Tesla has been working on a new generation of its Supercharger fast-charging station for over a year now. Last month, CEO Elon Musk said that they plan to finally release the Supercharger V3 “late this summer.”
Now he says that they are instead planning to release the new Supercharger stations at “the end of the year” and it will be ‘zombie apocalypse-proof’.
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While Tesla has since added solar arrays and Powerpacks to a few stations, the automaker hasn’t updated the charge rate (145 kW capacity capped at 120 kW in vehicles) of its charging stations since the announcement.
As highlighted during Tesla’ Q1 2018 earnings call last month, the company appears to have changed its plan for an ultra-fast charger with an output of over 350 kW – citing some drawbacks when it comes to energy density and cost of batteries.
Instead, Musk said that 200 to 250 kW, which is about twice as powerful as Tesla’s current Superchargers, would make more sense.
After first planning to launch as soon as this summer, Musk said during Tesla’s shareholder meeting yesterday that the first station should come at the end of the year.
The CEO added they have nearly finished the design of the new stations and it will more effectively incorporate the use of Powerpacks and solar to take most stations off-grid – hence the comment that it will be ‘zombie apocalypse-proof’.
That’s something that Musk mentioned over a year ago when I asked him when we are going to see more Superchargers with solar arrays:
At the shareholder meeting yesterday, Musk also said that they will have further announcements to make when they will deploy the first Supercharger V3 stations, which should also come with an accelerated expansion of the network.
The CEO also commented on the long-term potential charge rate of Supercharger, which he sees eventually reaching 3 to 4 times the current rate: 360 to 480 kW.
That was framed as the limit of the technology for passenger electric cars – though it doesn’t sound like it’s coming with the Supercharger V3 since Musk mentioned a target of 200 to 250 kW last month.