Tesla Supercharger is an electric vehicle DC fast-charging network built by American vehicle manufacturer Tesla, Inc.

Tesla Supercharger station in Onalaska, Wisconsin

The Supercharger network was introduced on September 24, 2012, as the Tesla Model S entered production, with five sites in California and Nevada. As of January 2024, Tesla operates a network of 6,350 Supercharger stations with over 58,000 connectors. The stations are primarily deployed in three regions: Asia Pacific (over 2,650), North America (over 2,500), and Europe (over 1,200). Since 2019 most superchargers deployed have been able to output as much as 250kW. As of January 2024 approximately 68% of chargers have V3 or V4 stalls capable of outputting this amount.

Usage is typically billed by the energy consumed during charging. Idle fees can be charged to customers who remain plugged in after charging has been completed to discourage loitering and, beginning in 2023, some sites have begun to introduce congestion charges[1] to discourage charging at high states of charge when charging is generally slower.

Technology edit

Version Image Max power Features / Notes
V1   100 kW
  • Power output is reduced when another vehicle is plugged into the neighboring, paired charger.
V2   125 or 150 kW
  • Power output is reduced when another vehicle is plugged into the neighboring, paired charger.
  • Power output upgraded from original 120 kW via software updates.
Urban   72 kW
  • Smaller form factor, lower power device for urban installations.
V3   250 kW
  • Equipped with a thinner, lighter cable that uses liquid cooling.
  • Some chargers in North America equipped with "Magic Dock" CCS adapter for charging non-Tesla vehicles.
V4   250 kW
  • Equipped with a longer cable and credit card reader for charging non-Tesla vehicles.
  • North American chargers equipped with "Magic Dock" CCS adapter.
  • Chargers currently limited to 250 kW but can support higher power output with future changes.
One of the earliest supercharger stations in the United States, located in Lebec, California has a solar canopy from Tesla Energy

Tesla typically places Superchargers near major highways at locations with amenities for drivers, such as restrooms, restaurants, and shopping.[2] Some sites also have solar canopies and Megapacks[3] installed by Tesla Energy to offset energy use and provide drivers with protection from the elements.[4]

When both pairs of this V1 Tesla Supercharger station stalls (A and B) are occupied, they share the available power of up to 150 kW combined.

The original V1 and V2 Tesla supercharging stations were built with a single charger equipment cabinet shared between two charge posts. Because of this arrangement, if two cars are connected, and both request the maximum power available (100 kW for V1 and 125 or 150 kW for V2), the charger will only deliver half the maximum power.[5]

As an alternative to the Supercharger, in 2015, Tesla briefly implemented a battery swapping station at Harris Ranch in California. The Tesla battery station performed few swaps, with most Tesla owners preferring to recharge their vehicles' batteries instead.[6]

"Urban" Supercharger posts were introduced in September 2017. These more compact posts have a maximum power delivery of 72 kW but do not share equipment with other posts, allowing the maximum power to be delivered. These more compact posts are primarily deployed in urban areas such as shopping malls, parking lots, and garages.[7][8]

V3 stations were introduced in 2019 and could deliver up to 250 kW. For V3 stations, four posts share a 1,000 kW charger equipment cabinet, allowing each to deliver the maximum power regardless of nearby charging sessions.[9] The V3 charge posts use a liquid-cooled cable which allows the cable to be thinner and lighter while delivering more power.[10][11]

Tesla introduced mobile Supercharger stations in 2019 with several urban supercharger posts and a Tesla Megapack energy storage system mounted on a semi-trailer truck. These stations provide temporary stations for nearby events, expand capacity during peak travel seasons, or can be deployed when a station needs to be taken offline. The Megapack can charge up to 100 vehicles before being depleted.[12]

V4 charging posts began to roll out in early 2023 and have longer cables for charging vehicles from other automakers.[13] The charging posts have a credit card reader allowing non-Tesla owners to charge without downloading the Tesla app.[14] They are also capable of supporting up to 615 kW of power delivery; however, they are currently software limited to 250 kW.[13][15]

Connectors and interoperability edit

Distribution of the plug standards used by Tesla superchargers worldwide

North America edit

Tesla began installing a "Magic Dock" at some locations in February 2023.[16] The dock holds a NACS to CCS adapter. When a NACS-equipped vehicle driver uses the charger, they remove the NACS connector from the docked adapter. When a CCS-equipped vehicle driver reserves a charger via the Tesla mobile app, the Magic Dock releases the NACS to CCS adapter. The "magic" is that the adapter always remains captive – either locked in the dock on the charger (when the NACS connector is in use) or locked onto the NACS connector (when the CCS adapter is in use).[17] The Magic Dock allows Tesla to qualify for U.S. federal government incentives totaling $7.5 billion to build out CCS-equipped charging infrastructure.[18]

As of January 2024, most automakers in North America have pledged to switch to the North American Charging Standard (NACS).[19] Initially, owners of cars with CCS1 will be offered a NACS adapter to enable charging at Tesla's network, then, starting in 2025, the manufacturers will begin implementing NACS ports in their new cars.[19] In February, Ford became the first automaker to offer an adapter to customers, allowing Ford vehicles to charge with the adapter on a majority of Tesla's V3 and V4 chargers.[20]

Tesla also began rolling out V4 chargers in North America in October 2023 with integrated "Magic Dock" CCS1 adapters and payment terminals for charging vehicles without an adapter or the Tesla App.[21][22] As of May 2024, only 17 V4 chargers have been deployed in North America. Only 6 of these allow use of the magic dock with only 2 of those confirmed to allow use of the payment terminal. Tesla has not released any statements on if they plan to open up all V4 chargers to allow use of the payment terminals and magic docks.[citation needed]

Europe edit

European V2 charger with dual cables, a Type 2 connector and (plugged in) CCS2

In November 2018, under pressure from European regulators, Tesla announced that it would begin using the CCS2 charging standard, adding the inlets to new vehicles, offering adapters to existing vehicle owners and adding CCS2 connectors to Superchargers.[23][24][25]

China edit

In China, Tesla equips its vehicles and Superchargers with the GB/T charging standard (an abbreviation of "GuoBiao/TuiJian", translated as "recommended national standard").[26]

Network edit

The average number of Tesla cars per Supercharger stall was 34 in 2016.[27][28] As of September 2023, Tesla bids building its chargers at about half the cost of its competitors.[29] Cost estimates per station range from US$100,000 in 2013[30] to US$270,000 in 2015, depending on the number of stalls and other circumstances.[31] In a 2014 filing with the SEC, Tesla reported an "estimated useful life of 12 years".[32]

Most car charging occurs at home or work, a situation that Tesla has compared to cell phone charging.[33] As of 2014, less than 10% of charging came from Superchargers.[34]

For 2021, Tesla states the network had 99.96% uptime (at least 50% daily capacity) and its power was 100% renewable (through solar power on-site and through purchasing electricity which was matched to renewable generation.)[35][36][37]

In May 2024, it was reported that Tesla had laid off its entire Supercharger team, including its head, Rebecca Tinucci.[38] Tinucci had made an initial staffing cut of 15–20% two weeks prior, as part of company-wide layoffs; after a meeting with Musk in which she proposed a massive network expansion, he demanded more layoffs. When she resisted, stating that further cuts would affect the fundamental business, he dismissed the entire team.[39] The move was widely expected to slow deployment of stations in the short- to medium-term.[40] Executives at charging companies have begun to prepare for Tesla to pull out of the federal National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure program, announced in 2023 with a goal to add 500,000 charging ports over the next five years. Tesla had been awarded contracts to build chargers at 69 of the 501 sites that had received funding to-date.[41] 10 days later, Musk promised to invest US$500M to expand the network this year,[42] which would be "a significant reduction" from the original plans for 2024, according to former Tesla employees, resulting in an estimated 77% reduction in the rate of charging port deployment. The responsibilities for Supercharger construction and contract management have been taken over by Tesla's energy team.[39]

Costs edit

All charges accrued during supercharging are billed to the Tesla account the car is associated with or to the credit card on file for that account.

Unlimited free supercharging for life was offered as a promotion for Model S and Model X cars ordered prior to January 15, 2017,[43] and between August 2, 2019[44] and May 26, 2020.[45] Unlimited supercharging was also offered during specific periods for vehicles purchased with referral codes.[46]

Additionally, Model S and Model X cars that were ordered between January 15, 2017, and November 2, 2018, received 400 kWh (about 1,000 miles or 1,600 km) of free Supercharging credits per year.[47] After the credits are exhausted, supercharging is billed at normal price.[48]

Deployment edit

As of January 2024, Tesla operates a network of 6,000 Supercharger stations with nearly 55,000 connectors. The network is primarily deployed in three regions: Asia Pacific (over 2,400 stations), North America (over 2,300), and Europe (over 1,100).[49]

Tesla Global Supercharger Count
Year Stations Annual
Connectors Annual
2012 7 [50]
2013 63 800% [51]
2014 380 503% [52]
2015 584 54% [53]
2016 790 35% [54]
2017 1,128 43% [55]
2018 1,421 26% 12,002 [56]
2019 1,821 28% 16,104 34% [57]
2020 2,564 41% 23,277 45% [58]
2021 3,476 36% 31,498 35% [59]
2022 4,678 35% 42,419 35% [60]
2023 5,952 27% 54,892 29% [61]

North America edit

Tesla Model S charging at a Supercharger V1 stall in Newark, Delaware
50,000th Supercharger stall in Roseville, California, with a commemorative plaque and in Ultra Red color.

The first Superchargers in the world opened in 2012 in the United States, with the company initially focusing on high-traffic corridors. The first six stations enabled travel between Los Angeles, San Francisco, Lake Tahoe in California and Las Vegas, Nevada.[62][63] Soon after, two stations were installed along Interstate 95 in Connecticut and Delaware enabling trips between Boston, New York and Washington, DC.[64][65][66] By mid-July 2013, 15 stations were open across the United States.[67]

Supercharging stations were available in Canada along Ontario Highway 401 and Quebec Autoroute 20 corridor between Toronto and Montreal by 2014.[68]

As of May 2024, the United States (including Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico) has 2,265 Supercharging sites with nearly 26,000 stalls, more than any other nation in the world. Canada has 217 sites and Mexico has 35.[49]

Europe, Middle East and Africa edit

Tesla Supercharger station at a Bundesautobahn 9 rest stop near Münchberg, Germany.

In early 2015, the first European Supercharger was upgraded with a 'solar canopy' (a carport with solar cells on the roof) in Køge, Denmark.[69] According to the person responsible for Tesla's Superchargers in the Nordic countries, Christian Marcus, the 12-stall Supercharger in Køge has 300 m2 (3,230 sq ft) solar cells with a projected annual production of about 40 MWh and is equipped with its own battery bank for temporary storage of excess production. Unlike most other European Supercharger stations, Tesla has bought the land on which the Køge Supercharger stands.[70] On April 26, 2016, Kostomłoty became the first charger to open in Poland.[71] Tesla opened a grid-connected 2-stall Supercharger at Nürburgring in 2019.[72] There are a few privately operated Supercharger stations such as the one opened on April 27, 2016, in Zarechye, Russia, with 3 stalls.[73]

In 2015, the European Supercharger network was planned to allow a Model S to drive from the North Cape (near Honningsvåg) in Norway to Istanbul, Turkey or Lisbon, Portugal.[70] As of August 2023, there are Supercharger stations in or near both Istanbul[74] and Lisbon.[75] The map of current and planned sites[76] includes every European Union country except Malta and Cyprus, and represents all of the countries in the world in the top 10 of electric vehicle adoption rates.[77]

Tesla started testing the charging of non-Tesla cars in the Netherlands in 2021[78] and in Norway in early 2022 on 15 large uncongested stations with CCS2.[79] Tesla opened new stations for non-Tesla cars in several countries in 2022, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.[80] Many European governments give sizeable financial support for building new stations but require those to allow cars regardless of brand.

In the Middle East only Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have sites. Qatar was expected to have its first Superchargers by the end of Q1 2024.[49][81] The only nation in Africa to have Supercharger sites is Morocco.[49]

As of May 2024, the European region has more than 1,200 Supercharging sites across more than 20 countries.[49]

Asia Pacific edit

China is the second largest market for Superchargers after the United States. Tesla operates over 2,000 sites in the country with over 12,000 stalls as of May 2024. Superchargers are also available in the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.[49]

As of May 2024, other countries with Superchargers include South Korea with 163 sites, Japan with 114, Taiwan with 107, Australia with 90, New Zealand with 25, Thailand with 17, Singapore with eleven, Malaysia with ten and Kazakhstan with two.[49]

Megacharger edit

In November 2017, Tesla announced a higher-capacity Megacharger as part of the unveiling of a prototype for its Tesla Semi, a semi-trailer truck. These Megachargers provide 400 miles (644 km) of charge in 30 minutes to the Tesla Semis.[82][83]

In November 2021, the first Megacharger was installed at the Gigafactory Nevada where the Tesla Semi is built.[84] A second Megacharger was permitted for construction at a PepsiCo facility in Modesto, California, in late 2021.[85]

The megawatt-class cable for the Megacharger supports three times the current density of the V3 Supercharger—35 amperes/mm2 versus approximately 12 for the V3. The cable is also liquid-cooled to support 1000-amp charge rates at 1000 volts in the future.[86]

See also edit

References edit

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External links edit

  Media related to Tesla Supercharger at Wikimedia Commons