Some people don’t mind waiting for their Tesla to charge. Sure, it can be an inconvenience when you have somewhere to be. Yet Tesla has taken steps to make charging more pleasant, like placing Superchargers near cafes. If you’ve viewed charging time as ‘me time,’ you may be disappointed by Elon Musk’s latest news: Tesla is upgrading their Superchargers.
Elon Musk says Superchargers are getting upgraded
Right now, Tesla Superchargers are 250 kW, which means they can charge relatively quickly. The upgrade will increase that to 300 kW. As you might imagine, this means that people will be able to charge their Teslas even more quickly. By how much isn’t certain yet.
Musk’s tweet also didn’t specify if all Teslas would be able to handle the increased power from the upgraded Superchargers. As Tesla is putting new batteries into their cars, the number of Teslas that will be able to handle more rapid charging should increase. It’s believed that the upgrade will first benefit the new Model S and Model X Teslas.
It’s also not clear if the upgrade will impact current superchargers or if Tesla will be making new Superchargers.
How does this help Tesla?
According to Electrek, having faster Superchargers doesn’t just benefit Tesla drivers. The company will also benefit, as people torn between two electric vehicles might be drawn to the one that can charge more quickly.
Another benefit of faster charging is more availability at charging stations, which will reduce wait times for chargers.
There’s also the possibility that Tesla’s technology will inspire other charging networks and car manufacturers to look at how they can improve their charging speeds, and follow suit. This will benefit the electric vehicle movement, as it will be easier for people to charge their EVs and travel farther once they do.
Other electric vehicle companies and charging networks also have the same incentive as Tesla to increase their charging speed. With range anxiety playing a major role in people’s unwillingness to make the switch to an electric vehicle, more chargers and reduced charging time will play an integral part of people choosing electric vehicles.
Electrify America is a charging network that has at least one type of charger capable of 350 kW. Their website says that “The brand of electric vehicle (EV) you drive will determine which plug you can use. You should be able to find out more about your vehicle’s capabilities from your owner’s manual and the manufacturer’s official website.”
So what kind of electric vehicles can handle these fast chargers?
Fred Lambert, Editor-in-Chief of Electrek, asked Elon Musk (via Twitter, of course), if Tesla had plans to beat what other networks were attempting to attain. Musk virtually laughed. He then called the 350 kW that Lambert proposed a “child’s toy.” Lambert notes that when Tesla did upgrade their Superchargers a few years later, their capacity had only increased to 250 kW.
It will be interesting to see if Tesla can beat even this latest upgrade in their future. Of course, battery technology would have to improve too, but that’s a possibility. It may not be long before electric vehicles are charging at superfast speeds, and dominating the roads.