Tesla has unveiled a new third-generation version of its Supercharger system, which, it says, will allow a Model 3 to recover 75 miles of charge in five minutes – and charge at rates of up to 1000 miles per hour.
The electric car firm’s V3 Supercharger system is built on an entirely new architecture, with a 1MW power cabinet that can charge at up to 250kW per car. Tesla estimates the increase in charging speed will cut the amount of time customers spend charging their cars in half.
Tesla has also developed a new feature to help reduce charging times for Model 3 owners. Called On-Route Battery Charging, the system begins to heat the batteries when navigating to a Supercharger station, to ensure they are at optimal charging temperature on arrival.
Through that system and the V3 Superchargers, Tesla estimates that a typical charging time at one of the units will drop to 15 minutes.
The V3 charging system will initially be available for only the Model 3. Tesla says software upgrades are due in the near future to increase charging speeds for Model S and Model X machines. The Model Y SUV, due to be revealed next week, will likely also be able to use the system because it shares technical elements with the Model 3 saloon.
The first beta test V3 chargers are currently in operation in California, near Tesla’s headquarters, and work on the first full sites will begin in April. The first V3 Supercharger sites in Europe and Asia are due in the final quarter of the year.
Tesla currently has more than 12,000 Supercharger sites in North America and says it plans to have coverage for 99% of the European population by the end of the year.