Tesla has begun rolling out its V2 Supercharger network software update enabling 145 kW charge rates for Model 3 vehicles. This increased power provides an approximate 18% improvement in vehicle charge times and comes on the heels of Tesla’s 250 kW V3 Supercharger launch. The boost in useable power for Tesla’s current-generation Superchargers, from 120 kW to 145 kW, will gradually be unlocked for over 12,000 V2 stations worldwide.
Photos shared on Reddit show a Tesla Model 3 on firmware version 2019.7.11 achieving a 147 kW peak charge at 600 mi/hr from a V2 Supercharger in Petaluma, California. Power was reduced to 117 kW at 60% battery charge, and calculated charge time was 35 minutes beginning from 16% battery state of charge, according to the images. This same over-the-air software also unlocks Model 3’s ability to charge at V3 stations.
In addition to the upgraded V2 Superchargers, Tesla will be releasing an over-the-air feature called “On-Route Battery Warmup” to pre-condition vehicle batteries for optimal charging temperature. This feature will further reduce charge time and, when combined with the use of the newest 1,000 mi/hr V3 Superchargers, cut down on vehicle charging time by half.
The improvements being made to Tesla’s Superchargers and vehicle software are helping to gradually bring Tesla “refueling” time in line with the rates experienced by conventional gasoline vehicles along with increasing the volume of Tesla vehicles its Supercharger locations can accommodate each day.
A faster-charging network is one of the key components to Tesla’s sales strategy for bringing the $35,000 Model 3 and upcoming Model Y to the mass market. The affordability of the Model 3 and Model Y will inevitably increase Supercharger demand and, although Tesla’s network will cover over 90% of the US, European, and Chinese populations by the end of the year, the quick rise in ownership will also come with a rise in the expectation of convenience. The Fremont-based car manufacturer’s decision to optimize the Model 3 and Model Y for V3 stations first is likely based on its coming sales predictions for those vehicles.