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Tesla launches faster third generation Supercharger

Tesla revealed the third generation of its Supercharger charging stations during a customer event at its headquarters in Fremont, California on Wednesday night. The new "V3" amplifier can charge some of the Model 3 at a speed of 250kW, which Tesla says is fast enough to add 75 miles of range in 5 minutes. Tesla says it will break the ground on more V3 Superchargers in April. The first V3 Supercharger station is now open in Fremont to the members of Tesla's "early access program", a small group of owners that the company allows to test things as new versions of the software. Once again in early April, access to the V3 Supercharging will "roll out to the broader fleet in a superstructure of firmware update to all owners in the second quarter, as more V3 chargers come online", Tesla wrote in a blog post. V3 Superchargers will come to the markets in Europe and Asia and the Pacific in the fourth quarter, Tesla says. [embedded content] V3 Supercharger is a big improvement over Tesla's V2 charger, which has a maximum power of 150kW, but is limited to 120kW. But Tesla says it will change, as the V2 Superchargers will be updated to allow a top loading rate of 145 kW "over the next few weeks," according to the blog post. Current Superchargers will also be a bump Tesla said on Wednesday that it also rolls out a new feature this week called "On-Route Battery Warmup" that the company says…

Tesla revealed the third generation of its Supercharger charging stations during a customer event at its headquarters in Fremont, California on Wednesday night. The new “V3” amplifier can charge some of the Model 3 at a speed of 250kW, which Tesla says is fast enough to add 75 miles of range in 5 minutes. Tesla says it will break the ground on more V3 Superchargers in April.

The first V3 Supercharger station is now open in Fremont to the members of Tesla’s “early access program”, a small group of owners that the company allows to test things as new versions of the software. Once again in early April, access to the V3 Supercharging will “roll out to the broader fleet in a superstructure of firmware update to all owners in the second quarter, as more V3 chargers come online”, Tesla wrote in a blog post. V3 Superchargers will come to the markets in Europe and Asia and the Pacific in the fourth quarter, Tesla says.

V3 Supercharger is a big improvement over Tesla’s V2 charger, which has a maximum power of 150kW, but is limited to 120kW. But Tesla says it will change, as the V2 Superchargers will be updated to allow a top loading rate of 145 kW “over the next few weeks,” according to the blog post.

Tesla said on Wednesday that it also rolls out a new feature this week called “On-Route Battery Warmup” that the company says intelligently warms the car’s battery when the owner is navigating to a Supercharger. This helps to ensure that the car reaches the station with “the optimum temperature to charge”, says Tesla, and should reduce average loading times by 25 percent according to the company.

Model 3s will be able to take full advantage of the new Supercharger capacity thanks to the newer battery chemistry of the car, while the Model S and Model X will be limited to 120kW for now. Tesla says it plans to increase Model S and Model X charging rates over the following months via software updates, but the company didn’t say much.

Tesla’s third-generation supercharger addresses one of the biggest complaints about the company’s current charging stations, which is that users may experience “power outages” or slower charge levels when many of the adjacent booths are in use. V3 Superchargers will not have this problem, according to Tesla. The new superchargers also have a built-in liquid coolant system to ensure that the high capacity stations do not overheat or burn.

Tesla’s V3 Superchargers makes it possible to charge the car’s cars faster, but the new superchargers lack 350kW capacity Volkswagen allows with its Electrify America charging stations. (Although the Electrify America stations still experience some power outages.) Volkswagen stations are also floating refrigerated, but concerns about the special cables used in Electrify Americas chargers led to a short shutdown of the network earlier this year.

Tesla launched its first Supercharger station back in September 2012. Since then, the company has opened 12,888 Superchargers at 1,441 stations around the world, at least at the time this article was published, and more are scheduled to open this year. With the new V3 superchargers and improvements to the company’s software (like the new On-Route function), Tesla says that it should be able to receive charging for all new cars that the company sets on the road after model 3’s big year in 2018. [19659011]
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