Tesla’s existing Supercharger Network is getting an upgrade, with the electric car maker announcing on Wednesday that it will be unlocking 145 kW charge rates for over 12,000 of its V2 Supercharger stations across the globe over the coming weeks.
The higher power for Tesla’s current generation of Supechargers will result in shorter recharging times for the Model S, X, and Model 3. Even at their present rate of ~120kW per vehicle, Tesla’s V2 superchargers are already among the fastest and most expansive electric vehicle charging networks in the industry. At 145 kW, Tesla’s Superchargers should see an ~18% improvement in the time it takes owners to charge their cars.
The unlocking of Supercharger V2 stations comes alongside the company’s launch of the 1,000 mi/hr Supercharger V3, which can cut the time it takes Tesla owners to charge their vehicles by half. Also announced was a new over-the-air feature called “On-Route Battery Warmup” that preconditions the vehicle’s battery before arriving at a Supercharger to the optimal temperature for fastest possible charging.
These improvements to its charging network stand to make recharging Tesla vehicles more convenient for owners. A quicker charging experience also means that throughput at Supercharger sites will improve, thereby enabling Tesla to support a greater volume of vehicles at its charging locations each day.
A faster charging network has become particularly pertinent for the electric car maker, as it is now starting to dip its feet into the production of a true mass-market electric car, the $35,000 Model 3. The price of the vehicle allows Tesla to tap into a far broader demographic than before, and will likely result in a more massive fleet for the company within the next few months. The Model Y, another mass-market vehicle that has the potential to be even more successful than the Model 3, is also set to be revealed later this month.
Tesla’s Superchargers are among the company’s key advantages in the electric car market. The electric car maker notes that more than 99% of the US population is currently covered by the network, and Europe should see a similar coverage by the end of 2019. The Supercharger network has also passed 90% population coverage in China.
Supercharger V3 joins other ultra-fast charging networks that are currently in development. Both Electrify America and the IONITY Network are developing charging stations that have an output of 350 kW. Porsche also announced that it would be installing 320 kW Turbo Chargers on select dealerships to support the upcoming Taycan electric car.