Elon Musk hints the new Supercharger V3 can be insanely fast

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【Summary】Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk recently hinted the upcoming Supercharger V3 can charge super fast, way over 350 kW.

Original   Claire  ·  Jan 07, 2017 11:05 AM PT
author: Claire   

In December, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk kept teasing the public about an exciting product that might come out soon: a supercharger that can charge super fast. 

He posted on Twitter on Dec 24th, answering a question regarding Tesla's plans to install solar arrays at Supercharger stations:

"There are some installed already, but full rollout really needs Supercharger V3 and Powerpack V2, plus SolarCity. Pieces now in place."

When being asked if the Supercharger V3 can reach 350 kW of power, Elon Musk scoffed with such a reply:

"A mere 350 kW ... what are you referring to, a children's toy?"

So, the tech giant and EV pioneer considers 350 kW too slow - but how fast was he referring to in the tweet? We don't exactly know, yet. The current Superchargers max out at 150 kW and other competitors in Europe have been partnering to build 400 power stations by 2020, providing 350 kW of charge, which is considered to be "significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today." The automakers joined forces together, namely Ford Motor Company, BMW Group, Daimler AG and Volkswagen Auto Group. The plan is to solve the current "range anxiety" and give EV sales a push. 

However, 350 kW is actually not the fastest right now, as Geneva's new "flash-charge" electric buses could refuel in 15 seconds. Boasting a 600 kW blast, the electric bus could recharge in 15 seconds to provide enough power for it to run to the next station. When arriving at the end of the bus route, it will recharge for 5 minutes to continue its trip. The technology is supplied by ABB, a Swedish-Swiss multinational company that is the world's largest maker of power transmission gear. 

If Tesla somehow contacted ABB and borrowed their technology, that could be possible for Supercharger V3 to disdain 350 kW as too slow. Currently, Tesla's Superchargers can replenish half the battery of Model S in 20 minutes. But if 600 kW could be reached, that would shorten the refilling time to 5 minutes—even faster than pumping in a full tank of gas. 

The electric vehicle's limitations are mainly around range and infrastructure. People are afraid that when they drive on the road due to an emergency, the battery of their EV could run out. What if there are no Supercharger stations nearby? Or if there are a few around, do they have to take 40 minutes to power the car? 

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