Tesla V3 Supercharging: Why Model S and X Aren’t Eligible: Video


Only Tesla Model 3 owners can partake in V3 Supercharging, but that will change in the future.

Just the other day, Tesla unveiled its V3 Supercharger. We’ve published plenty of info on it, but essentially, you’re looking at a 250-kW plus charging rate that offers upwards of (if not sometimes exceeding) a 1,000-mile-per-hour charge, at least for a short period of time.

Tesla has said that, at least initially, it’s only making these third-gen Superchargers available to Model 3 owners. However, all Tesla cars (Tesla Model S and Model X of all “builds” and all “model years”) will eventually benefit. What’s the rub here? Our good friend Sean Mitchell spells it all out for us, at least based on his research and opinion.

As previously stated, we’d like to point out that Sean has upped his YouTube game for those who can’t spend a bunch of time watching videos. He offers a comprehensive and well-researched video description below, in addition to his solid video content.

Let us know your thoughts and observations in the comment section below.

Video Description via Sean Mitchell (AllThingsEV.info) on YouTube:

Supercharging V3 and why Model S and X aren’t eligible yet

Last night Tesla introduced Supercharging V3 to Model 3 owners participating in the early access program. I’ll get to why I think V3 was only released to Model 3 owners in a moment. First, let’s do a quick run down of the recent news.

V3 Supercharging event: https://youtu.be/NNaqB-RsT9A

Tesla is installing a brand new network of 1MW Tesla Powerpacks to facilitate up to 250 kW charge rates. This means that a Model 3 LR will gain about 75 miles in 5 minutes. If we assume Tesla will taper off charging speeds as the battery pack gets to 80%, you’ll be able to recover about 235 miles in 15-20 minutes and a full charge in 30-40 minutes. Tesla says this is a 50% improvement on charge times, cutting down an 80% charging from 40 minutes and a full charge from 1 hour.

Not only is the charging rate a 2x improvement, Tesla further underscores their dominance in fast charging intellectual property. Tesla can now deliver on demand high powered energy AND reduce V3 electricity costs by leveraging what’s called peak shaving.

In addition to V3 hardware upgrades, Tesla will be pushing out a software update to allow what they call ‘On-route Battery Warmup’.

Last on the Supercharger news, V2 Supercharger tech will also receive a power boost from 120 kW peak charging to 145 kW or a 13% speed improvement. This means that Model S and X owners will see minor charge rate bumps.

The last thing I wanted to address is why S and X did not receive the V3 update? There’s two reason:

1) One I believe, Tesla wants and needs to boost sales for their Model 3, especially after the introduction of the Standard Range battery option.

2) More importantly, it appears that Model S and X, in their current form, do not have the hardware for 250 kW peak charging.

As stated in a Model 3 teardown by the YouTube channel Ingeerix, the Model 3 has a larger charging cable and connector.

Ingeerix video: https://youtu.be/rDYbvI32OBE

According InsideEVs’ research, the Model 3 battery pack has improved cooling compared to Model S and X.

An old Model S 85 kWh pack has the ability to cool 444 18650 cells with a single cooling ribbon pass.

A P100D Model S pack levels up by cooling 258 1850 cells per ribbon

Model 3 improves its cooling with 164 21700 cells per ribbon.

This means, according to InsideEVs that, “with both more contact surface area and a higher conductance factor, the Model 3’s cooling tube system can conduct 2.3x as much heat from the pack as the Model S.”

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66 Comments on "Tesla V3 Supercharging: Why Model S and X Aren’t Eligible: Video"

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S and X owners will benefit indirectly with faster stall turnover and no reduced charge when a set of stalls are shared.

(⌐■_■) Trollnonymous


They also benefit from the slightly increased power given to Supercharger v2 and from the battery prewarming feature, which combined will make a noticable difference to all Teslas, and will make a difference much sooner than SC v3 because it applies to existing infrastructure, whereas the SC v3 charging rates will only be available once they actually build them.

Battery pre-warming is huge. We made the mistake on a trip to a ski area (which has a supercharger in town) to wait until the day we left to charge in the morning while eating breakfast. We drove 2 miles to the supercharger, plugged in, went to breakfast, and in 30 minutes it had still yet to start charging. After 45 minutes, we were adding about 3 miles an hour. After an hour, we were adding maybe 10 miles an hour; after that we were up to a decent rate. Yes, it was REALLY cold overnight. We learned. Now, we charge when we arrive in town while our battery is still warm.

“…in 30 minutes it had still yet to start charging.”

WOW! I had no idea that it took that long for the battery heater to warm up the battery to operating temperature on a bitterly cold night/morning.

That really underscores the importance of keeping your BEV plugged in overnight on those bitterly cold nights. Of course, when staying at a ski resort, that may well not have been possible.

I did something similar in Bozeman when it was -7 Fahrenheit. Drove there, parked for the night and then went to charge in the morning. I thought I’d broken the car somehow. Found the same issue in a forum and someone suggested driving the car hard to warm up the battery with the heater on full blast. So I did and burnt through 20 miles of charge burning out on the ice and sliding around when the car tried to use normal regen in 10 minutes or so. It was kind of fun. I went back to the Super Charger (SC) and it was pumping 80kW and quickly climbed to 100kW. I was so happy. I’ve also learned that just because I’ve been cruising at 80mph for the last 2 hours it doesn’t mean the battery is necessarily all that warm if it’s really cold outside and I always try to step on the accelerator and let it regen a couple of times before I get to a SC.

S and X owners benefit in a few ways:

1. On-Route Battery Warmup will increase charging speeds by up to 25%

2. ALL V2 Superchargers get 145kWh unlocked for faster-charging speeds, when not sharing speeds can be up to 60% faster at full 145kWh.

This is all without needing the V3 Supercharger

3. V3 Superchargers will no longer share and full 145kWh will be available This can offer ‘consistently’ up to 60% in faster charging time vs sharing power with 2-4 other owners.

Model S and X charging speeds will increase via software updates in the coming months.

Can S and X charge, at a lower rate, on the new equipment? Or, are they exclusive to 3?

They’ll just charge at the slower rate. Charging stations are available to all Teslas.

But they may be session time limited. Since they have fewer pedestals, these may be limited to 30-45 minutes and have very high idle charges.

roadsters v1/2. So, no.

I would think Tesla would have to do something about the S and X not being able to take advantage of this. After all, those are the high-end flagship products. They are supposed to be the best at everything.

They did, at least at one point – plan on using the 2170 Cells in the S & X Models, I think it was still their plan at the time they had the January 5th, 2017, Open House at the GF1, if I recall Correctly. Later – it was said that the S & X won’t get the 2170 Cells! Does it mean there will be a new pair of Leading Steeds to come from Tesla – to Replace them?

I strongly suspect that refreshes for the MS and MX are coming soon, and that will involve switching over to the new 2170 cells, as well as the new battery pack architecture.

The only question in my mind is just how major these refreshes are going to be.

I know Tesla doesn’t do Model years, but I have to expect that at some point much like when developing software that after you have tweaked and tweaked and tweaked, that sometimes it makes sense to do a nearly clean sheet redesign. I’m wondering if we are at that point with the Model S and X

I doubt it. I suspect that they will wait until they have learned more about designing for automated manufacturing. Then, come back, re-do S/X with a far more automated line.

it is amazing that Tesla hired several car interior designers and relatively little has been done with it.
Of course, they may be working on a number of models right now.

I, too, am surprised that Tesla has chosen to show off the superior charging ability of the Model 3 before switching the Model S/X packs over to using the new cells and new architecture. Altho from what was said above, they will also have to beef up the charging cable and connector in the MS/MX, too… as well as possibly changes to the PEM (Power Electronics Module).

This is really going to put pressure on Tesla to upgrade the MS and MX, and would seem to provide more support for my personal theory that this upgrade is coming very soon.

I think it is painfully apparent that it is all about the model 3 right now. Indeed, I wonder if Tesla might almost prefer to just stop selling both the S and X. I’m guessing it is only the sunk cost in that platform that keeps it going.

S and X generated more than half of Tesla’s gross profit, even when they exclusively sold high end Model 3s last year. Now that they’ve slashed pricing, S and X are even more important financially.

I think they have a S/X redesign coming. That’s the best reason I can come up with for cutting S/X production and slashing prices. Some of the P100D price cuts overseas were pretty extreme. I’m hoping it was a move to clear inventory before the new designs hit.

You have to give Tesla credit. They are willing to undermine their top end models as they advance EV tech whenever possible. This probably it isn’t the best business strategy.

It makes me wonder when they will update the S and X to take advantage of it as well. Hopefully the Taycan puts a bit more pressure on them in this regard. More competition = everyone wins

Probably after Model Y and the Pickup. So 2-3 years.

I am hopeful that Taycan will be the first one to put pressure on Tesla. At this time, NOBODY has put any pressure on them. Tesla needs it.

It makes Tesla owners upset because they’re spoiled by the fact that Tesla does retrospective upgrades at all.

No other car maker would consider existing customers when rolling out a new technology. Do existing Leaf owners grumble about the better capabilities of the new version of the Leaf?

they should. Issue is, that Tesla has pampered the owners. Nissan, like all legacy car makers, have pampered their Executives.

Not undermining at all. Not updating is a better description. They’ve not updated the S & X battery packs to do the upgraded charging. They’d have to produce another 100,000 cars worth of batteries for the S&X when they have a proven design they don’t have to mess with. The missing key point for Model S & X are the dropping of SHARED stalls. This alone will increases your charging rate significantly.

And yet – I can see that even the Model 3 Cooling Loop, could be even Shorter, going Crossways, instead of Lengthways, making it able to pull out even MORE Heat – Faster! Maybe they are working on such an update – in new S & X Packs – In a Quiet Back Room?

No Teardown yet of the Model 3 base battery pack which supposedly has a different pack architecture. Will be interesting to find out.

If my guess is right, then Tesla is doing a lot more about using Model 3 tech in MS/MX packs than just working on it in one single back room! I suspect they have teams which have been working on that for months, and I doubt Tesla would have made this announcement without being close to putting the new MS/MX battery packs into production.

As I recall, I predicted late last year or very early this year that Tesla would be switching the MS/MX packs (from 18650 cells to 2170 cells) within 2 months of the first of this year. Well obviously that prediction was wrong, but I still believe it’s coming soon!

The cells really don’t matter. 2170 is not materially better than 18650, and worse in some ways. S/X just have old pack designs.

Something is up with S/X, but they’re keeping us guessing.

Hmmm,…improving a mass-market, high-volume, and profitable product, or pushing a lower volume niche product?

Concentrating on improving the entry level model while letting the “halo” model languish isn’t a good business plan, at least not long-term. And Tesla seems to be much better at long-term planning than most companies. So it seems oddly out of character for Tesla to put off improving the MS/MX battery packs for so long.

Well, I’ll echo Doggy here and say that it appears something is up. Perhaps I’ve jumped to the wrong conclusion about just what it is that Tesla has in the works for the MS/MX, but there are what I think are some pretty strong signs of a major change coming pretty soon. Cutting back production of the MS/MX, dropping all but the largest battery pack size… these are changes that one would expect to see before a major change.

This new announcement of faster charging for the Model 3 appears to fit the pattern. It seems odd for Tesla to announce that before upgrading the charging ability of the MS/MX, which is another reason why I think that the upgrade is coming soon.

You’re right. They could of just said increase to 145kw. Pre warm the battery and no stall sharing. Would have cut time by 20-30 percent.

And in the future when all models are ready for 200-250kw they release it to the public

Think what he’s trying to say, the original Model S has to cool more cells so the first gets good cooling, but by the time the ribbon gets to the last cell, little cooling is available so cells are at very different temperature deltas, so more careful charging needed.
As the Model 3 has less than a 1/3 as many cells per ribbon, the delta between first and last, and the potential for heat to build up in the ribbon is much less, so they can push the charging and heating of cells harder.

Well, the important thing is just how much heat the ribbon has to absorb from one end to the other of the cooling loop, not how big the individual cells are. So obviously, shorter ribbons are better, regardless of whether they are being used to cool a number of 18650 cells or a smaller number of the larger 2170 cells.

Bigger cells generate more heat, so cell size does matter.

Yes. I guess I didn’t explain the concept in my comment fully enough.

I watched that video and he said charging will go from 1hr to 30 min… I don’t think he understands the charge tapering below 50% and charging profile. If you charge Model 3 LR 1 hr at 250kw from about 10% to near 100%, optimum condition it’ll probably take about 60 min. At V2, its about 70 min. So if it takes 1 hr for V3, it should take 50 min with V3 if you charge from about 10% to 90%. He’s also the guy that killed his Tesla battery charging to 100%… I don’t know if you should listen to this guy for charging advice.

We have seen charging curves suggesting that the time improvement is closer to 20 minutes… Which is almost doubling the speed for an 80% charge — but of course the relative improvement is smaller when charging more.

That could be true but from about 10-70%, it’s probably 15min with V3 compared to about 25-30 min with V2 now. Part of me wishes Tesla comes up with “Road Trip” mode or “Battery Charging for Dummies” mode so people stop charging beyond 80-90%. I’ve seen so many just plug their cars in for 2+ hours waiting for 100% charge while they are shopping at Target or Costco where chargers are always full. I am not going to name any locations (… aahem Fountain Valley, California).

Going by the graphs, the difference for 10% – 70% should be more than the 10 – 15 minutes you suggested…

I’m pretty sure Tesla doesn’t want to boost Model 3 sales at the expense of Model S sales. (And the introduction of cheaper models certainly doesn’t support that theory…)

Model S and X’s batteries are inferior to Model 3 in almost every way…. BMS, cooling, charging, battery chemistry. Only advantage is better onboard charger for AC charging. If I was in the market for Model S and X now, I’d actually wait till the refresh comes out.

S/X also have dedicated battery heaters.

Which offers exactly zero advantage over the solution implemented for Model 3.

Of course they do. Model S and X production rates are maxed out. Even if Model 3 margins are lower, Increasing rates and uptake of Model 3 would more than cover minor dips in S/X sales.

Soon, Tesla’s main product will be the Y, with S/X and even 3, being more niche vehicles.

Is there anything Tesla could do to increase production rate? Coudn’t they refresh the cars to bring the battery modules, motors, onboard charger, wiring harness and autopilot hardware, closer to Model 3.
That way, if all cars use the same parts, Tesla could easily produce far more Model S/X than they do now…

Demand for the MS/MX has more or less plateaued, or at least all the low-hanging fruit is gone. Tesla could expand the market in Eastern Europe, and some places in Asia, and perhaps South America, but those are regions where there won’t be many sales of a car as expensive as the MS or MX.

In other words, increasing production of the MS and MX isn’t going to help Tesla much, because that’s a demand-limited market, not a production-limited one.

Contrariwise, the market for the Model 3 is very much production constrained, and will probably be for at least two years, as Tesla pushes hard to ramp up production. Not only is there huge growth potential in Europe and China, there is also the opportunity for Tesla to sell at least some Model 3’s in less affluent countries. For example, Tesla very recently did a rollout of the Model 3 in Mexico. We can be pretty sure that Tesla will sell more Model 3’s in Mexico than it has MS’s and MX’s!

S/X production rates are not maxed out. Tesla laid off some S/X production staff, apparently cutting out one whole shift. They said they’d make fewer S/X in the Q1 call, and recently Musk said “70-100k” for 2019.

The layoffs are supposedly due to better efficiency. The limiting factor they have been claiming for a long time is availability of the 18650 cells…

Intentionally handicapping Model S would, at best, cause a certain amount of potential Model S buyers to switch to Model 3; it would *not* increase total sales. And intentionally handicapping Model X would just lose sales, period.

Also, the Model 3 will never be anything close to a niche vehicle. A lot of buyers (especially in Europe) still prefer sedans — and there is less competition in this segment.

I love my 2014 S. I don’t mind 30 minutes charge time when traveling. 20 min would be better but not a big deal to me.

Thx for the credit Sean Mitchell

Here’s my prediction: Model Y reveal, much like the Model 3 reveal, three examples and test rides; Model S reveal, like they did with Roadster II at Semi reveal; Model S/X get larger sized charge cables, updated inverter (possibly same as Model 3 for scales of economy) and revised battery layout to improve cooling loop ala Model 3. If the Model S/X cooling loop goes across too many cells and Model 3 cooling loop shows superior cooling ability, then it doesn’t make sense to keep the older cooling loop, especially as that is probably a relatively simple reengineer of the existing system for a pretty significant improvement to recharge times. And finally, they could reveal 800V battery charging. Let’s face it, the motor could run off 400V as is, but the battery charging could be changed to 800V. It’s just electronics and switching that determines how the battery pack is wired at any given time. It could even be something that has been engineered into all SC and vehicles since 800V was announced by Porsche 3yrs ago. Anything is possible, and Tesla usually surprises us with what they come up with. One goal is to move the industry, but the… Read more »

why dont they put the new chemistry in the old battery ?

They could, if they had a new chemistry. There’s no evidence they do.

A lot of people think they have. A lot of people claim there is no improvement in energy density in the new 2170 cells, as compared to what Panasonic is currently using in the 18650 cells. Such people claim that all of Tesla’s claims for a 30-35% energy density improvement in the new cells is a comparison to the 18650 cells which Tesla was using in 2012, when they first started building the Model S.

This is a point over which there has been much intense argument. I don’t know who is right, but it’s probably true that the 2170 cells at best have only a slight advantage in energy density over current Panasonic 18650 cells.

Where the 2170 cells absolutely do have an advantage is in cost. There’s no question that Tesla pays a lower price per kWh for 2170 cells than it does for 18650 cells. That is the main reason why Tesla should switch the MS/MX battery packs over to the 2170 cells. And if Tesla is redesigning the MS/MX pack to use the new cells, then it only makes sense for them to use the new pack architecture designed for the Model 3, too.

“It’s just electronics and switching that determines how the battery pack is wired at any given time. ”

Actually, it’s the wires that determine how a pack is wired.

You could wire a pack in a way that would make it switchable between 400V and 800V. It wouldn’t really help with charging time, though, as that is limited by your cell chemistry and cooling method. All 800V does is let you deliver higher power with the same size cables.

I think it’s unlikely that Tesla snuck through all the S/X pack design changes needed for 800V/250 kWh without anyone noticing.

Porsche is presenting 800 V as a big breakthrough, but in reality it isn’t. The limiting factor is the power the battery is actually able to accept — which doesn’t change with the configuration. If Tesla can max out their batteries with a 350 V system, why would they take the effort for a switch?…

The older models will now begin to show price depreciation on the used market.

Does Tesla users pay per kWh added to the battery or per kWh consumed (incl. Battery heating)?
Will it cost more with pre-heating before arriving to the supercharger? Will the extra cost be insignificant?

The energy needed to heat the battery is insignificant according to Musk.

With cruises lines, if you pay for a suite, you’re going to be upset if the cruise ship gives early boarding to inside cabins, even though there are more of them. I paid twice as much for my MX as my son-in-law did for his new M3 but I feel like the redheaded stepchild who gets the leftovers. While I understand there are now more M3s on the road, Tesla wouldn’t be in business if not for MS and MX owners like myself. In most businesses, your top 20% of clients generate 80% of your business. Tesla needs to stop neglecting MS and MX owners before we all sell them and Tesla becomes a second rate car company. Embrace luxury!