother to provide stepped-down, CCS and/or CHAdeMO charging capabilities standard as part of their SC network. I understand that, although it would not have made any business sense due to having to provide the additional infrastructure, maintenance and pay-per-use or subscription systems. The bottom line is that TMC has to sell their cars, and minimize costs, no matter what Musk says. In fact, one can argue that the supercharger network is market-driven because a vast majority of Tesla owners are going to use the system – that’s why it’s there – it’s the only system available in the US that can charge a Tesla fast enough to make their cars marketable to a wider group of potential owners – not just to those who are willing to plan a long, slow trip with 30kW or 50kW DC charging as the only viable options anywhere.… Read more »

As much as I hate communists / planned economy, what you say isn’t true with Superchargers. If Supercharger are run by a separate company that only does superchargers, you may have a point (or not). But they are integral part of Tesla experience. It’s like advertising.

Even if Superchargers are run by standalone company that only provide supercharging as service, the losses on rarely used station is justified by potentially more profits generated by more users. Again, this would be like the advertising budget, and no different than “black friday” sale deals.

Texas FFE

When times get hard for a company one of first things to get down sized is advertising. What’s going to happen with those Superchargers when times get hard for Tesla? And times will get hard for, Tesla can’t ride this wave of money forever.

Texas FFE

You guys have are wearing Tesla colored glasses and refuse to see the risks Tesla has imposed on itself, its customers and its investors with the Supercharger network.

Spider-Dan

Again, I disagree: Tesla can say that they have the fastest-charging cars, which is true. That has nothing to do with which company has the fastest chargers.

If someone had invented 100 terabit ethernet in 1995, they would still be allowed to call it “the fastest network connection in existence” even if no one was making network cards that were capable of using it.

Steve

It is 145kW per charger pair. If one car is using the full 120kW that it can take, there is 25kW left over for the other car on the charger pair. As the first car starts to reduce wattage, the other car can get the benefit. At all times the two never add up to more than 145kW.

Texas FFE

I would like to see a report on all the Supercharger stations, one that indicates how much each station gets used each day, month and year. This is definitely a report I would want if I was a Tesla investor or vehicle owner. I bet many of these expensive stations go days or weeks without charging a single car, that doesn’t sound like a very good investment to me.

TomArt

That would be good data. However, most of the stations have been installed based on people writing in to Tesla about where the most useful places would be for one in their region. This is particularly true since they are located along major highways, particularly interstates, and on the outskirts of cities and between cities – very optimal locations.

Therefore, if usage may be low on some now, that will not last long if demand continues to be strong, and when the Model 3 deliveries begin.