Tesla’s semi-truck will boast an impressive range of 500 miles per single charge and leverage the company’s newest “Megacharger” for refueling. Similar to Tesla’s global Supercharger network that provides drivers of its passenger vehicles with quick charging access, Megachargers will support truckers by allowing them to recharge their big rig’s battery and travel anywhere in the world while facing little downtime.
According to CEO Elon Musk, Tesla’s ultra high-powered Megacharger will be capable of replenishing 400 miles of range in as little as 30 minutes of charging. However, unlike a Supercharger that has a power output of roughly 120 kW, Tesla’s Megacharger will see more than ten times the power levels.
A close-up look at the semi-truck’s charging port reveals an 8-pin configuration that’s significantly larger than the Supercharger port found on Model S, X, and Model 3 passenger cars.
Tesla notes on its website that the semi-truck will consume “less than 2 kWh / mile”. If we’re to factor in a worst case scenario of 2 kWh of energy used per mile travelled, this would equate to 800 kWh of energy consumed in 400 miles (644 km) of travel. Tesla’s Megacharger would need to have a tremendous power output of 1.6 MW, or thirteen times the power level of a standard Supercharger to be able to replenish 400 miles of battery range in 30 minutes. This, of course, is based on the assumption that the Tesla Semi will consume 2 kWh of energy per mile which in reality will probably be less, as Tesla notes.
Regardless, Tesla’s Megacharger will likely see over 1 MW of power.
We asked our friend KManAuto, who had the opportunity to get an up-close view of the Tesla Semi Megacharger port, how the company might be able to support such power levels.
“I think they increased the voltage, for simplicity probably doubled it. keeps the wire size down. Less heat build up. The charge port on the semi also has eight pins for charging. Of course, positive and negative, means it’s like having four normal Superchargers plugged in.” says Kman. “So if it was for normal Superchargers through the same size pins it would be approximately 500 kW due to wire size. If they double the voltage, they could run twice the amount of power through the same wires, meaning they would be able to hit 1.6 MW.”
We’ve embedded a great video below from Kman showing the location and size of the Tesla Semi’s charging port.
Tesla did not provide a date on when the Megacharger network would be added, but we do know that first production of the Tesla Semi is slated for sometime in 2019.