Tesla Supercharger killer upgrade will get you back on the road faster

Tesla supercharger
(Image credit: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

A Tesla Supercharger upgrade should make it faster to juice up some of the company's electric vehicles. Elon Musk confirmed that Supercharger stations will be able to charge Tesla EVs at up to 300 kilowatts. That’s a notable boost from the current capacity of 250 kW. 

The upgrade will allow many Tesla owners to charge their batteries more quickly, which should reduce queue times at Supercharger stations. In 2019, Tesla said the 250 kW-capacity V3 Supercharger would reduce the typical times spent at a station to 15 minutes. It claimed the charger can provide the Model 3 Long Range with up to 75 miles of driving range in just five minutes.

However, Musk didn't confirm which models will support faster charging at 300 kW. As Elektrek notes, the latest Model S and Model X have new battery packs, while the upcoming Roadster and Cybertruck have new 4680 cells. All of those EVs might be compatible. It's not clear how long it will take Tesla to roll out the Supercharger changes.

Even after the upgrade, Tesla Superchargers will have a lower capacity than some other charging networks. Electrify America, for instance, can charge EVs at up to 350 kW. 

Capacity isn't the only consideration when it comes to charging, though. The "charging curve" (i.e. the variance in charge speed depending on how full the battery is) is important too. Studies have also shown fast charging can speed up battery degradation in some cases.

Still, the quicker that charging networks can juice up EVs, the more likely it seems consumers will opt for an electric vehicle. If networks can speed up charging to the same length of time it takes to fill the gas tank of a typical combustion-engine car, so much the better.

Musk confirmed the Supercharger change while responding to the results of a 1,000-mile test between several EV models held by Car and Driver. Tesla took the top three spots in the race with the Model S Long Range Plus, Tesla Model Y Performance and Tesla Model 3 Performance coming in first, second and third respectively. 

The Tesla CEO said the new Model S has a larger range and faster charging than the Long Range Plus. He suggested the long-range versions of the Model 3 and Y might have delivered better results too, since the Performance models are built with speed and handling in mind, rather than range.

Kris Holt

Kris writes about tech, streaming, games, esports, film and much more. He's a Scot who lives in Montreal with his partner and many, many plants.