Update: Tesla's filed plans for a Supercharger drive-in in Hollywood, and this is what it might look like
When it comes to EV charging, Tesla has a serious advantage over the competition. Not only does the automaker operate thousands of locations across the world, Tesla Superchargers offer some of the fastest charging speeds around.
But they might be about to get even faster. That’s according to Tesla investor and frequent Tweeter Sawyer Merrit (opens in new tab). Merrit claims Tesla is going to boost the speed of its Superchargers from a 250kW maximum to 324kW.
324 kW for V3 only (not V2). Then V4 will come soon after.January 24, 2022
Interestingly, Merrit claims that upgraded chargers will still be categorized as V3 Superchargers. V4 Superchargers are apparently something else entirely, and won’t be arriving until a later date.
If that’s the case, it has me wondering what the heck a V4 Supercharger could possibly have to offer. After all, maximum charging speed is what differentiated the V3 Superchargers from the older V2 Superchargers, which offer up to 150kW charging speeds.
A lot of upcoming electric cars can handle charging speeds up to 300 or even 350kW, like the Rivian R1T or Ford F-150 Lightning. So it could well be that V4 Superchargers can offer even more than an upgraded V3 — hitting similar, or higher speeds.
Then again it may just be a hardware change that improves the charging experience behind the scenes. After all, the V1 Superchargers can offer similar speeds to the V2, but rely on older hardware to do it.
Presumably this would mean V4 Superchargers have to be installed, whereas V3 Superchargers can start offering increased charging speeds thanks to a software update. Tesla has done that before (opens in new tab), and it makes sense that it would be able to do it again.
Whatever form upgraded Supercharging takes, it would still be a big deal. After all, Tesla's Supercharger network is pretty widespread, and offers consistently high charging speeds. 300+kW chargers exist, but they’re not very common right now.
Elon Musk himself has admitted that the company is working on faster charging, confirming (opens in new tab) that 300kW charging is on the cards. It’s safe to assume that wouldn’t be the end of it, either.
Since Tesla has previously announced it will be opening up the Supercharger network to non-Tesla cars, it’s going to need something to entice drivers. Faster charging speed is one of the factors that could encourage drivers to choose Supercharging over a competing charging network. Especially if those speeds are available in a large number of locations across the world.
Sadly, Merrit’s claim has not been confirmed by Tesla itself, and this isn’t guaranteed. However if this move is going to happen soon, it’s likely Tesla will mention something at its Q4 2021 earnings call today (January 26). So watch this space.