Tesla’s Supercharger network to be upgraded to 300 kW
Tesla was years ahead of the rest of the market when it began developing its Supercharger network, and most EV industry observers agree that the proprietary network remains the best option for long-distance electric travel. When it comes to power levels however, some other charging providers have pulled ahead—new DC fast chargers from Electrify America and others can deliver up to 350 kW, while the Supercharger network remains at 250 kW.
Above: Model S charging at a Tesla Supercharger (Flickr: Jakob Harter)
Now the California trendsetter has announced that it will upgrade its Superchargers to deliver up to 300 kW of power.
Elon Musk has taken part in some lively discussions about charging power levels in the past. In 2016, when Electrek’s Fred Lambert asked him if the Supercharger V3 update would increase power capacity to 350 kW, Elon answered, “A mere 350 kW...what are you referring to, a children’s toy?” But when Tesla launched Supercharger V3 in 2019, power capacity was increased only from 150 kW to 250 kW.
At the moment, few if any EVs can handle these lofty levels of power. Porsche says it will upgrade the Taycan’s maximum from 270 kW to 350 kW soon, and the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 5, with its 800-volt system, is expected to boast a beefy charging capacity.
Existing Teslas won’t be able to handle 300 big ones, but the new Model S and Model X, with their new battery packs, just might, and the upcoming Roadster and Cybertruck, which will use Tesla’s new 4680 cells, almost certainly will.
Furthermore, as Electrek points out, higher charging capacity may deliver an immediate benefit, even for vehicles that can’t take advantage of the highest levels. The length of a charging session depends not only on the maximum charging speed, but also on the charging curve of power delivered over time. Thus, higher power capacity could shorten average charging times at Superchargers, reducing the wait for everyone.