With the opening of its proprietary charging port, Tesla has confirmed that its Supercharger is a lot more powerful than we previously thought.
It points to a possible total output of up to 900 kW.
Yesterday Tesla surprised many by announcing that it will open its EV charging port in hopes of making it the new standard in North America.
Like the rest of the industry, we’re still digging through all of the documentation Tesla has released about its proprietary charging connector to convince people to adopt it.
While we haven’t reviewed everything yet, one thing is clear based on the new documents: Tesla’s superchargers can have a much higher capacity than currently available.
In the documentation, Tesla describes two versions of its charging technology that can operate at 500 volts and 1,000 volts, but are interoperable.
Two interfaces are shown below, a 500V configuration and a 1000V configuration. The two interfaces are mechanically interoperable (i.e. the 1,000V input can mechanically accept the 500V connector and the 500V input can accept the 1,000V connector).
Here are the two designs:
The capacity to operate at 1,000V is new information that was not previously known about Tesla’s charge capacity, except for the upcoming megawatt charge for the Tesla Semi Truck.
Additionally, Tesla noted in the documents that it was capable of operating at over 900 amps:
Tesla has successfully operated the North American charging standard above 900 A continuously with a non-liquid-cooled vehicle inlet.
900 amps at 1,000 volts would indicate a total output of 900 kW, or more than three times the currently advertised capacity of Tesla’s latest supercharger stations.
This would back up Tesla’s statement in the blog post announcing its charging standard, now dubbed the “North American Charging Standard (NACS)”, that it is “twice as strong” as CCS:
With more than a decade of use and 20 billion EV charging miles, the Tesla charging connector is the most proven in North America, offering AC charging and up to 1MW of DC charging in a sleek package. It has no moving parts, is half the size and twice as powerful as CCS (Combined Charging System) connectors.
Looks like Tesla isn’t joking with that claim. Well, this is specifically about the charging port, but Tesla wouldn’t have designed it with the capacity without also planning for the rest of its charging technology to be capable of it.
It indicates that Tesla is future-proofing its supercharging technology for much higher performance.
This has some interesting implications. Tesla has yet to introduce 800-volt powertrain technology to its electric vehicles.
Other automakers have done this, but Tesla appears to have future-proofed its charging technology before attempting to make it standard.
So it’s possible that Tesla will finally switch to 800V for its upcoming new vehicles like the Cybertruck.
Anyway, it looks like Tesla’s charging port isn’t a bottleneck for high charging power.
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