With the opening of its proprietary charging connector, Tesla has confirmed that its Supercharger is far more powerful than we previously thought.
It indicates up to 900 kW of potential total power.
Yesterday, Tesla surprised many by announcing that it was opening up its EV charging connector in hopes of making it the new standard in North America.
Like the rest of the industry, we continue to dig into all the documentation Tesla has released on its proprietary charging connector to convince people to adopt it.
While we’re not done reviewing everything, one thing is clear based on the new documents: Tesla’s superchargers are capable of much higher capacity than currently available.
In the documentation, Tesla describes two versions of its charging technology capable of operating at 500 volts and 1,000 volts, but they are interoperable.
Two interfaces are shown below, a 500V configuration and a 1000V configuration. The two interfaces are mechanically interoperable (i.e. the 1000V input can mechanically accommodate the 500V connector and the 500 V input can take the 1000 V connector).
Here are the two models:
The ability to run at 1000V is new information that was not previously known about Tesla’s charging capability except for the upcoming megawatt charging for the Tesla Semi truck.
Additionally, Tesla noted in the docs that it was able to run at over 900 amps:
Tesla has successfully applied the North American charging standard above 900A continuous with non-liquid cooled vehicle input.
900 A at 1000 V would indicate a total output of 900 kW or more than 3 times the current claimed capacity of Tesla’s newest supercharging stations.
This would support Tesla’s statement in the blog post announcing its now called “North American Charging Standard (NACS)” charging standard that it is “twice as powerful” as CCS:
With over a decade of use and 20 billion miles of EV charging to its name, Tesla’s charging connector is the most proven in North America, delivering AC charging and up to 1MW of DC charging in a slim case. It has no moving parts, is half the size and twice as powerful as Combined Charging System (CCS) connectors.
Looks like Tesla isn’t kidding with that claim. Now that’s specifically the charging connector, but Tesla wouldn’t have designed it with the capability without also planning to have the rest of its charging technology capable of matching it.
This indicates that Tesla is future-proofing its supercharging technology for much higher efficiency.
This has interesting implications. Tesla has yet to adopt 800-volt powertrain technology in its electric vehicles.
Other automakers have, but Tesla seems to have entrenched its charging technology before trying to make it a standard.
Therefore, we may finally see Tesla switch to 800v for its upcoming new vehicles, like the Cybertruck.
Anyway, it seems that Tesla’s charging connector is not a bottleneck for high charging output.
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