Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles will receive an upgrade in their maximum Supercharging rate from 200 kW to 225 kW through a software update.
The upgrade was posted with the release notes of the 2020.24.6 software update. According to the notes, Model S and Model X vehicles could charge at 225 kW peak rates when plugged into the company’s V3 Superchargers.
“Your car is now able to charge at V3 Superchargers at up to 225 kW peak rates. As usual, when you navigate to a Supercharger, your car will condition its battery during the drive, so it can charge faster,” the release notes stated.
Conditioning the battery heats the vehicle’s pack to an optimum temperature to prepare for charging. The new update will do this during the drive, which will decrease the time spent at a Supercharger.
However, it is unclear what Model S and Model X vehicles will be able to utilize the new peak charging rates. Tesla hacker and owner @greentheonly uncovered coding that indicated the battery packs that would be receiving the update would be “packconfig93.”
I am sure it's nothing. but pack id 93 appeared in 2020.20.5 release pic.twitter.com/uqWteKbwD7
— green (@greentheonly) June 22, 2020
While the Model S and Model X do not have variants that utilize 93 kWh battery packs, the 100 kWh batteries that are used in Performance and Long Range Plus configurations have 93 kWh of usable battery capacity.
Tesla introduced its V3 Supercharger in March 2019. The charger was capable of a 250 kW peak charging rate that could supply 1,000 miles of charge per hour. The company stated in a blog post that the new, more powerful Superchargers were intended to enable fast charging rates for the company’s high volume vehicles, the Model 3 and Model Y.
Although the 250 kW peak rate was available at these stations, only the Model 3 was able to utilize speeds that were close to that rate because of the vehicle’s use of 2170 battery cells. The Model S and Model X battery packs use 18650 battery cells that are not optimized to handle the output of the V3 stalls. Tesla did upgrade the Model S and Model X battery packs to handle 200 kW peak rates last year.
In mid-February, a Model S Raven owned by Eli Burton of the My Tesla Adventure YouTube channel achieved a peak charging rate of 181 kW at the V3 Supercharger located at Tesla’s Fremont facility. It was one of the highest charging rates for a Model S that was ever recorded and came within striking distance of reaching the 200 kW peak rate that Tesla enabled for the car in 2019.
Tesla has continued to roll out improvements and optimizations to its vehicles and charging systems since introducing the V3 Supercharger. With the company continuing to improve battery technology within its vehicles and increase the range across all of its models, increased charging speeds will be beneficial for owners who own the Long Range versions of Tesla’s cars.